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Old 02-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Not Fermenting! What should I do now?

I have successfully brewed many extract beers and never had one failure... well not yet at least... First problem I had... Let me explain...

I finally got the ingredients for 5g of

Roastaroma Deadline Delight (pg 215 in the Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Papazian)

January 18, 2010
Roastaroma Deadline Delight (pg 215)
5 gallons (19l)

3.3 lbs. Plain dark malt extract syrup
2.2 lbs. Light malt extract
¾ lb. Crystal malt
1/3 lb. Black malt
2 oz. UK Fuggles hops (boiling) Alpha 4.0%
1 oz. Cascade hops (finishing) Alpha 7.3%
2 oz. Roastaroma Mocha Spice Tea
1 vile American Ale Yeast Blend (WLP060)

Added crushed grains to 1.5 gallons of water at 160 degrees F for 30 minutes then removed. Added malt extracts and boiling hops and boiled for 60 minutes. Added finishing hops and tea during the final 2 minutes of the boil. Strained and transfer immediately to 2 gallons of cold water in the fermenter. Topped off with water to 5 gallon and added yeast. Ferment in skinny plastic bucket.

1/18/10 Pitched yeast.
1/31/10 Repitch yeast. Gravity was 1.029. Don't think it fermented.



Initially, I didn't take the gravity but I don't think it fermented. I tested gravity on jan. 31 with my refractometer and it was 1.029 I assume it didn't ferment then. I repitched yeast on 1/31/2010 with the same yeast. Didn't look like it fermented.

Not sure what to do now.
1.I was thinking maybe I should just keg it and artificially carbonate it and make it POP (never did that before)
2. add yeast nutes.. not sure if that will help though... just extract in it
3. Dump it

It is between room temperature... maybe it happened because I used the teabags. Maybe the teabags had a chemical in it that the beasties don't like? maybe the ingredients of the roastaroma tea? Which are roasted barley, roasted chicory, roasted carob, cinnamon, allspice and chinese star anise.

What do u guys thinK?

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nerdie View Post
... Didn't look like it fermented...
Eyeballs are not sensitive enough to determine, on their own, whether fermentation has taken place.

Your O.G. was at least 1.040, based on your ingredients. If it was 1.029 when you measured it later, then fermentation was happening.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:49 AM   #3
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well I didn't see any bubbles in the airlock ever.... yes it should be 1.040 but then again... i didn't mix that well after I added the water to top off with.. maybe the top has lower density due to top off water...

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:23 AM   #4
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When you opened your fermenter, did you notice any other signs of fermentation? Krasuen layer? Krausen ring around your fermenter? Because your airlock was not active does not mean your beer is not fermenting. Conversely, if there are other signs of fermentation (krausen atop your beer) the beer is/has been fermenting, airlock activity of no.
Also, if the beer has fermented, the refractometer's reading is skewed. There is a correction factor post pitching. With the drop in gravity, though, I'd say your beer is fermenting.

I vote for (1), (3) (the nuclear option) should be employed after tasting several different times over several different months.

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Old 02-16-2010, 02:02 AM   #5
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I didn't notice Krasuen Layer like bubbles... but i did notice hops particles around the bucket above the liquid... maybe it was Krasuen... I'll take a picture... I should take another reading with the refractometer... and shot that picture ASAP...

Yeah... I figured the refractometer would be skewed because the alcohol is in there now... I didn't take a reading before hand... I figure.. it should be around 1.040....

let me take that reading and a pic... also maybe a taste.... Yeah I would hate to dump it... WHo had that sig quote... "unless it tastes like Satan's Ass don't dump" ?? lol

Thanks for the response...

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Old 02-16-2010, 02:11 AM   #6
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HMM... maybe it is done...

in the book.. it said
OG: 1.042-1.046
FG:1.008-1.012

So let's say I started at 1.042....
now it is 1.029... (let's say...)
from
http://morebeer.com/learn_vids/vids_refract
cool excel sheet....
my adjusted gravity would be 1.007 which is just about right...

so maybe it did ferment... first time using my refractometer.. kept an eye on it.. cause it wasn't bubbling... why didn't it bubble then?

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Old 02-16-2010, 02:21 AM   #7
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never mind.. that calculator was for brix.. i put SG.... i think we still have a problem.. gravity would be 1.020 if I put 11 brix starting and 7.25 now... it should be 1.008-1.012

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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.....puts on the Revvy collar.......

An airlock is a valve to release pressure caused by CO2 when the yeast are digesting sugar. If the CO2 can escape via an easier route, it will. Mebbe your lid was not sealed correctly? Don't really know, but don't use an airlock as the only tool to judge fermentation.

If you have a hydrometer, what's that read? Rather than making an estimate using a correction factor, IMO it's better to use a hydrometer post-ferment.

Let's talk about your yeast. How old was it? Do you know? Starter or no?

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:04 AM   #9
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I brought it from white labs.... 2 of them ... Fresh from the store.... had a few more months until expiration.... no starter...

lid should be tights when i press it down then air lock moves... let me use a hydrometer not a refractometer...

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:18 AM   #10
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I was going to just suggest using a hydrometer. A refractometer reading gets skewed by alcohol in the sample, and those correction calculators aren't always reliable.

Check with a hydrometer. My guess is that this beer has been done since about the second day after you added the yeast the first time!

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