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Tips for my next three NB Extract Kits

Hey guys, I have three kits lined up to do in the next few weeks. Being as these three kits will make up a grand total of 4 batches ever brewed by me, im am looking for some pointers from folks, especially those who have brewed these kits.

Here is the line up;

1st: Biere de garde, using Wyeast 1325 biere de garde

2nd: Czech Pilsner, using Wyeast 2001 Pilsner Urquell

3rd: Caribou Slobber, using either Wyeast 1332 Northwest ale OR White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Any tips? Also which yeast should I use for the caribou slobber? Also if you brewed these before how did they turn out?

Bold of you to attempt a pilsner so early in your brewing career. Since you’re so new, I’m not going to recommend a starter. Begin the beer at room temp and then, after 48 hours, move it to as cool of an area as you have access to. I ferment my lagers at 50F.

I’m a new brewer too and one thing that’s been hard to learn is patience and those seem like beers that really benefit from time. I brewed the caribou slobber recently and it is a much better beer at 2 mos in the bottles than it was at 2 weeks, which I’ve found is usually the case (but esp with the CS).

I have also heard this about the biere de garde.

I disagree. Start cold and stay cold.

If you start warm, no telling when fermentation will kick in and raise the temp well beyond where you want it.

If you can’t maintain 50*, skip the lagers until you can. Water bath with ice or a cooler with ice is fine.

I disagree. Start cold and stay cold.

If you start warm, no telling when fermentation will kick in and raise the temp well beyond where you want it.

If you can’t maintain 50*, skip the lagers until you can. Water bath with ice or a cooler with ice is fine.[/quote]
…and make a starter. Give the yeast the best chance to ferment cleanly.

skip the lager, some things I would suggest
brew low alch session beers until you get your process down.
Cool down enough before pitching (cooler end for ales, around 60-65)
Boil as much as you can
pitch enough yeast (be it a starter or multiple packs)
controll fermentation temp as much as possible
sanitize

…and make a starter. Give the yeast the best chance to ferment cleanly.

Since you brought up the subject of starters …I’m really confused of the starter concept. NB videos tell you how to make them but not what to do with them. Can someone break down the purpose and procedure of a starter for me? Like 5th grade level…haha

Also, you can do multiple packs of yeast? I do five gallon batches so when I know I need to add extra packs and how many?

[quote=“EagleRising”]…and make a starter. Give the yeast the best chance to ferment cleanly.

Since you brought up the subject of starters …I’m really confused of the starter concept. NB videos tell you how to make them but not what to do with them. Can someone break down the purpose and procedure of a starter for me? Like 5th grade level…haha

Also, you can do multiple packs of yeast? I do five gallon batches so when I know I need to add extra packs and how many?[/quote]

you just need to pitch correct amount of yeast to what you are fermenting. Some beers may only need one pack if you stick with some low alchophol session beers for your first few batches.
Pitching multiple packs if you DO NOT want to make a starter.
Look up mrmalty.com and go to the yeast pitching calculator and use that to find out what to pitch

Starters can help you get to the proper yeast count for a beer and they also make sure that your yeast is healthy and ready to go. With an abundance of healthy, oxiginated yeast your lag time between pitching and active fermentation will be less and you will get less off flavors from the yeast because they are healthy and less stressed out.

To make them you do what the video you watched tells you which involves boiling DME, cooling, pitching the yeast and shaking periodically. From there, I like to put mine in the fridge, wait for the layer of yeast to settle out and then pour off the extra liquid before pitching into your fermentor.

[quote=“mplsbrewer”]Starters can help you get to the proper yeast count for a beer and they also make sure that your yeast is healthy and ready to go. With an abundance of healthy, oxiginated yeast your lag time between pitching and active fermentation will be less and you will get less off flavors from the yeast because they are healthy and less stressed out.

To make them you do what the video you watched tells you which involves boiling DME, cooling, pitching the yeast and shaking periodically. From there, I like to put mine in the fridge, wait for the layer of yeast to settle out and then pour off the extra liquid before pitching into your fermentor.[/quote]

Ok so you can pitch the starter the same day? This is something i should make during the time my wort is boiling? And I only use the solid at the bottom and dump the liquid?

