South African Skeptics

Brewing

Offline Rigil Kent

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There has been some speculation over the efficacy of instant bakers yeast in producing ethanol elsewhere on these pages. So I'm reporting my results here for what its worth.

2020-04-13

Mixed the following:

10L clarified "sour mash", i.e. that what was left in the kettle from a previous distillation without the nasty bits that gravitated out.
2 L  bottled water.
2.5 kg cane sugar.
Pinch of Nutrifeed (horticultural/hydroponic salts)
Pinch of MgSO4
Vit B tablet
Teaspoon of NaHCO3 as buffer
10g (one packet) of instant yeast.

I've measured the SG using a 10ml A grade pipette and a jewellery scale, and found the fresh mix to be 1.082 kg/L.

2020-04-26

Two weeks hence, the SG measures 1.022 kg/L. The decrease in density is presumably due to the conversion of the sugar into C02 and ethanol via separate metabolic pathways. According to this nifty calculator, I can expect around 7.9% alcohol based on the SG measurements.

I'll let the mash sit for another day or three until the fizzing peters out. Once distilled, I'll update this thread with some more numbers to see if the yield was as predicted.
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Offline brianvds

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Not too clear what the "sour mash" is, and all those other arcane ingredients I do not currently have access to. I'm told a teaspoon of Marmite works well as food for the yeast. Someone also told me one should add sugar every day or two, and stir the mixture. I tried that because I think I may have started with too little sugar. I didn't actually measure it; just guestimated a cup or cup and a half per two liters of water, and then added half a packet of yeast. With that mix, after four days or so, the fermentation pretty much stopped.

The resultant drink is quite delicious, particularly when chilled, with a sweet-sour taste. But no bubbles remaining, and it doesn't taste of alcohol. After a few glasses it seems to have a relaxing effect, which is why I estimate the alcohol content at no more than two percent or so, but also not zero. Given that fermentation produces alcohol, and much of the sweet taste of the original is gone, there surely must be some alcohol in there.

Now with a new batch I have managed to extend the fermentation to five days by adding some sugar and turning the bottle end over end to mix two times a day or so. I'll taste it this evening and see if there's any difference.


Offline Rigil Kent

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I'm told a teaspoon of Marmite works well as food for the yeast.
That makes perfect sense. What is Marmite if not hydrolysed yeast parts? You're probably giving them a scrapyard full of amino acids in the right ratio.
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Offline brianvds

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I'm told a teaspoon of Marmite works well as food for the yeast.
That makes perfect sense. What is Marmite if not hydrolysed yeast parts? You're probably giving them a scrapyard full of amino acids in the right ratio.

Well, the new batch did not taste much different from the previous one. Perhaps a bit too sweet; I think not all the sugars were converted. But once again with a certain relaxing effect. I'll keep at it and see what happens.


Offline BoogieMonster

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I have an experiment, bound to fail, but I'm having a go nonetheless...

Mead: Honey, water, some tea, handful of raisins (chopped). That's it, No yeast added. Amounts to just over a gallon. OG: 1.085

I put it in a cool dark place day 1 (Saturday) but found it too cold (got down to 10C). Moved to a more room temperature spot, I guess summer's over. I'm expecting the start of fermentation to take a while.

Fermenting foods I've had much luck this way, but I'm worried, so we'll see how this works out. Will let ya'll know. (Although time-to-drink for mead is months, but I hope at least to have fermentation in about a week).
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Rigil Kent

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Here are the results of the distillation based on the ferment described in he OP. Seems that one can achieve around 10% ethanol with instant bakers yeast.

Fraction ID   Volume(ml)   %ABW    Et-OH (g)
Head                  60            60            36
Heart A          1 000           55           550
Heart B          1 000           48           480
Tail                 2 000           28           560
Previous tail added to still               -400
Total out                                         1226
Ferment        12 000        10.2   

However, from the video linked to by brianvds elsewhere, it may be that the concern with bakers yeast is not so much if it will produce alcohol, but rather its effect on the taste of the beverage. I've grabbed a punnet of red and white grapes during my balls-to-the-wall shopping excursion yesterday. Will see if its possible to get an auto ferment going, as in the video.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 11:08:13 am by Rigil Kent »
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Offline brianvds

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Here are the results of the distillation based on the ferment described in he OP. Seems that one can achieve around 10% ethanol with instant bakers yeast.

