Author Topic: Should I shake 'em?  (Read 4578 times)

Offline SOGOAK

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Should I shake 'em?
« on: December 23, 2008, 08:09:49 AM »
I was snooping about Preston's site and one of the recipees said "frequent fermenter agitation"

As a Noob my Standard MO has been to put my beers down and wait. 

Well I have this cranberry something or other.  It was supposed to be a Lambic, But I didn't realize how critical BRETT is to that. Doh!  So it'll be a Cranberrry Abbey as it is on Wyeast 1214.

So a few weeks ago I racked it onto 3lbs of cranberrys.  The berries were fresh, washed, frozen, thawed, and carefully jammed into the carboy.  (Bucket next time) My fermentation area has been colder than planed and I wonder if I need to agitate the fermenter or heat them up a bit or something.  I'm thinking a heating pad between the two fermenters in the boxes (initially to fend off light) with some blankets or towels around them to keep the warmth in.  Maybe do an hour or two on and off while i'm home.

I love glass because I can watch.  So I see a lot of cranberrys floating, seemingly doing nothing.  1214 is a late starter.  But I wonder if it is asleep. 

Next to it is one of those nut brown kits.  I bought that with my starter gear, shelved it as "too easy" but then realized it should be brewed instead of letting it go bad.  I lieu of that wimpy muntons packet, I put US05 on it and it still hase krausen after over 3 weeks. 

I'm actually excited about the later.  I think a nice long ferment will be good.  This is also my first experiment without a secondary.  I was told over and over to skip that on simple beer.

So with that ramble the two questions are:

-Shake the berrys?
-would you mess with heat.  Ambient temp is 54 now.  The beer is in glass and in its box.


Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Should I shake 'em?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 09:58:04 AM »
First of all, I should revise my site to say NO SHAKING!
Guess I need to go back and make it a little clearer... My Most Humble Apologies to anyone who has made bad beer because I was not clear!

When I stated "Frequent Fermenter Agitation" I don't mean shake. You don't want to introduce any extra air in the beer after fermentation has started. Gentle Swirling or using a Stir stick agitate the yeast on the bottom of the fermenter. I actually documented this process for a Belgium Double I made with another forum. You can find that here (http://aleuminati.ning.com/forum/topics/1501346:Topic:16588?x=1&id=1501346%3ATopic%3A16588&page=4#comments).

I would say 80% of my beers I leave alone and do not agitate the yeast. Why? I only make special "Big" beers very infrequently. Anything over 1.060 do I modify my process. If you are new, Leave it alone and enjoy the beer you make. If you are not very carefull you can introduce bacteria that will cause an infection. It happens to the best of us...

Making beer's over 1.060 IMO requires extra attention and Knowledge. Picking the right yeast, Sacrification temps, yeast Management, and Patience are some of the things that go into making Big beers.

Quote
So with that ramble the two questions are:
-Shake the berrys?
NO!
Quote
-would you mess with heat.  Ambient temp is 54 now.  The beer is in glass and in its box.
I think the temp is your issue. Find what temp the ideal range is and try to stay in that range. Unless you are making a Lager, 54 is to low.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Preston

The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Should I shake 'em?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 10:46:44 AM »
Ohh, I should have been clearer too.  I would never shake it like a can of whipped cream.  I was thinking more about how I agitate my wort which is to swirl the fermentor on its edge.  I wouldn't take the lock off either.

Yes, I need to look at the temp ranges on wyeast for that 1214.  I have to think that 54 is too cold for ale.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Should I shake 'em?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 06:47:54 PM »
One of the coolest (and cheapest) neat ideas I've seen was a reader gadget article where one brewer recommended using a ball-bearing race like you'd put on a lazy susan.  A carboy just fits perfectly on the nine-inch size ($5 at woodworking store).  Once centered you can spin the carboy with little effort, and it creates a neat vortex inside without disturbing the top krausen or pushing out any CO2 from the airlock.  It's amazing to watch the yeast rise up from the bottom without moving the krausen a bit.  I figure it keeps yeast in contact with wort without the potential negatives of sloshing or opening the airlock. 

As the dust settles, it appears that trub falls first, leaving clean yeast on top for those that reuse yeast.  (In theory, the last yeast to fall should be the strongest, most alcohol tolerant?)

For buckets, you may have to mount the race on a 13-inch circle of pegboard or something. 

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Should I shake 'em?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2008, 07:51:47 PM »
That's a great idea! I wonder if they make them in SS considering I use my spare bathtub filled with water. Guess I have another project to research and build

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

 

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