Monday, November 7, 2011

Yeastbound

Life after the exam is wonderful. I got so much crap done this weekend it was amazing. So much so, I almost didn't have time to blog. Sawdust was flying, nails were shooting, and a lot of stuff got painted white. Most importantly, I still have all my fingers. One of my kegs got kicked as well, so that means brewing soon. Probably next weekend, but I have to wait for a parts order from MoreBeer.com to come in. I did a small rebuild on my mash tun, and I'll finally have a disconnect for it instead of my hose permanently attached to it. It doesn't sound like a huge deal, which is probably why it lasted so long. It's going to make life a lot easier. But for now, my mash tun is in 10 pieces. So no brewing right this second.

Got word from a fellow blogger on the internet. Raven over at at CookEatDelicious.com sent me a message the other day about a list she was putting together. So I went over and checked out her blog, and it's very nicely laid out. A lot of fantastic looking recipes. I brainstormed an idea about linking some of the beereview and food recipes, but that's tough cause I don't know squat about food, and she admittedly doesn't know squat about beer. Regardless, I'm sure some of you enjoy this blog for the beer sampling aspect of it, so go check out CookEatDelicious.

I'm way behind on my magazines, as I may have mentioned before. I've been finally pounding through a bunch of them and I came across an interesting article on yeast and fermenting. In the September 2011 issue of Brew Your Own says that a four-day fermentation is just right. Hm.

Why do I ponder you say? Well, maybe I just like to ponder thinks. To think, therefore I am right? So if I spend extra time thinking, that means I must really be somebody. It doesn't mean whatsoever that I'm stupid or anything... Nooooo. But I do have reason to ponder. When I first started brewing I had an idea drilled into my head by my how-to beer material. That idea was, once yeast has done their business, which takes a period of seven days (ish). Once those seven days go by, most of the yeast is dead. So if you leave your beer on the yeast, it's sitting on a vast graveyard of yeast corpses and will pick up some off-flavors and/or tannins in the process. Makes sense to me.

After a few books and an article or two I read another idea in multiple sources. Leaving your beer on the yeast after fermentation has stopped (remember yeast-graveyard) is actually a good thing. You see, the yeast isn't actually dead after the fermentation stopped. It's just tired and out of sugar (like a tween after Halloween). The yeast continues to do their thing slowly, cleaning out and conditioning the beer. Making the beer better by leaving it after fermentation is done. At this point in my education, this made better sense to me. If yeast was truly dead, we wouldn't be able to bottle-carbonate with priming sugar.

So now! I read an article that says a four-day fermentation is just right. Here the idea is that yeast has come a long way from the older days of a dried packet stuck under the lid of a can of malt extract. Before yeast starters. Before Wyeast "Smack Packs" and White-Labs' cool little tubes (which are a lot bigger than you expect them to be). For the old yeast, it took time for the yeast to get started. Now we pitch at hiiiiiigh cotton (er Krausen), and the yeast is hitting the ground running when it gets in your wort. Effectively starting on day three from my originally mentioned seven day cycle.

I'm going to leave you in suspense. I'll let you know what I think next week. In the meantime, let me know what you think. Check out the article, relate to your brewing processes and knowledge, and comment below!!!

(Important note: don't google image search for yeast, do google image search for white labs. Actually, let me handle it.)

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