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-   -   Couple of questions (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/couple-questions-384175/)

jakehale 01-24-2013 01:56 PM

Couple of questions
 
Starters:

I just started making starters because i am hearing that it does good things. I got the general measurments of (dont quote me, i dont have my cheat sheet in front of me) of 100 grams of DME to 1 Ltr water. Now i have only done 1 ltr startes. if i do a 2 ltr starter, do i have to put two vials of yeast in there?

Fermentation:

I see some folks saying they ferment for months! why is that? i was under the impression that once it is done, its done. does it really need to ferment for that long of a period? i am sure it dont hurt, but what does it do for you?

thanks folks
jake

MachineShopBrewing 01-24-2013 02:12 PM

Quote:

Starters:

I just started making starters because i am hearing that it does good things. I got the general measurments of (dont quote me, i dont have my cheat sheet in front of me) of 100 grams of DME to 1 Ltr water. Now i have only done 1 ltr startes. if i do a 2 ltr starter, do i have to put two vials of yeast in there?
Give this a listen-- http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-12-22-08-Yeast-Starters

Quote:

Fermentation:

I see some folks saying they ferment for months! why is that? i was under the impression that once it is done, its done. does it really need to ferment for that long of a period? i am sure it dont hurt, but what does it do for you?
You are right. Once it is done, it is done. In most cases this is 10-14 days. There are a few exceptions, but you can ferment >90% of the beers you brew in that time frame. There are some people on this forum who confuse aging reactions with fermentation reactions and think that because their RIS tasted better after 6 months that it was because of the yeast. Aging is different than fermentation. If you follow proper fermentation procedures by pitching the correct amount of healthy yeast, along with the proper amount of oxygen, you will find that most of your beers are done fermenting within 10 days. Contrary to popular myth, the yeast only need a day or two to clean up any fermentation by products, as long as they are not in excess due to poor fermentation procedures. Your yeast don't need 3-4 weeks to "clean up." Go talk to any professional brewer who has actually gone to school and studied the art and science of brewing.

inhousebrew 01-24-2013 02:13 PM

http://www.yeastcalc.com/
play around with that calculator for starters to see how more wort will affect cell count. You can pitch one vial to a two liter starter.

As for a long fermentation I'm guessing you are probably referring to what people call secondary fermentation? This name is really poorly worded in the sense that it isn't a "second" fermentation. There should be no fermentation going on actually. It is more of a bulk aging period for the beer to mellow out and clear. Some beers, like bigger ABV beers or stouts or some other things, can really benefit from this additional aging but there is no fermentation going on. Unless of course you have some weird infection, then your in trouble.

bobbrews 01-24-2013 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jakehale (Post 4820658)
I see some folks saying they ferment for months! why is that? i was under the impression that once it is done, its done. does it really need to ferment for that long of a period? i am sure it dont hurt, but what does it do for you?

I typically do 4 weeks in the primary for my 1.060-1.075 OG IPAs, with the last week dedicated to dryhopping.

These beers complete 95-97% of their fermentation in the first 3-7 days, however... the extra conditioning time helps the yeast to reabsorb the off-flavors they emitted in the first 3-7 days. So they eat sugar, nutrients, and oxygen and poop out CO2, alcohol, and off-flavors. A few weeks of additional conditioning time allows the yeast to eat the off flavors they initially pooped out, thus giving you a smoother beer with more quality of flavor. There are more than a few brewers out there who choose to ignore this advice, but it doesn't make the reality of it less true. They claim that if your yeast starter is healthy and your ferm temps. and procedures are sound, then no extra conditioning time is needed. Even if one always follows this logic, that doesn't mean that the yeast still do not initially emit off-flavors. I've compared different methods a hundred times and found that extended conditioning helps the beer for the better. You will still have a drinkable beer without it, but it will not measure up to the quality of one that was properly conditioned.

MachineShopBrewing 01-24-2013 04:54 PM

Quote:

These beers complete 95-97% of their fermentation in the first 3-7 days, however... the extra conditioning time helps the yeast to reabsorb the off flavors they emitted in the first 3-7 days. So they eat sugar, nutrients, and oxygen and poop out CO2, alcohol, and off-flavors. A few weeks of additional conditioning time allows the yeast to eat the off flavors they initially pooped out, thus giving you a smoother beer with more quality of flavor.
While this is true, it only takes a day or two at most for the yeast to reabsorb any fermentation by products as long as they were not created in excess. Certainly not weeks. If it took weeks, every brewpub in the country would go out of business. They turn out clean tasting beer in 10-14 days on average. Even IPAs with dry hopping.