Not me though. After five days the fermentation stops, whatever I do, with no appreciable alcohol in the brew. Mind you, I did notice something strange yesterday. Because there is very little in the way of sediment, I don't mind drinking the brew to the last dregs, and when I drank those I suddenly noticed a very strong taste of alcohol. Apparently all the alcohol goes to sit in the bottom of the container. And this might explain why I'm having trouble: the yeast sinks to the bottom, where it produces a high level of alcohol that ends up killing it. But the higher layers of the brew remain largely alcohol-free.

It might work better if I regularly mix the brew. Next time I'll add a bit of Marmite to feed the yeast, and make a point of mixing every hour or two.


Offline Rigil Kent

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It might work better if I regularly mix the brew. Next time I'll add a bit of Marmite to feed the yeast, and make a point of mixing every hour or two.
I did give it a stir every day, yes. Although strictly speaking one shouldn't let air in if I understand the authorities correctly. And you know the distiller is a seasoned authority if his name carries the appellation "Oom".  
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Offline brianvds

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It might work better if I regularly mix the brew. Next time I'll add a bit of Marmite to feed the yeast, and make a point of mixing every hour or two.
I did give it a stir every day, yes. Although strictly speaking one shouldn't let air in if I understand the authorities correctly. And you know the distiller is a seasoned authority if his name carries the appellation "Oom".   

Well, I use 2L Coke bottles, which do not let all that much air in to begin with. Anyway, I'll try it out and see. Even with little alcohol, I find the resulting drink quite delicious.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Fermenting foods I've had much luck this way, but I'm worried, so we'll see how this works out. Will let ya'll know. (Although time-to-drink for mead is months, but I hope at least to have fermentation in about a week).

It didn't work out that way. Nothing BAD happened to it but it never got fermenting. I'd had a go with some grapes too but also naught. So I added some baker's yeast to the grape juice. Within about a day it was producing CO2, so I pitched a spot of the grape juice into the mead. Now it's bubbling away happily. There was maybe 1 spot of gunkyness on the surface when I found it but I scooped it out and hopefully the ferment will keep stuff from getting worse. "We shall see".

In the meantime I've started a 10l batch of pineapple brew too: I still have booze but it won't last forever, so, why not?

I'm honestly enjoying this. I may have to acquire some copper tube if things keep going like this...
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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I think I have been using too little sugar. Yesterday I did something I should have done to begin with: took a sip of my sugar solution before adding yeast. And it struck me as rather bland. For the next batch I'll start with much more sugar. I also accidentally added more yeast than usual, and after an hour the thing was positively boiling, with foam pushing out of the bottle. SO perhaps one should also add more yeast?

Don't know, but I'll try that out with the next batch: much more sugar and perhaps a whole 10 g packet of yeast per bottle, rather than only half.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Don't know, but I'll try that out with the next batch: much more sugar and perhaps a whole 10 g packet of yeast per bottle, rather than only half.

I think it's the sugar. I doubt you need a whole 10g of yeast per 2l bottle. I use half of that on 10l batches.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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Don't know, but I'll try that out with the next batch: much more sugar and perhaps a whole 10 g packet of yeast per bottle, rather than only half.

I think it's the sugar. I doubt you need a whole 10g of yeast per 2l bottle. I use half of that on 10l batches.

I ended up using perhaps 3/4 of a packet, on a solution containing much more sugar. Judged by the amount of bubbling, thus far it is making little difference. I am increasingly of the opinion that baker's yeast will simply not yield more than 2% alcohol or thereabouts, and those who say differently are fooling themselves. :-)


Offline BoogieMonster

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You're not trying to make a Jacuzzi: It should bubble away slowly for a longer time... Not more vigorously. This is why I thought adding more yeast is probably a waste of time. The yeast makes alcohol out of sugars: The more sugar, the more potential for alcohol. No sugar, lots of yeast = no alcohol. Lots of sugar, little bit of yeast = alcohol (yeast multiplies, sugar does not).

