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Old 04-12-2014, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Re-pitch or Dump?

I brewed an American Amber Ale two weeks ago (3/29). Expected OG was 1.056, I got 1.057. 2.6 gallons into fermenter (half batch). Pitched 1 hydrated packet of Windsor. (This is my first experience with Windsor.) Put fermenter in cold corner of a room (strip thermometer reading 66F).

I forgot to check the airlock the next day, but the following day I saw no bubbling action, so I opened the fermenter. I saw a krausen ring, so I closed it back up.

One week later (4/5), I checked the gravity: 1.025. Looking online, I found that the recommended temperature range for Windsor is 64-70F. I stirred the fermenter to rouse the yeast and moved it to the kitchen table. The strip thermometer read 72F.

One week later (today, 4/12), I checked the gravity: 1.024. This time and a week ago, the sample tasted fine, but sweet.

I took a picture of the top of the beer in the fermenter. Is this normal? My plan was to pitch another packet of Windsor and to give it another week, but if what I am seeing on the top indicates an infection or other problem, I will dump it.

So, re-pitch or dump?

amber-ale.jpg  
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:17 PM   #2
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What temp did you mash at? What was your grain bill?


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Old 04-12-2014, 04:18 PM   #3
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That looks like an infection to me. You might let it ride for a while and see what it tastes like though. Have you tasted it yet?

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Old 04-13-2014, 02:35 AM   #4
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Default Re-pitch or Dump?

5.5 lb pale malt
9 oz crystal 60
Mashed at 156F

Tasted fine, but sweet.

I skimmed the surface, shook to aerate, and pitched another Windsor.



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Old 04-13-2014, 12:45 PM   #6
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Mashing at 156 is also going to cause a high final gravity and sweet beer.


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Old 04-13-2014, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
That photo shows a definite pellicle. It's infected for sure.
Thanks. This is the first time for me.

I assume there is no other option but to dump?

Yesterday I skimmed, shook to aerate, and pitched more yeast. If I had not done that, could I have pulled beer off from under the pellicle or would it still be a dump situation?
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyrnaquince View Post
Thanks. This is the first time for me.

I assume there is no other option but to dump?

Yesterday I skimmed, shook to aerate, and pitched more yeast. If I had not done that, could I have pulled beer off from under the pellicle or would it still be a dump situation?
Some will say that if it tastes good, bottle it up and drink it. Aerating it at this point was a huge mistake, as it was probably finished and giving it oxygen will only encourage the infection (most love oxygen) and the yeast won't do anything about that.

I've never actually heard of an accidental sour beer tasting good, though!
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:56 PM   #9
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Windsor is a low attenuater to begin with, and you mashed high. I think it was done, and then you introduced oxygen and an infection. Bummer. I'd probably cut my losses and get ready to brew again.

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Old 04-13-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Some will say that if it tastes good, bottle it up and drink it. Aerating it at this point was a huge mistake, as it was probably finished and giving it oxygen will only encourage the infection (most love oxygen) and the yeast won't do anything about that.



I've never actually heard of an accidental sour beer tasting good, though!

Aerating was the advice from the LHBS. The guy said it would help the new yeast. My bad, though, in that I did not mention the possible infection and completely forgot that I had a photo of it with me. So his advice was based on incomplete information--I can't fault him on that.

I've got some airlock activity now from the new yeast, but of course I also have the bacteria from the infection in there, too. I am surprised that my sample tasted OK, but I guess it had not been going long enough to throw the taste off.

I plan to soak the fermenter in bleach water after I empty it.


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