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Old 03-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #21
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I'm in a similar situation (posted in the beginner's forum) I made a scaldis clone(extract) with an OG of 1.12 and it has stalled around 1.06 (FG supposed to be 1.02).... tried stirring and adding rehydrated Nottingham but I haven't seen any change yet.

I'm about to try adding a notty/champagine yeast starter at high krausen to see if that does anything.

Keep me posted on your success... I'm curious about trying amylase too

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Old 03-30-2011, 09:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jfowler1 View Post

Please volunteer the recipe, and it may save you from a future head ache.
I will post it up this evening when i get home from work. There was 15lb of 2-row pale and 5 different "specialty" (but maybe not) malts i will list them when i get home as i dont remember all of them off the top of my head.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfowler1 View Post
....you've got a serious recipe problem.


I have seen a lot of people set themselves up for failure by putting together a malt bill with practically zero diastatic power, and then wondered why the wort didn't ferment.

This may be true
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:17 PM   #24
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"I have seen a lot of people set themselves up for failure by putting together a malt bill with practically zero diastatic power, and then wondered why the wort didn't ferment."

I think you can rule out diastatic power as your problem. 15 lbs of 2 row is more than enough. The recipe I was eluding to was a Porter that had nothing but Munich, Brown Malt, Crystal, and Roasted grains. The fermentation went no where, as almost nothing converted during the mash. Munich was the only grain with a chance, and it usually needs a bit of help from Pilsner or 2-row.

Still, you will benefit greatly by posting your recipe and any notes you kept from the process. I'll continue to follow the thread.

Joe

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Old 03-30-2011, 09:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by boyleia1 View Post
3/23/11 I started a yeast starter of 4 cups water and 2 cups amber dry extract added yeast and it went fermented but never went crazy. no thick layer of foam on top.
4 cups of water is a little less than a liter. 2 cups of DME is like 260+ grams. Usually, it's 1 gram per 10 ml of water, so your starter gravity was more than double the recommended.

My math might be off, but that sounds like a 1.100+ starter.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:12 PM   #26
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4 cups of water is a little less than a liter. 2 cups of DME is like 260+ grams. Usually, it's 1 gram per 10 ml of water, so your starter gravity was more than double the recommended.

My math might be off, but that sounds like a 1.100+ starter.
I mistakenly forgot to take the gravity of my starter, I think your estimate is on the high end but still within reason... this is what i got:

4 cups water = 1/4 gal.
i used 9.5oz of DME (bought 1lb and have 6.5oz remaining.)
9.5 oz = about 0.6lb (0.594)

According to the brew masters bible DME will yield 1.035-1.045 S.G. per LB per Gal.

So i get a range of 1.084-1.108... I have never done a yeast starter before and am not sure what the SG should be. that was the recipe i found from a google search... (probably should have looked it up on here)
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:19 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfowler1 View Post

Still, you will benefit greatly by posting your recipe and any notes you kept from the process. I'll continue to follow the thread.

Joe
Grain bill:
15lb Pale 2-row
1lb Crystal L60
1lb Bisket malt
1lb Crystal L20
1lb Durst Smoked Malt
1/2 lb Black patent malt

Process:

boil water.
add grain.
hold mash @158 degrees for 110min
Sperge 5gal of wort out of mash with 160-180 degree water.
Boil 60min.
add hops with 45min, 20min, and 15min remaining.
Add Irish moss with 15min remaining.
cool to 75 degree
transfer to carboy while screening.
take gravity 1.068.
Pitch yeast.
Aerate. (i skimped on this, I swirled in carboy for about a min rather than picking the entire thing up and shaking it like i usually do).

you know the rest of the story.
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:30 AM   #28
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That is a high mash temp and with those figures that would put your efficiency at around 48%. Honestly most of those grains are pretty fermentable it might have been the high mash temp that gave you a fairly dextronous wort. Hence having trouble fermenting it out. Even at that high of a mash temperature though I would think you would get it down lower then that. If you want to try something maybe try throwing like 2 or 3 packs of dry yeast in there. If that does not ferment it nothing will.

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:01 AM   #29
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boyleia1,

Thanks for posting that. It is a huge help.

I think that in almost all cases of poor fermentability, you have three culprits.
1. Recipe
2. Mash Temp
3. Yeast Health

1. Recipe
Honestly, it looks good. 2 row, biscuit, and smoked malt are all fermentable. As another poster noted, you efficiency could improve, but that does not seem to be the root problem here (but certainly something to work on). 2 pounds of crystal is a lot, but it would not be enough to get stuck above 1.040. The Brown Shugga clone is just shy of 2 lbs of crystal, and finishes around 1.022.

2. Mash temp
You said something that concerned me. "Boil, add grain". If you boiled, in the above 212 degree sense of the word, you mashed way too hot. I know you mentioned mash at 158 for 110 minutes (which is about 50-60 minutes more than you need at such a high temp - 90 minutes is a good idea with a low mash ~148) but there is no way that boiling water + grain = 158. It is usually more like 175 water + grain = 158. So maybe there is a thermometer problem, or a poorly stirred mash...something to work on next time. Would you perhaps be mashing on a stovetop or right on a burner, with the heat source still on?

3. Yeast health. You probably have been made aware that a starter needs to be 1.040. Use metric and weight (not volume measurements) to figure this out next time. For every 10 ml of water, add 1 gram of light DME. So, 1000 ml (1 Liter) starter gets 100 grams of light DME. Your 1.100 Barleywine starter may have doomed the yeast, or at least, didn't do anything to help them. Oxygen and aeration are insanely important to a good fermentation, but I think you have a couple other hurdles to work out before getting wrapped up in aeration. Baby Steps.

So, keep the same grain bill, and next time work on hitting your mash number. There are free calculators or purchasable software to help you with that calculation. Also, take another try at a starter, 10:1 (water to DME). If liquid yeast and starters seem like too much to deal with, you might have great success rehydrating a pack of dry yeast in 100F pre-boiled water and pitching that.

Hope you have better luck on the next batch, and feel free to ask any follow up questions.

Joe

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:44 AM   #30
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Wow, we really didn't catch that tarter issue for a while, huh?

Here's a quick video on simple steps on how to correctly do a yeast starter:


Give that a view and see if your process is far off what Northern Brewer recommends.
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