Major disparity here

Physics, chemistry and biology of brewing. The causes and the effects.

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Major disparity here

Postby jayhawk » Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:40 am

Some of you may have recently read my posts asking about general lagering technique, and more specifically about Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast. Well, I brewed the batch and I have an interesting experience to share.

First, I will summarize the brew day and my fermenting setup:

Recipe: 46L batch (Recipe is following the Dortmunder Export style.)

Poncho's Export IV
21lb 2row
5lb Vienna
0.5 Carapils
1.5 oz Horizon 12.1% 60 mins
3 oz Crystal 3.5% 2 mins
Wyeast 2112; one pack split into two starters that were both developed over a few days into 1L starter solutions.
O.G 1056
Fermented between 15-18C

Single infusion mash at 69C for 60 mins. Batch sparge; grain bed reached a max temp of 73C during sparge.

Boiled this for 60 mins; used an immersion chiller and sterilized ice to cool the wort to 25C.

Now here is the interesting part:

I brewed on Sep 3rd. I used two buckets as primaries for this batch b/c it is 46L. I filled the first bucket no problem. On the second bucket (AKA "the sketchy half"), I had a problem as hops clogged the siphon I use to transfer wort from the kettle to the fermenter. My trusty metal mesh screen had given out (after many batches of use), so I was stuck. I had at least 12L of wort left in the kettle, but had no way to get it out. Not wanting to waste all that good wort, I grabbed a sanitized 2L pail and started scooping out the wort and putting it in the fermenter. In the process I also transferred a massive amount of trub and spent hops in to the fermenter; so much in fact that I could not even see the normal krausen that develops in the fermenter during primary ferment. Instead, all I saw was hops and gunk! When I transferred the beer from the primary to the secondary on Sep 5, I had to pierce a massive mat of CO2 bloated and trub caked hops to get to the beer. Do you get the picture? There was a lot of trub! The most I had ever dumped into my primary since the first batch I brewed!

The funny thing is that the sketchy half of the batch - the one I scooped out of the kettle - tastes amazing and has fermented much quicker than the properly handled half. When I transferred both halves from pirmary to secondary on Sep 5 the sketchy half had an SG of 1028, while the non-sketchy half had an SG of 1034. I transferrred the batch again on Sep 13, with the sketchy reading 1010, and the other 1018. Today I tasted the two halves agian. The SGs are the same for each as the last transfer; 1018 and 1010. The sketchy half has flocculated much better, and I am simply blown away by the malt character and cleanliness of the this poorly handled half of the batch. The other half is good, but is shamed by the other half. I never thought I would be able to get my beer tasting so clean and utterly professional. It is absolutely delicious and the aroma is incredible!

I honestly thought I would lose half the batch. Yet the sketchy beer has turned out great- in fact, even better than the properly handled half. How could such a disparity exist between two halves of the same batch that were handled exactly the same except for the tranfer? I am at a loss. Did the addition of trub actually help the yeast? I have heard that this is possible.

Any suggestions?

Chris
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Here is what has happened?

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun Oct 31, 2004 6:17 pm

Chris,


It is the trub.

There are at least a couple of reasons for your end result.

The trub carries some nutrients from the kettle into fermentation that are required by the yeast to help produce a good fermentation.

Secondly is that the trub helps to collect (filter) the yeast out of the fermented beer in the primary.

Now here is the trick, balance is operative word. You should carry over enough trub to accomplish a good fermentation but be able to rack out the beer from under (as in your case) or over (which is the normal case).
This is another reason to rack the beer from the fermenter to a secondary maturation vessel (notice I did not say secondary fermenter) and lower the temperature to drop the yeast out of solution. (sorry I was thinking ale). But in the case of your brew lower the temperature for maturation and carbonation.

If you are going to brew a large number of lagers I suggest you get two Corni kegs, a large one (7 or 10 gallons for a fermenter) and a smaller one (5 gallons for maturation).
I would suggest transfering your clear (bright) lagers to the smaller Corni keg for maturing and natural carbonation.

Let me know if this makes sense, I can give you more details if you need them.

As my brewing instructor once said " Any clog can brew good beer, but it takes a real brewer to know what to do when it all goes to @#$%".

Welcome to the brotherhood,

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Further details please Tom

Postby jayhawk » Sun Oct 31, 2004 6:28 pm

If you are going to brew a large number of lagers I suggest you get two Corni kegs, a large one (7 or 10 gallons for a fermenter) and a smaller one (5 gallons for maturation).
I would suggest transfering your clear (bright) lagers to the smaller Corni keg for maturing and natural carbonation.


What are the benefits of this fermenting system compared to my bucket/carboy setup?

Thanks for the reply on the previous post. That beer has turned out really well (both halves are great).

Chris
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Good to here!

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:07 am

Chris,

I had a full page post and........my modem disconnected :oops: ! It was real good stuff too. i have a few days off so I will try and recreate it.


Good brewing,

Tom F.
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oxy

Postby littlehop » Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:51 am

what is your standard aration tech. you may well have added more oxygen for your yeast than you usually get because of the scooping this would account for a better fermentation and better outcome overall.I chill with wort chiller to 75 deg. then pour kettle cotents into fermentor thru funnel this arates all the wort rather nicely. scooping may have had the same effect verse syphoning.
You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.
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