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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Why is my brew never as strong as it says on the box?

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:08 AM   #11
mikescooling
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It's not so bad. When you boil wort it takes all the O2 out of it, so when it's in the carboy after it's cooled, you can shake the crap out of it, blow bubbles with a fish tank thing(?) or do what I do and add pure O2, I use welding gas. This gives the yeast the O2 in the first 24 hrs they need. Most people shake the crap out of it. Also, sometimes the yeast can be old/dead and under pitching will slow fermentation. So if you want a great fermentation, make a starter then shake the crap out of it. After you do it once it will be easy.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:10 AM   #12
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Carboy? Sorry I'm such a beginner its not funny. Is that the pressure barrel I'm assuming? Shaking the fermentation bucket would prob result in all my ale going up the walls lol. When you say make a starter do you mean out some of the dried yeast in water and shake it in a container before adding it to the wort?. Then would I sprinkle the rest of the yeast on the top as per instructions? Sorry for the stupid questions like I said I'm a total virgin to this

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #13
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How about this, check to make sure the yeast is fresh and when in doubt pitch a second package. To add air/o2, you can whisk or stir the wort as best you can just after you pitch the yeast, in the fermentation bucket. I don't know what the pressure barrel is (slang there may be different here).

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:45 AM   #14
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A carboy is a big, fat bottle that is often used for fermenting beers, wines and anything else you care to.

When you are pouring the wort from your Brew Kettle into your bucket try to get as much splashing as possible to aerate/oxygenate the wort. Then/or go to town on it with a long handled spoon (plastic is best) or a whisk and try to whip as much foam as possible/introduce as much air as you can so that the yeast have plenty O2 to help them get ready for feasting on sugars, farting CO2 and pi$$ing alcohol.

Getting the wort down near the lower end of your yeast's optimum temperature range to start fermentation and for the first few days, then, after a week or so, allowing the temp of your fermenter to rise a few degrees for the last week of primary is known to generally give good results.

Your example above of yeast use is sounding like a partial re-hydration

Pitching the entire contents of the packet dry is OK. Re-hydrating the contents of the packet in warm water would be OK too.

A starter is basically something where you add your yeast to a small volume of wort/sugar and water solution/ DME and water, then it (the yeast) starts to multiply/reproduce meaning you have larger numbers of healthy yeast ready to go to work on your 5 gallon, or however big, batch of wort and they can do the task with the minimal amount of stress which leads to efficient attenuation, fewer off flavours and a better beer.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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Pressure barrel is the container for putting the beer in for the final fermentation the one that's sealed tight with a valve at the top for adding co2 to if there's a vacuum unbalance and air gets sucked up the tap into the barrel when you try to pour a glass. That's what they called it on the kit instructions anyway. I think I could have mixed some more air in at the start. I think that could be part of my problem. Ah we'll live and learn!. Looks like my guests will have to drink more of it to feel any Xmas cheer this season lol. Still 3.89% isn't to bad for an ale I guess, although 4.5% would have been nice!

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Old 11-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #16
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Brilliant that makes sense ogri thanks! Would there be a specific water/yeast/sugar ratio in should use?. & I assume brewers sugar is the best stuff for doing this ?

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Old 11-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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Heh, heh, I'm no expert on these matters so I did a quick search. Check out this thread

Seems like a ratio of 10:1:1 for water to sugar and one vial of liquid yeast. So that would be 10:1:1/2, water to sugar to (1/2 of) an 11.5 gram bag of safale dry yeast. 1 litre water to 100 grams DME to 5.75 grams dry yeast. The important thing is to try to get that wort somewhere in the 1.030 to 1.040 Gravity range so that the yeast aren't working hard on fermenting it, more getting the nutrients necessary for reproduction.

I've never used brewer's sugar myself so couldn't really say as to how effective it'd be. Should be OK for yeast propagation. Seems that most use DME.

The Mr. Malty site looks helpful for determining starter size for your batch depending on batch size, OG and such.
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #18
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In the on-line "How to Brew", Palmer recommends re-hydrating dry yeast. He discusses starters for liquid yeast. His re-hydration method seems a little outdated - probably best to follow the yeast manufacturer's instructions. This on-line book is worthwhile reading, although some of it is outdated.

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Old 11-06-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
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www.howtobrew.com
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malky1841 View Post
...These said my starting gravity should be 1.040 at around 18-25 degrees, mine was 1.042???...
42 to 40 isn't that far off but if you want to hit the recipe OG you can always use a refractometer. It makes it easy to take fast samples during the boil. Of course adding a few minutes at the end to get the gravity up might mess with your late hop additions, but you'd have to make that judgment per recipe.
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