Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to properly use dry yeast.

Dry yeast is sometimes overlooked and never thought of. Personally, I like liquid yeast, making a starter and using my homemade stir plate. However, as liquid yeast strains has grown, so has the dry yeast strains.

Recently, a bunch of us brewers did a large collaboration beer and the recipe given was to use dry yeast.

There is a misconception among us, we all think that we need a yeast starter, period. This is not the case all of the time.

I'm not going to get into pitch rates for yeast, starters, why you need a starter, etc. I'm just trying to shed some light on dry yeast and how to properly use it.

So, here it is.

Sanitize the packet and a glass container.
Put approx 100ml of warm water between 85-95 degrees, depending on the yeast.

Sprinkle the dry yeast into the warm water and let it set for 15 minutes for it to rehydrate.

Swirl it around then pitch into your wort.

At the very least, read the instructions on the yeast packet or visit the yeast web site. Mos often they will have a PDF file on the yeast strain.

So, do not make a starter for dry yeast, just rehydrate and pitch!

First quarter news

I have been receiving questions regarding the lapse in blog posts. I started this blog for a few simple reasons. To help others with the DIY aspect in brewing, to show my success and failures and also to give a reference point on things I have learned.

Over the last several months, between work and personal life, I haven't had much time to devote to brewing or to this blog.
For the ones who enjoy the posts and follow this blog, I am sorry.

I am working on several posts that will be coming within the next few weeks that I hope you will enjoy.

I once said I wasn't a blog kinda guy nor a social media person... however, I have started up a twitter acct under bionicbrewing that you can follow there as well. I have been pushing myself to be more active and push forward on topics that I feel need to be addressed.

If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment or get ahold of me on twitter or the Facebook page.

Thank you all who follow and help me, help us all become better brewers!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What is a Parti-Gyle / Second Runnings Beer?

So, what exactly is a parti-gyle beer? A parti-gyle beer, or second runnings beer is achieved when you end up getting 2 beers from one mash tun. Typically, this method can be used when you are brewing a higher OG beer. It is tough for most homebrewers to maintain their efficiency when they increase the grain bill, therefore leaving sugars behind in the mash tun.

Sounds pretty cool right?

Lets go over the important parts that matter and cut out all the confusing crap... the edited version if you will...

This only requires a few extra pieces of equipment. A second boil pot, hops, yeast and a mesh bag for grains. That's it.

Mash your all grain batch like normal.
When you are about done sparging, measure your runnings. If your runnings are above, say 1.030, and you have achieved your pre-boil volume, here is where the parti-gyle beer comes into play.

Take your main wort and bring to a boil, add hops as normal.

Heat up more Sparge water. Sparge your grains again, measuring the sugar content until you reach 1.010. Depending on your efficiency on the main wort, how much sugar was left, etc will depend on how many gallons you will get into your second pot.

Steep some grains in the second runnings wort for 30 minutes to increase the body of the beer. All of your "good sugars" will be in your main wort.

At this time, you are ready to boil your second runnings and add hops as normal. Some people throw in some DME to raise the og even further. I enjoy having my second runnings be a lighter abv beer, use different hops and yeast as well.

It really isn't as difficult as it sounds and I hope this edited version helps shed some light on this topic.

Happy Brewing.

Kegerator Draft Line Pump

Cleaning your beer line for your keg system can be a royal pain. If they are not cleaned properly, can grow bacteria and all sorts of nasty crap can accumulate and make your best batch of brew turn into the worse tasting beer ever.

I ran across another blog that put it into words better than I ever could have, and also came up with a DIY solution for approx $25 vs the cleaning kits that sell for $60+ elsewhere.

This fellow homebrewer, blogger and DIYer has put together some interesting stuff. Take a moment and check his article out:  Homebrew Nerd - Draft beer line cleaning pump



Monday, January 27, 2014

Making a temp controller from an STC-1000

Another good how-to video I stumbled across. Low cost temp controller with step by step instructions.




Friday, January 24, 2014

Tips for high gravity homebrew batches



Rummaging through YouTube, I came across these videos.
Maybe these simple tricks can help you achieve a higher efficiency when brewing a higher gravity beer.
 





Monday, December 30, 2013

Force carbing your beer, properly

Great post regarding force carbing your homebrew beer in your keg. This guy really goes into some detail while keeping things simple.

Carbonation chart can be found here.

The easiest way to properly carbonate your beer is to exercise a little patience and to equip yourself with the proper tools. In the case of carbonation, a gas table is a pretty important tool. With table in hand, you can select your desired carbonation level at the temperature your beer is being stored. Ideally you should carbonate your beer at the same temperature you will use for serving. Once you know the desired level of carbonation and the beer temperature use the gas table to determine the required gas pressure. This pressure is what the regulator on your tank will be adjusted to. As divers say “plan the dive and dive the plan.” This same principle applies to carbonating homebrew and requires patience .

Once you have your gas plan, attach your keg to the carbon dioxide tank adjusted to the pressure dictated by your gas table and wait. A batch of homebrew is small and the head space pressure will equilibrate with the beer in about 3 days. The only thing you can do to speed this method up is to periodically shake the keg. Some people want to bubble the gas through the dip tube in the keg, but this really does not speed things up much because the gas bubbles are too large and zip through the beer before much gas diffuses into solution. It also causes foaming. Take my advice and just hang tight!

You can periodically shake the keg to speed things up, but whatever you do, avoid the temptation of cranking the regulator higher than what your gas table states.

You can read the full article here.

Google search provided this article at BYO.