Musings of a Noobie - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Musings of a Noobie

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-07-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
Bones1948
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Fredericksburg, TX
Posts: 50


Some of my observations as I stumbled through 3 batches. Some data by trial and error, some from reading contemporary literature. Some of the data may be helpful to all Noobs.

Yeasts are temperature sensitive. If a kit comes with a certain strain of yeast and the instructions specify a temperature range for fermentation then stick with that range otherwise run the risk of slow fermentation or stuck fermentation or if too high a fermentation temp. creating off flavors, fusel alcohols, etc.

Slowly add the hops. Dumping them in creates a volcanic disruption and over flow of foam onto the stove. Wife will slap you silly.

Cooling. For kit users: I use large amounts of ice in an ice bath in the kitchen sink. I think a wort chiller for cooling 3 gallons of wort is not necessary. When the 3 gallons of hot wort get down to ~90-95 degrees I dump it into the primary fermenter then add the final 2 gallons of cold spring water that had been in the 'fridge for a few days. During cool down is a great time to oxygenate using a large chef's whisk.

Oxygenate, Oxygenate, OYGENATE. During the initial rapid bubbling the yeasties are utilizing AEROBIC (with oxygen) respiration getting 15 times more energy from a sugar molecule if they use oxygen. This is when the yeasts are growing and multiplying. No alcohol is produced during aerobic respiration. An initial low oxygen level after pitching denies the very nutrient they need to multiply thus limiting the number of bugs that will ultimately create the ethanol in the anaerobic phase. This can be a major reason one does not attain the predicted final gravity because yeast die after a while and when the yeast population plummets the amount of alcohol being produced is greatly diminished thus creating a "stuck" fermentation. Infusing medical grade oxygen through a fish tank aerator stone allows ample oxygen for the yeast to multiply in the numbers needed to attain the predicted final specific gravity. If simply shaking it certainly one can adequately oxygenate but remember to shake it vigorously for many minutes. If one does not use the oxygen infuser aerator process I recommend vigorously thrashing the surface of the wort with a sanitized chef's whisk, a big one. This can be done while the wort is cooling and afterward in the primary fermenter before and after pitching. If pitching dry yeast into the wort a whisk is mandatory to break up all the yeast clots. You will not hurt the yeast with the whisk.

After all the oxygen is used up the yeasts go into ANAEROBIC (without oxygen) respiration. Yeast produce alcohol during this anaerobic respiration. One molecule of CO2 is produced for each molecule of ethanol produced so just because you don't see active bubbling do not assume the yeasts have quit producing ethanol; they are producing ethanol but not nearly as much CO2 as in the aerobic phase.

The reason for racking into a secondary fermenter is to remove the beer from the trub which contains all sorts of crud including dead and dying yeast. By a process called autolysis the yeasts begin digesting themselves thus forming all sorts of by products which can taint the flavor of the finished product beer. The perfect analogy is grinding-up the whole cow, guts and all, to make your hamburger meat.

If one uses a conical fermenter begin dumping trub ~12 hours after pitching because the sediment will become very thick after a day or 2, the consistency of mason's mortar, and you'll never get it out. Dump daily for a few days to get all the settled-out proteins and hops that would form the thick goo.

I sanitize with Everclear (95% alcohol/5% water) using a 99 cent mist bottle bought at a Dollar store or Walley-World. Mist all surfaces of your clean, dry equipment. Pour some into your fermenters and swish, also your bottles or kegs. Dump what remains back into the Everclear bottle for future use. The Everclear residue (what has not evaporated) on the equipment will not affect fermentation or taste of the finished product. Everclear instantly kills any micro-organism on planet earth.

I hope this is helpful to one and all.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
unionrdr
Heavyweight homebrewing author
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,903
Liked 3670 Times on 3154 Posts


Not bad at all,but some of that reading material is out dated info. The yeast are,for the most part,going dormant when they settle out,not dying. If they were dying,we'd never be able to wash & re-use the yeasties. That autolysis thing has been,for the most part,refuted on here. Even the authors have changed some parts of their books to reflect new findings,many from us on here.
Some cells may be dying off,but they're in the minority from what I see & hear. Keeping them in their comfort zone temp wise is def a good thing for cleaner flavors.
I never got massive foam overs from adding hops. Pellets,raw,loose,or bagged. A little foam,but just enough to cover the surface around the edges of the boil. I always wait for any hot break to subside before adding them,as it only lasts 3 minutes or so.
I chill my wort down to pitch temp myself,65-70F in an ice bath in the kitchen sink. Put the covered BK in the sink,fill empty space with water for a couple minutes to take some of the initial heat off. Drain,then fill empty space to the top with ice,then top that off with cold water. It gets down to said temps in 20 minutes. This method gives little or no chill haze.
And I prefer to sanitize with starsan,which is a phosphric acid solution that's food safe in the prioper dilution. Hope this helps a little,as they're from my own experiencesAlso,I place a fine mesh strainer over the open FV to pour the chilled wort & top off water through. It not only gets the lil bits of funk out,but aerates it nicely too. Then stir roughly for 5 minutes straight to further aerate it,& get the wort/top off water mixed well. Gives more accurate OG readings that way,ime.
__________________
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PBAP6JO
Distopian Sci-Fi- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NTA0L6G
New! John Henry- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GBV3UXU