Be that as it may, I don't have an OG for the pineapple beverage as I reckoned a lot of the sugar isn't in dissolved form anyway. Luckily for the mead I do, when fermentation slows down I'll take another measurement and can then take a guess at the alcohol content.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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You're not trying to make a Jacuzzi: It should bubble away slowly for a longer time... Not more vigorously. This is why I thought adding more yeast is probably a waste of time. The yeast makes alcohol out of sugars: The more sugar, the more potential for alcohol. No sugar, lots of yeast = no alcohol. Lots of sugar, little bit of yeast = alcohol (yeast multiplies, sugar does not).

Be that as it may, I don't have an OG for the pineapple beverage as I reckoned a lot of the sugar isn't in dissolved form anyway. Luckily for the mead I do, when fermentation slows down I'll take another measurement and can then take a guess at the alcohol content.

Well, I'll have to see how long this one will keep on bubbling. Thus far, around day five, the bubbling pretty much stopped, with very little alcohol present. Adding sugar and regularly stirring seems not to make any difference.


Offline BoogieMonster

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"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Rigil Kent

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Oooo .... nice. Posh yeast once again available to us mortals.

My brother in law in the western cape makes use of this supplier. He's been swept up in the hobby for a few years now. Makes a pretty decent stout.
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Offline BoogieMonster

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I have seen videos on YT about harvesting yeast post-ferment and storing it. People of the prepper mindset may choose to perpetuate instead of sourcing going forward.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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I have seen videos on YT about harvesting yeast post-ferment and storing it. People of the prepper mindset may choose to perpetuate instead of sourcing going forward.

Yes, the products from that Cape Town company are rather on the expensive side.

In the meantime, someone online told me he is mystified by my report of my fermentation just stopping after five days. But he thinks that conceivably the magic ingredient might be raisins. Well, I'll give it a try if and when I can get hold of raisins...


Offline BoogieMonster

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Probably a stupid question but is it receiving sunlight?
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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Probably a stupid question but is it receiving sunlight?

Nope. Should it? Surely not?


Offline BoogieMonster

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No, I wrap mine so it gets none.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline BoogieMonster

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[...] I pitched a spot of the grape juice into the mead. Now it's bubbling away happily. There was maybe 1 spot of gunkyness on the surface when I found it but I scooped it out and hopefully the ferment will keep stuff from getting worse. "We shall see".

In the meantime I've started a 10l batch of pineapple brew too [...]

It is now 10d later. The baker's yeast is still fermenting the Mead quite well. Just bubbling away in it's slow, gradual style it has been thusfar. Any nastyness that could've been there has completely disappeared. There was some "Krausen", but at this point it's all gone and all that remains is the ring it made on the grass and thin, light, white foam being formed by the rest of the fermentation. There's lees forming on the bottom and very, very gradually it seems like the liquid is lightening, but it's still fairly opaque. Then again clarification is only likely to happen a month+ in, if at all.

The pineapple brew seems to be slowing significantly in fermentation now but the bits of fruit bobbing at the top seem to be still fermenting furiously so: I surmise there's not enough alcohol yet to kill the yeast, but the main "body" of the fluid is probably out of sugar. I may add more to help maximise alcohol content until fermentation does stop completely. (I did make up the recipe on the fly so... it's entirely possible). A quick taste test didn't yield an at-all bad drink. Perhaps lacking a bit in flavour, and in need of chilling. I'm considering bottling it (eventually) with a bit of sugar for natural carbonation. That combined with a chill should yield something quite nice.

