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Just started brewing, questions for refining the process


NBillett09
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You’re all bloody brilliant! Thanks heaps!

I think it is time to try the commercial yeast harvesting method. If I’m going to learn, I better do have a go.

Drinking the six pack will be a task though………..

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1 hour ago, Mackbrew said:

You’re all bloody brilliant! Thanks heaps!

I think it is time to try the commercial yeast harvesting method. If I’m going to learn, I better do have a go.

Drinking the six pack will be a task though………..

You do not have to drink all six in one sitting.  As I drink them, I empty most of each bottle into a glass.  Leaving 2cm of beer in the bottle.  I recap the bottle and put it back in the fridge.  You can do this over 2 - 3 nights.  Then do the yeast harvesting process once you have the six bottles ready.

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7 minutes ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

You do not have to drink all six in one sitting.  As I drink them, I empty most of each bottle into a glass.  Leaving 2cm of beer in the bottle.  I recap the bottle and put it back in the fridge.  You can do this over 2 - 3 nights.  Then do the yeast harvesting process once you have the six bottles ready.

Come on you blokes, drinking a six-pack is easy 🤣

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7 minutes ago, Classic Brewing Co said:

Come on you blokes, drinking a six-pack is easy 🤣

Yes, but focussing on doing the harvesting process afterwards can be challenging.  Or else I just loose interest in doing the harvest.  Then there is the time factor.  I take about half an hour per stubby.  So it takes me about 3 hours for the six bottles.  This can be an issue.  Especially on a school night. 😁

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14 minutes ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

Yes, but focussing on doing the harvesting process afterwards can be challenging.  Or else I just loose interest in doing the harvest.  Then there is the time factor.  I take about half an hour per stubby.  So it takes me about 3 hours for the six bottles.  This can be an issue.  Especially on a school night. 😁

Fair enough but couldn't you use the 1st stubby as a master & just empty the 5 when you have drank them?

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3 minutes ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

Absolutely, you could do that.  I think @Malter White described that in more detail in another post.

That's how i usually do it. I also harvest yeast from PET longnecks and even use the "master" longneck to reactivate the yeast in. I dunno if the practise is advisable but I figure if the inside of the bottle was clean enough to house the beer it should be clean enough to grow the yeast as well.

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24 minutes ago, Malter White said:

That's how i usually do it. I also harvest yeast from PET longnecks and even use the "master" longneck to reactivate the yeast in. I dunno if the practise is advisable but I figure if the inside of the bottle was clean enough to house the beer it should be clean enough to grow the yeast as well.

You would like to think so, as I said in previous posts all I ever did was take some from the bottom of the FV & whack it in the Erlenmeyer Flask, cover & fridge it but I had never really worked out how much to put in the next brew.

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1 minute ago, Classic Brewing Co said:

You would like to think so, as I said in previous posts all I ever did was take some from the bottom of the FV & whack it in the Erlenmeyer Flask, cover & fridge it but I had never really worked out how much to put in the next brew.

I'm at a loss on how many actual yeast cells I've ever made when I've done it. I just mix it with one of either LDM, BE or dextrose (whichever I have on hand), preboiled cooled water and shake the bottle a few times a day. If it makes gas and smells nice I just dump it in the brew. No idea if I overpitch or underpitch but it's always made beer. 🙂 

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2 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

You do not have to drink all six in one sitting…….


Yes, I was being sarcastic. Drinking 6 in a row would be easy…………..being in the name of science and all that. Besides, the weather is great for it at the moment.

And thanks @Malter White, if I could shout you blokes a beer I would. I’ve learnt a lot in a  very short time being on this forum.

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1 minute ago, Malter White said:

I'm at a loss on how many actual yeast cells I've ever made when I've done it. I just mix it with one of either LDM, BE or dextrose (whichever I have on hand), preboiled cooled water and shake the bottle a few times a day. If it makes gas and smells nice I just dump it in the brew. No idea if I overpitch or underpitch but it's always made beer. 🙂 

The few times I used re-used yeast I didn't add anything & it worked so buggered if I know. I will be using fresh yeast until I can work out the Yeast Stir Plate Uncle Al sent me.

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4 minutes ago, Mackbrew said:


Yes, I was being sarcastic. Drinking 6 in a row would be easy…………..being in the name of science and all that. Besides, the weather is great for it at the moment.

And thanks @Malter White, if I could shout you blokes a beer I would. I’ve learnt a lot in a  very short time being on this forum.

That's good @Mackbrew stick around & you will learn a lot more.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have another two questions, unrelated to each other:

1 - when bottling, are you supposed to chuck the bottle caps and use brand new ones every time you bottle a new beer, or can you re use the caps once cleaned and sanitized?

2 - when fermenting in a vessel, does it particularly matter what volume brew is in what total volume FV, particularly in relation to smaller brew in a bigger fermenter? 
ie the craft FV is obviously for smaller batches 8-10L give or take, but is there any detrimental effect for putting an 8-10L batch in the 23-30L FVs?

