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Old 01-12-2013, 04:47 AM   #1
1van
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Default Help with krausening for diacetyl!!!

I am ashamed.........

11/23/12 Made two 5 gallon ag batches, a Helles (1.053) and a Czech Pils (1.047). Both got a healthy starter of wlp810 (used 810 because still dont have a full lagering setup, but its in the works) and fermented at about 59 degrees. Both got a 2-3 day d-rest right before secondary (didn't write in my notes what the gravity was at the time). Secondary was held between 50 and 55 degrees. Then racked to keg for lagering. Helles fg 1.013 and Pils was 1.012. Both were very clear after cold crash and tasted clean and crisp.

12/31/12 sampled from the keg to check on carbonation levels and.....KAPOW! Butter bombs.....both of them.

I've pulled both kegs back into room temp and read that could boost any yeast in suspension back into action to wage war against the greasy diacetyl, and while I think there has been some improvement, it is minimal.

Only other thing I have heard can help a man in my particular situation is the process of Krausening. The problem is I have heard so many different opinions, with basically no instructions. I have never krausened before and am pretty simple minded so some step by steps would be great. I have DME or can do an all grain starter if I need to. Also, some have suggested to use the same yeast strain that was used in primary. And others suggest using a neutral ale yeast like us-05. I have plenty of wlp810 and some wlp001 if that works but have never used dry yeast and don't have any on hand.

I fully understand that I will probably lose some clarity by introducing active yeast into the keg, but I don't want to throw these out. Cloudy beer I can live with, buttery beer I cannot. Does anybody have practical experience in krausening that can help me out?

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Old 01-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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Bumping to try to get some help....anyone?

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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I just put a post in on this yesterday. Because another brewer thought he has a diacetyl problem. But from his post back, I'm not sure if he knows what he has. Sometimes a 2-3 diacetyl rest may not be long enough. A hydrometer isn't going to tell you anything, when it comes to a diacetyl rest. It measures density. However, if your yeast dropped out and is dormant. Nothing is taking place, so your hydrometer reading remains stable. The yeast, being dormant didn't break the alpha stuff down into Diacetyl, during the rest. Then, since the hydrometer reading remained stable, the beer is transfered to a sealed keg. The yeast being roused up when the beer was transfered, starts doing it's thing with breaking down the alpha stuff into diacetyl. The only problem is that it's in a sealed keg. The diacetyl cannot disperse. What you need to do now is get the pressure off the beer. After releasing the presssure through the safety. Remove the gas inlet fitting off the tank and stick a hose on it. Put the other end in some sanitizer. Warm the keg up to 60-65, and shake it to rouse up the yeast. Hopefully, the yeast isn't dead. After 5 days. Do a diacetyl test. Take 2 samples of the beer. Heat one sample to about 140 or so for an hour. Use some foil to cover the sample to be heated. The other sample, leave at room temp. After you heat the one sample, allow it to cool to the same temp as the other sample. Smell the cooled sample. If it still smells like butter, you have diacetyl. If it doesn't have the butter smell. Taste it and taste the other sample. If the samples taste the same, you're good to go. If the sample smells of butter or tastes different than the other sample, you'll need to krausen. Use the same yeast for krausening that you tossed in when you started. Use your malt powder or better, some left over wort if you have any. Dump the starter in when it is in high krausen. The volume of the starter should be 10% of the volume you are dumping it into. Let the krausen work on the beer. It may take longer than 3 days to get the yeast to break down the Alpha crap into diacetyl....If you are going to get into brewing Pils and Lager, a hydrometer is useful to find out the grav after cooling. After that, it becomes less useful, when determining when to do a diacetyl rest. Using a sugar test kit and a pH meter is a better way to determine if the yeast is kaputt. I'm not sure what you call a healthy starter. The next time you make a Pils, you may need to dump in more volume of starter.

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Old 01-13-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
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Both batches got a 1.2 liter starter that was stepped up once.

If I understand you, I am basically making the kegs act as fermenters with a blow off tube in place of the gas in post. Use the same yeast that I used in primary at about 65 for say 5 days then test again? Sound right?

Questions
1. will the yeast not work under pressure? In other words, is the blow off necessary if the keg gets vented a couple times a day?

2. after the krausening can I cold crash then carb/serve from the same keg or do I need to rack to another vessel?

Thanks for the input

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
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Yeah, leave it in the keg. You won't need to handle the beer when doing the rest or if you will need to krausen. You'll be keeping it away from atmosphere.

