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Old 11-23-2008, 03:12 PM   #1
asdtexas
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Default Back to Brewing - A Couple of Questions

I am brewing again after a seven year layoff (kids and family). In the past, I had good results with extracts and then gradually tried all grain brewing and had nice results. The equipment was lost in the move and I just started again and brewed a nice extract recipe last week with new equipment. I am trying to decide where to go from here. A couple of questions:

1. If I use the bulk extract from my homebrew supply store, will all the beers taste similar even after accounting for different specialty grains and hops?

2. I use a large stockpot for the boil and get about 3 gallons or wort by the end of the boil. Is a wort chiller really necessary? My technique is to add cold filtered water to the primary along with the wort and then seal and put in the fridge until the temp comes down. I know about facilitating a good break, but query if there is a substantial risk if the wort is sealed and allowed to cool on its own.

3. What about creating a starter and using the sediment from one of the recent bottles to resuscitate the yeast and then using it for the next batch? I think I used this technique with success in the past, but can't remember

Thanks for feedback

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Old 11-23-2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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1) No, the specialty grains, hops, and yeast really do make a big difference in both color and flavor. Always try to get the lightest color extract they have. And do a search on the boards for late extract additions, good method.
2) Wort chiller is not necessary (I never had one for extracts) for 3 gallon boils, but if you move back to AG or 5 gallon boils, you will need one. A thing to consider in the cooling is that between about 130 and pitching temp is when infections could happen, you want to minimize that time.
3) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/ Also if you are doing batches back to back using the same yeast, you can pitch the second batch right on top of the yeast cake leftover from the first.

Welcome to the boards.

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Old 11-23-2008, 03:24 PM   #3
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Welcome back!!!

Parker pretty much nailed question 1 and two, but I think he misread what you were asking about for number three, not yeast washing, but harvesting

There's a lot of threads on here about it...over the summer a bunch of us harvested PACMAN yeast from Rogue...THis is a decent thread on it http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/pacman-yeast-starter-video-63855/

If that doesn't give you enough info to trip your memory, use the search for Pacman...you willfind a ton of threads on yeast harvesting then...

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Old 11-23-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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My only suggestion is to cool your wort in your sink. I can get 3 gallons of wort down to ~90 degrees in around 20 min, faster if I use ice. Just put your boil kettle into the sink and fill the sink around it with cold water. Swirling the kettle around helps a lot. Then put your top off water in the refrigerator a few hours before you brew to it is nice and cold by the time your ready to use it. Adding 2 gallons of ~35 deg water to 3 gallons of ~90 degree water usually brings me to pitching temp. That way you don't have to risk infection.

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:03 AM   #5
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All, thanks. Really good stuff. I appreciate your responses

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