HOMEBREW Digest #4930 Thu 12 January 2006

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  Re: Long term yeast storage (Fred Johnson)
  restarting Barley wine (Randy Ricchi)
  Re: Dry yeast - one more chance (Denny Conn)
  New HERMS brewing system (Mark Nesdoly)
  MCAB Qualifying Brewers Announced ("Stock, Curtis")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 07:41:48 -0500 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Re: Long term yeast storage I'm picking up on the thread that just started regarding long-term storage of yeast. In an attempt to keep things as simple and labor-free as possible, I have been storing yeast as described below. I would love to hear from those who really know this stuff what risks I am taking by using this process. After a starter has fermented out, I simply put about 5 mL of this into a 25 mL glass, sterile, screw-cap vial and store the vial in the refrigerator. (My starters are made by very slow, continuous infusion of standard gravity wort (from my latest brew) supplemented with Fermax and stirred with active aeration of the spinner flask.) When I need to make a new starter culture, I simply warm up a vial from the refrigerator to room temperature, resuspend the yeast in the vial, transfer the contents of the vial into about 100 mL of very dilute, aerated wort at room temperature and wait for activity to show before beginning my usual infusion. Signs of revival of the yeast taken from the refrigerator requires time (just like a smack pack) depending upon how long the vial has been stored. Presumably this time is simply a function of how many yeast cells are still alive in the vial when the fresh wort hits them. Last month I revived a vial that had been stored since March 2003. It took four or five days before I saw signs of activity in dilute starter wort. A revised version of this process is to bring all of the vials out of the refrigerator every so often, allow them to warm to room temperature, add a about 5 mL of fresh wort to each vial with the caps replaced loosly, allow these ferment out, screw the cap on tightly, and return the vials to the refrigerator. I know this process may fly in the face of just about every recommendation for yeast storage that I've read from reliable sources, but these sources say that my yeast are unlikely to be viable. I seem to have proven that to be false. I can only think of one or two occasions when I didn't get revival of my stored yeast. (Perhaps my success is related to the manner in which I culture the starters.) Is there anything likely to be wrong with the yeast stored and revived in this manner? Petite mutants? Selection of subpopulation? Knowledgeable comments are very welcome and encouraged! Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 09:32:04 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at houghton.k12.mi.us> Subject: restarting Barley wine Steve, As you pointed out, since the other beer you produced from this mash fermented out well, your barley wine should, too. You should be able to get that barley wine down to about 1.032 or so. I don't think you pitched enough yeast. I'd pitch a cup or two of slurry and oxygenate well for a big barley wine like that. At this point pitching a couple packets of some strong attenuating dry yeast like Nottingham might do the job for you, but I think the surest bet is to first brew a batch of regular strength ale using the same yeast or another liquid yeast that you like, and when that's done, rack it off into secondary and carefully rack your barley wine right onto the full yeast cake that's left over. There will be so much yeast there that it will be able to ferment the rest of the barley wine ferementables without the need for any oxygenation . You're right, at this point re-oxygenation could cause staling. >You wrote: From: "Steve Seeley" <seseeley at hotpop.com> I have a stuck fermentation on a Barley Wine. The OG was 1.125 SG. After 4 days the 1084 Iris ale yeast quit fermenting. I racked after the 7th day (3 days of nothing) and the SG was 1.082 with the AA only at 33%. I also got a second beer off the same mash which went from an OG of 1.055 SG to 1.014 SG in 4 days for a AA of 75%. The sparg for these beers was a continuous fly sparg collecting the first 7gals for the Barley Wine and a 2nd 7 gallons as a session beer. I don't think the wort was too high in unfermentables because the 2nd beer had good AA. Is the ratio of unfermentables to fermentable basically the same through out a fly sparg if a mash out of 168 degF held for 40 min.? I think the starter was OK? The starter was made with about 4 oz of yeast paste (from a prior batch) pitched into 1 gallon of 1.025 SG wort and fermented out. After decanting off the spent starter wort 3/4 of the slurry was pitched into the Barley Wine and the remaining 1/4 pitched into the 2nd beer. I'm thinking that the Barley Wine wort may not have had enough O2? Therefore maybe pitching some dry lager yeast (which have built in O2 reserves) will get things fermenting again? I'm thinking that re-oxygenating would cause staling? