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Old 11-08-2007, 09:27 PM   #1
Phideaoux44
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Default Ailing Winter Ale [hangs head in shame]

Ok, so here we go.

I have been casually brewing for a while and have recently started to try and get more serious. Working on a new four keg kegerator and all that. More on that later. I have had very few mess-ups up to this point. However, this hasn't been my week for brewing...

First I painted my ceiling with a nice fresh coat of Russian Imperial Stout when the airlock popped. I knew better than to NOT use a tube, but didn't stop and think and put it there out of habit. It is still going crazy and my yeasty beasties are still creating a yummy storm in the carboy. Will it effect it much that I briefly had the primary open? (long enough for me to set the old airlock down and put on the blowoff tube) It certainly didn't seem to slow anything, just wondering will I have some off flavor or anything I need to correct. As for the ceiling, it really wasn't that bad once I got the ladder and sponge treatment taken care of.

So now more importantly, I started a Winter Ale batch yesterday. Extracts and whatnot. Brewer's Best kit. Got done and the final gravity was way too low. So here I go:

1)The pot had burn marks on it like some of the extract got burned or caramelized to the bottom. What will this do?

2)The starting gravity was WAY too low. It was off by like 30-50 thousandths. What gives? What effect will this have?

So, you gurus of brew, what do I do?

And most importantly, thank you for helping me. Glad to be here and I look forward to many hours wasted posting and reading on the site!

-Me

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Old 11-08-2007, 09:48 PM   #2
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I'm no guru, but I'll give this a shot.

1. It could potentially give your beer a burnt flavor and make it darker. You have to try it to see, but with a Stout, I doubt you'd notice it.

2. Is this a partial boil? If so, did you stir the wort after adding the top off water?

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Old 11-08-2007, 09:50 PM   #3
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A lot of brewers have had the airlock blow... the consensus is that you'll have to wait and see whether anything bad got into the beer, but most likely it should be okay because of the fermentation activity covering the opening.

Turn of the burner and make sure you dissolve all of your extract next time, then turn the flame back on.

I never take gravity readings, so I can't help you there.

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Old 11-08-2007, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia

2. Is this a partial boil? If so, did you stir the wort after adding the top off water?
Come to think of it, I don't think I did stir it. I did shake it up a lot with the bucket lid on, like slushing it around and whatnot and just kinda hoped for the best.

Also, I hope that perhaps the fermentation is just a bit late, but it's almost twenty four hours and no bubbling yet. I've heard it can take longer than that, but this is the first time of all my brews that it hasn't come to life before the twenty four hour mark. Lemme go check again, just to be sure...
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:04 PM   #5
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Fermentation not starting yet isn't a problem. If it hasn't started in a couple of more days, then it's possible you've got an issue.

If you didn't stir before taking a gravity reading, most of your wort was on the bottom, so you got mostly water in your sample; hence the low reading.

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:17 PM   #6
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Extract brews can't be that far off (if you hit the volume and put all of the extract in). The burnt bits probably won't hurt in a Winter Ale. High gravity ales tend to take longer to start. I suspect it will be going strong before the weekend is over.

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:25 PM   #7
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You will be fine!!! WHy did it blow? because gallons and gallons of Co2 were dumping out at damn near the speed of light. Nasties don't like to swim upstream, they float on the breeze.

If you really think that the OG is low, brew a gallon (or whatever will fit in the carboy) of really concentrated wort(dark dme, brown sugar, whatever you think would help) and dump it in. As long as you are as sanitary as you were on the initial brew there is no more risk.
White labs endorses this method,. It will just make it imopossible to determine a real OG for certain, but it will result in a bigger beer.(and quite probably a better one)

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:49 PM   #8
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I never worry about the OG anymore (maybe I'm lazy). Having the heavy wort at the bottom makes it tough to get a solid OG reading in my experience. Since it's extract, chances are all the necessary sugars are in there somewhere.

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