HOMEBREW Digest #5255 Mon 12 November 2007

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  Rehydrating Dried Yeast ("Rich Beecher")
  False Bottom ("A.J deLange")
  making lagers (leavitdg)
  Re: Dry yeast data point (Bob Tower)
  RE: Homebrew Digest Request (November 12, 2007) ("Tom Fendler")
  16th Annual Happy Holiday Homebrew Competition ("August Altenbaumer")
  Re: False Bottom Problem ("Kevin Kowalczyk")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 07:14:55 -0500 From: "Rich Beecher" <rbeecher at hotmail.com> Subject: Rehydrating Dried Yeast Lallemand states that their dried yeast MUST be rehydrated prior to use, rather than just added dry to the wort. While Fermentis gives the option of rehydrating or adding the yeast dry to the wort, I've always rehydrated their yeast also. Rich Beecher Chattanooga, TN http://www.AChattanoogaWhig.com/theconfederateceltbrewery Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:29:14 -0500 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: False Bottom I brew in 55 gal stainless chemical drums and one of the potential problems with the system is exactly the one described by Lance i.e. stuck sparges and for the same reason: the grain bed is deeper than it ought to be. The manufacturer of the system (Pico Brewing) recommends (if I recall correctly) splitting the batch for lauter/sparge presumably for this reason but that just adds time and effort. The answer is, as we all know, rice hulls. Just be sure there are enough. I use about 7 pounds (a plastic bucket full) with up to and a little over 100 pounds of grain so I guess that says about 7% of the weight of the grain. It is most important that the hulls be well stirred into the mash. When the spent grains come out of the lauter tun they should be almost fluffy. If there are any areas of cement like compacted grains then either not enough rice hulls have been used or they have not been stirred in well enough. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 08:36:48 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: making lagers I have finally gotten a little more serous about making lagers. I typically use liquid Wyeast, no starters, but I reuse it several times, and keep the gravity very low for the first use (1.040), the build it up over time to what may be reasonable for a home-brewer (1.060 or so at the highest). I have also been using distilled water, almost entirely , both in the mash and for the sparge, and find that this has helped a lot in terms of the final taste, and I do use a diacetyl rest for a day or more, just in case. I have one fridge that has been dedicated to lagers. Often I have one in primary and the other in secondary at the same time. Therefore I cannot chill the one in secondary to the degree that I would like to. When bottling time comes (several weeks in secondary) then I bottle with corn sugar, leave the bottles in a cool part of the house for a week or so, then crash cool in a larger fridge that is in the low 30s for beer storage. What I wonder is: how does this compare to what others are doing? May I notice a quality issue in that the secondary is not real cool, but rather within the range of the fermentation temperature of the yeast (which is currently 54 degrees F, for the Wyeast Czech Lager yeast)? Happy Brewing! -Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 13:46:13 -0800 From: Bob Tower <bob at constructotower.com> Subject: Re: Dry yeast data point Matt has some questions/problems/confusions with dry yeast usage. While I wouldn't consider myself an expert in the science of yeast and fermentation, I have been using dry yeast almost exclusively for many years. I've had my share of ups and downs (trial and error) but I've had great and consistent success for the past three years. First I have a question of my own. In your examples of brew volumes and yeast amounts, the weight of yeast you mention doesn't correspond to the typical package size (e.g. 20 g of US-05 in 5 gallons of wort, 30 g of Nottingham in 5.5 gallons of wort). These come packaged in 11 and 11.5 g sizes. But possibly you are buying the craftbrewer size (500 g) and breaking it up into smaller portions. Or maybe you are simply rounding the amounts (2 packages at 11 g each = 20 g)? I am just curious if you are using individual packages or breaking up the larger size as this could be a clue to a problem or it could eliminate a possible pathway to a problem. Three things that you didn't mention that I've found have a large impact on dry yeast are storage temperature, age and rehydration/pitching method. Storage and age are related. Danstar (makers of Nottingham and Windsor) state that their yeast loses vitality at the rate of 25% per year when stored at 8 C. (46 F.) and 50% per year when stored at 22 C. (72 F.). Fermentis (makers of US-05 and S-04) don't state the rate of decline but I would assume it to be similar. It is difficult to know how the yeast has been treated prior to your purchase (your LHBS may or may not store refrigerated as well as the vendor they purchased from) so I usually just extend