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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > It too dang hot! My brew suffa
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:19 PM   #11
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Well, as of today, my amber ale has been in the secondary for 2 days (it was in primary for 18 or 19 days). When I racked it, i left the widget off the racking cane so lots of sediment and yeast would get into the secondary. Lots did. No activity though. I filled one pint bottle and primed it. Within 1 day, the pint was partly carbonated. I don't understand this stuff. It can't be done (1.023 fg, from a ~1.045 og), but the yeast is alive. Why won't it eat the remaining sugars? I used extract and spec grains. Any opinions, guys?

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Old 08-21-2006, 09:12 PM   #12
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Have you checked the accuracy of your Hydrometer?

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Old 08-21-2006, 10:12 PM   #13
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I just did an IPA that I thought was stuck( OG was 1.050, checked G was 1.028). I pitched a starter in the secondary - a little activity but not much. I eventually got tired of waiting and bottled the sucker about a week ago. No bombs yet, and it is one darn good IPA with a healthy malt presence that carrys through. I used the Laaglander's stuff so I suppose that is why the gravity was so high.

I think you will just end up with a malty beer which is not a bad thing. The crystal malt sugars are not fermentable if you steep it only, so maybe that is the culprit. Add half a gallon on water at bottling time if you want to thin it out.

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Old 08-21-2006, 11:12 PM   #14
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I am having a similar problem. I brewed my first extract batch (5lbs light, 2lbs dark), which was a recipe I created myself using beersmith. (may not be good, but the wort tastes wonderful).

After 3 weeks, I went to bottle the beer, and on a whim measured the gravity. 1.044! To start the batch, I had pitched a rehydrated packet of Nottinghams, and there was visable action to begin with, so I left the batch alone. But I guess that action stopped pretty quickly. I have since repitched with a rehydrated Safale 04 pack, which once again had limited activity...and then none. This evening I pitched 2 dry packs of Safale 04, and saw some activity to begin with, and now very little.

Is there such thing as unfermentable DME? My LHBS have very little customer activity from what I have seen, and was recently sold to a new owner in February. I am have a feeling that the stock is old. Can DME go bad?

My efforts the last few days have reduced the gravity to 1.36, so I am going to leave it for a long time. But things do not look good.

Hope your brew makes it Monk, but I fear we might be in the same non-fermenting boat!

Cheers,

Rhino

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Old 08-22-2006, 05:09 AM   #15
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Dang, guys. Thanks for the moral support, seriously. The stuck ferment is a bummer. I might eventually go with the idea that ChillHayze offered, to thin it a bit and bottle, hoping for no bottle bombs. Let me know how your brews turn out, guys, and I'll do the same.

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Old 08-22-2006, 05:27 AM   #16
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lack of O2 may be the culprit here. If your pitching more yeast are you adding more O2 as well? Remember yeast will sufficate and die without O2. Just a thought
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:11 AM   #17
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Dry yeast, especially US 56, is not supposed to need extra oxygenation. I'm not sure why, but that's what I've read over and over. Once you get used to oxygenating wort for liquid yeasts, you tend to always want to do it. But the instructions say plainly that it isn't needed. Go figure. I think next time I'll shake the crap out of the carboy just for good measure.

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Old 08-22-2006, 08:16 AM   #18
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Yeah, discarding the crystal malt which doesn't ferment anyway. You are getting about 54% app. Attentuation. That yeats usually hits 77% or more. WIth proper aeration, I get 80% regularily.

Did you aerate?
What temp was your ferm
Definately swirl the carboy to get the yeast roused.

Your temp was to high for his yeast, BUT that should only result in odd esters/phenolics and should have resulted in a very fast high atten. ferment. Could the yeast have been old?

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Old 08-23-2006, 08:43 PM   #19
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DFC: I aerated as normal for dry yeast. I "roused" like hell--that yeast is in a coma.

But I have a NEW THEORY.

Here it is. I've been doing quite a bit of research online and on paper regarding this late extract addition idea. (I'm no chemist or even a real technically minded brewer, at this point, so the research is pretty "light", but...) Obviously, a big contributor to the lit is the article in BYO, "Boil the hops, not the Extract". Most of us read it, and we at homebrewtalk discussed it. When I did a search online, I found out that every other homebrewer read it too, and they all talked about it on their (inferior) forums. What is also helpful is that many professionals wrote in response to it as well (http://www.cascadiabrew.com/damn_it_jim.asp). Basically, it seems like a real good idea to add extract late in the boil (not all of it, of course). It contributes to lighter, more accurately hued brews, and eliminates much unwanted carmelization.
Here's where my THEORY comes in. I read several times in the articles of some professionals that carmelization not only makes for a burnt sugar taste and darker color, but when sugars are carmelized they become less susceptible to breakdown by yeast. Thus, you get a sweeter beer because the yeast was not able to attenuate as much as it would have. This leads me to think of this scenario:
I'm brewing a batch of amber ale, so I'm (mistakenly) not worried about carmelization at all. After all, it's already pretty dark. I add all the fermentables to a partial boil--7 lbs of LME to make ~3 gallons of wort. I boil the hell out of it for 70 minutes or so, probably carmelizing the pooty out of the extract. I add it to like 1 gallon of cool water. I had no chiller, so the wort is at about 85 when I pitch the poor nottingham. Nottingham goes nuckin' futs when it gets rehydrated and eats all the sugar it finds, which is not all that much, considering how most of the sugar is mega carmelized. Nottingham, as is its wont, finishes up the easy stuff and says,
"oy mates, let's flocculate! It's bloody 'ot in 'ere and those sugars are 'ard to eat! Anyway, this Yank wanted some high flocculatin' chaps--'at's why he bought us."
And so nottingham goes into a coma on the bottom of my carboy. A few days later, I add some US 56,
"whoaaaa! dudes! There's totally no sugar in here, except for this carmelized junk. And check out all the brits asleep on the floor! bummer!"
US 56, as is its wont, doesn't flocculate and just hangs out (slight suspension pun) waiting for the priming sugar.

So, what do you guys think? (Other than that I have too much time on my hands to write long, bizarre posts.)

monk

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Old 08-23-2006, 09:00 PM   #20
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I used to boil extract for 90 minutes and never had a problem with carmelization effecting fermentation. You'd half to be doing a very concentrated boil to carmelize that much.

Have you tried another hydrometer?

The yeast may have been old/bad. How is the saf 56 doing?

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