(Warm beer tastes crappy for a reason, the cold changes our ability to taste certain unwanted flavors)
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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Me, I have kind of given up on high alcohol brew - I'm not that desperate for it anyway. I have now tried more or less anything and everything I could think of. Lots of sugar, little sugar, start with a little and add more, teaspoon of Marmite, regularly stir, don't regularly stir, whatever. The result is invariably the same: after five days the fermentation mostly stops, resulting in a pleasant but very mildly alcoholic drink.


Offline Rigil Kent

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Got a 5kg bag of grain from the bird feed section at the local co-op. Since I don't have any hops, I thought it may be a good idea to try and make some whiskey. I'm busy malting the grain at the moment, which is kind of fun. Even more fun was replicating successfully the harvesting of wild yeast from grapes, as in the video linked to by brianvds earlier. I intend using this wild yeast in my grain ferment. So hopefully it will come together nicely. Unfortunately whiskey has to sit around with a block of wood in it for a few months, and then mellow for another year. :( So it should just about be drinkable when this lock down ends.

I can barley wait.
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Offline brianvds

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Got a 5kg bag of grain from the bird feed section at the local co-op. Since I don't have any hops, I thought it may be a good idea to try and make some whiskey. I'm busy malting the grain at the moment, which is kind of fun. Even more fun was replicating successfully the harvesting of wild yeast from grapes, as in the video linked to by brianvds earlier. I intend using this wild yeast in my grain ferment. So hopefully it will come together nicely. Unfortunately whiskey has to sit around with a block of wood in it for a few months, and then mellow for another year. :( So it should just about be drinkable when this lock down ends.

I can barley wait.

Just way too much work, for way too little product. Well, if you're lazy like me.

I'm kind of happy with the brew I now make. Not very strong, but enough to make me mellow. My landlady has tried some. She thinks there is more alcohol in it than I think. Who knows? I have no way to measure it.


Offline Rigil Kent

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She thinks there is more alcohol in it than I think. Who knows? I have no way to measure it.
Perhaps you can use your landlady as gauge.

I've also learned that at the start of the ferment the yeast, a facultative anaerobe, needs oxygen to get its population going. So some frequent agitation is useful in the beginning, until it goes into the fermentative stage.
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Offline brianvds

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She thinks there is more alcohol in it than I think. Who knows? I have no way to measure it.
Perhaps you can use your landlady as gauge.

I've also learned that at the start of the ferment the yeast, a facultative anaerobe, needs oxygen to get its population going. So some frequent agitation is useful in the beginning, until it goes into the fermentative stage.

I do my brew in 2 L plastic bottles, with the caps not quite tightly screwed on, so there are probably limits to how much fresh air gets in there...


Offline BoogieMonster

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FWIW: I did end up with not-bad pineapple beer. But wanted to see how good I could get it, thus "racking" it into a bunch of 2l coke bottles, added sugar for carbonation and cold-crashed. After about a week racked again and put back in the fridge. This left me with a nice, cold, slightly carbonated (need more sugar) beautifully clear, pineappeley (shock), greenish-yellow drink. It's really not bad, has that familiar bitter aftertaste many beers have (lacking in hops... so... no idea why...), and gets a good buzz going for both me and the missus. In a world without legal alcohol, it'd totally liven up a party. BUT it's not actual beer...

I can barley wait.

I did spring for some grains and yeast (edit: and HOPS!) from the brew supply place, while we were still in the dark ages of Lvl 4. They had slim pickings where stock was concerned and I "got what I could" to make what will be "definitely beer": of not any style or recipe in particular other than "what Boogie could figure out are the rough rules for making a beer". Got to me in short order and I went ahead trying to make my first ever actual beer. The process is both fascinating in it's requirements for exactitude and planning, and really fun! AND THE SMELL!!! After brew day missus requested we do it again due to us shooting low on volume for the first batch... and so it was. Fermentation is just about done on the first batch, what I've tasted thusfar is really great, but I haven't had enough to make a call on alcohol level. The color is perfect, it really is "definitely beer", and I'm VERY chuffed about that. I'm expecting 4-5% ABV at the efficiency I achieved. The subsequent batch a tad more. Hoping to work on that..

