Author Topic: near DME disaster...  (Read 7168 times)

Offline tws

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near DME disaster...
« on: February 21, 2012, 10:19:49 AM »
Greetings once more,

I cooked my first all DME (Briess Golden Light extract) brew this weekend.

incidentally i received the 50 lbs of DME in a large brown paper bag and immediately transferred it into two new five gallon pails with tight lids.

the recipe - a coffee porter - called for 7 lbs. of DME. following John Palmers "How to brew" book advice i steeped my grains removed them than brought the solution to a boil and immediately turned off the flame and began stirring in the dry extract (i had almost four gallons of liquid). I used a giant wisk to break the large chunks of extract down... it took time and the stuff really added volume to my liquid raising the level a good bit. the foam (lots of it) came very near the top of my six gallon kettle. I stirred a good bit longer and the foam didn't subside so i lite the propane burner to reestablish a boil... using a large spray bottle of water i sprayed like mad on the mounting foam. i  raked my spoon across the top trying to find liquid as the foam rose and spilled over the sides.

i reckon i lost about a quart of foam. then finally i saw dark liquid surface and the foam subsided.



if anybody has been thru this DME boil over dilemma maybe they have some thoughts on how to stop a boil over. i don't feel like getting an expensive larger pot at this time. maybe a larger volume of spray on water would help. it was really a very close thing and quite nerve racking.

continuing the boil things proceed well with no further incidents.



i cooled the wort with my cooler and proceeded to carboy the brew. added oxygen via bottle, shook the bejesus out of the wort and pitched Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.

my OG was 1.076

since this is the highest OG i've ever gotten and based upon my limited but growing understanding of the fermentation process. can anyone suggest how long i should primary (usually two weeks for me) then secondary this brew? as i understand it there are three phases of fermentation Adaptive, Attenuative and Conditioning. i suppose the conditioning phase takes place in the secondary carboy.  i usually transfer too the secondary after two weeks to get the brew off the trub. i made exactly 5 gallons and will transfer this into a 5 gallon glass carboy to reduce the headspace.

i've read that higher gravity beers (and i'm not suggesting  that mine is especially high - tho it's the highest i've ever made) have certain inherent problems and i'm not sure what i need to be careful of. notably higher gravity beers i've read need longer conditioning time...

but how much? 4 weeks? 6 weeks?

in the carboy or in the keg/bottle

i keg all my beer in corny kegs.

but have some snap on style bottles for filling and conditioning better beers for longer periods.

thanks for bearing with this windy post and for any comments or suggestions for a beginner.

tws


 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 10:34:37 AM by tws »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: near DME disaster...
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 11:11:11 AM »
You can kill a foam over with a  handful of ice.    I use a drop or of anti-foam.  I also use anti-foam when I make a starter and in my fermenter.

Time is not the main factor when fermenting a high gravity wort.  Proper pitch of yeast and fermentation temperature is.   a 1.076 wort should have more than 265 billion yeast cells.   An average liquid yeast has 100 - 120 billion cells.    That is about 15 grams of dry yeast or three packages of liquid yeast.  A 2 liter starter would get you close.

Give the beer three weeks of fermentation in the primary.  Keep the temperature controlled the first 5 days then allow it to rise up a few degrees after that.  Then keep it pretty constant.  Keg and carbonate any time after that.  Then drop the temperature as rapidly as you can down to 32-40 to cold crash and clear up the beer.   

Now cold condition as long as you like.  I start my drinking when it is carbonated but like it better with a couple more weeks but I am impatient by this time :)


Offline tws

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Re: near DME disaster...
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 11:25:27 AM »
thanks jomebrew,

i'm looking at something called fermcap S as an anti foam agent.

i'm new to brewing and have not yet learned to make a starter.

i pitched a single pack of Wyeast 1084. it was swollen after being smacked and kept in a warm room for 6 hrs.

i hope that is enough yeast.

thanks for the advice

i guess after a few weeks and there is no more noticeable change in fermentation the beer can be kegged?  i put my kegged pilsners in my chest freezer set at a constant 40 degrees. so too with ales and porters?

tws

Offline jomebrew

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Re: near DME disaster...
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 12:39:33 PM »

i'm looking at something called fermcap S as an anti foam agent.

That is what I use.  Just a drop.

i'm new to brewing and have not yet learned to make a starter.

Starter is just little extract wort.  I use 200 grams DME to to 1 liter.  I use a 2 liter Erlenmeyer Fill it wil just over 1000ml.  Bring to 120 or so, pout 1/2 into a stainless bowl and mix the DME.  Add a drop of antifoam in the flask and pour the wort in.  I cover the top loosely in foil and bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes.  Keeping the foil on the flash, I then chill it down to mid 60's and warm my yeast to room temp (about the same).  I add it to the flask, and recover with the foil.  I used to shake it every 15 minutes or so until I got bored.  Now I use a stir plate.  I let it ferment a couple days and chill it down.  Before pitching, I let it rise back to room temp and decant the wort (sometimes I just drink it.. Hic) and pitch the pretty yeast cake at the bottom.  On my BIG 1.103 Oatmeal Imperial Stout, I pitched the starter when it was at peak fermentation (high krausen).


i pitched a single pack of Wyeast 1084. it was swollen after being smacked and kept in a warm room for 6 hrs.

i hope that is enough yeast.

No, it is not but it might work and might not. Pitching the desired rate yields more consistent results.

thanks for the advice

i guess after a few weeks and there is no more noticeable change in fermentation the beer can be kegged?  i put my kegged pilsners in my chest freezer set at a constant 40 degrees. so too with ales and porters?

tws


If the conditions are correct, the ale is done in about 3 days.  The remaining time it so attenuate more of the sugars and have the yeast reabsorb some of the less desirable by products they create. 

I keep all my beer in the 30's in my beer freezer.  I let my ales warm up in the glass to 55 or 60 before I drink them... If I have the patience... Which I don't... SO I drink 'em whenever.

/Joe

Offline happy hillbilly

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Re: near DME disaster...
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 03:56:40 PM »
Howdy. I have brewed LOTS of all DME beers and just lately I found a little trick that'l keep you smilin while you brew. I put my wort from a mini mash in the kettle and add some of my DME and stir till it is gone. Then I start the heat and while I wait (and in between drinks)I stir my wort. Now I don't jess stir it I stir the top 1 inch or so. This may sound odd but while you wait fer the wort to start boilin stir around in the top inch er two and sure enough when it gets hot enough to boil you wont git any boil over. Now when I add my late addition I have to be careful again but lately I been mixin my late addition with some cool water then adding it at flameout it seems to work good for me. Plus them beers have been soooo goood.

Offline Lucas Zimmerman

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Re: near DME disaster...
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 07:40:47 PM »
I see your brewing outside on a propane burner, so this my not apply.  I have an electric stove with the Pyrex tops.  When the foam starts to rise quickly i move my pot half way of the burner.  It controls the foam but still allows it to boil.  Eventually it dies down and i proceed on.

Offline tws

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Re: near DME disaster...
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 02:39:35 PM »

jomebrew, i said and you replied:

i pitched a single pack of Wyeast 1084. it was swollen after being smacked and kept in a warm room for 6 hrs.

i hope that is enough yeast.


No, it is not but it might work and might not. Pitching the desired rate yields more consistent results.

how do you determine how much yeast to pitch? is it based on the amount of extract? or something else. the recipe merely said the type of yeast to pitch... but not how much.

thanks for any clarity.

tws

ps: thanks also to Lucas Zimmerman and the happy hillbilly for your valuable input.