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Old 03-10-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
celtic_man81
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Default Fermentation Issues. Any Suggestions?

NOTE: I do NOT plan to use this for illegal activity, I am only using GAC FILTERING!

Hello everyone,
I started a sort of experiment, about a month and a half ago, and my brew seems to not be fermenting (or at least it seems to be going very, very slowly).

Here is the log of events:
Brewing Day: Used about 7Kg of grain +/-, 8Kg of DME (light) +/-, and 1kg of sugar (to increase OG).

OG: about 1.145 @ about 30L (final volume).
FG: expected to be at 1.000 (a very high gravity experiment.)
Yeast: Turbo Yeast (brand name) added @ about 30 degrees. NOTE: the instructions suggested to stir in the yeast, with the final volume being about 22 or 23L. 14 days for fermentation. Is to yield about 18-20% alcohol. The yeast was a little old, about 2 or 3 month before the expiry end date.

Day 14 to day 21:
Taste test/observations: still quite sugary. smelled like there might be a bit of alcohol in it, but it certainly didn't taste like it. I decided to give it another week, because it was a little old, and I had of course, went a bit over the recommended wort amount.

Taste test/observations II: Same issue, maybe a bit less sugary, but still pretty sugary.
Yeast II: Extreme Alcobase (http://clickabrew.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1265) I only used Packet A, because it contained the yeast, while packet B contained liquid carbon (I already have the Carbon Snake to do the job). NOTE: instructions were the same, with a bit more description; it says to stir in the yeast in, to prevent wort from foaming over. 7 days to ferment. Is to yield 23% alcohol.

Day 28 to day 35:
Taste test/observations III: it seems a bit less sugary (although I can't tell much), and maybe a stronger alcohol smell (although I don't taste it) I also notice a bit of an oilish looking substance on top of the brew, fusels maybe?

During the whole process, the brew has never showed foaming. I think this is normal, because both instructions did say to stir the yeast in, and the Alcobase did explain that it was to prevent the brew from foaming over. Although, I do remember from wine production there was still at least a bit of scum at the top, so I'm not sure.

I have checked my brew book, and the only thing it suggests is to add more yeast, or that the temperature might be a little low (if it is even fermenting). I have thought of adding more yeast, to see if it will help at all, but I think it might be a bad idea, considering I have already put two large packets of turbo yeast in my batch already. I have also thought of checking the temperature and SG readings to see how the brew is coming along, but I am afraid of contamination.


If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a bunch.

For those wondering what I am trying to accomplish, basically either a really, really high gravity barley wine, or a faux whisky (as I call it). I'm not sure what the effect the carbon filtering is going to have on the final product. Either it is going to retain all of the flavor. Or it will lose flavor, tasting a bit like whisky.

Again, to make it clear everyone, I am doing everything legit. people seem to be walking on eggshells whenever Turbo Yeast is mentioned.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:47 AM   #2
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turbo yeast usually is designed to ferment 7 kilos of sugar in 25 litres of water.
it appears your starting gravity was a bit high and the yeast stalled.
i did the same thing(i actually doubled the sugar) ferment started but stalled early.
i ended up diluting with another 30 litrs of water(25+30=55 litres) to get the 7 kilos of sugar to finish fermenting. i also added a pack of lavlin ec1118 to be sure.
gac will remove any flavours in your brew(if enough is used).

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Old 03-11-2008, 01:57 AM   #3
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Turbo yeast is just a fancy name for wine yeast and nutrients. I can't see you getting a barley wine, because you have no hops, and I just don't see the combo working anyway if you did have hops.

If you are going to filter, you won't get whiskey. You'll get weak vodka if you filter it enough.

You might as well drop the hydrometer in there and see what's up.

I have never heard of anyone using malt as a base when using turbo yeast, so I'm not sure what to expect. My recommendation is to just use cane sugar next time.

You should check out homedistiller.org. It is a great resource for this type of fermenting. Another excellent site is the Amphora-Society.

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Old 03-11-2008, 02:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rod
it appears your starting gravity was a bit high and the yeast stalled.
i did the same thing(i actually doubled the sugar) ferment started but stalled early.
i ended up diluting with another 30 liters of water(25+30=55 litres) to get the 7 kilos of sugar to finish fermenting. i also added a pack of lavlin ec1118 to be sure.
gac will remove any flavours in your brew(if enough is used).
Even if the yeast stalls, will it still ferment? I'm assuming it is the same sort of case scenerio as a lager, it will take a long time to ferment, would that be true? Or will it just not ferment at all?

Now, you say that the GAC will remove ALL flavours? Do really mean all, or just the majority?
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:58 AM   #5
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Activated carbon will strip all flavour, provided you have enough of it. How much is enough? It depends on the surface area (basically how much GAC you have), and how much fusels, etc, are in your final product.

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Old 03-11-2008, 04:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr x
Activated carbon will strip all flavour, provided you have enough of it. How much is enough? It depends on the surface area (basically how much GAC you have), and how much fusels, etc, are in your final product.
In response to the flavour question, As long as it doesn't taste like a vodka (if it tastes like whisky) that is what I'm aiming for.

As for you other question, I bought this: http://clickabrew.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1199, it looks like I'll be using 2 oz. of GAC. It also said in the instructions that the slower you filter, the purer it'll be. This seems to suggest I might be able to control the flavour?

As for the fusels, I have no idea how much would be in there, I'm not sure if there is even anything in my batch. I just said it looked like there was some on the top (an oily substance.) But as I said, I don't taste it. From reading The Home Distiller's Guide, it seems to suggests fusels to me, but I can't be sure.

Thanks for the feedback though. If you can give me anymore info, that would be great!
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:24 AM   #7
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GAC is specifically designed to make vodka (neutral spirits)out of rough spirits. Even if you run out of capacity (and you might as 2 oz isn't much considering what you have used for a base sugar), or go fast with the filter, I'm almost 100% positive you won't get anything that tastes like whiskey. Making whiskey is somewhat complicated, and really requires distilling. If you want to make whiskey, go to the sites above for excellent info. This book as well:

http://www.home-distilling.com/

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