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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Please help solve 1st All-Grain debacle
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:41 PM   #1
mangine77
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Default Please help solve 1st All-Grain debacle

I would really appreciate some opinions on this one. I'll be as short as possible.

-brewed my first All grain beer, a centennial blonde ale, pitched the nottingham yeast and had no fermentation for the first 2.5 days.

-then dediced to re-pitch with a pack of Windsor that I had laying around

-fermentation started within 12 hours after the second pack being pitched

-long fermentation after that, like 5 or 6 days of airlock activity which seemed like a lot for a blonde

-I go to bottle today and things don't seem right. Here are the symptoms:

* supposed to finish at 1.008 and it's like 1.001
* super thin lining of Krausen on bucket- much thinner than usual
*TONS of sediment- I think a lot of yeast
*Super cloudy beer- left thick sediment deposits on the glass I sampled from
*Smelled a little grapey/cidery but not crazy strong or anything

I have a theory that I'm curious about I've gotten obsessed with brewing and because all my beer equipment was being used, I used my 6 gallon wine fermenting bucket.

It's just like the beer bucket except 1 gallon larger. Same lid/airlock. I'm anal about my cleaning and sanitizing but I'm wondering if trace amounts of metabisulfate or sorbate or something from doing wine, caused these problems.

I tasted the beer and it tastes very plain and a little grapey. What do you think? Give it a chance in the bottle??

Too late actually I primed and bottled already, but what would be your best guess??
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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Yes I think the wine bucket messed up your brew. Wine yeast must have been in the bucket because wine yeast would ferment all of the sugars as evidenced by the finish gravity reading. It may not be the best beer you ever made but it sure will make you tipsy.

I think you should keep the wine equipment separated from the beer at all times because I think it is almost impossible to not have this happen again.

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Old 11-30-2008, 11:07 PM   #3
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Yes I think the wine bucket messed up your brew. Wine yeast must have been in the bucket because wine yeast would ferment all of the sugars as evidenced by the finish gravity reading. It may not be the best beer you ever made but it sure will make you tipsy.

I think you should keep the wine equipment separated from the beer at all times because I think it is almost impossible to not have this happen again.
Do you mind elaborating though?? If the wine yeast ate all the sugars, isn't that still fermentation? This batch did nothing for almost 2.5 days and that's why I repitched.

I will definitely never mix again but how could there still be wine yeast in a bucket that was washed well and soaked in sanitizer before it was used for the beer?

Could other factors involving the wine bucket have screwed this up? Like the sorbate or metabisulfate? Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:16 PM   #4
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I use plastic carboys to brew wine and beer in and have never had issues with cross contamination. I clean really well using a bleach soak for days before rinsing with hot water and sanatizing. I use common airlocks and bungs also in addition to all my other brewing tools.

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:12 AM   #5
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Are there others that think there is a chance of cross-contamination here??

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:29 AM   #6
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Even Notty does not attenuate to that degree. What was your OG. If it was anywhere near 1.040 or above then I would suspect some other yeast took hold and fermented your beer. Hmmm seems like wine yeast or maybe champagne yeast maybe.

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:40 AM   #7
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Or a wild yeast or bacteria. Since you had such a long lag time, I wonder if some wild yeast took hold. Windsor should be less attenuative, so it's definitely not the Windsor that did this!

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:41 AM   #8
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If using the same equipment for wine and beer cause issues like this, they haven't for me in my 5 years doing both. Just make sure to sanitize well!

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:42 AM   #9
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Even Notty does not attenuate to that degree. What was your OG. If it was anywhere near 1.040 or above then I would suspect some other yeast took hold and fermented your beer. Hmmm seems like wine yeast or maybe champagne yeast maybe.
That's what stinks. I don't have an OG because I broke my hydrometer in the middle of the brew. Wouldn't it take a decent amount of yeast to do that? And I can guarantee there were not yeasties from a previous wine batch just laying in the fermenter. This baby was cleaned and soaked in sanitizer.

BUT, here is the other big mystery that I can't believe I forgot to mention.

This went in the fermenter as 5.5 gallons and I only had enough volume to fill 36 bottles WTF right? How did I lose all that volume?? Where did it go? I mean, where did the liquid go???

Come on, some folks must have a guess? Help me figure this out. Please!
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:28 AM   #10
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2.5 days of no yeast action would give a wild yeast or bacteria plenty of time to take hold. I just listened to a Brewing Network Podcast with some guy that works for a wine yeast company Llamond(sp?) and he's said that Wine yeast can not attenuate beer as far a brewers actually think. Wine yeast can not ferment maltotrios and therefor will never attenuate as well as actual beer yeast. However he talked about an enzyme that wine makers use that assist with attenuation.

In your wine making do you use those enzymes that break down starches and sugars for increased fermentation? I forget what they're called but that could help your standard beer yeast over attenuate.

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