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-   -   I keep missing the mark (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/i-keep-missing-mark-12140/)

God Emporer BillyBrew 08-10-2006 08:35 PM

I keep missing the mark
 
This is starting to get a bit frustrating. My last four brews have not fermented out to the point I expected them to.

My temp has been good, maybe even too high.

I aerate by shaking the heck out of the three gallons of water I add before I vigourously pour them in. I then stir my wort in a manner that definitely gets air into it for about 3-4 minutes. I use a bucket and have always been worried about putting the lid on and shaking because I don't want to get my airlock water in my brew.

The brews I'm speaking of are 1. Samuel Smith Nut Brown clone from beers captured, 2. Fat Tire from BYO, 3. Dude's SNPA clone and the one that's fermenting now, 4. Dude's Boulevard Wheat clone. The wheat hasn't stopped yet, so I might be wrong. Still, it had been in for one week last night and was only 2.5 percent so far. The SNPA tasted fine, but the Nut Brown and Fat Tire tasted weak.

Go ahead and tell me to throw away my hydrometer if you want to, but that's not advice I can follow. Besides, they're not tasting right.

Do you think I'm not getting it aerated enough? Any solutions? I'll buy a stone if I need to, but I'd prefer not to have to spend money.

tockeyhockey 08-10-2006 09:02 PM

i think you might need to add a bit more information about one or more of these brews if you're going to get good advice.

the thing that i'm reading about lately is that homebrewers in general aren't pitching nearly enough yeast. how much have you put into one of your stalled brews?

God Emporer BillyBrew 08-10-2006 09:10 PM

I'm a starter guy. I pitch between a quarter and half gallon of starter. I have my info at home, I'll have to wait to give more info.

tockeyhockey 08-10-2006 09:16 PM

a half gallon of starter should be doing the trick!

what kind of water are you using? i've made the mistake of brewing with unfiltered tap water. the chlorine killed off my yeast.

judging by the number of posts you have, i doubt you're making any rookie mistakes, so i may be of no help to you. but i do love trying to solve a mystery!

God Emporer BillyBrew 08-10-2006 09:40 PM

Well, I definitely appreciate you trying and will provide any info you think will help. I buy spring water from the store.

I don't that I'm real experienced. I've done about 10 brews since I started last spring. But I've logged a lot time on this board!

Desert_Sky 08-10-2006 10:08 PM

did you get the chance to read this article that BrewPastor posted?

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/M..._Culturing.php

johnsma22 08-10-2006 10:23 PM

Proper aeration of your wort is critical to obtaining a complete fermentation. It sound like you have everything else going in the right direction IE.. yeast starters etc, but the shaking method of aeration is very lacking. I would suggest investing in an O2 system and I'll bet you will see a marked improvement in your fermentations.

John

God Emporer BillyBrew 08-10-2006 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimone
did you get the chance to read this article that BrewPastor posted?

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/M..._Culturing.php

Not yet, but I will read it this evening.

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnsma22
Proper aeration of your wort is critical to obtaining a complete fermentation. It sound like you have everything else going in the right direction IE.. yeast starters etc, but the shaking method of aeration is very lacking. I would suggest investing in an O2 system and I'll bet you will see a marked improvement in your fermentations.

John

Do you mean a stone and an aquarium pump or is there something that's more recommended?

Desert_Sky 08-10-2006 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by God Emporer BillyBrew
Do you mean a stone and an aquarium pump or is there something that's more recommended?

A difusion stone and aquarium pump is more effective than shaking your wort to introduce air into it. But if you want to take it to the extreme, then use the difusion stone hooked to a small oxygen tank.

The aquarium pump is just taking ambient air which is oxygen, notrogen, etc, etc.....which is still great, but pure oxygen is by far the best

johnsma22 08-10-2006 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by God Emporer BillyBrew
Do you mean a stone and an aquarium pump or is there something that's more recommended?

As stated, an aquarium pump is OK, but would require 20+ minutes to achieve a proper saturation of O2 in the wort, measured in parts/million. It is better than shaking, but not anywhere as efficient as using pure O2. Injection of oxygen through a 2 micron diffusing stone can actually supersaturate the wort with 10-12 ppm of dissolved oxygen being reached in 5 gallons of wort by a single 60 second blast of oxygen!

I purchased the O2 set up offered from Williams Brewing. The reason I chose this set up over the others that are available, is due to the fact that the diffusion stone is attached to the end of a 22" stainless steel wand. I find it easier to handle, and put where I want it in the fermenter, as opposed to a diffusion stone with a barb attached to the end of a length of food grade tubing. The system does not come with an O2 tank. You can find the small tanks of O2 at any hardware store for about $8-10.

When using this set up, in order to conserve O2, you only need to open the valve so that you just start to see some bubbling on the surface of the wort. Any more than that and you are just wasting O2 into the atmosphere. Also, remove the regulator from the tank after every use, as they are known to leak. I have 15 batches and 3 starters from one tank so far.

John


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