The yeast will work under pressure. It carbonates in a sealed vessel. Right? However, the new yeast may kick some goop out. Use a blow off just in case. Rely on Mom Nature. Don't rely on when you think it is the right time or how many times you'll need to raise the relief vent. Put on a blow off and you'll take some things out of the equation.

After the beer tests OK. Screw in the inlet spud. Purge the cylinder dead space. Cool it down 28-30 degrees. Let it rest a few days. Then, use CO2 to push the beer into another purged cylinder. Age it out. You may need to force carb. I know that your beer will turn out great. What you have to do, really, isn't that unusual when making light colored, crisp, clear, aged, Pils and Lagers. Just remember, going from boiler to belly in two months, may not be long enough to produce that type of beer. The big boys, that use precision equipment and chemists can do it. As a homebrewer. Sometimes, we need to use time and Mom Nature. She's way smarter than us.

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Old 01-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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I krausened my lagers that showed signs of diacetyl in a past with mixed results. Most were drinkable after (I never dumped a batch) and some were quite good and clean. You will need substantial amount of speize (fermenting wort) to clean up diacetyl. Add about 1.5-2 quarts of actively fermenting wort (around 1.040 SG) to your beer and that should do the trick. It will also carbonate your beer but have some patience and leave it at room temperature to do its thing for at least 2-3 weeks before cold crash. Make sure that you do not overcarb a keg since 2 quarts of speize is quite a bit, may be went it out once in a while to avoid over carbonation. I had not so good results with lesser amount (<1 qt) but your mileage may vary. I must have done it 4-5 times and it works. Good luck!

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Old 01-15-2013, 01:13 AM   #7
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You don't use speise for krausening. Krausen and speise are two different things in the brewing world. Speise is only wort. It has no yeast in it. It is used in the place of priming sugar. It appears that you are confused between priming solution for carbonation, pitching solution used for primary fermentation and krausening. Maybe, that's why you have had mixed results. Or, in the batches where it didn't work, the beer may have been infected.

OP. Do the test, first. If you have butter, do what I mentioned. Since your grav. is at 1012 and you have no idea if the fg is from nonfermentable, or from fermentables that were left, because the yeast was dormant. Or, a little of both. You won't need a large number of yeast cells to do the clean up. For the krausening solution. You'll need to see how many yeast cells are in the vial or packet of the yeast that you use. Then, find the chart that tells you how many yeast cells you'll need at the fg of your beer. Look for the cell count needed for a volume of 10% of the amount of beer your krausening. The volume of the krausen is somewhat, important. What's more important, is the amount of yeast cells. Your not trying to ferment the beer. Your trying to break down the Alpha Aceto., into diacetyl. The reason I mentioned to use a blow off was to remove a variable. Also, I mentioned, that after the beer tests good. Drop it down to 28 and let it rest. Then, rack it off into another keg and age it. You won't need to worry about overcarbing. I've taken some of the variables out of play, for you. 1.2 liters really isn't a healthy starter for Pils. Unless it was all slurry. Keep at it, you'll do fine.

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Old 01-17-2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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UPDATE-

Was getting prepped to make my krausening starters today and opted to sample the beer again in its existing state (still at room temp in kegs under pressure). Buttery mouth assault has subsided dramatically! Very slight hint of butter, but totally ignorable. I have relieved pressure from the keg every other day and the beer has still carbed up. I did not shake the keg, as some recommended to get yeast back in suspension, nor have I yet added any new yeast. Is it possible that there was enough viable yeast in the keg to go to work on the diacetyl? I mean the kegs are carbing up too? Either way, it seems like nature is taking its course and I just have to be even more patient then I normally would with a well fermented (read adequate d-rest) lager. I think I will wait another two weeks then sample again and move on to a proper lagering, although both beers seem totally quaffable right now.

Thoughts?????

I have a dead guy-ish, a la Yooper brew, going to keg this week and think I will buy some more time with making a kolsch and wit to keep my mind off the two lagers.

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Old 01-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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What about temp fluctuation? Is it possible that the buttery-ness will be further accented at lagering/serving temps and I should go forward with the krausening just to be safe?

I'm sure this is when someone will respond with the classic RDWHAHB that spits in the face of so many anxious brewers like myself.

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Old 01-17-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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What about temp fluctuation? Is it possible that the buttery-ness will be further accented at lagering/serving temps and I should go forward with the krausening just to be safe?

I'm sure this is when someone will respond with the classic RDWHAHB that spits in the face of so many anxious brewers like myself.

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