HOMEBREW Digest #5539 Tue 21 April 2009

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  First lager mess up? (Paul Sleeman)
  Lager and Temperature ("Darrell G. Leavitt")
  Re: Is my beer ruined/lager mess up (variations on a theme). (stevea)
  DC/VA/MD Homebrewers - Spirit of Free Beer Announcement ("Mark Hogenmiller")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 06:21:07 -0400 From: Paul Sleeman <psleeman at gmail.com> Subject: First lager mess up? I wouldn't worry about. The difference between where you pitched and the optimum fermentation temperature isn't significant. I have done the same thing several times and have not had a problem. Good Luck, Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 09:06:12 -0400 (EDT) From: "Darrell G. Leavitt" <leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu> Subject: Lager and Temperature I think that you will probably be alright with your lager. I have tried both ways, and prefer starting (as you did) at room temp, then dropping it to fermentation temps. Let's see what others have to say. Personally, for a lager / pils I find that the water used and the amt of healthy yeast, and the grain bill are also quite important. Perhaps we can get a discussion of this started here? Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 10:46:41 -0400 From: stevea <steve-alexander at roadrunner.com> Subject: Re: Is my beer ruined/lager mess up (variations on a theme). RobertO says ... > Subject: First lager mess up? > > For a number of reasons, I had to put together my first lager hastily > this weekend. Too hastily, I guess. For some reason (I thought I read > this in one of Miller's books, but I can't find it now) I thought it was > ok to pitch the lager at "normal" temps, which for me, is about 62F. > Then, cool it down in the fridge over a period of time to the > recommended temps for that yeast strain (Munich 2308). So I put it in > the fridge after aerating, started chilling it down last night. This > morning it's about 54F and bub-bub-bubbling away. > > But I've since read that doing it this way instead of pitching at the > yeast fermenting temp. can cause off-flavors. Did I mess this this > first lager up big time? > > Cheers > My considered opinion is, "Possibly". Particularly lager yeast will form less unsaturated fatty acids(UFA) when pitched warm. Yeast can only form UFA in the presence of oxygen and this is typically early (first hour) after pitching into aerated wort. Yeast with less UFA are more susceptible to "cold shock" and later when the fermentation slows their membranes will be more "leaky" which will lead to more secondary products ... esters & fusels. They'll also be more susceptible to "stuck fermentation" esp in higher gravity wort. So if you build up a healthy starter in cool aerated conditions your yeast are fine. If instead you pitch a lager smack-pack into 70F wort you are begging for trouble. 62F isn't the worst lager pitching temp I've heard of and I doubt you'll have a significant problem, but it's not a "best practice". As an aside if you don't like the resulting flavors (unlikely I think) one rescue method would be to allow the fermentation to finish and then do a referment by adding ~10-15% new pitched kreusen wort. The additional CO2 blow-off scrubs the less desirable flavors and the new yeast growth reduces diacetyl levels. The best HB lagers I've ever had used a secondary ferment like this. I've performed some re-ferments like this by storing a fraction of the wort in a frozen state ... not difficult. Many less experienced brewers seem to have a severe lack of patience between pitching and waiting for the first bubbles out of the fermentation lock. This leads them to try stunts like pitching into too-warm wort. Yes yeast grow faster at the elevated temp, but it's not generally beneficial to yeast health or the flavor of the beer. There are some special cases, such as when attempting to increase ale esters or modulate 4VG in a weizen where warmer pitching may make sense - othewise it's best to avoid. Veering a bit to the geeky side ... lager yeast can perform very well at ~65F *IF* they are kept under considerable head pressure (~1-1.5 atm IIRC). You'd need to ferment in a pressure safe fermenter (corny for example) and you'd also need a pressure regulation system ... but it reportedly works well. I'd still want to build the starter in cool aeration to get the UFA levels up. I should try this .... -S Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 21:26:29 -0400 From: "Mark Hogenmiller" <mehogenmiller at verizon.net> Subject: DC/VA/MD Homebrewers - Spirit of Free Beer Announcement Less than a month to go! Plan now to enter the Brewers United for Real Potable's (BURP) Seventeenth Annual Spirit of Free Beer (SoFB)competition. - -- The deadline for entries to be submitted is Friday, 8 May 2009 or dropped off at the Saturday, 9 May 2009 BURP Meeting. - -- The competition will be held on Saturday, 16 May 2009 at the Whole Foods Market in Fairfax,VA Note: Judging will be closed to the general public, but those interested in Judging or Stewarding can find information at http://www.burp.org/events/sofb/2009/js-call.asp or e-mail the Judge Coordinator at sofb_judges at burp.org The Details The SoFB competition is open to all homebrewers and will judge all BJCP/AHA sanctioned styles including Meads and Ciders. The SoFB competition is judged by experienced BJCP certified judges. The SoFB prides itself on the quality of the comments made and prizes that are awarded. In addition Spirit of Free Beer is a qualifying event for Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing MCAB XI 2009. Information (Drop-off locations, online registration, judge and steward information and more) is posted to the Spirit of Free Beer website at http://www.burp.org/events/sofb/2009/ or http://www.burp.org Mark Hogenmiller SoFB Publicity Minister Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland Return to table of contents
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