Issues with the process

Lagering methods and times

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Techbrau
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Techbrau » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:30 am

This beer is about 4 weeks into lagering, poured from the same keg it was spunded in. A couple of my kegs have shortened dip tubes, a couple don't - I don't remember which this was.

85% pilsner + 10% munich light + 5% carahell
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lupulus
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby lupulus » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:39 am

I am afraid to admit that I cheat. I pick up from the top of the keg.

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Cavpilot2000
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Cavpilot2000 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:59 am

lupulus wrote:I am afraid to admit that I cheat. I pick up from the top of the keg.

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I've been considering on of those Clear Draft gizmos.
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Ancient Abbey
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Ancient Abbey » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:20 am

Cavpilot2000 wrote:My dip tubes suck so much yeast sediment, my first pils was still sucking sediment when it kicked.

How cold are you lagering? I've not ever had this experience. Lager yeast generally forms a very solid, sticky mass after lagering as close to 0C as possible.

Cavpilot2000 wrote:Then again, what re you using as your primary?

Brewbucket. I am not able to dump yeast or trub.

Cavpilot2000 wrote:Any tips?

Not trying to dismiss you question, but most of our tips and tricks are already posted on this forum. I will say that time, temperature and extract play a big role in when yeast start to flocculate. In general, when the nutrient and sugar reach low levels, yeast begin preparing for dormancy. Combine this with reducing temperatures, and you can get yeast to prematurely flocculate, of course this is very strain dependent. With this, you should be able to formulate a process that will work for your brewing style that will flocculate most of the yeast before you transfer to spunden.

The other thing is that you only need enough extract to feed yeast to consume (at maximum) 10 mg/L of oxygen when you go to the spunding keg. That is, unless you want to fully carbonate your beer during spunding. If you are not averse to forced carbonation and simple sugars, then you can begin dropping the fermentation temperature and let it go to terminal gravity in the fermenter and transfer relatively clear beer to the spunden keg with 1 gram of sugar (pre-dissolved in a pressure cooker is best). There is enough yeast still in solution to scarf up this simple sugar and consume any oxygen that you may have picked up.

Of course, having another beer in the pipeline is best, then you can simply pull off 100ml and krausen the beer you are transferring to spunden. An easier trick is to pull off 100 ml of yeast during primary (like a FF test) and save that yeast. Then, add the 5% solution of sucrose (or speise, DME, etc) to the yeast, let it rouse, then add that to the beer when transferring to the spunding vessel. Voila, you have a simple krausening method.
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Cavpilot2000
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Cavpilot2000 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:51 am

Ancient Abbey wrote:
Cavpilot2000 wrote:My dip tubes suck so much yeast sediment, my first pils was still sucking sediment when it kicked.

How cold are you lagering? I've not ever had this experience. Lager yeast generally forms a very solid, sticky mass after lagering as close to 0C as possible.

Also very close to 0, but part of my problem is that I haven't been good about giving them adequate time - I keep sampling and shuffling the kegs around and disturbing the sediment. That first Pils wasn't a great example, because I kept drinking it without letting it settle. What I'm referring to as sucking a ton of sediment is when pulling from the primary. I pull so much from the primary(keg w/full-length dip tube) that my yeast layer is up to the dip tube level or beyond in the secondary. I just shortened my dip tubes by half an inch, so that should help.

Ancient Abbey wrote:
Cavpilot2000 wrote:Then again, what re you using as your primary?

Brewbucket. I am not able to dump yeast or trub.

I am considering a Brewbucket too - the rotating racking arm would alleviate much of this problem I am having of dip tubes pulling too much sediment.

Ancient Abbey wrote:
Cavpilot2000 wrote:Any tips?

Not trying to dismiss you question, but most of our tips and tricks are already posted on this forum. I will say that time, temperature and extract play a big role in when yeast start to flocculate. In general, when the nutrient and sugar reach low levels, yeast begin preparing for dormancy. Combine this with reducing temperatures, and you can get yeast to prematurely flocculate, of course this is very strain dependent. With this, you should be able to formulate a process that will work for your brewing style that will flocculate most of the yeast before you transfer to spunden.


I think part of my problem has been that I have been getting less-than-ideal attenutation, which has been postulated as related to too low a beta rest temp (145) for the current crop of grain. As a result, I haven't been sticking to the full cold fermentation profile and have been instead keeping it warmer to try to get better attenuation. As a result, I'm not getting the pre-floc you refer to.
I am continually adjusting process to try to nail it down. I've done 3 lagers (2 Pils and 1 Amber Kellerbier) and one ale (American Wheat) Low O2, and I am getting better results each time as I refine my process with the equipment I have. I've got the hot side stuff down , now the cold side is giving me issues, particularly with regard to sediment.
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lupulus
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby lupulus » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:22 pm

[/quote]
I think part of my problem has been that I have been getting less-than-ideal attenuation, which has been postulated as related to too low a beta rest temp (145) for the current crop of grain.[/quote]

Small correction to help less technical readers. Beta-amylase of any crop will work great at 145F; but if the gelatinization temp of many of your grains is above 145F, you can fail to get some carbs in contact with beta-amylase. You may then go to your alpha rest and get complete gelatinization but at that temperature, you denature beta amylase and get the "less than ideal attenuation".

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Weizenberg
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Weizenberg » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:30 pm

One thing I observed is that home-brewers always appear to find fault with their mash before investigating their fermentation. Why?
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Weizenberg
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Weizenberg » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:32 pm

lupulus wrote:

I think part of my problem has been that I have been getting less-than-ideal attenuation, which has been postulated as related to too low a beta rest temp (145) for the current crop of grain.[/quote]

Small correction to help less technical readers. Beta-amylase of any crop will work great at 145F; but if the gelatinization temp of many of your grains is above 145F, you can fail to get some carbs in contact with beta-amylase. You may then go to your alpha rest and get complete gelatinization but at that temperature, you denature beta amylase and get the "less than ideal attenuation".

Cheers,[/quote]

Yep. The trick here is to step the maltose rest, like Narziss illustrated so aptly in Abriss V8.
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby caedus » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:48 pm

Cavpilot... try jumping it to another keg. I had the same issue with yeast pick up and it was a real pain in the ass. I jumped it to other kegs and within a week it cleared up nicely and tastes great.

Also keep in mind, a shit load of yeast in suspension does throw off your hydrometer readings. We are only talking a small amount, but still worth noting. Weizen is right in the fact that we really should be looking at your fermentation moreso than anything, I have kept to a 142/159 step mashing regime if not a 152 single infusion, and had no issues with attenuation this year. We are probably using the same crop of malt.
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Re: Issues with the process

Postby Cavpilot2000 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:22 pm

Weizenberg wrote:One thing I observed is that home-brewers always appear to find fault with their mash before investigating their fermentation. Why?

Well, in this case, a fermentation profile that has worked for dozens of batches failed to achieve the desired gravity. A cold ramp-down fermentation profile, or even a fast-ferment profile are fine, but fermenting at a steady 50 F until about 80% apparent attenuation then a gradual ramp up is a tried and true method. There is no reason whatsoever that an adequate volume, oxygenated yeast pitch shouldn't reach terminal gravity under those conditions. There was no thermal shock, no excessively cold temperatures, nothing unusual about the fermentation that shouldn't have yielded the same results of dozens of similar fermentations before it. So logic dictates that the fermentation itself is unlikely to be the problem, and there is likely something else afoot.
Is it possible something went wrong with the fermentation? Sure. Is that the logical first place to look when repeating a reliable, proven fermentation profile that fails to achieve heretofore clockwork-like success? No.
That's why I'm looking at other causes.

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