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CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

While we're talking yeast starters, I've started reusing my yeast a little differently and I thought I'd share.

Make a 1.25L 10 brix starter = 125 billion + a smack pack = 225B. Let it ferment, settle, decant, and add it to your wort. Despite your best efforts there will always be a trail of yeast left behind in the flask. Add another 1.25L 10 brix of DME+water to this and BAM 125 billion new cells for your next batch, no smack pack necessary. What looks like a teeny bit of yeast is plenty to ferment the second starter.

For this second "starter", I let it go 3 days on the stirplate, then settle for a 2 days, and put it in the fridge for 2 days to make sure it is crashed. On the day 6 total time I boil 8oz reverse osmosis / distilled water in a jar and store it in the fridge. On day 7, deecant the yeast from the starter, sanitize an 8oz mason jar, pour in your yeast, and top with your chilled boiled water to the top.

I feel like it is a lot purer than "washing" yeast and only requires your starter flask and 8oz ball jars.

I also do this because I am cheap, $8 per smack pack is like 1/3rd the cost of a batch, and you don't even get enough yeast in it!

I love to homebrew but homebrewing is only cheap if your time is free. 2 hours of prep (counting going to the LHBS), 6 hours of brewing, 2-3 hours kegging, bottling, and cleanup. I even prefer doing it solo because I like to geek out about the science of it. Now that I have over $8,000 in equipment

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CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

LaserWash posted:

Could I/Should I use something like a 1 Gallon glass jug to make a starter in instead? Would a stir plate/stir bar work in something like that?
The 1 gallon jug I got from my homebrew store doesn't work for starters. The bottoms have a slight curve to them and the stirrer bar gets thrown pretty frequently. If the bottom is flat it will probably work though.

crazyfish
Sep 19, 2002



From what I understand, it is hard to near impossible to overpitch a lager except on purpose. Make the biggest starter you can.

Discomancer
Aug 31, 2001

I'm on a cupcake caper!

fullroundaction posted:

Yeah, and let's not forget about sours. My last batch of Flanders red is basically a Duchesse clone (except not as sweet, which I like better) and that cost about 10% of what it would have retailed for.

That probably goes for any sour you make really.

And good god yes, yeast recycling is key of you don't hate your wallet.
Could you post this recipe? I'd love to be able to brew something even close to Duchesse.

LaserWash
Jun 28, 2006


crazyfish posted:

From what I understand, it is hard to near impossible to overpitch a lager except on purpose. Make the biggest starter you can.

Starting to learn that by looking at some of these calculators. Wow.

Now you guys have me thinking 5000 ml. Would that size work on a stir plate that I dyi'ed (hard rive magnets)? What size stir bar does that require?

LaserWash fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2013 around 19:23

Turds in magma
Sep 17, 2007
can i get a transform out of here?

CapnBry posted:

The 1 gallon jug I got from my homebrew store doesn't work for starters. The bottoms have a slight curve to them and the stirrer bar gets thrown pretty frequently. If the bottom is flat it will probably work though.

I've actually used a 1-gallon juice jug with a stir plate with good success. It's a bit more work to get the bar in the middle and spinning, but once it's there i never have it fall off.

You don't actually need the bar spinning full speed: you just need it keeping the yeast in suspension. my post-doc friends in microbi and biochem, who grow yeast for a living, tell me what's important is the "gentle swirling" that's keeping the yeast in suspension and in contact with new food. The idea that the "vortex" of fast spinning is helpful by aerating is wrong. your starter jug/flask should have been aerated and has plenty of surface area contact that they get enough air.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Turds in magma posted:

I'm brewing an "imperial pilsner" of sorts and i've got a couple of questions:
1) OG was 1.077. it's been a week at 54 f, using wyeast czech pils 2278, and now it's down to 1.040. Too slow?

Lager fermentations are just super slow, that sounds pretty normal to me.

fullroundaction
Apr 20, 2007

Drink beer every day


Discomancer posted:

Could you post this recipe? I'd love to be able to brew something even close to Duchesse.

Sure thing! My recipe was mostly based on one from Radical Brewing, but a I made a couple modifications based on what I had on hand. One caveat is that I have no idea what kind of bugs were in it because I grew a whole bunch of lacto from old grain and apple juice for a no-boil Berliner Weisse, which I used the cake of to ferment this beer. If I were to play it safe I would just use US-05 and a bag of lacto (pitched at the same time) and wait a few months, sampling every month and bottling when it's sour enough for you.

code:
Batch Size: 5gal
OG 1.072

4lb Belgian Pilsner
1lb Crystal 90
2lb German Melanoidin
6lb Munich Light

Mash @ 152F for 60min

.5oz Northern Brewer @ 60min. The hops here don't really matter, they'll age out entirely. Just keep it at 10-12 IBU or you'll inhibit the sour bugs
That's A LOT of melanoidin but that's where all of the color and flavor is coming from here, so don't let the haters tell you to cut that.

