1st attempt at bottle harvesting - single bottle of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar
Last saturday i treated myself to a bottle of Hazelnut Brown Nectar. $7 in Utah - just doing my part to fund public schools.
After i finished pouring it into my glass, i poured in some warm pre-boiled water, swished it around, and dumped it into a sanitized 500ml erlenmeyer flask. I topped it up to the 500ml mark with more warm pre-boiled water, and then just sort of poured in DME until the color looked right. Added a sanitized stir bar, and stuck a sanitized drilled stopper w/ sanitized airlock containing vodka in the mouth.
Put it on my super nifty solid state stir plate, adjusted until it was silent, and left it there until last night.
Fermentation was apparent within hours. By the next morning there was a cone of bubbles swirling and regular airlock activity.
Last night it appeared that fermentation was complete so i turned off the stir plate and put the flask in the fridge.
Just now i took it back out of the fridge, used a magnet to manipulate the stir bar to free up the sediment around the water line, then pulled off the airlock, used the magnet to draw out the stir bar, installed a sanitized stopper, dropped stir bar in bucket of sanitizer, then shook the flask until all of the sediment was in solution again (including the stuff that was stuck to the walls).
My dastardly plan is to make a 5.5g batch of hazelnut brown using yeast cultured from that one bottle. Tomorrow or sunday.
I looked around and could not find anyone saying whether they expected that the sediment in the RHBN bottle is Pacman or just a bottling yeast, so here's hoping it's pacman.
Using an all-grain recipe found here, brewtarget estimates the OG at 1.062.
Clearly I will need more yeast than is found in my little 500ml flask.
So, based on my vague interpretations of building yeast starters gleaned through the help of various google services, here's my plan:
Wait for yeast to precipitate back out of the solution in the 500ml flask, decant off the liquid.
Mix 800ml of 1.040 wort from boiling water and DME. 800ml is the maximum stir capacity of my little stir plate. Don't knock it - it's dead silent and it was a gift.
After carefully sanitizing the various involved surfaces with starsan, pour some of this mixture into the 500ml flask, swish to collect yeast sediment, and then add that and the rest of the wort to my 1000ml flask w/ vented screw-top closure.
Add sanitized stir bar, put on stir plate in warm place until brew day.
On brew day, turn off stir plate, add another 200ml of wort, close vent, shake up, reopen vent, leave in warm place until pitching time.
Does this sound sane? Am i destined for failure? My backup plan if i get a stuck ferment is to re-pitch with nottingham i already have on hand (my nearest LBS is 40 miles away - close to work but not to home).
Not that any y'all cared, but i am cautiously optimistic.
Thursday i cold crashed the 500ml flask.
Friday i decanted off the liquid - tasted exactly like weak flat unhopped beer.
Mixed up 800ml of 1.040 wort with light DME and boiling water in my 1000ml polycarbonate flask (w/ nifty venting system in the cap).
Capped the flask and stuck it in a pot of cold water to cool it off, a couple hours later i poured the remaining contents of the 500ml flask (about 100ml) into the bigger flask and stuck it on the stir plate.
This exceeds the max. quantity for my stir plate but it seemed to work ok anyhow.
Then yesterday morning i recalled that it probably wanted to be fed. Sprinkled a little yeast nutrient on it while it spun.
Last night at about 6 this all got pitched onto a 5.5g batch of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Clone (all grain) at 72f. Corrected hydrometer reading indicates i nailed the OG at 1.062 as predicted by brewtarget.
Put it into the coolest darkest corner of my basement. Installed blowoff tube. Stuck a ranging thermometer next to it because I'm curious what the temperature range in there is. Last night the ambient outside the carboy was 55f.
This morning there is clearly audible blowoff activity. Have i mentioned that PET soda bottles make great blowoff vessels because they amplify the sound?
Dude, it'll work well! I use cultured Bell's yeast to brew a lot, and I get great results. I usually use a few bottles of dregs to start, but if you stepped your starter up a few times, you'll have plenty of yeast.
My wife love's that Rogue Hazelnut Brown, and I was thinking of using some Pacman yeast I cultured from a bomber of Dead Guy to make her a small batch. :mug:
Good project, glad you were so successful!
Did I loose track of your step-ups or did you possibly under pitch?
I only stepped up once. I waited until the 500ml had fully fermented before stepping up to ~900ml.
The starter had the appearance of a (melted) peanut butter smoothie when i pitched it, with a lot of visible activity after taking it off of the stir plate.
It's possible that i under-pitched. I'm hoping to come home to find it motorboating a lot faster than it was this morning.
I'm unsure what signs i should look for to determine, early on, if i have certainly under-pitched.
At about 25 hours into fermentation, the blowoff activity seems faster than it was this morning and there appears to be a reasonable quantity of krausen forming in the bed of foam on top of the wort - but i didn't get a very good look because, well, it's DARK in there. Thermometer tells me 58f. Didn't check the thermometer range.
It's not motorboating as vigorously as my last brew, but that was with wyeast 3787 and was fermenting in the low 70's rather than the high 50's.
It seems to be roughly equivalent to brews i made with nottingham during the winter under similar thermal conditions.
Any advice on when to consider worrying? Right now I'm not worrying.
I hear that Utah has one of the highest rates of breweries per capita in the nation. I attribute that to the fact that if you want it greater than 4.0ABV and cold at the same time, you have to make it yourself or buy it directly from the brewery.
The ABC stores pick & choose what they sell, and they have no refrigerators.
I've never seen many of the beers I see discussed here. I'll have to look for a 3 Floyds beer next time I'm at the ABC, but I'm pretty sure I've never seen that label in person. I've also not seen many of the Rogue varieties i see discussed here. I've seen Dead Guy and 1 or 2 others (and the hazelnut). How they must talk. When they're in church on Sunday, I'm in the back yard, brewing.
I've started giving my spent grain to my neighbor who keeps chickens. Have I mentioned that all of my neighbors are active mormons? And that i live about 50 yards from a chapel?
Here it is at about 48 hours:
Fermentation slower tonight. One burp every 10 seconds or so. hmm.
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