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
Bones1948
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Fredericksburg, TX
Posts: 50

I like the rationale of the dormant yeast. Would that be the brownish goo coming out the bottom dump of my Blichmann after the solids had been purged? I'll dump a tiny bit and add some sugar to see if it bubbles and if it does then the obvious is obvious.

Also like the fine mesh strainer idea. I thought of it earlier but was concerned about removing the particulates fearing the particulates were imperative ingredients in the initial ferment. Off to the Kitchen Shop to get one hopefully which with it's handle would sit nicely on the rim of Blichmann without falling in.

Boil over with dumping hop? I never had a problem either until I dumped a measly 1/2 ounce of Saaz pellets into the pot and you'd think I'd tossed in a hand grenade.

Thanks for the tips. I'm racking a Schwarzbier into secondary tomorrow to free up primary fermenter for a Trappist Dopplebock so will use the strainer technique.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
unionrdr
Heavyweight homebrewing author
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,903
Liked 3670 Times on 3154 Posts


The slightly darker brown goo is trub,IE yeast poop. The light cream colored stuff on top of that is the yeast. & the fine mesh strainer over the FV bit doesn't remove anything needed for fermentation. It does make for less total trub on the bottom of the fv. More clear beer into the bottling bucket for me.
Remember to get past the hot break before starting hop additions. This minimalizes the foaming during hop additions,ime.
__________________
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PBAP6JO
Distopian Sci-Fi- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NTA0L6G
New! John Henry- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GBV3UXU

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
Bones1948
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Fredericksburg, TX
Posts: 50

I've re-visited the live yeast at the bottom of the fermentor. When I waded through the literature I incorrectly assumed the yeast at the bottom of the fermenter were dead but in reality they are not. By the process called 'floculation' the large protein molecules in the wort stick to the yeast cells causing the yeast cells to fall (precipitate) to the bottom. Yeast is still alive but cannot suspend in the wort because of the attached heavy protein molecules. The live yeasts on the bottom are viable but by the mere fact they ARE on the bottom they are not well exposed to the wort sugars in order to make ethanol so they are in all respects removed from the fermentation process. Looking past that one can readily acknowledge the imperative of properly oxygenating the wort to facilitate the yeasts multiplication and healthy growth during aerobic respiration in numbers necessary to achieve the predicted final gravity. A too small a population of yeasties will never get you to predicted final gravity because too many of them are laying in the bottom goo of the fermenter, thus, a stuck ferment.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #6
MuchoGusto
Recipes 
 
Aug 2011
Brownwood, Texas
Posts: 167
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones1948 View Post
I've re-visited the live yeast at the bottom of the fermentor. When I waded through the literature I incorrectly assumed the yeast at the bottom of the fermenter were dead but in reality they are not. ...
The best description of the life cycle of yeast and its different phases is described by Dr. Chris White of White Labs at the following link... http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/Yeast_Life_Cycle.pdf

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
Bones1948
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Fredericksburg, TX
Posts: 50

Today I purged some more darker brown yeast poop from my Blichmann and tasted it. YUK! This goes a long way for justifying racking into a secondary fermenter.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #8
cherokee180c
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Posts: 25

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuchoGusto

The best description of the life cycle of yeast and its different phases is described by Dr. Chris White of White Labs at the following link... http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/Yeast_Life_Cycle.pdf
Great link, Thanks.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
unionrdr
Heavyweight homebrewing author
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,903
Liked 3670 Times on 3154 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones1948 View Post
Today I purged some more darker brown yeast poop from my Blichmann and tasted it. YUK! This goes a long way for justifying racking into a secondary fermenter.
Not really,no. The trub (poop) is all the way on the bottom. The yeast sits on top of that,& gets more compacted over time. So the yeast layer seals the lower trub layer away from the beer. That's why longer primaries work.
__________________
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PBAP6JO
Distopian Sci-Fi- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NTA0L6G
New! John Henry- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GBV3UXU

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another noobie overreaction? minus Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 08-21-2009 10:26 PM
Noobie question ruggierm1 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 04-29-2009 03:21 PM
noobie fart docmoran Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 04-08-2009 05:24 PM
A few noobie questions EddieWess Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 15 01-20-2009 12:19 PM
Noobie wants to know........ june82000 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 02-02-2006 12:53 PM


Forum Jump