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Old 09-03-2006, 04:45 AM   #1
veggiess
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Default Give up & bottle?!

I made my choc caramel capp porter 2 1/2 wks ago with a packet of Safale US-56 yeast that I rehydrated first. I got about 3 days of active airlock activity, then it slowed down, but I wanted it to sit in the primary for 2 full weeks before bottling. I kept it at a very consistent temp the entire 2 weeks using a wet t-shirt and fan. When I went to bottle, I took off the lid and something did not look quite right. The ring of leftover trub at the top was very minimal...usually after the krausen falls I still have some sediment up there that I will need to wipe off when cleaning the container. This time there wasn't very much, so I decided to take a hydrometer reading before bottling. My starting was 1.052 (no temp adj needed) and I got 1.022 at this time. Couldn't figure out why this was, so decided, "What the heck! I'll toss some more yeast in there!" Used another packet of dry and within an hour I had airlock activity that lasted about a day. That was 4 days ago, so I took another hydrometer reading and got 1.020! Ugh! I'm not sure what to do. My ABV should be much higher than this because I used a decent amount of fermentables. I would let it go longer, but it's been sitting on that same yeast for 2 1/2 wks that doesn't seem to be doing much. I don't have a full secondary set-up, so I'm wondering what to do? Do I just bottle to avoid off flavors and chock this up to a really weak beer? Thanks in advance for the advice!

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Last edited by veggiess; 09-03-2006 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:30 AM   #2
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That is only 60-some percent attenuation but it is possible some of your ingredients are not fermentable. What's the recipe?

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Old 09-03-2006, 05:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by chillHayze
That is only 60-some percent attenuation but it is possible some of your ingredients are not fermentable. What's the recipe?
6 # dark LME
1/2 cup dextrose
1 # caramel malt (80L)
1/2 # chocolate malt
1/4 # black patent

1 oz Northern Brewer hops (60 min)
1/2 # lactose (20 min)
3 oz baking cocoa (20 min)
1/2 cup chocolate caramel coffee grounds (steeped for 10 min after flame-out)
1/2 oz vanilla (at flame-out)

Obviously the lactose is non-fermentable, but I would think the others would still have done better.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:20 AM   #4
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I had a similar question about how much lactose will affect your apparent attenuation...but never got a decent answer so I'm curious as well. It has to affect it somewhat...but how much?

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Old 09-03-2006, 06:57 AM   #5
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With the lactose, cocoa, coffee and vanilla 1.020 seems reasonable. A bit on the high side, but reasonable. You are looking for a malty beer in a porter with lots of adjuncts floating around in there. Furthermore, different brands of malt extracts carry different levels of fermentability, just as mash temp, ph, and water ratio control in AG brewing. Just because most pale ales go 1.008 - 1.015 doesn't mean your porter should fall into that range.

I would say bottle it! I bottled an IPA once at 1.022 and never had any bottle bombs. The DME used for that IPA was Laaglanders of Holland - the most non-fermentable extract IIRC.

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Old 09-03-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillHayze
With the lactose, cocoa, coffee and vanilla 1.020 seems reasonable. A bit on the high side, but reasonable. You are looking for a malty beer in a porter with lots of adjuncts floating around in there. Furthermore, different brands of malt extracts carry different levels of fermentability, just as mash temp, ph, and water ratio control in AG brewing. Just because most pale ales go 1.008 - 1.015 doesn't mean your porter should fall into that range.

I would say bottle it! I bottled an IPA once at 1.022 and never had any bottle bombs. The DME used for that IPA was Laaglanders of Holland - the most non-fermentable extract IIRC.
I used Briess LME. I guess I'm not too worried about bottle bombs since my # hasn't changed much, but I am bummed about the final ABV. Anything I should have done differently? My hydrometer sample did taste quite good, though, so at least I've got that! I'll bottle it up and get moving on my vanilla cream. Thanks!

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Old 09-03-2006, 05:10 PM   #7
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Your ABV might actually be higher than you suspect since the unfermentables are effecting your hydro readings.

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Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Bottled/Conditioning:
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Drinking:
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
On-deck:
Dead Guy clone
Planning:
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
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But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*
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Old 09-03-2006, 08:58 PM   #8
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A half pound of lactose will raise the OG and the FG by 5 points (46 points per pound per gallon). If you take just that out of the equation, you are at 68% attenuation, which isn't bad for that yeast. Steeped caramel, chocolate and black patent all leave unfermentables. I think it is about done.

I think if you ran this through a recipe calculator, you'd find it's about right. ~ 4%

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Old 09-04-2006, 04:54 AM   #9
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thanks david!

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doh!
Secondary:
Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Bottled/Conditioning:
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Drinking:
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
On-deck:
Dead Guy clone
Planning:
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
Quote:
But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*
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