South African Skeptics

Brewing

Online 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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Online 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.
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Online 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.
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


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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Online 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]

Quote
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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