I was able to, as stock has come in-and-out, been able to acquire more beer making (and bottling) essentials so batch 1 will soon be racked into bottles to carbonate. I can hardly contain my excitement.

Also, I threw some hard cider (apple juice + sugar) into a fermenter a while ago + beer yeast and do expect that to work out brilliantly also.

I'm hooked.

"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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I found that if I leave my simple sugar-plus-yeast brew for ten days instead of five, it does after all ferment a bit more, and ends up a bit more alcoholic too, though I doubt if it gets to more than 4% or thereabouts.

Now you can buy again, and my landlady got some bottles of wine. The other day I had a glass or two - and woke up the next morning with a splitting headache. I am clearly out of practice. But I concluded that the liquor industry produces stuff that is way too strong, probably deliberately to make it more addictive. Henceforth I'll only ever drink what I brew myself. I have a feeling lots of people are going to do the same, and the liquor industry has been dealt a permanent blow by the temporary ban. We'll have to see how the tobacco industry will come out of it.


Offline BoogieMonster

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I'm probably due an update:

My 1st beer, while lovely at first, has kindof an off-note I still can't place. I've read countless internet articles trying to describe off flavours but with no luck finding something that matches or makes sense. Finding the words to describe it is also not being very successful. It's distinct but also hard to describe. However, it gets you buzzing, and is not a bad beer. I just would love to know how to eliminate this one minor aspect of it. Because...

That note is still there in my 2nd batch, but is not as prevalent, making it a lovely, fruity, dark amber beer to drink... Frankly I love it, and it has a bit more punch than I'd expected. I'd say it's fairly par-for-the-beer-course, and after a draught-sized helping I get plenty tipsy. One thing it lacks is "head", though it is plenty fizzy. And, of course, still that feint off note I'd like to remove completely.. But a huge improvement. (Aging isn't helping on this particular one, but keep reading...)

Though I've now taken a different direction and am trying to produce a German Wheat beer. That effort is coming along nicely "at first taste".

As for the Pineapple brew, I still have some and it seems to be aging very well. It seems better every time I taste it, and any "wild" flavours that it had initially are waning. (I did make a ton of the stuff and seeing as I now have beers also... it's being neglected just enough)

I've kindof just left my Cider to age in a dark corner and at last taste I can say it's millimeters off from a traditional Savannah. Keen on bottling it soon.

Mead... Mead keeps bubbling but the gravity is still very high and it's still very sweet many months on.... I may re-pitch yeast in it soon.

What a great new hobby!

"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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Me, I decided it's easier to give up on drinking alcohol than to try achieving any appreciable alcohol content with baker's yeast. Yes, yes, I know, everyone easily gets 10%, but I can't work out how. Mine stubbornly refuses. It galls me to give in to bureaucratic rules like this, but there you go.

If I do ever attempt it again, I'm going to go for natural yeast from grapes.


Offline Rigil Kent

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Nice going Boogie! Or should I say, nice bru. (get it?)

My attempt at malting barley turned out a disaster - some lactobacillus took over where the yeast should have been, turning the whole pot hugely acidic. Alcohol content was negligible.  

But we persevere and I am now repeating the exercise using corn. Just started sprouting yesterday. The idea is to make whiskey from a green malt.
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Offline BoogieMonster

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Nice going Boogie! Or should I say, nice bru. (get it?)

Ja hey...

Quote
My attempt at malting barley turned out a disaster - some lactobacillus took over where the yeast should have been, turning the whole pot hugely acidic. Alcohol content was negligible.

But we persevere and I am now repeating the exercise using corn. Just started sprouting yesterday. The idea is to make whiskey from a green malt.

Do you still subject the mash to a boil?
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Rigil Kent

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Do you still subject the mash to a boil?
I'm going to let the 8kg corn sprout for maybe a week, then mill it wet and unkilned through a Kenwood. Then I'm going to add some water and
incubate the mash at 60 - 65 deg for an hour to try and persuade the starchy endosperm to turn sugary. Any hotter and the amylase may denature.
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Offline BoogieMonster

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Do you still subject the mash to a boil?
I'm going to let the 8kg corn sprout for maybe a week, then mill it wet and unkilned through a Kenwood. Then I'm going to add some water and
incubate the mash at 60 - 65 deg for an hour to try and persuade the starchy endosperm to turn sugary. Any hotter and the amylase may denature.

