I had something happen that some of you may find interesting...
After fermentation I normally save "sloppy slurry" of the yeast, and if it's within a few months will repitch it in a yeast starter, then into my wort to make new beer. Someone from my homebrew get-together group had suggested, if making a bigger brew, put the bag into a smaller brew kettle after pulling it out of my main brew kettle, add some water and make more "starter"... Normally have to boil it for a while to get it to 1.040. It's a good tip and I don't have to use DME.
Last spring I entered a homebrew competition where with a Dry Irish Stout, but got graded down harshly because the testers could taste some smoke in the beer and it’s not supposed to have it. One said it could have received a much higher score but would have had to be in a different category... Been racking my brain how that could have happened for the past few months, to no avail...until today, and I think I know how this happened.
Brewing big batches is what I’ve been doing, because as much as I like to brew, it’s hugely time consuming and eats up most of a day. I brew extra, and what I can’t put in keg I put in clean & sanitized milk jugs...then when the keg gets low I have some to top off. So if 5 gallons fits in my Corny Keg, I normally brew 8+ gallons and remainder is filled to the top in milk jugs, plus perhaps a few beer bottles...
Anyhow, brewing a large Rauchbier (smoke beer) today, with a bigger grain bill to maximize my large boil kettle, thought about using the spent grain to make enough wort for several starters... Then realized that would cause everything brewed from the starter to have a slight smokey flavor.
Apparently yeast absorbs some of the smoky flavor too. So for example Schlenkerla’s Helles has no smoke malt, but uses the regular repitched yeast from the rauchbier Maerzen, and it has a slight smoky flavor. Beer & Brewing Magazine had an interesting article on that, written by Conrad Seidl.
Anyhow, thought some of you may find this interesting... I certainly did. Cheers!
Post #1 made 3 months ago
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