[quote=“EagleRising”]
Ok so you can pitch the starter the same day? This is something i should make during the time my wort is boiling? And I only use the solid at the bottom and dump the liquid?[/quote]

Give the starter about 3 days to ferment, 2 days in the fridge. Then you can pour off the liquid and add only the fresh yeast. I’ll make my starters on Monday, to use for Friday.

[quote=“mvsawyer”][quote=“EagleRising”]
Ok so you can pitch the starter the same day? This is something i should make during the time my wort is boiling? And I only use the solid at the bottom and dump the liquid?[/quote]

Give the starter about 3 days to ferment, 2 days in the fridge. Then you can pour off the liquid and add only the fresh yeast. I’ll make my starters on Monday, to use for Friday.[/quote]

^Sorry about that, guess I assumed a bit too much knowledge and left out a very important step regarding the amount of time. That five day rule is good and roughly what I follow but at the very, very least you need to make it a day before which means that you wouldn’t have time to let it sit in the fridge to separate and you would need to pitch the whole thing, liquid and yeast combined which isn’t always a bad thing.

[quote=“EagleRising”][quote=“mplsbrewer”]Starters can help you get to the proper yeast count for a beer and they also make sure that your yeast is healthy and ready to go. With an abundance of healthy, oxiginated yeast your lag time between pitching and active fermentation will be less and you will get less off flavors from the yeast because they are healthy and less stressed out.

To make them you do what the video you watched tells you which involves boiling DME, cooling, pitching the yeast and shaking periodically. From there, I like to put mine in the fridge, wait for the layer of yeast to settle out and then pour off the extra liquid before pitching into your fermentor.[/quote]

Ok so you can pitch the starter the same day? This is something i should make during the time my wort is boiling? And I only use the solid at the bottom and dump the liquid?[/quote]

12-18 hr ahead of time is usually sufficient for a starter thats when your yeast will be most active, you can dump the whole starter in the wort. If you go bigger than 1l then you might want to decant

From personal experience one thing I would suggest is to make sure of your fermentation times. This weekend I have the perfect storm of three batches that all need to be bottled or kegged. Without proper planning I’m lokking at 4 to 5 hours of sanitizing, kegging, bottling, and kegging with nothing new in the pipeline.
Secondary: Belgian Dubbel, Barley Wine(Bulk Aging until September)
Primary: Kolsch, Farmhouse Beer de table
Kegged: Dunkelweizen
Tapped: Petite Saison, Patersbier
Bottled: SS. Minnow Mild

I didn’t recommend a starter because he’s a new brewer and starters can also breed bacteria. Starting a lager fermentation around ale temps will allow the yeast to grow. Chilling it down (SLOWLY) to 50f will allow the beer to have a cleaner profile. Will it be a great lager? No. But it will at least attenuate fully and not be a drain pour.

that wouldnt be cleaner, it would be cleaner starting as cool as possible

that wouldnt be cleaner, it would be cleaner starting as cool as possible[/quote]

By “as cool as possible”, I assume you mean 50F. But even if OP has digitally controlled fermentation at 50F, I’m assuming he/she is just going to pitch a smack-pack of yeast, under pitching a pilsner by 3-4x. This is why having it warmer for the first 48 hours will help.

Everyone wants you to succeed, and some want you to advance as a brewer, and that’s a good thing. That said, still being somewhat new, I’d say wait on the lager. Start on the Slobber, and I’d say use the Wyeast without a starter just to have an easier process overall. Walk before you run, etc.

So I have a question. When you say you have three kits lined up does that mean you’ve already bought the three kits? Because if so when we all say drop the lager that doesn’t really matter to you because you already have it in your hands. If this is the case, and you cannot properly brew a lager because you can’t lower the temp to do so there are some other ale yeast strains available that could get you a similar result. I don’t have much experience in the pseudo-lager brewing but I’ve heard just the plain old Wyeast German Ale is good and also read that the Wyeast Bohemian Lager 2124 can be fermented at warmer temps with good results.

All that said, if you don’t have it yet skip it and work on ales for now.

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