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Old 08-05-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
amh0001
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Default Many Questions: Mini Mash, Yeast Cakes....

Hello all,

First of all I just want to thank everyone on this site, it is fantastic and full of great info/people.

I'm a new brewer, and have been sticking to extract batches. I recently brewed BMs Cenentennial Blonde Extract Version. I was planning my next partial batch to be Ed's Haus Pale ale.

I want to know if i can do his mini mash instructions, except i dont have a working oven to store it at 150. Can I follow Deathbreweres instructions for his mini mashes?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

Next,

I've never done a "yeast cake" Do i just pour the cooled wort on top of the yeast cake from the Cenentennial Blonde? (They are both Nottingham yeast) Also i used pellet hops un filtered so there will be some left over in the yeast cake. Wondering if that will affect flavor.

Lastly,

I dont have equipment enough to do the full 5gal boils. Ive been doing standard 1.5. Should i adjust my hop times? I've read i can keep the color lighter by adding DME later in the boil. If so, when and how much?

Thanks again, and Cheers!
~Amh

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Old 08-05-2009, 09:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amh0001 View Post
I've never done a "yeast cake" Do i just pour the cooled wort on top of the yeast cake from the Cenentennial Blonde? (They are both Nottingham yeast) Also i used pellet hops un filtered so there will be some left over in the yeast cake. Wondering if that will affect flavor.


Thanks again, and Cheers!
~Amh
I don't mini mash or do partial boils, so I leave those to someone else.

As for the yeast, yes you can use the same carboy, and put the new wort on top. But I prefer to use a new clean carboy. Once the beer is removed from the other one, I just flame the opening with a small torch (or lighter) to make sure it's clean, and then Ill pour the yeast out into my other beer. This also allows you to make sure you pitch only once the beer as at the right temperature, which it might not be coming out of the kettle.

The pellet hops will affect taste, but very slightly so. You should see the threads on "Yeast Washing" about this. Though it isn't a major concern.

Also, if it's Nottingham, I would just pitch new yeast, as it's so cheap. But you can repitch if you like.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:39 PM   #3
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I think DeathBrewers system would work well for you. I've stated washing and saving my yeast cakes for future uses. Some will say that it's not cost effective to wash a dry yeast such as Nottingham. Nottingham is fairly inexpensive. I live in an area where everything is mail order, so I do wash and save my dry yeasts.

Plus, I'm pretty sure that I'm pitching more yeast cells with washed yeast, than what comes in a packet.

See the sticky regarding yeast washing. I use a Sun Tea gallon dispenser, and it's great for decanting just the yeast into sanitized pint (or half pint) jars.

Don't know about the hops, but you'll get a great response here.

Welcome to the best forum regarding Home Brew. Now go bury your credit card 6' down in your back yard. This hobby is addicting.

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amh0001 View Post

I dont have equipment enough to do the full 5gal boils. Ive been doing standard 1.5.
How big is your kettle?How many gallons?
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:56 PM   #5
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1.5 gallons is a really concentrated boil. Before doing anything else, I'd make it your priority to upgrade your boil capacity to 3+ gallons, if not a full boil. It'll make a significant difference.

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Old 08-06-2009, 12:06 AM   #6
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I much agree with the previous poster: get a bigger pot to boil in! It'll make a huge difference. 1.5 is just too small. If you look around a little bit, you can get a cheap 5 gallon kettle on Ebay for less than $20.

I pretty much use DB's partial mash exclusively now, and I highly recommend it. It's a great way to start learning the ins and outs of brewing (hitting temps, mashing, etc) without having to spend a ton of money on equipment. I generally mash about 7 lbs of grain for each brew now. I use a 5-gallon kettle, and with Fermcap I can boil about 4.5 gallons to start. It's taken me a little while to get the technique right, but I'm starting to make some pretty awesome brews, IMO.

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Old 08-06-2009, 12:31 AM   #7
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Wow! Thank you all for the swift responses!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clean View Post
How big is your kettle?How many gallons?
I have an aluminum kettle. I think its about 4-5 gallons filled to the brim. The reason I do 1.5 is I have been following the directions that come with the extract kits from NBrewer. I'm not too sure about scaling hops according to boil size. Also, my stove is electric and takes forever to get boiling. I think I will try upping the boil size with my next batch. (Any input on this?)

As far as the yeast cake goes, I was under the impression it would produce a better product. But from what it seems, I think I'm going to stick with a fresh pack each time.

Cheers,
~Amh
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:47 AM   #8
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Boil as much as you can - with foam control you can do up to about 4.5 gallons easily, without foam control I've done up to 4.25, but it was tough, and my wife got pretty pissed the one time I had a boilover. A boil of about 3.5 gallons is pretty safe. If you have trouble getting to a boil, there are lots of good ideas here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/impr...tovetop-53683/

You don't really have to worry about hop adjustment if you do late extract addition. I usually add about 1/4-1/3 of whatever extract I'm using at the beginning of the boil, and the rest about 15 minutes from the end.

And I personally wouldn't worry about pitching onto a yeast cake yet. Just buy a new package of dry yeast, hydrate and pitch. Dry yeast is cheap, and it's one less thing you have to worry about. It's good to get a consistent technique down before modifying it, IMO.

Good luck!

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