HOMEBREW Digest #5230 Wed 19 September 2007

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  re: pitching rates (-s)
  Re: GFCI, frozen kegs (Dylan Wilder-Tack)
  RE: corny keg, frozen solid ("Ronald La Borde")
  re:GFCI ("Ronald La Borde")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 08:34:00 -0400 From: -s <-s at roadrunner.com> Subject: re: pitching rates Hmmm - this one disappeared without a bounce message. Apologies for the tardiness, but I think the digest doesn't like my new roadrunner account. MattB wrote .... > > Anyway Fred I think there's no doubt that under various conditions, > > pitching less than 1M cells/ml/P can result in a "better beer" to many > > people's taste, due at least partially to increased esters. David gave > > one example, and others abound (Duvel and Rochefort, to name some > > Belgians). > I would completely agree that cell count (cell concentration) is not a very good measure of what we are trying to accomplish when pitching. Some yeast cells (by variety) are much larger that others and the variation at the extremes os perhaps a factor of 10x ! So perhaps we should measure and pitch by dry cell mass. Slurry volume *may* be a decent proxy here. Some yeast varieties are more vigorous,and others are better able to finish-out with less oxygen (or more fermentables) and we should adjust our pitching rate based on this as well. Fix suggested 1-2 million cells /ml FOR LAGERS and half as much for ales. Kunze suggests 0.6-0.7l of thick slurry/hl f (~12P) lager wort (which is 3.8-4.5 fl.oz/5 gallon) and as little as 0.3l slurry/hl (2fl.oz/5 gallon) for ales. Kunze suggests this results in (calc) 1.5M-1.75M cell/ml for lager and 0.75M cell/ml in ales. This low ale rate from Kunze (0.3l of slurry /hl) is one of two methods for pitching weizen's (highly estery) and alts, while the other is to use "normal" pitching at an elevated fermentation temp. So yes - lower pitching rate is both practical for ale yeast and does increase the ester level. That doesn't necessarily make it a good HB technique. As HBers it's very difficult to determine the viable cell count from a re-hydrated dry yeast or a Wy-pack or a RTP tube and the little white lies (generalizations) from Mr.White and Mr.Logsdon don't help much - it's all guesswork. Rarely do we as HBers have the luxury of a fresh clean consistent yeast-cake to use as a slurry either. I've see data on viability over time for slurry at various temps and if anyone thinks that can guess the pitching rate within a factor of 2 from a 3 day old slurry they are fooling themselves. The result is that our pitching rates are highly variable and IMO we are almost universally better off by modestly overpitching than by underpitching. Underpitching has a huge downside and much HB suffers from underpitching flavor defects. Underpitched beer is likely to underattenuate - which is IMO a disaster. It is likely to cause autolysis flavors (brothy and slightly rancid, not the burnt rubber aroma that is mostly myth). For reasons I can't fully justify underpitched beer seems to have more aldehydic yeast aromas - hard to describe exactly what I mean here but I often get a whiff of yeast-y "play-doh" aroma from underpitched beers (If Mom only knew she was giving me a beer olfactory referernce in the playroom!). I agree with David that esters are an extremely important part of many beer profiles but I disagree that American HBers are trying to produce bud-like cleanliness in flavor in ales. That's complete nonsense. When I have a weizen or an APA I want a big big ester profile but underpitching sufficient to produce this much ester can result in the defects mentioned. I've already posted ad nauseum on the origins of esters in beer and also on methods which may increase/decrease esters. YES you must torture your little buddies to make more esters - but underpitching isn't usually not the ideal HB method because it can have too many negative side effects if accidentally overdone. Instead choose the yeast specifically for the ester (and fusel) profile, use very clean trub free wort, don't use too much O2 (but know your yeast) and up-control temp control at the point where growth is slowing. Yeah - *IF* you have the means to measure yeast viability & conc. (stain, haemocytometer, microscope) then I think experimenting at low pitching would be a good method. Also IF you have some good standardization available like always pitching from dry yeast, well handled and rehydrated then you might have a decent standard to measure against. If you are using liquid yeast or especially a slurry there is IMO too much variability. A commercial micro brewer can easily control using fresh well handled yeast and past experience but an HBer usually cannot. In my experience a single packet of rehydrated dry yeast/5gal is often insufficient. I've never seen a very bad result from the liquid White tubes nor the Wyeast smack-packs but I have seen rather marginal performance on occasion from either - unacceptable for lagers and poor enough to be of concern wrt less vigorous or very flocculent ale yeasts. I use a starter culture for these. It's the only way to gauge what you have prior to the time of pitching. I did get rather nice results from a DLC dry lager yeast used at commercially recommended rates btw. Mr White (whichever one) chose a very very odd example to say that Sierra Nevada uses lower pitching rates to advantage. I can't think of a cleaner more neutral ale yeast than the SNPA and "big esters" don't come to mind when I sip an SNPA. SNPA is a great ale - but it's based (IMO) on the finely balanced malt and hops along with crystal-clear(bud-like) (lack-of)fermentation flavors. Overpitching this sort of ale wouldn't hurt, but seriously underpitching could make a great difference in the beer. Despite my appreciation of SNPA I generally prefer more yeast byproduct flavor in an ale. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 09:45:09 -0500 From: Dylan Wilder-Tack <dylan at io.com> Subject: Re: GFCI, frozen kegs > Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 20:42:40 -0400 > From: "Ubi" <oobyjooby at cs.com> > > one must never plug the GFCI into a > GFCI protected already circuitry,\ right. Can you explain why this would be a problem? I can think of at least one common counterexample. Hair dryers usually have GFIs integrated into the cordset, and are commonly plugged into GFI outlets, with no ill effects. It seems to me as long as the GFI isn't adding to the leakage current (and it shouldn't), there would be no problem. > Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 22:09:34 -0400 > From: "Joe Van Loon" <joevanloon at comcast.net> > > The freezer is now off and open, to thaw out my IPA-sickle. > Any chance I can expect this one to be drinkable after thawing and > carbonating? This has happened to me; your beer will be fine. -Dylan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 16:55:53 -0500 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: corny keg, frozen solid >From: "Joe Van Loon" <joevanloon at comcast.net> >Subject: 2 hours of cleaning, sanitizing, lubing and racking + 10 Seconds of Lack of attention to Detail = 1 5 >Gallon corny keg, frozen solid I had an electronic unit fail and when I looked into the freezer I noticed a frost line on my corny. At first thought I was pleased until I realized this was not a good way to see the beer level, no this was bad news - frozen beer! After I let it set outside a few hours to defrost, I was amazed to find that the beer was fine! Good luck with yours, anyone know what effect this will have. I froze commercial bottle beers, and noticed they were not so good after. Ron Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA New Orleans is the New Atlantis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 16:57:33 -0500 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: re:GFCI >From: "Ubi" <oobyjooby at cs.com> > >To the subject of the confounding GFCI, one must never plug the GFCI into a >GFCI protected already circuitry,\ right. >This will most surely present the erroneously trippings. Only >to plug in unprotected circuit. You do try it this way and have better >enjoyment. Thank you and many pleasurable brewings for you. Hmm, I don't know why this would be a problem. I use my hair dryer with a built-in GFI on the power cord, this is plugged into a wall outlet GFI. Works fine. Maybe some fleas got into yours, Ubi! :>) Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA New Orleans is the New Atlantis Return to table of contents
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