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Old 10-16-2012, 01:15 AM   #1
dkeller12
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Default Request for advice from the experts

I brewed an IPA just over 3 weeks ago. I took a gravity reading at week one and week two and those readings were the same (1.024). I decided to stir up the trub to see if I can kick start the yeast and when I took a reading this past Sunday (week 3) it was just barely at 1.023.

Everything went well on brew day except the OG which I had at 1.060 when it should have been 1.050-1.052 but I assumed because this was an extract recipe with a small amount of steeping grains that I probably didn't mix well enough. Pitched yeast at around 68 degrees F and since this is my second brew I still didn't know much about a swamp cooler until I realized that our house temp of 75f was not helping my fermentation. Beer fermented like crazy for 24 hours then slowed. About day three I added a swamp cooler and maintained temps at about 66-68f from then one. Right now I am letting it warm up a bit but don't know if this will work.

So what should I do now? I am not planning on bottling it until this weekend but I don't think it is going to move much. Should I continue to bottle or can I get this yeast to wake up?

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeller12
I brewed an IPA just over 3 weeks ago. I took a gravity reading at week one and week two and those readings were the same (1.024). I decided to stir up the trub to see if I can kick start the yeast and when I took a reading this past Sunday (week 3) it was just barely at 1.023.

Everything went well on brew day except the OG which I had at 1.060 when it should have been 1.050-1.052 but I assumed because this was an extract recipe with a small amount of steeping grains that I probably didn't mix well enough. Pitched yeast at around 68 degrees F and since this is my second brew I still didn't know much about a swamp cooler until I realized that our house temp of 75f was not helping my fermentation. Beer fermented like crazy for 24 hours then slowed. About day three I added a swamp cooler and maintained temps at about 66-68f from then one. Right now I am letting it warm up a bit but don't know if this will work.

So what should I do now? I am not planning on bottling it until this weekend but I don't think it is going to move much. Should I continue to bottle or can I get this yeast to wake up?
Title was supposed to be "Request for advice from the experts". Darn auto correct
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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The swamp cooler is a good idea, but after 3 days of strong fermentation the "damage" is already done and you might have some off-flavors from the warm fermentation.

I'd pull it back out of the swamp cooler and let it warm back up a bit to your house temp to see if it will kick off again at all, swirl it a little ( but don't splash!) to get yeast back into suspension, and forget about it for another week.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:36 AM   #4
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Pitching some more yeast couldn't hurt either, you could try to make a starter now to make sure you have a lot of health yeast cells, and pitch it in a couple days if fermentation is still stuck.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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Ugh... I am all out of yeast until I can get to the HBS so I will attempt removing it from the swamp cooler and hope that works.

It's too bad because when it took my gravity readings I was surprised to find that it didn't have too many off flavors and was actually quite good. It is a very hoppy IPA so they could also be masked in the hops.

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:55 AM   #6
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Was this a kit? What were the ingredients/quantities?

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:05 AM   #7
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Recipe was from my LHBS, here it is

8 lbs pale malt extract
16 oz Vienna
8 oz Carapils
4 oz Biscuit
8 oz Munich
2 oz Northern brewer (bitter)
2 oz Columbus (flavor)
2 oz cascade (finish)
Windsor yeast

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:16 AM   #8
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It is probably just done. Extract brews often finish at higher FG because the extract is frequently made to retain body.

A warmer fermentation might produce off flavors but will also produce a more vigorous fermentation.

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Old 10-16-2012, 03:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeller12 View Post
Recipe was from my LHBS, here it is

8 lbs pale malt extract
16 oz Vienna
8 oz Carapils
4 oz Biscuit
8 oz Munich
2 oz Northern brewer (bitter)
2 oz Columbus (flavor)
2 oz cascade (finish)
Windsor yeast
Did you do a partial mash or were all of these steeping only? A lot of this grain bill isn't ideal for steeping (munich and vienna), you can get some flavor/color from them, but probably not much sugar.

The good news is, from my understanding, starches can increase your gravity, but they don't contribute to sweetness, but I don't know how much it can increase the gravity in these quantities.

1.023 is definitly high for an IPA, but from the looks of your hops there you've got quite a bit of bitterness to balance that out, so if you've tasted it and it doesn't taste overly sweet, you dont have much to worry about. It can't hurt to pitch more yeast, warm it up a little bit, and give it a little time though!
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:08 AM   #10
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Windsor yeast is a pretty poor attenuating yeast. I am not surprised it finished that high, especially considering you were using extract.

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