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Old 04-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Am I doing something wrong with my yeast starters?

Hi,

I usually make all grain beers, but these two are about kits that I bought because I didn't have time for a full brew day.

The first kit is a Brew House IPA, and the second a Festa Brew Brown Ale. For those of you who are not familiar with these kits, they are basically all grain wort and all you gotta do is ferment them.

In the past I have made these kits with Nottingham yeast with great results, but this time I decided to go with liquid yeast. I used 1056 for the IPA and 1098 for the brown ale.

I made the starters using the instructions on MrMalty and using his calculator.

I made the IPA on March 10 (3.5 weeks ago) and the Brown Ale on March 26 (10 days ago).

I keep the room that they are in at 17 degrees C.

Today, I checked the SG of both, and they are both at 1.022. The OG for the IPA was 1.062 (should go to ~1.016) and for the Brown Ale 1.050 (should go to ~1.013).

I understand that fermentation can take a while, but the IPA is going on 4 weeks now.

Both are still bubbling. Is there anything I could be doing wrong that would make it take so much longer than normal?

Thanks!

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #2
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what is fermenting temperature? Seems long but I don't have experience with that particular yeast strain

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Well, the room is at 17C (62.6F), and I have a thermometer sticker on the carboy that starts at 66F, and it's not showing anything (so, all I can tell is that it's below 66).

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Old 04-06-2011, 12:05 AM   #4
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Another thing I forgot to mention is that both of these started fermenting pretty vigorously within 24h (a lot of stuff came out the blowoff tube).

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Old 04-06-2011, 12:16 AM   #5
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You didn't provide any info on how you made the starters. What was viability? Optimum temp ranges? Is there any chance that the primary got much colder than you think? How did you aerate the wort?

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Old 04-06-2011, 12:21 AM   #6
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I can see two things. First, your fermentation temperature is a bit coolish. You probably want to warm these beers up to 65-70F which should speed up yeast metabolism. Second, the fermentability of the worts you bought is a big mystery. They may just be less fermentable than the wort you normally make yourself. But start by warming these up and see if you can knock off a few more points.

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Old 04-06-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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Looks like you could be a bit low on your temp. requirements. I sometimes wrap my carboys with blankets and even resort to a heating pad to get them started back up when needed. Just keep an eye on your thermometer.

YEAST STRAIN: 1098 | British Ale™

This yeast allows malt and hop character to dominate the profile. It ferments dry and crisp, slightly tart, fruity and well balanced. Beers will finish clean and neutral. Ferments well down to 64°F (18°C).

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium
Attenuation: 73-75%
Temperature Range: 64-72 F, 18-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 10% ABV

YEAST STRAIN: 1056 | American Ale™


Very clean, crisp flavor characteristics with low fruitiness and mild ester production. A very versatile yeast for styles that desire dominate malt and hop character. This strain makes a wonderful “House” strain. Mild citrus notes develop with cooler 60-66°F (15-19ºC) fermentations. Normally requires filtration for bright beers.

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium-Low
Attenuation: 73-77%
Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 11% ABV

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjbeerman View Post
You didn't provide any info on how you made the starters. What was viability? Optimum temp ranges? Is there any chance that the primary got much colder than you think? How did you aerate the wort?
For the IPA, I did a 1.5L starter. I mix 150g DME with 1.5L of water, then boil 15 minutes, cool to about 70, and pitch the yeast.

For the brown ale, same thing but the starter was a bit smaller.

I then decant about 1/2 the wort and mix the rest with the yeast on the bottom, and then pitch into the carboy.

I'm not sure if the problem is with the starter or the temperature now. I did get a very active fermentation in the first 2-3 days. It just seems to have slowed way down after that.

For the IPA:
OG: 1.062 (March 10)
SG: 1.030 (March 24 - 2 weeks)
SG: 1.024 (March 31 - 3 weeks)
SG: 1.022 (April 4 - 3.5 weeks).

It seems to be going down, just not too fast.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad67z View Post
Looks like you could be a bit low on your temp. requirements. I sometimes wrap my carboys with blankets and even resort to a heating pad to get them started back up when needed. Just keep an eye on your thermometer.

YEAST STRAIN: 1098 | British Ale™

This yeast allows malt and hop character to dominate the profile. It ferments dry and crisp, slightly tart, fruity and well balanced. Beers will finish clean and neutral. Ferments well down to 64°F (18°C).

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium
Attenuation: 73-75%
Temperature Range: 64-72 F, 18-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 10% ABV

YEAST STRAIN: 1056 | American Ale™


Very clean, crisp flavor characteristics with low fruitiness and mild ester production. A very versatile yeast for styles that desire dominate malt and hop character. This strain makes a wonderful “House” strain. Mild citrus notes develop with cooler 60-66°F (15-19ºC) fermentations. Normally requires filtration for bright beers.

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium-Low
Attenuation: 73-77%
Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 11% ABV
I just raised the temperature in the room to 19C, hopefully this will solve my problem.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerhappy View Post
I can see two things. First, your fermentation temperature is a bit coolish. You probably want to warm these beers up to 65-70F which should speed up yeast metabolism. Second, the fermentability of the worts you bought is a big mystery. They may just be less fermentable than the wort you normally make yourself. But start by warming these up and see if you can knock off a few more points.
I did warm it up a bit.

I know kits can be hit or miss, but these are pretty high quality (and are fresh), and I've always had good results with them.
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