the the conditions the yeast was under when I purchased back to the manufacture date (2 years prior to the expiration dated stamped on the sachet) and then factor the time and temperature I've had them under until I use them. It's less complicated than it sounds, just some arithmetic and averaging. I have found the rehydration/pitching method to also have a large impact on yeast vitality. I have tried simply sprinkling the yeast on the surface of the wort at one extreme, and rehydrating the yeast to the Fermentis specifications (10 times its weight of boiled water cooled to (for ale yeast) 27 C. +/- 3 C. (75-86 F.), stirred for 45-60 minutes and then attemperated to within 10 C. (18 F.) of the wort temperature by adding small amounts of wort to the yeast cream at 5 minute intervals) at the other extreme. I've found that the sprinkling method works fine if the yeast is quite fresh (within a few months of manufacture) and you increase the pitching rate by about 25-35%. The only downside is the lag phase is noticeably longer no matter how fresh the yeast is. With Fermentis yeast I have had the best luck using their full method (as outlined above) however I rarely stir (utilizing a stir plate and beaker) for longer than a total of 45 minutes. To achieve a strong, quick fermentation down to terminal gravity with less yeast I find this method worth the extra effort. Interestingly, the Danstar method is somewhat different. They recommend a higher water temperature: 30-35 C. (86-95 F.), sprinkling the yeast on the water and NOT stirring for 15 minutes and only then stirring just long enough to suspend the yeast in the water, followed by another 5 minute rest without stirring before attemperating and finally pitching into the wort. I remember reading somewhere (the Danstar site?) not to hold Danstar yeast in water any longer than 30 minutes due to nutrient reserves being exhausted after that time. Evidently Fermentis must build in more nutrients to withstand up to 60 minutes in the water. One last thing about rehydrating. It's true (at least empirically in my experience) what they say about not using RO or distilled water for rehydration. For a while I was using RO water and was getting bad results. Not knowing the problem was the RO water I went back to sprinking the yeast onto the wort for a time. Once I figured it out and began using boiled tap water I started getting spectacular results. Maybe one of the more microbiologically inclined readers can chime in about a connection between low pitching rates and ethyl acetate (solventy notes) production but in my reading and experience this usually occurs when the fermentation temperature rises to extreme levels (>75 F.) and/or with very high gravity worts and commonly is not a result of underpitching. So to boil it all down: for a 12-13 P ale wort I pitch 3.5 g yeast (assuming 90% or better yeast vitality) per gallon wort using the preferred rehydration method depending on yeast manufacturer. I get strong, fast fermentations with stable finishing gravities within 3-6 days (depending on fermentation temperature, warmer = faster). Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 13:59:56 -0800 From: "Tom Fendler" <tfendler at secor.com> Subject: RE: Homebrew Digest Request (November 12, 2007) I am shopping for good DME prices in order to minimize my wife's furry/wrath. I always buy bulk DME and Briess ($2.34/lb) is cheaper then MF ($2.62). I have had good results with MF in the past and have never used Briess as a base malt. Can anyone give me comparative feedback for Briess DME? I am particularly interested in residual sweetness as MF typically ferments with relatively minimal residual sweetness. - -- Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:32:57 -0600 From: "August Altenbaumer" <afalten at gmail.com> Subject: 16th Annual Happy Holiday Homebrew Competition The Saint Louis Brews are accepting entries for the 16th Annual Happy Holiday Homebrew Competition. The HHHC is a fully sanctioned AHA/BJCP event. It is also an MCAB qualifying event and is the final leg of the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year circuit. Entries must be received by Friday November 30. Please visit http://www.stlbrews.org/competition/hhhc/index.asp for all competition details and online entry registration. Also, if you are interested in being a judge or steward for the competition use the above link for online registration. Cheers! Augie Altenbaumer Saint Louis, MO Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:44:52 -0600 From: "Kevin Kowalczyk" <kevinkowalczyk at gmail.com> Subject: Re: False Bottom Problem Lance, I don't mash that large of batches, but 50 lbs of grain sounds like an awful lot for a 1/2 barrel. I just think your mash was too thick. I use a 5 gallon cooler, and it is full with 13 lbs with a quart of mash water per pound of grain. Take that times 3 (a 1/2 barrel is 15.5 gallons if I remember correctly), and you are looking at about 39 lbs of grain. Kevin Kowalczyk Chicago Return to table of contents
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