That being said, I certainly champion the right for any brewer to let their beer sit if they feel that works best for them. I just don't want people to keep perpetuating common misconceptions like the thought that it takes weeks for the yeast to clean up.

bobbrews 01-24-2013 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MachineShopBrewing (Post 4821425)
While this is true, it only takes a day or two at most for the yeast to reabsorb any fermentation by products as long as they were not created in excess. Certainly not weeks. If it took weeks, every brewpub in the country would go out of business. They turn out clean tasting beer in 10-14 days on average. Even IPAs with dry hopping.

That being said, I certainly champion the right for any brewer to let their beer sit if they feel that works best for them. I just don't want people to keep perpetuating common misconceptions like the thought that it takes weeks for the yeast to clean up.

I've compared different conditioning times, and lackthereof, for the past 3 years. And I beg to differ. It does not only take a day or two to fully clean up the beer. I can personally taste it and gauge the quality for myself. Have you given the particular conditioning method I spoke of a shot? Or have you just brewing like you always have been, putting out beers in 2 weeks total time and not changing anything because you were satisfied with your beers? I'm curious where you got that information about taking only 1 or 2 days. Because the benefits of yeast conditioning is not a misconception. I have read books on the topic too. Here is a great one with an entire chapter on yeast that recommends extended conditioning and explains why in thorough detail: http://books.google.com/books/about/Brewing.html?id=zV9bpyykNtMC

To get something straight... commercial brewing is not = to homebrewing. Brewing processes in a commercial entity are way more complex. There may also be methods/factors employed that aid in a speedier turnaround of a high quality product. Alternately, when running a business, timing is everything. You cannot afford to brew limited batches at the expense of more conditioning time when the product passes as "satisfactory".

MachineShopBrewing 01-24-2013 06:44 PM

Quote:

To get something straight... commercial brewing is not = to homebrewing. Brewing processes in a commercial entity are way more complex. There may also be methods/factors employed that aid in a speedier turnaround of a high quality product.
Brewing is brewing. The vessels are just bigger. Go talk to a professional brewer who is any good and they will tell you the same. My process is a smaller clone of how the professional brewery works. I use the same methods and processes employed by commercial brewers, and I have learned those processes by talking to actual brewers. Theories in a book are quite different than theories that are actually in practice. There are actually a few methods that professional brewers employ to turn around beer faster-

1. pitch the correct amount of yeast at the peak of health(the most important)
2. add pure O2 to 8-12 ppm
3. ferment at correct temperature for the yeast and beer they are making
4. filter or fine

That's pretty much all the tools in the toolbox. All of those tools can be used in homebrewing also.

Quote:

It does not only take a day or two to fully clean up the beer. I can personally taste it and gauge the quality for myself.
You are confusing yeast reactions with aging and gravity reactions. The difference you taste relates to yeast and fine particulate(tannins/polyphenols and protein/polyphenol complexes, etc..) falling out of solution, and normal aging reactions happening. That is what you are attributing to "cleaning up the beer". These things will still happen regardless if you had yeast present or not. The yeast uptake and metabolization of fermentation by products only takes a couple of days. If you still have fermentation by products after that, then you need to look at your fermentation practices to clean them up.

bobbrews 01-24-2013 06:49 PM

I'm not going to argue with you anymore about this so we'll just agree to disagree. It is obvious you are satisfied with your beers and have not strayed from your typical way of doing things for quite some time. That is fine, but I am not satisfied with mediocrity or thinking I've learned all there is to learn on a particular topic. My practices and brewing knowledge evolves.

ACbrewer 01-24-2013 07:14 PM

Not to throw more fuel on the fire, but remember a comerical brewery, be it BMC or your local NANO has 2 goals for their beer in mind, largest audience and consistant flavor (I almost said quality).

To use an analogy, every time you go to McDonalds, you know exactly what a big mac is. Everytime you purchase a beer of style X, you expect to get that flavor. Comerical brewers go for what I call an 80% beer - meaning most will think it is drinkable, although not the best, but drinkable and are willing to buy it.

As home brewers, we brew for 1 (or maybe a few) and go for 95%+ beer, meaning the best we can make of that style as suited to our palette. We often do things to chase that last few % points. Be it full boils, dry hopping, long aging etc. And it suit each of us according to his or her taste. And frankly the only mechanism that seems to be important time.

Does it matter if it is yeast or gravity with time that makes the beer better after 4 more weeks? I think not, because I'm convinced the sanitation risk or racking is bigger than the autolysis(yeast eating dead yeast) risk. Personally I typically leave a beer for 3 to 4 week from start to bottling and never bother with a secondary unless I have an ingredient add (dry hop, spice, fruit, etc).

bobbrews 01-24-2013 07:35 PM

Autolysis takes several months upon months to occur. You should never encounter it in as little as 4-8 weeks.


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