Econosaurus
Sep 22, 2008

Successfully predicted nine of the last five recessions



Wasn't there a goon that sold a beginners kit in SA mart? Is he still around? I couldn't find the thread.

Discomancer
Aug 31, 2001

I'm on a cupcake caper!

fullroundaction posted:

Sure thing! My recipe was mostly based on one from Radical Brewing, but a I made a couple modifications based on what I had on hand. One caveat is that I have no idea what kind of bugs were in it because I grew a whole bunch of lacto from old grain and apple juice for a no-boil Berliner Weisse, which I used the cake of to ferment this beer. If I were to play it safe I would just use US-05 and a bag of lacto (pitched at the same time) and wait a few months, sampling every month and bottling when it's sour enough for you.

code:
Batch Size: 5gal
OG 1.072

4lb Belgian Pilsner
1lb Crystal 90
2lb German Melanoidin
6lb Munich Light

Mash @ 152F for 60min

.5oz Northern Brewer @ 60min. The hops here don't really matter, they'll age out entirely. Just keep it at 10-12 IBU or you'll inhibit the sour bugs
That's A LOT of melanoidin but that's where all of the color and flavor is coming from here, so don't let the haters tell you to cut that.
Awesome, thanks! That is totally not what I expecting, never used Melanoidin malt before, so this should be interesting.

Flea Bargain
Dec 9, 2008

'Twas brillig


Econosaurus posted:

Wasn't there a goon that sold a beginners kit in SA mart? Is he still around? I couldn't find the thread.

If I remember right, it was all 1G stuff - I would bite the bullet and just get the 5G kits at your LHBS, 1G is not really worth your time.

Hypnolobster
Apr 12, 2007

What this sausage party needs is a big dollop of ketchup! Too bad I didn't make any.


That was Bens Homebrew. All 1g but he's gone now.

Shbobdb
Dec 16, 2010

by Smythe


That is a lot of melanoidin malt! I mean, I made a beer that was all aromatic malt for shits and giggles but when I brew with melanoidin, I never go above two ounces.

Have I just been using it wrong?

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

I finally got around to getting my kegerator fixed up to avoid using picnic taps.





I have to say the Perlick taps are worth every single penny. What a worlds better design than the old faucets. I had a shank hanging around and it is not quite the same length as the new one so the faucets are offset slightly... but .

Edit spelling

Shifty Pony fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2013 around 00:49

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

Nice! What's that handle on the left? Looks like mahogany or something?

fullroundaction
Apr 20, 2007

Drink beer every day


Shbobdb posted:

That is a lot of melanoidin malt! I mean, I made a beer that was all aromatic malt for shits and giggles but when I brew with melanoidin, I never go above two ounces.

Have I just been using it wrong?

See I warned there would be HATERS.

No, I just happened to be placing a large order for a ton of recipes and over-ordered on the mel so I used it all.

Here's the recipe from Radical Brewing that got me started. I've brewed a few things from this book and they have all been great-to-amazing so maybe just do what Mosher says instead of me:

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


College Slice

Jo3sh posted:

Nice! What's that handle on the left? Looks like mahogany or something?

Burled walnut in desperate need of oiling. My father is going to make a matching one out of wormy American Chestnut and possibly heart pine recovered from my great great grandfather's farmstead. The latter is at the mercy of other projects because I have forbade him from doing so unless he happens to have just the right size scrap piece around.

Shbobdb
Dec 16, 2010

by Smythe


Tell me how it turns out man! Enjoy the roasty-toastyness.

And if it ends up being rough, I recommend blending. My buddy and I, we've got a solera Gueuze going on that is awesome. It started when we forget 5oz of oak chips in a sour beer (5 gal) we made. One year later, thing was tannic and undrinkable. Just awful. So we blended it with 10 other gallons of beer we had going in a keg. Initially, we used that as an "extract", where we'd blend 1 gallon with 4 gallons of other beer, adding a gallon of beer back in. Then we moved it up to 50/50, which is still the norm. Do that every month. We always had 5 gals of sour, it was awesome. Though occasionally, we'd keg a "grand cru" and add in 5 gals of heat damaged beer (our fridge is cheap and can't always regulate during the heat of summer).

