From the HBD Archive
Subject: a little more on Red Star...
Date: 1989-08-01 15:47:13 GMT

In #214, Gary Benson asks:

>yeast, but at ale temperatures. Is that correct? Are there other things that
>differentiate Steam Beer? What kind of fermentation time am I likely to
>experience -- like ale or like lager? The primary took off like a shot (Red
>Star lager yeast started in 1 cup of wort plus a tablespoon of corn sugar).
>But now, a day later, it has slowed down to one bubble every few seconds.
>Last night, I couldn't keep water in the S-shaped airlock I use - the gas
>was pouring out so fast. Is this thing going to be over before I have time
>to go to the secondary fermenter? With this kind of activity, would I do
>better to just forget the carboy and use a single-stage fermentation?

My experience with using Red Star Lager yeast for steam beer is that
with a two-stage fermentation, after the krausen falls and I transfer it
to the carboy, the bubbles have fallen to 1/120 seconds or so, only
after two days. This particular dry yeast seems to work like
gangbusters at RT (68 degrees). It's possible that a single stage
fermentation in the carboy with a blowoff tube would be sufficient.

Then in #217, Dave Sheehy writes:

>Florian, I'm beginning to have some ideas about your success using Red Star
>Ale yeast. Miller's book has a summary of some of the yeasts he has tried
>like. Being in Sacramento and not having a form of temperature control my
>fermenation temperature tends to range in the high 70's. I would suspect that
>your fermentation temperature would be somewhat lower than mine since you're
>up in Oregon. Yeasts will tend to produce more byproducts at higher
>temperatures so I further suspect that you are probably not getting the
>clove flavored fusel alcohol in your beers (if you did you'd know it and I'd
>wager that you wouldn't like it!). You must be getting the banana ester

Yes, you are right. We have a log home, and the interior stays a
comfortable high sixties most of the year. In the winter, my brew
is a little warmer due to my brew cabinet being in the kitchen near the
wood stove. My wife has thoughtfully given me the pantry for beer storage,
so in the future I will be putting the carboys there also. This should
provide even better temperature regulation. Now if I could just get her
to stop using the refrigerator for food storage...

[Florian Bell, Boonesborough, Oregon]

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