 

 

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15 minutes ago, NBillett09 said:

I have another two questions, unrelated to each other:

1 - when bottling, are you supposed to chuck the bottle caps and use brand new ones every time you bottle a new beer, or can you re use the caps once cleaned and sanitized?

2 - when fermenting in a vessel, does it particularly matter what volume brew is in what total volume FV, particularly in relation to smaller brew in a bigger fermenter? 
ie the craft FV is obviously for smaller batches 8-10L give or take, but is there any detrimental effect for putting an 8-10L batch in the 23-30L FVs?

1. PET caps can be used many times over until they fail.  Crown seals should be re-cycled and put in that bin if pry off is done to open them and new ones used each time.  Twist off can be re-used up to a point on twist off bottles but they need a special twist sealing technique each time.

2. Nothing wrong with fermenting a small brew in a lager FV, only effect is more cleaning and sanitising to achieve the result.  If you can live with that extra work then all good.

Edited by iBooz2
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This Kolsch is at day 9 of fermentation, and it’s achieved the stable gravity of 1.012 which was the target, but my past brews had some very light bubbles on top at the end whereas this has what looks like a layer of trub sitting at the top? Will this layer drop to the bottom or has it not really finished fermentation yet perhaps?

Also does the hop bag/sock usually float? I expected it to take on water and drop down but it has floated on top for a few days now.

B9817BD6-749F-4432-838B-D83930FA3318.jpeg

D8F6A2F6-080A-4CDD-8368-30025E70B6FB.jpeg

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11 minutes ago, NBillett09 said:

This Kolsch is at day 9 of fermentation, and it’s achieved the stable gravity of 1.012 which was the target, but my past brews had some very light bubbles on top at the end whereas this has what looks like a layer of trub sitting at the top? Will this layer drop to the bottom or has it not really finished fermentation yet perhaps?

Also does the hop bag/sock usually float? I expected it to take on water and drop down but it has floated on top for a few days now.

 

Hi @NBillett09 from my experience depending on which yeast you used the krausen should drop back into the FV, there is a chance it could have stalled but that would depend on the temperature, you are displaying 18c.

Regarding the Hops the bag can be waited down with a sanitised spoon, @Shamus O'Seanmay add to this.

Cheers.

The fermentation temperatures need to be 58 to 62 F (14.5 to 16.7 C), depending on yeast strain. The best options are Wyeast 2565 Kolsch and White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch yeasts that provide the low-ester profile and a desired dry finish.

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9 minutes ago, Classic Brewing Co said:

The fermentation temperatures need to be 58 to 62 F (14.5 to 16.7 C), depending on yeast strain. The best options are Wyeast 2565 Kolsch and White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch yeasts that provide the low-ester profile and a desired dry finish.

The coopers recipe I'm following says to ferment at 18 so i have kept it between 18-18.5 the whole time, its the LalBrew Köln Kolsch yeast, this is what they say for this yeast on their website:

 

In Lallemand’s Standard Conditions Wort at 20°C (68°F) LalBrew Köln yeast exhibits:

  • Fermentation that can be completed in 7 days, a bit slower than most ale strains. This is perfectly characteristic of this strain.
  • Medium to High Attenuation and Medium Flocculation
  • Neutral to slightly fruity and estery flavor and aroma
  • The optimal temperature range for LalBrew Köln yeast when producing
  • This strain is POF Negative
  • Traditional styles is 15 – 25°C (59 – 77°F)
  • Lag phase can be longer compared to other ale strains, ranging from 24-36 hours

Lag phase, total fermentation time, attenuation and flavor are dependent on pitch rate, yeast handling, fermentation temperature and nutritional quality of the wort.

 

Ah the spoon idea is good, ill try that next time.

Edited by NBillett09
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8 hours ago, NBillett09 said:

This Kolsch is at day 9 of fermentation, and it’s achieved the stable gravity of 1.012 which was the target, but my past brews had some very light bubbles on top at the end whereas this has what looks like a layer of trub sitting at the top? Will this layer drop to the bottom or has it not really finished fermentation yet perhaps?

Also does the hop bag/sock usually float? I expected it to take on water and drop down but it has floated on top for a few days now.

B9817BD6-749F-4432-838B-D83930FA3318.jpeg

D8F6A2F6-080A-4CDD-8368-30025E70B6FB.jpeg

Hey @NBillett09, nice looking brew.  If you can cold crash your brew, the Krausen will most likely drop.  If not, you could just give the FV some gentle but repetitive taps with your stirring spoon to dislodge the Krausen and encourage it to fall.

The hop bag usually floats if you do not have it weighed down.  And sometimes even if you do.  I use 20-40 sanitised glass marbles to weigh down my hop bags.

I usually remove my dry hops after three days in the FV.  I use powder-free food handling gloves.  I put the gloves on and give them two lots of squirts with sanitiser, rubbing at each stage.  When I pull the hop bag I give it a nice squeeze with my gloved hands to get as much hoppy goodness into the brew as I can.  If you leave them for too long you can get grassy flavours in the beer.

You do not have to do the squeeze of goodness if you do not want to.  Give your hands a bit of sanitiser and just pull out the hop bag, let it drip for a bit then discard.

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