Recently, he traded 8 gallons of our baby to a 50 gallon project our LHBS was running. I was kinda pissed at first because it was a fairly young flanders red and VERY acetic. Eight months later . . . I still wish he had consulted me but the beer is back to being damned tasty.

illcendiary
Dec 4, 2005

Damn, this is good coffee.

Has anyone used a thermometer like this one? http://www.amazon.com/ES432-Ultra-F...r/dp/B0089O0W1G

I know it's probably not as good or fast as a Thermapen, but for the price it seems tempting. One guy in the reviews says he uses it for homebrew, I was just wondering if any of you all had used something similar.

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


i got a cheap waterproof digital therm, and it broke. Now i have an analog one that clips on the side, but its slow and hard to get an exact read on... plus i proably should check that its actually accurate.

spend some cash and get a good instant one. its my next step and temp is pretty important when you do all grain.

but to answer specifically, i hace not had luck with cheap electronic ones.

illcendiary
Dec 4, 2005

Damn, this is good coffee.

Thanks for unconvincing me, I kinda suspected cheaping out wouldn't be worth it.

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


also a probe < 5" long is going to be a pleasure to stick into of pots of water

porkface
Dec 28, 2000

Oregoons Godfather

Think I can get away with making plum wine without the campden tabs for the first day or so before adding yeast?

nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


I use the real Thermoworks version for both general cooking tasks and for BIAB homebrewing. I like it a lot. It even survived getting submerged for over a day; threw it in a bag of rice for a couple of days, put in a fresh battery, fired right back up.

If I had to do it again, though, I'd get one of these (or this one with the 12" probe) because I'm left handed and it's irritating to read the thermometer upside down.

In fact, the last two I linked are on sale right now ($19 and $25 plus shipping, respectively), so I think I will pick up the 12" one.

NEED TOILET PAPER
Mar 22, 2013

by XyloJW


Quick question on malts: do the individual kinds affect a beer in any way apart from color and flavor? Because those are the only obvious variables I can see.

Jo3sh
Oct 19, 2002

Like all girls I love unicorns!

Well, there's also aroma. And there are some differences which, while not exactly unimportant, you may be able to ignore for now, such as diastatic power (if you want to use any proportion of non-diastatic malts or grains), acidity (for adjusting the pH of your mash), degree of modification (mostly useful for Bohemian lagers) and so on.

Paladine_PSoT
Jan 2, 2010

If you have a problem Yo, I'll solve it



Paladine_PSoT posted:

The mead saga continues!



Slowing down, 9/2/2013 1.014. It looks like it's close to done with primary ferment! 13.13%

Turds in magma
Sep 17, 2007
can i get a transform out of here?

nmfree posted:

I use the real Thermoworks version for both general cooking tasks and for BIAB homebrewing. I like it a lot. It even survived getting submerged for over a day; threw it in a bag of rice for a couple of days, put in a fresh battery, fired right back up.

If I had to do it again, though, I'd get one of these (or this one with the 12" probe) because I'm left handed and it's irritating to read the thermometer upside down.

In fact, the last two I linked are on sale right now ($19 and $25 plus shipping, respectively), so I think I will pick up the 12" one.

If you're at all interested in cooking, just fork over the 100 dollars and buy the good thermapen (even if you get the longer probe thermometer for measuring temps in your fermenters). It's so much faster than the 20 dollar thermaworks one: really "instant" read. I hesitated and just used the cheaper one for 6 months, and then finally gave in and i'm drat glad i did.

Paladine_PSoT
Jan 2, 2010

If you have a problem Yo, I'll solve it



Oh, I want to cold crash the yeast out of my mead before racking it onto some gelatin to pull out protein cloud. I don't, however, have access to a fridge or deep freeze that could do the trick for me. Anyone ever done it with ice? How long do I need to crash it?

Fluo
May 25, 2007



fullroundaction posted:

Sure thing! My recipe was mostly based on one from Radical Brewing, but a I made a couple modifications based on what I had on hand. One caveat is that I have no idea what kind of bugs were in it because I grew a whole bunch of lacto from old grain and apple juice for a no-boil Berliner Weisse, which I used the cake of to ferment this beer. If I were to play it safe I would just use US-05 and a bag of lacto (pitched at the same time) and wait a few months, sampling every month and bottling when it's sour enough for you.

code:
Batch Size: 5gal
OG 1.072

4lb Belgian Pilsner
1lb Crystal 90
2lb German Melanoidin
6lb Munich Light

Mash @ 152F for 60min

.5oz Northern Brewer @ 60min. The hops here don't really matter, they'll age out entirely. Just keep it at 10-12 IBU or you'll inhibit the sour bugs
That's A LOT of melanoidin but that's where all of the color and flavor is coming from here, so don't let the haters tell you to cut that.

