HOMEBREW Digest #5256 Tue 13 November 2007

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  Re: dry yeast (Robin Griller)
  ball valve sanitization ("Alexandre Carminati")
  Lagers ("A.J deLange")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 08:48:52 -0500 From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: Re: dry yeast For what it's worth, when I use dry yeast I almost never rehydrate and have always had quick starts and good ferments. I've used a variety of dry yeasts over the years from most of the Safale/lager yeasts, Danstar yeasts, Cooper's. If I recall correctly there was one very slow start with Danstar Windsor about six or seven years ago, other than that I've found rehydration to be unnecessary. YMMV of course! Robin Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 12:33:37 -0200 From: "Alexandre Carminati" <afcarminati at gmail.com> Subject: ball valve sanitization Some days ago I have posted an email regarding about "sour bottled beer". I had so many hints on what to investigate and I came to an obnoxious cleaning problem: How to clean efficiently metalic (non SS) ball valves? They seem to be clean, but when you open and close them, some kind of dirtness (contamined yeast I supose) comes from inside the teflon around the ball. My cleaning process includes a hot 2% NaOH solution bath and a spray of peracetic acid afterwards. I am wondering to replace these metal valves for plastic ones and discard them immediatelly after use. Does anyone knows a cheapest way to solve this issue? Cheers Alex Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 10:35:31 -0500 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Lagers Darrel asked about how the rest of us make lagers. This is a timely question for me with respect to the yeast anyway. My local home brew supplier finally got caught by the county (he was selling from his basement and was able to do this for over five years before the Gestapo got him) which caused him to pack up and move away to start a meadery. He liked White Labs and while he would get Wyeast for you if you wanted it he would always have the White Labs in stock. So I used their yeast for the last 3 years and got some nice beers but there were some problems with slow starts and, with the Kolsch and Budvar strains, a funny phenolic plastic taste which takes months to resolve but finally does leaving a really nice beer. Furthermore, the Oktoberfest strain starts out OK until it hits 20 - 25% attenuation then slams on the brakes and crawls. The batch I made in August will be coming out of the fermenter next week. Again, the eventual result is a very nice beer. So, you are thinking, he under pitches or under oxygenates. I always (because of these problems) pitch a 10% starter and that starter is made with 2 tubes of the yeast. Oxygenation is always to over 20mg/L and is done in line (i.e. as the wort enters the fermenter). In my last brewing the starter (London ale) wouldn't start (it was a couple months past the use-before date) so I ran off to what is now my Local Home Brew Shop (and that is literally it's name) where I requested a couple more tubes only to be told that they don't carry White Labs because people weren't buying it. When I asked why I was told that customers were complaining of slow starts and off flavors - in particular phenolic. So he dropped White Labs and sells Wyeast exclusively. I feel somewhat vindicated because I've been bellyaching about these problems here for a while now and have aked the obvious question: "Is anyone else seeing this kind of behavior with White Labs yeasts?" a couple of times before and gotten no response. So I'm asking it again. It is probably worth noting that White Labs yeasts don't seem to want to start unless they are in warm conditions and the instructions on the package indicate that one should start them at high (room) temperatures and keep them there until the ferement is under way. I don't do this because I don't want the nasty things that yeast produce at higher temperatures in my lagers but I do start them at temperatures much higher (55 - 60) than I would like to start a lager at. This may be where the funny flavors are coming from. The old ideas of pitching (lagers) in the mid 40's (F) and letting the temperature rise to around 50 for the fermentation wouldn't fly with the White Labs strains. So with respect to Darrel's questions: I like an 8 - 10% starter made with 2 packages of yeast and I like to pitch at whatever temperature I can get out of the chiller as I am now pitching in line. This is more likely to be 55 than 45 though I would prefer the latter and if I had a yeast that would perform at those temperatures and would probably bring the fermenter down to the mid 40's after it is filled and then let the temp rise to about 50 and hold it there for the duration of the fermentation. When fermentation is complete I lower the temperature in 5 F steps over the course of a few days down to near freezing and keep it in the ferementer at those temperatures for a week or 2 before racking off to kegs for lagering (at about 35F) and serving. If I have to take beer somewhere I'll rack it but if not I don't bother. WRT distilled water: using it for mashing is likely to result in an undesireably high mash pH unless some darker malt is added to the mash or an external acid is used. This will cost somewhat in efficiency but is an OK way to go if you don't mind spending an extra couple of bucks for grain. I use a blend of tap water and RO water for Pils which, given the characteristics of my tap water, results in a mix quite similar to the water of Pilsen. For other lagers I use my well water (hardness about 110 ppm, alkalinity about 80, sulfate about 21, chloride about 7) and I'll add a little HCl if the mash pH is too high. WRT to cold lagering: I think it helps - a lot. My beers go into the cooler right out of the fermenter and stay there. I'm drinking a stout made new years day and a Kolsch made in April and while neither of these is a lager they just keep getting better and better as time progresses. Unfortunately they are both almost gone - the next glass may give that sickening sigh of foam and CO2 but I'll defend long lagering for any beer. A.J. Return to table of contents
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