I’ve been wrong more often than not… and I have no problem admitting when that happens…

That’s when I learn the most and I hope to share those lessons with you…

Not long ago, I was watching a video of a guy brewing beer somewhere in New Zealand…

… and they just added liquid malt extract and dry malt extract to warm water around 190 °F…

No boiling!

… and my first thought – you have to boil don’t you?

Hmmm…

Well, apparently not…

… and it’s with little events like that, that I am compelled to try things that go against what you read on some of the most popular brewing books, websites, magazines, forums, etc.

My favorite example… not pitching enough yeast…

You’ll hear some people say that if you don’t pitch enough yeast, your beer won’t start fermenting…

… and more than likely they haven’t tried that for themselves… but I will ask them… “how did brewers ferment their beers before they knew yeast existed? or through spontaneous fermentation?”

They didn’t add a vial of yeast… or make a starter…

So I tried fermenting a beer by adding about 1/3 of a vial of yeast…

… and yes, it took 3 days to start fermenting, but it fermented… and attenuated well…

… and the only reason I’m bringing up this topic is to help brewers – especially newer ones – to get rid of fear…

It’s hard to screw up a beer…

… and while it’s good to follow best practices… don’t sweat too much when things don’t go as planned…

Today I want to share my Milk Stout Home Brew Review, where I talk about my little experiment on pitching a lot of yeast to ferment… and the results..

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    6 replies to "Milk Stout Home Brew Review"

    • Chris W.

      I just watched your video on the pitching rate for the yeast in the milk stout. To me, as an engineer, I always associate the word rate with speed. You are not talking about how quickly you pitched the yeast into the wort, you are talking about how much (volume) yeast you pitched. Why do brewers use the word rate when they mean volume?

      I am fairly new to brewing beer and so far I have always used kits that come prepackaged with some dry yeast. I do know that there are liquid vials available. Should I be using the liquid yeast and will I notice an appreciable difference?

      Thanks and keep up the great work.

      • Jorge

        @Chris – I’m the same way… I was in then US Navy (Sonar Technician on a Submarine), and we used rate to refer to a contact’s (ship) speed…

        Why do they use it? Paradigm I guess…

        As far as liquid yeast… it depends… dry yeast is not necessarily bad, but you don’t have as many yeast strains as with liquid yeast… with liquid yeast you have more choices to give your beers different yeast characteristics… some beer styles will definitely be better if you use the right yeast strain which may be only available in liquid…

        Cheers!

    • KEVLAR

      I have been fascinated with yeast lately. I blame most problems I’ve had to yeast( fermenting conditions, yeast health ect.) you can get away with a lot, but a lot can mess you up. I recommend Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation
      Jamil Zainasheff (Author), Chris White (Author)

      Good read.
      I love how you play with different scenarios, because they happen, and it isn’t always the end of the beer. Sometimes it makes a better beer. Beer is an form of art, with a bit of science.

      Cheers

      • Jorge

        @Kevlar – Yes, that is a good book… I own it!

        There is a lot of art in beer… but you can’t leave out the science… Most experts in many areas have been able to use their left and right side of their brain to reach their level of success…

        Cheers!

    • Lindsay

      G’day Jorge.

      Thanks again for your newsletter & tips. My son, Matt & I have been finding them most helpful.

      I was interested in your comment in video above re late hopping for flavour & aroma after cooling wort to 180F.

      OK for flavour but I understood that the primary ferment drove off most of the essential oils responsible for aroma in the finished beer. As a result I dry-hop into secondary.

      Could you comment, pls?

      • Jorge

        Lindsay – It’s true that essential oils can and will be driven off by CO2 during fermentation just like it does on your glass when you pour a beer… However, there are other factors in play…

        I started to dabble with more late hopping in the kettle as opposed to dry hopping… and I found that I could get as much flavor and aroma as with dry hopping…

        It actually started as a theory after doing some reading for something unrelated to brewing about making extracts and dissolving extracts and the temperature factor… and made my hypothesis that if you allow hops to sit on the wort at tea steeping temperatures then the solubility of hop oils would increase and it would be harder to remove from your beer by CO2…

        To be honest, I don’t have a better explanation other than that… that was my thought process, I tried it and I found it to work great… though keep in mind that I took other factors into account like fermentation temperature…

        If I lowered my fermentation temperature and did moderate to moderately low yeast pitching rates, I could keep the airlock from going crazy thus keeping the essential oils in the beer… and I also paid attention to the components of the hops I used…

        All I can say is to try it… and try adding most of your hops towards the last 30 minutes of the boil if you are looking for hop flavor and aroma…

        Cheers!

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