Radical Brewing is seriously my all time favourite beer book.

nominal
Oct 13, 2007

I've never tried dried apples.
What are they?


Pork Pro

Turds in magma posted:

If you're at all interested in cooking, just fork over the 100 dollars and buy the good thermapen (even if you get the longer probe thermometer for measuring temps in your fermenters). It's so much faster than the 20 dollar thermaworks one: really "instant" read. I hesitated and just used the cheaper one for 6 months, and then finally gave in and i'm drat glad i did.
Seriously, thermapens are awesome. I bought mine for brewing but found that I use it all the time in the kitchen. Also their support is great and the few questions I'd e-mailed them before buying were answered nearly instantly.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.


Ham Wrangler

I went through at least 3 <$20 thermometers that all got ruined by brewing because I didn't want to spend $90 on a thermometer. Now I have a Thermapen and realize that I was dumb not to buy it in the first place. You get what you pay for.

RagingBoner
Jan 10, 2006

Real Wood Pencil

After mulling my options, I decided to give this thermometer a try. The things I considered were cost, durability and alarm functionality. I contacted their customer service before I bought it to see what their idea of "waterproof" was. The probe and the probe wire are entirely waterproof, and the unit itself is water resistant. It also has a magnetic backing, which will be handy for putting it on my brew sculpture...

Which I also just purchased. I have been using a series off cobbled together folding tables and whatnot, but when this piece here I had been watching got marked down from $190 to $127 plus free shipping, I pounced. It has great reviews, and now I don't have to do nearly as much toting around of hot liquids.

I'll keep you guys posted on how they work for me when they arrive.

All I need now is a pump!... Until the next thing I "need" comes along. After all, I don't have a grain mill yet...

Edit:

and

RagingBoner fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2013 around 14:49

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


morebeer apparently has finished the PA wearhouse.. free shipping and 1 day transit times for me!

now i dont really need anything :/

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



NEED TOILET PAPER posted:

Quick question on malts: do the individual kinds affect a beer in any way apart from color and flavor? Because those are the only obvious variables I can see.

Jo3sh posted:

Well, there's also aroma. And there are some differences which, while not exactly unimportant, you may be able to ignore for now, such as diastatic power (if you want to use any proportion of non-diastatic malts or grains), acidity (for adjusting the pH of your mash), degree of modification (mostly useful for Bohemian lagers) and so on.

I guess really broadly speaking they're "just" appearance and flavor, but some other factors could include clarity, mouthfeel, body and head retention. Different malts can contribute dramatically different amounts of each.

internet celebrity
Jun 23, 2006


College Slice

NEED TOILET PAPER posted:

Quick question on malts: do the individual kinds affect a beer in any way apart from color and flavor? Because those are the only obvious variables I can see.

You'll also see different PPG numbers for different malts. As I understand it, PPG is the gravity contribution (calculated in points SG) per pound of grain in one gallon of water. So if you manage to get 100% extract efficiency, a grain with a PPG value of 37 will give you one gallon of 1.037 wort.

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


actually strike that, i could make an order.

gonna try out a 5gal PET carboy, some Potassium Sorbate to finish off this mead, and some misc airlocks and blow off stuff.

My pumpkin came very close to a blowout according to my krausen level. Im also not happy with my tubing from the sparge cooler but home depot can help me there.

i always feel like im forgetting *something*

fullroundaction
Apr 20, 2007

Drink beer every day


Roundboy posted:

i always feel like im forgetting *something*

You are

Transferred to secondary / took a sample of the lambic I've had sitting since April (I needed the 6gal carboy back and figured I may as well get it off the cake) and it finished at 1.000

I didn't even pitch any "primary" yeast into the thing, just the WL sour blend.

Tastes very mild right now, and not too sour. Now I've got about 6 months to figure out how to not screw up my fruit addition(s).

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Got an email from the AHA that John Palmer's new water book is on pre-sale at 40% off for members ($12 vs 20). It's part of the "Brewing Elements" series along with Jamil's yeast book and Stan Hieronymous' recent For the Love of Hops.

At that price I may just impulse buy without waiting for reviews. Hopefully it's less impenetrable than his loving all-grain enzyme analogy in How to Brew.

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fullroundaction
Apr 20, 2007

Drink beer every day


You tie a chainsaw to a rope and spin it around over your head while running naked through the forest high on angeldust. Eventually the cops arrest you and you spend the rest of your life in a mental institution with no visitation.

CHAPTER 4: HOPS

Anyway, has anyone read Jamil's Yeast book? I keep wanting to pick it up but I keep reading so many mixed reviews about its practicality/usefulness to homebrewers. I'd like a goon review of these points.

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