First crack at extract....... Tettnang tiger

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First crack at extract....... Tettnang tiger

Postby Als Pals » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:06 pm

So today has finally come after all week of non stop brew talk to the missus. The lucky little devil :D . So everything is set up, the wyeast Pilsner lager is expanding nicely in my boiler cupboard and my hops and malt extract is all lined up nicely on my kitchen counter like a kid with their christmas presents. Just about to set the brew fridge to 20 degrees before i get started... really looking forward to this one and hope there aint no hiccups cos wanna give a few bottles of these bad boys out to mates to show em exactly what a good old home brews really like 8) . Someone recommended putting the hops in a kind of hop sock to save little bits going thru the sieve. Would this interfere with the hops doing their job properly??
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Postby saracen » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:26 pm

I always use a bag for the hops and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I always tend to keep it stirred, lift the bag in and out, generally thrash it around to make sure the boiling liquid goes through them and the result always seems OK.

Did you split the yeast? You can make at least 6 lots of yeast from one Wyeast pack. Makes it a whole lot cheaper. Easy to do. I make 4 lts of DME using 100 gms of DME per lt. Get 4 x 2 lt milk containers and clean them out absolutely as thoroughly as possible and sterilise them. Mix the Wyeast with the 4.0 lts of DME mix and distribute it over the 4 bottles. Stand them at 20°c for 4 days, use 1 in the FV and keep the other 3 in the fridge for future use.
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Postby Als Pals » Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:19 am

Thanks for the tip saracen i didnt have any dme left so i just pitched the wyeast as one. It didnt swell very much after the smack and vigorous shake, but i forgot to shake again just before i pitched it, must have been tired waiting till 1 in the morning for the temp to drop... 8O . I checked it this morning and there doesent seem to be to much activity going on, there is a layer of wyeast at the bottom of the fermenter and thats about it. Not much co2 or bubbles on top, got it fermenting at 20c for the first 24 hours then gonna lower it to 11-12c. Its smells very malty and not very hoppy though, does this sound like a ruined brew... :?
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Postby saracen » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:29 pm

I don't have much to do with Lager yeasts but I know they are a bit specal. Hamish is the man for this one.
Are you using Wyeast 2007, because the Wyeast Yeast Strain Guide says it's only tolerant between 9°c and 13°c, so 20° might be well over the top. When you smacked the pack, did it actually break the inner sachet? It can be a job to do it sometimes. You'll have to play the waiting game.
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Postby Als Pals » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:12 pm

Yes its the wyeast 2007. The inner packet did break but it didnt seem to swell as much as i thought it was. I dont know why i decided to ferment it at 20c, i had a bit of a dumb moment and copied what the recipe said which was to have the first 24 hours at 20c. But this was supposed to be with the yeast i got in the extract pack not the wyeast i think. I have now set my brew fridge to 11c so im hoping their might be some chance of saving it. Like you say its a waiting game now, thanks for the response Saracen
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Postby Hamish » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:05 pm

I would have made a 2 litre starter but starting it off at 20°C may well have kick started it. Cool fermentations are very quiet.
Planning: Dortmunder export
Fermenting: Damson & port stout
Maturing/Conditioning: Goose Island-ish IPA
Drinking: Nelson Sauvin, Motueka & Simcoe, Summer & Huell melon pale ales, Export India porter & shop bought stuff
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Postby Als Pals » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:19 pm

What are the signs of a bottom fermenting yeast, there is a layer of sediment at the bottom of the fermenter but no foam or bubbles everything seems lifeless, normally i push the lid down on the fermenter and you can feel the c02 pressure, but cant see nothing with this one. I pitched it saturday night. Any suggestions??
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Postby Hamish » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:56 pm

I fermented a pseudo-lager with Nottingham at 14°C and didn't see one bubble!. The best way to be sure of any activity is to take a hydrometer reading to compare with the OG.
I think you have probably under pitched. Despite what Wyeast say about their yeast being pitchable straight from the pack I always make a starter, the cooler the fermentation the larger the starter. Commercial breweries pitch at the equivalent of 100gms per 25lts according to Mr Wheeler but thats probably a touch OTT for the home brewer.
I would raise the temperature to the top of the scale for that yeast, its just a case of waiting for the yeast to multiply so all should be fine.
Planning: Dortmunder export
Fermenting: Damson & port stout
Maturing/Conditioning: Goose Island-ish IPA
Drinking: Nelson Sauvin, Motueka & Simcoe, Summer & Huell melon pale ales, Export India porter & shop bought stuff
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Postby Als Pals » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:15 pm

Cheers Hamish, iv never heard of making at starter until you mentioned it on here, is it a case of boiling up some DME with water then waiting for it to drop to 25 degrees then adding the yeast and leaving it for 3 or so days? How much DME should i use and where should i store it once iv pitched the starter? sorry for all the question but as you can tell im a complete newbie to all this and wanna get as much info as i can to make the most of this fine hobby of ours :-)
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Postby Hamish » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:12 pm

Yes its easy to do. 100gms DME per litre, boil for 15 minutes then cool 20-25°C, aerate and pitch the yeast. Let it ferment out giving a swirl every time you walk past, or make a stir plate...
http://www.brewuk.co.uk/forum/topic/stir-plate
When I buy Wyeast I usually make a 2 litre starter pitch a litre then split the remainder between 3 or 4 pop bottles and keep them in the fridge. Then make up another starter before I want to brew.
http://www.brewuk.co.uk/forum/topic/spl ... post-11675
Planning: Dortmunder export
Fermenting: Damson & port stout
Maturing/Conditioning: Goose Island-ish IPA
Drinking: Nelson Sauvin, Motueka & Simcoe, Summer & Huell melon pale ales, Export India porter & shop bought stuff
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Postby Als Pals » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:36 pm

Thought i would just update you... after 72 hours of being in the fermentation bin i finally saw the first bit of froth making its way to the top of my lager, Now it is really starting to kick in :-) but next time i think a starter to the yeast is a definate to save those long sleepless nights 8O , I set my brew fridge right to the limit of the maximum temp for the strain of yeast. Thanks to Saracen and Hamish for the helpful replys and this forum for the general help with any question no matter how daft.... Lets just hope those nasties aint got to my lager before the yeast kicked in...
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Postby saracen » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:55 pm

Hi Al. I'm sure it will end well. Time will tell. Patience is the key now, and try to keep the lid shut until you are ready to keg/bottle it.
Just looked back over this and noticed this.
must have been tired waiting till 1 in the morning for the temp to drop...

Before I had a wort chiller, I used sterilised Ice Packs and stood the FV, with the lid on, out in the garden. Should get you to bed a couple of hours earlier.
This is written above the Pier at Walton-on-the-Naze:
"The Happiest Sound in all the World is that of Children's Laughter."

E-mail: arnyfris at gmail dot com
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Postby greg » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:45 am

Sounds okay to me. If you ferment at lager temps its going to take a bit longer to get going but also there is less risk of bacteria due to the lower temp. I would definitely recommend a starter if fermenting at lower temps though which will reduce the lag time.
Have you taken a hydro reading?
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Postby Als Pals » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:06 pm

Good tip Saracen, there is nothing worse then waiting for the temp to drop to be able to pitch the yeast. Havent taken a Hydrometer reading yet Greg, there has been a frothy foam on the top of the brew for the last 3 days now and don't think i should really disturb it at the moment, everything seems to be going in the right direction but really slowly. I take it the foam still there due to the low temps?
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