For beer you'd boil wort after the mashing (carb -> sugar) step to kill any (esp lacto) bacteria before you infuse with yeast. At that point denaturing the amylase is moot. However I guess in this case you're trying to utilise natural yeast already in the grain?
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Rigil Kent

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No not trying natural yeast again soon. I'll give it a good dose Pick n Pay yeast this time round. Will try boiling and then pitch once its cool to, say, 40deg.
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Offline Brian

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just some tips: The mashing in temp is critical to taste (long vs short sugar chains). For your low ABV beers, mash in at 61-63 C; for stronger ABV mash in at 78C, Leave mash in for 60 -90 minutes (keep temp constant). Boil wort for 60 minutes and add bittering hops at start of boil plus late hops at between 15-9 minutes before end of boil...(and here's the biggest mistake homebrewers make) drop wort temp from boil to about 24 C as quickly as possible (I do it in 2 seconds! via a 46 plate heat exchanger)...make sure your yeast is viable prior to pitching it and pitch in to wort at 24C or lower. For beers over 12%ABV you'll need champagne/turbo yeast.   
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Offline BoogieMonster

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I do it in 2 seconds!

Not something to brag about... ;)

Actually, depending on the volume you're talking about that's really, really impressive. I dunk my container with about 5l of wort into a cold bath (was winter, so I mean REALLY cold) and that cools it in about 12 minutes or so. I've yet to make myself a dedicated rig for this.

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make sure your yeast is viable prior to pitching

I've commenced doing "starters" (see spoiler) 24 hours before brewing and really prefer it now. It takes a little bit more planning but I really like how quick the fermentation goes. It's one of the ways I'm trying to address my off flavors...  jury still out.

[spoiler]When I say starter, I mean I quickly "brew" a small batch 24 hours in advance using dry malt extract and a short boil, add yeast nutrient, then try to infuse as much O₂ as I can over night to help the yeast multiply. It's tricky to keep this whole process sanitized, but I've been successful thusfar. [/spoiler]

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For beers over 12%ABV you'll need champagne/turbo yeast

I may try Kveik yeast at some point to see how quick it can be done, though as I understand it makes "acceptible" beer, not great beer.

[spoiler]Kveik yeast is a Norwegian strain that is known for being super aggressive, completing fermentation in "as little as 3-4 days" without some of the bad stuff that'd happen if you tried to ferment using other yeasts at the same pace (temperatures)[/spoiler]

"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Brian

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not bragging but the heat exchanger is awesome provided your cold water supply can cope....do about 1600 litres per brew. I pitch 500gms of yeast in to a 24C sample of the wort to get going...and then test the wort in the fermenter again after transfer to avoid yeast stress (shock from temp differences in sample vs wort). Remember that 95% (avg) of beer is H20...if your water is not quite what is needed you may get off-flavours coming through...lagers/pilsners need soft water (low in calcium and magnesium)vs ales that prefer hard water...so select your yeasts to suit the style of beer and the water....typical lager/pilsner yeast ferments at between 7-14C (longer fermentation times) while ale yeasts work at 16-24C (quicker fermentation). Filter water and test Ph and eliminate all chlorine. Home brew shops could advise and supply the right yeasts...also remember yeasts play a major role in the taste as well.
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Offline Brian

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BTW..someone complained abt higher ABV's...all you need to do is to increase the ratio of water to sugar...my start ratio is 1:2.5l water to kgs of malted barley. so a 4% beer will need half the kgs of malt of a 8% ABV. The highest ABV beer is Snake venom at 67.5% ABV vs whiskeys at abt 44% !!! Don't attempt to increase ABV by over dosing the priming sugar at bottling for secondary fermentation in the Btl...

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