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Old 03-02-2011, 04:32 AM   #1
bmantzey
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Default Late start(er)

Unfortunately, the best lessons learned in life, are those learned the hard way.

I discovered after I mashed my barleywine and while I was waiting for it to boil off (currently still waiting), that it's more important to activate and multiply the yeast in a starter.

A starter is something I've never done. I have enough wort at the right temperature and I popped the nutrient packet in my yeast about an hour ago. I realize that the yeast will be ready to pitch into the starter in an hour or two. The problem is, the starter will not have multiplied the yeast enough by the time I'm done boiling and ready to pitch the yeast into the primary.

My fanny is going to be ready to hit the sack (and the sun should be about to come up about that time) before it'll be ready. Does anyone have any advice on whether or not I can leave the wort to sit overnight? I would assume it can sit just like any other food product, as long as it's at a lower temperature. Will I have to boil it again in the morning?

I'm thinking about boiling it down to 6 gallons, putting it in the fridge, and putting the hops in and boiling off the last gallon tomorrow after the yeast has had a chance to activate more (and I've had a chance to deactivate.)

Is it okay to stop at 6 gallons, put it in the fridge, and finish it up tomorrow?

lol I feel like I'm asking my mom or my boss if it's okay if I can finish my work tomorrow. I'm beat. I'll put on some coffee though if that's what is required.

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Old 03-02-2011, 04:51 AM   #2
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I brewed on Saturday, put the finished wort into my corny keg, sealed it up, brought it home, and then let it sit while I activated the yeast. I let the yeast go overnight (was late by the time it was fully inflated and I wanted to be awake for the first several hours the yeast was pitched in. Plus, I wasn't sure about the foamcap-s addition to the wort, so I wanted to make sure I was safe from a foamcano... So, Sunday late morning, the wort was at the correct temperature (it had chilled down more than I wanted it to on the ride home on Saturday) so I pitched the yeast in... After the 'normal' amount of time, fermentation has gone active.

I think as long as what you put it in is sanitized properly, and you keep the wort cool enough (don't need to put it in the fridge, unless you really want to) you could let it go 12-24 hours before you pitch the yeast in. I wouldn't do this in the summer time, or when it's warm out (or where you'll be putting the wort)... But, if you have a keezer, or fermentation chamber, put the wort in there (hopped and such, waiting for the yeast) and then pitch the yeast/starter in when that's done..

I would recommend making the starter further ahead of the brew day next time. I usually make the starter 1-2 days before the planned brew day. That way, I can push the brew day back another day if I need to, without any problem. I normally plan to brew on Saturday's, so Sunday is also free in case my starter needs more time.

If you do decide to chill down the wort while your starter gets going, keep in mind that you'll need to warm it back up to pitching temperature. Not sure if that will impact the brew or not, but I would avoid it if at all possible. I do think you would be ok for a day, but I'd not push beyond that. If you put the hops in, chances are things will be ok (due to their preservative effects). At least for the amount of time we're talking about.

You could pitch the yeast into the starter at any time you know... Just pour all of it in, since the nutrients are already mixed, they'll continue to help outside of the Activator packet.

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Old 03-02-2011, 04:58 AM   #3
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We'll see how long I can stay conscious. I'm a little afraid of going ahead with the hops tonight since I'm probably more likely to make a mistake.

I appreciate the advice, I think I know what I need to do.

I will definitely start the starter sooner next time.

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:05 AM   #4
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How long before you start adding the hops? It's going to be easier/faster if you do the hops now, since it's already boiling, than if you let it cool down, or chill it, and get it back to a boil tomorrow. If you're cooking on a propane burner, that means using even more propane to get it back to a boil, then holding it there...

For giggles, post up your recipe...

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:25 AM   #5
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The recipe is pretty simple actually. It's 21lbs of Maris Otter and 10oz of 55L Crystal Malt for a 5 gallon yield. Oh, and about 5oz of this Lyle's Golden Syrup. The hops are 1.6oz of bitter, 1 oz of flavor, 1 oz of aroma, and another oz of dry hops for later. It's a Barley wine.

You're probably right about adding the hops tonight. I didn't get much sleep last night, so I guess I'm just being lazy, looking for an excuse to quit now.

