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Old 03-12-2012, 06:14 AM   #1
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Default Interesting large batch brewing results

I feel slightly bad starting far more threads than what I comment in but I have far more questions than answers. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. In this case though I think I'm going to go ahead and write a review of what I experienced and see what thoughts you guys might have. Alright well lets start

Wednesday Feb 29th Brewed English Bitter Extract Kit
Saturday Brewed 10 gallon all grain Rye Pale Ale clone Thanks guys! http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/teen...e-clone-72839/
Also Brewed HME Irish Stout (really sloppy but it was just something I did because it was easy)

I left to go visit my parents for a week. When I left there looked to be activity in all of the fermenters but it was colder than I expected (60F) so I closed my window and headed out the door. This is what I found when I got back.

1. English Bitter. I was halfway expecting to bottle this today, but there was still a fair bit of active yeast at the top of the fermenter. It was like on the Sunday I left too, so I'm not sure how much longer that will last and I can get to bottling.

2. Irish Stout This actually I probably can bottle tomorrow. I just might do it on Wednesday when I have more time.

3. Rye Pale Ale 1. This is where it really gets interesting. I don't have a 10 gallon fermenter so I split it between two standard brewing vessels. A 6.5 gallon carboy and a plastic bucket. The 6.5 gallon carboy is almost done fermenting. There isn't much active yeast on the top, but you can still see some on the sides though. This was the bottom half though so it is sitting on a lot of hop sludge. I'm a little worried about that. I filtered with a funnel and screen, but apparently many were fine enough to get through. I'm also a little worried that I didn't have the presence of mind to store it in a closet over break. It did have a blanket over it though.

Rye Pale Ale 2. The first half of the Rye is also interesting. I don't think it was too terribly active all week although I think it got some activity. However I turned on the baseboard heating in my room and I swear the top is about to come off of this guy.

Anyway, just an interesting story that I thought I would share. Any reassuring words that it is probably fine, or maybe less so and that it is probably ruined would be cool!

Edit: Another story on the Irish Stout. I was a little too excited about making it before I left and I had no access to fresh yeast at the time, so my solution was to soak my arm in sanitize water for 2 min with an empty yeast vile. I lowered the entire thing to the bottom of the English Bitter Vessel to get some extra yeast. I tried a little of the bitter today and it tastes great with no apparent infection from my arm! BTW I do realize that was a bad idea.

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Old 03-12-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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No real advice but that last story did get me thinking. I was at the county fair one year and saw a calf being born. The farmer helping had a rubber/plastic glove that went all the way up her arm so she could stick it up the cows woohoo. You think a glove like that might actually be useful to brewers?

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Old 03-12-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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You know, I was thinking about brewing up a milk stout... I think that will be the perfect name Cow's Woohoo Stout.

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleme View Post
No real advice but that last story did get me thinking. I was at the county fair one year and saw a calf being born. The farmer helping had a rubber/plastic glove that went all the way up her arm so she could stick it up the cows woohoo. You think a glove like that might actually be useful to brewers?
lol yeah actually it might. Also bottled the Irish Stout today. Tasted great! Surprising considering I didn't check anything. I didn't take the gravity, I didn't check the temperature that I pitched my yeast, keep track of my boil time or anything. I did lose a couple of bottles though as apparently the mouth of the bottle was too small to cap.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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On your Rye Pale Ales:

Sounds like you brewed up 10 gallons all in one go, correct? And then, did you fill your fermenters one after the other? So the first half of the kettle into one fermenter, and the second half into the other?

When brewing with two different friends, I've used two different approaches in this kind of situation, both to good results that have left both fermenters pretty consistent:

1) Where only one ball valve was available on the kettle, we filled one fermenter roughly halfway, then filled the second fermenter all the way, then finished filling the first fermenter. We seemed to kind of get around any stratification that was happening in the kettle in this way, and our finished beers came out very very similarly.

2) Another guy uses a pretty unique (well, in my experience) whirlpooling setup that involved two ball valves at the base of his keggle. This one's easy - fill both fermenters simultaneously, and they both stay very consistent with eachother. Our finished beers came out dang near identically.

For all I know, you used an approach like one of these - just thought I'd share for anyone else reading along...

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
On your Rye Pale Ales:

Sounds like you brewed up 10 gallons all in one go, correct? And then, did you fill your fermenters one after the other? So the first half of the kettle into one fermenter, and the second half into the other?

When brewing with two different friends, I've used two different approaches in this kind of situation, both to good results that have left both fermenters pretty consistent:

1) Where only one ball valve was available on the kettle, we filled one fermenter roughly halfway, then filled the second fermenter all the way, then finished filling the first fermenter. We seemed to kind of get around any stratification that was happening in the kettle in this way, and our finished beers came out very very similarly.

2) Another guy uses a pretty unique (well, in my experience) whirlpooling setup that involved two ball valves at the base of his keggle. This one's easy - fill both fermenters simultaneously, and they both stay very consistent with eachother. Our finished beers came out dang near identically.

For all I know, you used an approach like one of these - just thought I'd share for anyone else reading along...
Thanks and yeah that is what I did. My guess is the one from the top of the kettle will be much better than the one from the bottom of the kettle, but I haven't done this before so what do I know.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:52 PM   #7
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Another idea you can use is, once everything is fermented out, try blending both fermenters together prior to packaging to get them consistent. That, or keep them separate just to see how much different they really do come out. Either way, you learn something!

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #8
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The fun thing about splitting batches for fermentation is that you can use 2 different yeasts, maybe a White labs vs. Wyeast experiment. That way you get a really good idea of just how much the yeast contributes to flavor.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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Absolutely - but if the wort going into the fermenters is significantly different from stratification, then it kind of invalidates such experimentation, which is why I made the couple of suggestions for how to get around such problems.

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Old 03-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #10
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When I use extract, I recirculate with a March pump during the chiller stage to get good mixing. You can also use a stir paddle on an electric drill motor....like a grout mixer

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