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Old 09-30-2007, 07:58 PM   #1
max-the-knife
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Default What the @#&% happened!!!

I brewed a fat tire clone from Austin Homebrew and have had nothing but trouble. To bring everyone up to speed:

1) My kit arrived on a Monday during a 100+ deg F. week. Thus it sat in a warehouse over the weekend.

2) When it arrived, the liquid yeast was hot and the ice packs were a joke.

3) After the boil, I put the wort in the primary and pitched the yeast. It took 3 days to show any signs of fermentation. ( I think the liquid yeast was dead and a wild yeast did the fermentation.)

4) I did 2 weeks in the primary, 4 weeks in the secondary and 4 weeks in the bottle. I used 4.5 oz of corn sugar for conditioning a bottle carbonation.

5) When I look at the bottles of beer through a light, I have a distinct clear layer at the top of the bottle and the bottom 2-1/2" is dark and opaque.

6) The beer has a distince medicinal flavor.

The following is my recipe and brew data:

Speciality grains steeped 15 min. @ 155 deg F. in 3 gallon water.
-3 oz. Bisciut malt
-8 oz. Crystal malt 90L
-6 oz. Munich Malt
-4 oz. Victory Malt

Heated the wort to a boil and removed from heat and added:
-4 lbs Extra Pale Extract
-3 lbs Pale Extract

I disolved the liquid extract and bought to a boil.

The following was my hops schedule:
-3/4 oz. Northen Brewer 60 min.
-1/2 oz. Hersbruker 15 min.
-1/4 oz. Willamette 5 min.

I used my wort chiller and cooled the wort to 80 deg. F. and aerated it as I poured it into the plastic primary fermenter.

I pitched the yeast (liquid White Labs California Ale) and followed the fermentation and conditioning schedule as stated above.

Does anyone know why I have the dark layer in my bottles?

Is it possible that I have a wild strain of yeast doing the fermentation?

Lastly, I read many time that no brew is so bad that you can't drink 5 gallons of it. I beg to differ. I think I'm going to have to dump it!!!

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Last edited by max-the-knife; 10-01-2007 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:05 PM   #2
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Sounds like an infection. Did you make a starter? It does not look like it.

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Old 09-30-2007, 08:11 PM   #3
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Next time, like Ed said, make a starter to ensure that your liquid yeast is viable. Also, next time you're brewing a kit with Cal Ale yeast, use some dry S-05. No starters and costs about $6 less for MORE of the SAME yeast. Praises sung here.

What was your ferm temp at? Sounds like it could have been too hot as well.

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Old 09-30-2007, 08:12 PM   #4
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3) After the boil, I put the wort in the primary and pitched the yeast. It took 3 days to show any signs of fermentation. ( I think the liquid yeast was dead and a wild yeast did the fermentation.)

If the yeast was hot and suspect why no starter?

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Old 09-30-2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm only 1 UPS-day away from AHS and I've had liquid yeast arrive warm - even with the gel packs. That's just a mail order fact of life, I guess. Since then I've stuck to dry yeast unless I'm picking it up in person. It was already mentioned, but you can get some good dry yeast to use instead.

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Old 09-30-2007, 10:07 PM   #6
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Have you contacted Austinhomebrew yet? I would bet they would replace the kit for you. Just a hunch.

Forrest

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Old 10-01-2007, 01:30 AM   #7
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If you can not make a starter or do not have liquid yeast saved from the previous brew then always use dry yeast and hydrate it if you wish. If a pitched yeast does not start in 24 hours then pitch more yeast. Always areate the wort the first time pitching yeast. Wort temp at 80 F when pitching dry yeast. No more than 15 degrees between liquid yeast and the wort temp. The sooner yeast starts the better as the other organisums will not get a foothold on your presious brew. Ferment ales at 66 to 72 F. Clean, Sterilize, Clean, Sterilize, Clean, Sterilize, Clean, Sterilize, Clean, Sterilize.

If you do the above you will not have problems. This has been said many times before and yet we get lax for some reason.

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Old 10-01-2007, 03:29 PM   #8
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That medicinal flavor comes from phenols, and those come from fermentation. It could be that you do have some sort of contamination from wild yeast, or you could have such a low pitching rate and poor yeast health that your yeast was overly strained, or your fermentation temperature could be too high.

That darker layer in your bottles is probably just stuff settling out. How long ago did you bottle? That layer should slowly become lower and lower.


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Old 10-01-2007, 05:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austinhomebrew
Have you contacted Austinhomebrew yet? I would bet they would replace the kit for you. Just a hunch.

Forrest

LOL, have the inside source do ya?
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