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Old 10-29-2010, 02:28 AM   #1
riromero
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Default Lactose is largely unfermentable?

I'm making a caramel cream ale that calls for lactose in the secondary for added sweetness. I pitched WLP002 into a 1.075 OG wort and waited. After a week I pulled a sample and measured a 1.008 FG. Almost too low. I didn't want to go overboard on the sweetness so I boiled a lactose solution with half the recommended amount and added it to the secondary, thinking that I would add the other half at bottling if it could use more. Wait two weeks...

Today I go out to check and theres a minor krausen ring in the carboy and signs of airlock activity. I can't imagine that my 1.008 gravity beer at one week is still going two weeks later. Is it the lactose? I see the wiki says lactose is "largely unfermentable". Largely? What does that mean? Now if I add another dose of lactose at bottling am I just bomb-making? Very strange.

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Old 10-29-2010, 02:32 AM   #2
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lactose is really not fermentable. i think what you saw in the krausen is not the lactose, but when you added the lactose, you stirred (roused) up the yeast and remaining sugars.

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Old 10-29-2010, 02:42 AM   #3
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taste it...if you want it sweeter add more lactose!

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Old 10-29-2010, 02:51 AM   #4
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Well, there are things that will ferment the lactose and it will leave a sour beer.

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Old 10-29-2010, 02:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
Well, there are things that will ferment the lactose and it will leave a sour beer.
true, but on the bright side, you might get an entry in bluebonnet in the sour beers category a couple years down the road
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:43 AM   #6
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I didn't think 002 could attenuate from 1075 to 1008. Maybe your readings are screwed up.

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Old 10-29-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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"Largely unfermentable" may mean some of it, in the package, is already broken down into the constituent sugars; dextrose and galactose. It's also acid degradable, similar to sucrose, so maybe that happens a bit if it's boiled to sanitize.

Plus, the souring bacteria & yeasts, as mentioned above.

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Old 10-29-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Basically Lactose is unfermentable by traditional beer brewing yeast strains. However, as other have said, there are some things that will ferment it. (ever found a jug of bad milk in your fridge?)

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Old 10-29-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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I double-checked the gravity this morning: 1.010. The sample from the hydrometer tube tasted like finished beer; no sourness evident. But I also got some very weak carbonation in the sample too. So I'm at three weeks, taste is good, gravity has been good for 2+ weeks, and still have signs of yeast activity? Makes me reluctant to put it in the bottle regardless of what's going on.

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