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:27 AM   #6
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I can't get down to pitching temperature in a reasonable amount of time with my immersion chiller. I chill to about 90 F in about 20 minutes, whirlpool to settle out hops and hot break then let it sit for another 20 minutes, transfer into primary, cover with sanitized foil and put into my temp controlled fridge until it gets to pitching temperature. If I have another batch fermenting and the fridge temp is in the low 60s, it sometimes takes up to 24 hours to get to pitching temperature. Never had a problem doing this.

I have also had yeast issues a couple of times and waited as much as 36 hours before repitching, also with no problems. As long as you sanitize well, you shouldn't have a problem waiting for your starter.

Bob

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmantzey View Post
The recipe is pretty simple actually. It's 21lbs of Maris Otter and 10oz of 55L Crystal Malt for a 5 gallon yield. Oh, and about 5oz of this Lyle's Golden Syrup. The hops are 1.6oz of bitter, 1 oz of flavor, 1 oz of aroma, and another oz of dry hops for later. It's a Barley wine.

You're probably right about adding the hops tonight. I didn't get much sleep last night, so I guess I'm just being lazy, looking for an excuse to quit now.
Just push through and finish the brewing part of this one. Put it into primary (once cooled enough) and get some sleep (after you get your starter running)... As mentioned by Bob, you could just get it to a safe temp to put into primary, then store it (letting it cool while the starter is running... Pitch the yeast slurry in once that's ready, and the wort is the correct temperature.

This is one of the reasons I'm liking fermenting in corny's... Don't need to worry nearly as much as with carboys. You know they'll be able to handle higher temperatures (stainless steel vs. plastic or glass 'nuf said)... Plus, as long as you cleaned, rinsed, and sanitized them properly, you have nothing to worry about.

I transported my corny to the brew day on Saturday with sanitizer still in it (about 1/2 gallon actually)... Sloshed it all inside of it moments before the wort went in (then dumped the sanitizer out before filling it, of course). It was chilly out on Saturday, so the corny was cold, and the wort got below the temperature range for the yeast. So it was a good thing to let it sit and get a little warmer (into the low 60's)... Now it's in about the middle of the yeast's happy range, and fermenting very nicely. I think I'm going to start converting over to using corny's as my primaries for more and more batches. With foamcap-s, it takes the worry out of things. Plus, it's not difficult to fit an airlock into the keg. I can either pull the relief valve out, or just connect onto one of the lock posts (pulling the fitting off first, using tubing as a short bridge)... I could even put a blow-off tube on the post if needed. Although, I don't think I would need to do that.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:03 AM   #8
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oh yeah, the hops are kent golding

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Old 03-02-2011, 06:34 AM   #9
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oh yeah, the hops are kent golding
You'll have to post up how it comes out...

I'm thinking of using Target or Northdown for bittering on my barleywine. Flavor/aroma could be either EKG or Fuggles... Have whole hops (both EKG and Fuggles) on hand in case I decide to dry hop it later... Not sure when I would start it though...
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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I wish I would have just gone to bed. I'd tell you what went wrong but it might be easier to say what didn't.

I went to put the flavor hops ball into the brew and it popped open, spilling into the brew. I didn't know that the hops would float to the top. I later discovered that it would have been easy to just skim them out with a sieve. I attempted to pour the brew through colanders from one bucket to the next, which was a stupid waste of time (due to lack of sleep I'm sure).

At about 4am, I finally got it boiled down to about 5 gallons and when I started running water through my homemade immersion chiller, I noticed that it was strangely shooting out brown liquid. It took me a minute to realize that there was a puncture in the copper tubing and hose water was shooting into the wort.

I decided to try to salvage it anyway. The hose water got me back up to about 6 gallons, so I boiled it down to 5 again. Since I already did the flavor and aroma hops, I went ahead with another .5 oz of hops in the last 10 minutes of the second boil-off. Before I started boiling off, when the brew was at 6 gallons, my gravity was at 1.08ish. Target was 1.12ish, so after boiling off a gallon and considering that I checked it at about 180°F, I'm hoping my OG reading will still be pretty close.

The good news is, my starter is bubbling happily. I'm off to bed after I finish this beer.

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