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 08:32:56 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re: Dry yeast - one more chance Theory is great, but as far as I'm concerned, practical experience trumps it every time. As to rehydration of US-56, I've found that I get great performance from it with no rehydration whatsoever. I've used US-56 so many times that I started getting into a rut, only brewing beers that I could use it for. That's how much I like that yeast! I didn't rehydrate in any of those brews and got excellent results. In fact, several times I've split a bat6ch of wort between US-56 (without rehydration) and WY1056 (using a starter or slurry). In every case, the resulting brews were as identical as I was able to detect. FG, flavor, body...everything. That tells me that while you certainly can rehydrate the US-56 if you care to, it is by no means necessary. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 11:10:55 -0700 From: Mark Nesdoly <m-nesdoly at shaw.ca> Subject: New HERMS brewing system Hello all. You may remember about 16 or 17 months ago I inquired here regarding a few things related to automated brewing systems. I was looking for information on temperature sensors, and specifically PID control in RIMS or HERMS systems. I stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest by stating that I thought that PID was overkill for the application. I finally have my HERMS complete now that we're settled in the new city (got interrupted by a move across the country), and I now humbly admit that all who told me that PID control was necessary were right. I did not want to buy an off-the-shelf temperature controller, as I wanted to build my own. So I tried implementing a "quasi-PID" control by "throttling back" the heater in the heat exchanger as the mash temp came up to the set point. That didn't work too well, and no amount of tweaking could get it to work nicely. So, with my tail between my legs, I turned to PID control for the beast. Implementing a PID wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. With the help of a spreadsheet to allow me to see the effects of varying the gains, I managed to get the coefficients nailed down pretty easily. As a matter of fact, I didn't need to tweak the spreadsheet gains at all once they were implemented in the system. I tested the system with just water alone yesterday, and I had 1 degree Fehrenheit overshoot when doing a temperature ramp-up. Good enough for me, and much better than the 7 F overshoot best case I was able to achieve by "throttling." When the system hits the target temperature, it can hold it with an error of -1/+0 F. Much, much better than my old setup (just a Coleman cooler) and doing infusion mashing. Anyway, if you're interested, I can email pictures of the system and my homemade controller. I can also offer tips for doing the PID - the coefficients, etc. Let me know via email. m dash nesdoly at shaw dot ca (you should be able to figure it out.) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 16:40:46 -0600 From: "Stock, Curtis" <Curtis.Stock at state.mn.us> Subject: MCAB Qualifying Brewers Announced Brewers, With the help of the Qualifying Events, we have assembled the list of Qualifying Brewers (QB's) for MCAB VIII to be held on March 11, 2006 in St. Paul, MN. Go to the MCAB website to see the list of brewers who have qualified for MCAB VIII. http://hbd.org/mcab/ The categories that each brewer has qualified for are also listed. QB's may only enter those categories for which they have qualified. Only QB's may enter the MCAB. I will be sending email notification to all brewers (at least those for who I have current information). Notification will be finished by 1/17/06. If you are on the list and do not receive notification, please email me at curtis.stock at state.mn.us with your current email or contact information. Bottle ID and Entry forms will be available soon on the website. Entries will be accepted February 22 to March 4. $5 per entry will be required. The shipping address is on the website. For those who can, contact me if you would like to drop off your entries. The website currently states 3 bottles per entry. That will be changed to 2 bottles per entry. Anyone interested in judging, stewarding or attending the event should contact me. The judging and awards ceremony will take place at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul, MN. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for judges/stewards and volunteers. There will be a dinner (likely not free!) prior to the awards ceremony. More details will be posted on the website as plans are finalized, so check the site often. The Happy Gnome is a new tap bar that features many great microbrews from around the country. Thanks to all of the QE's who supplied the information needed. I apologize for the late notification. I hope you all find the time to brew your beers if necessary. Next year will be much more organized. Curt Stock MCAB Organizer Return to table of contents
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