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Old 01-18-2011, 07:41 PM   #1
BrotherFreeman
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Default Time to experiment...

Well, I whipped up what I thought was going to be an awesome recipe for a Scottish strong ale. Got it mashed down, boiled up, shifted over and cooled down only to realize my LBHS did not crush the grains for me like I had thought they had, giving me an OG of 1.025, 1.03 if im lucky. So I went ahead and pitched on Saturday but have begun to think about ways to experiment/salvage the batch. By no means am I expecting it to come out like it should have but figured I could take this opportunity to play around with what I have. Here are some of my ideas:

1) Since my efficiency was shot to hell, i ended up way over volume and have 1.5 gallons on the side i had to emergency pitch with some trub from a beer i had just racked. I know, not ideal yeast but we are experimenting right? I was thinking about tossing this in the freezer for a bit and turning it into a slushy of sorts and straining out the ice to concentrate it a bit. I read in the wine forum about this and freeze distillation. My goal here isnt to make a liquor but just to concentrate the gravity a bit.

2) Take a couple of gallons from my 5 gallon fermenter and throw it back on the stove, reboil it and mix in a couple pounds of DME, rechill and pitch with another smack pack i have.

3) leave the remaining wort to go its course and see what came of the original fiasco.


Anyone have any additional ideas? Im will probably try all of these just to see what happens. After all, if its already broken, why worry about breaking it more?

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Old 01-18-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
TheBaconator
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Hey there,
1. Racking wort onto just used yeast is actually a really good way to do it provided you haven't had the old beer off the trub for too long(e.g. make the switch same day and leave the lid on the fermenter). You have an instant and huge starter. Something to keep in mind for future batches.
* You can freeze concentrate it as well but don't do that with yeast in there it'll likely make it go dormant and not wake up. So freeze ahead of time and pitch yeast at a good temp or ferment and then freeze concentrate.

2. This is probably your best bet. It's going to be the best way to get more fermentables in there and quickly. You just need to be wary of sanitation since you're going to have to pull out a portion of wort and add it back. Anytime something goes in the fermenter you risk infection. You can just think of your previous grain bill as your specialty grains and add some extract.

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Old 01-18-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
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What up BrotherFreeman!

If you want to freeze distill you'll need to do so after fermentation ceases. Freezing before fermentation you'd just end up with frozen water and carbohydrates. The key is in the freezing temperature difference between ethanol and water. Ethanol stays liquid while the water crystallizes.

I do like option 2 the best. Probably your best option for getting something drinkable out of it. What about this? Get a few pounds of DME and boil in a little water as possible, creating an ultra high gravity wort. Cool down and then add to your existing 5.X gallons. Mix up the combined wort and see what happens. That way you won't need to waste that smack pack.

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherFreeman View Post
giving me an OG of 1.025, 1.03 if im lucky. So I went ahead and pitched on Saturday

1) Since my efficiency was shot to hell, i ended up way over volume and have 1.5 gallons on the side
Why didn't you just boil longer?
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