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Old 12-20-2012, 03:09 AM   #21
oboelestoe
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Isn't it amazing how much you learn from screwing things up the first time around?
It sure is. I can't believe how much more confident I felt about brewing this afternoon compared to Sunday. I was very Zen as I made sure my steeping water never went over 158F. I moved like a butterfly, then stung like a bee as I aerated my wort, pouring back and forth... back and forth. It was a thing of beauty.

I'll post again when I get to the bottling phase. I'm planning on substituting a little brown sugar for some of the priming sugar. Maybe 50/50. Does this sound like a good idea or... not so much? Should I wait until I have one under my belt before I start monkeying around with the ingredients? Or is that small substitution relatively safe?
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:05 AM   #22
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I'm planning on substituting a little brown sugar for some of the priming sugar. Maybe 50/50. Does this sound like a good idea or... not so much? Should I wait until I have one under my belt before I start monkeying around with the ingredients? Or is that small substitution relatively safe?
I've never tried this, but from what I've read in several places, I would gently advise against it at this point. Mostly because it's additional complexity, and getting priming quantities right is important. For the first (or first-and-a-halfth) time around, I think it would be wise to stick to the simplest procedures from here on. There's a lot to think about on your first bottling day. Also, the flavor effect is going to be subtle, so there's not a big return on your "investment." I imagine you could get a similar effect by adding a bit of molasses to your beer near the end of fermentation (after boiling it in a small amount of water for a few minutes to deoxygenate and sanitize it)---that would not require compensation at priming time.

However, plenty of people use all kinds of different sugars successfully. (Here's one random thread, there are many others: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/prim...n-sugar-61921/) There can be a subtle effect on the flavor, and it might go well in an oatmeal stout, so you do have a beer that's more amenable to the experiment than most.

If you do go that route, bear in mind that you need to adjust your priming sugar quantity depending on the type of sugar you use. I can't find a specific number for brown sugar, but it's basically cane sugar with molasses added, so the rule of thumb seems to be to treat it like cane sugar. This produces more carbonation per weight than corn sugar (dextrose), so don't just replace half the weight of your corn sugar with brown sugar!
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:51 AM   #23
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:56 AM   #24
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Hi all,
So I'm doing my first brew right now, an oatmeal stout, and I have a question about my yeast starter. I snooped around at the stickies and stuff first, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. So, I started my yeast in a sanitized glass jar, laid some plastic wrap lightly over it, which seemed to be giving it some air and put it in a warm place. Now, here comes the hitch: I started the yeast around 10 am and didn't pitch it until around 1 pm. Now, about 30 hours into fermentation, I'm not seeing any activity in my air lock. So I am just wondering if it sat too long or something? I know I am being a worry-wart (or is it worry-wort, in these circles?), but a bit of encouragement/reassurance would be appreciated! Thanks so much! What a great community! Cheers!
I did startup yeasts in a jar and in the end I gave up.

Because there is a better way that saves you days of time and yeast cells counts + viability.

At first I didn't think days meant anything, but it does. I used a stirplate, and had great success.

Why use a stirplate? Because of the oxygen it gives to yeast.

http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/yeast...-and-practices

And how to get a stir plate?

You can buy one or build one. Unless you can dismantle computers, I recommend buying a stir plate.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:00 AM   #25
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I've never tried this, but from what I've read in several places, I would gently advise against it at this point. Mostly because it's additional complexity, and getting priming quantities right is important.
Thanks for the sage advice and gentle nudge. I'll follow your advice and stick to doing it with the priming sugar from the kit.

Iambeer, thanks for that recommendation. I'll be purchasing a stir plate as my next gadget. After all, we are yeast farmers before anything else!
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