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Old 05-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default another "Did I screw it up" thread

I am making a Smoked Maple Porter http://byo.com/smoked-beer/item/2098...d-maple-porter I used 1 pack of Wyeast 1968 Special London yeast. My O.G. was 1.065. On day 6 my S.G was 1.024. I racked it to the secondary & found that the yeast cake on the bottom of the bucket was very thick & almost "gel-like". I used my racking cane to slightly disturb the yeast & did notice some grey "chunks" transfer to the carboy. They remaining yeast in the bucket went down the drain.
On day 12 my S.G. is still 1.024 and I do have a grey colored layer on the bottom of the carboy. Since the targeted F.G. is 1.017 - 1.018, I don't feel that it is done yet. Did I transfer enough yeast when I racked into the secondary? Should I add another pack of yeast?

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Old 05-06-2013, 04:08 AM   #2
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Did you swirl it and raise the temp to the high end of the yeast's range?

Generally, you don't want to secondary until FG is reached, as taking the beer off the yeast doesn't help it finish.

I rarely secondary any more, unless lagering or ageing.

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Old 05-06-2013, 04:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by parrothead600 View Post
I am making a Smoked Maple Porter http://byo.com/smoked-beer/item/2098...d-maple-porter I used 1 pack of Wyeast 1968 Special London yeast. My O.G. was 1.065. On day 6 my S.G was 1.024. I racked it to the secondary & found that the yeast cake on the bottom of the bucket was very thick & almost "gel-like". I used my racking cane to slightly disturb the yeast & did notice some grey "chunks" transfer to the carboy. They remaining yeast in the bucket went down the drain.
On day 12 my S.G. is still 1.024 and I do have a grey colored layer on the bottom of the carboy. Since the targeted F.G. is 1.017 - 1.018, I don't feel that it is done yet. Did I transfer enough yeast when I racked into the secondary? Should I add another pack of yeast?
As mentioned, unless you are adding something to your beer like hops, wood or fruit, etc, there is little to gain by racking to another vessel, unless you want to age it more than say a few months. Otherwise, with a yeast cake, your beer is safe and sound. Beyond fermenting to reach FG, yeast helps clean up your beer of all kinds of stuff. the general consensus is that as long as you can maintain hospitable temps, you can leave your beer on the yeast cake pretty much as long as you want.

Regardless, I bet there is plenty of yeast in suspension (even clear looking beer has billions of cells in suspension in a 5 gallon batch) to carry on. Go ahead and pitch another packet. It won't hurt it any. If there are no fermentables for the yeast to eat, it will simply drop out like it's forefathers did.

SMoke flavors tend to dissipate over time, so I wouldn't let this one hang around too long.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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I do have a grey colored sediment layer on the bottom of the carboy. Am I correct in asuming that this is yeast that could still be active?
I have swirled the carboy, but I have not raised the temp to the high end. I'll give that one a try. Should I be concerned that the targeted F.G. has not been reached yet? How common is it far the targeted F.G. to notbe reached?
Just had another thought: Would it be advisable to add a little more fermentable sugar to "wake-up" the existing yeast? Just a thought. Am I way "off-base" here?

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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I do have a grey colored sediment layer on the bottom of the carboy. Am I correct in asuming that this is yeast that could still be active?
I have swirled the carboy, but I have not raised the temp to the high end. I'll give that one a try. Should I be concerned that the targeted F.G. has not been reached yet? How common is it far the targeted F.G. to notbe reached?
Just had another thought: Would it be advisable to add a little more fermentable sugar to "wake-up" the existing yeast? Just a thought. Am I way "off-base" here?
This is the biggest reason why i hate companys selling kits with directions including "secondarys". No offense to the OP but this is why they need to more specific instead of "wait 7 days and rack to secondary"
Gravity readings should always be read and REACHED within a point if not dead on to your recipe/style guidelines before even thinking about secondary, even then i would rarly advise one unless adding oak/fruit/dryhop. Finishing at .024 rather than .018 is 6 points and way to sweet, the smoke will be very backround as you let it mature aswell.

What i would advise is to pitch fresh yeast since you removed the bulk of them before they were done eating.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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This is the biggest reason why i hate companys selling kits with directions including "secondarys". No offense to the OP but this is why they need to more specific instead of "wait 7 days and rack to secondary"
Gravity readings should always be read and REACHED within a point if not dead on to your recipe/style guidelines before even thinking about secondary, even then i would rarly advise one unless adding oak/fruit/dryhop. Finishing at .024 rather than .018 is 6 points and way to sweet, the smoke will be very backround as you let it mature aswell.

What i would advise is to pitch fresh yeast since you removed the bulk of them before they were done eating.
No offense taken. The vague instructions that are in most recipes is exactly the reason that I ask for advice here. I'll stop on the way home & get another packet of yeast.
One more question, if I may: How long should I let this sit, after the F.G. is reached, before priming & bottling? The recipe calls for letting it sit in the secondary for 3 weeks. Does that sound excessive?
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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No offense taken. The vague instructions that are in most recipes is exactly the reason that I ask for advice here. I'll stop on the way home & get another packet of yeast.
One more question, if I may: How long should I let this sit, after the F.G. is reached, before priming & bottling? The recipe calls for letting it sit in the secondary for 3 weeks. Does that sound excessive?
I'm assuming this was an extract or partial mash brew? If it was an All Grain batch than an error in mash temps could raise your expected FG, this is not really likely when using extrat though, unless something went wrong and somehow some of the fermentable sugars got converted. Did anything go wonky during the boil? Can you describe the process you used a little bit, i.e. boil size, cooling method, LME/DME?

I don't think pitching more yeast will really do much, as was stated before there are billions and billions of healthy yeast cells floating around in your beer still, adding another billion or so won't really have much of an impact either way, I would save the $5-10 personally. Let it sit in secondary, in 65-75* temps, for at least another week and check the gravity again. Worst case scenario, the FG stays the same and then you can always re-pitch in a week and you will be where you are now anyways. If it continues to drop though, you saved a couple bucks and learned a little more about beer and your own personal brewing process.

For what it is worth, I typically leave everything in primary 3 weeks when I brew. I also will dry-hop directly into my primary when called for. The only time I secondary is when I am either aging something for 3+ months, or if I am using oak. Car-boys are a pain to clean, don't block as much UV, and the racking process is just one more opportunity for infection to find its way in.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:33 AM   #8
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I'm assuming this was an extract or partial mash brew? If it was an All Grain batch than an error in mash temps could raise your expected FG, this is not really likely when using extrat though, unless something went wrong and somehow some of the fermentable sugars got converted. Did anything go wonky during the boil? Can you describe the process you used a little bit, i.e. boil size, cooling method, LME/DME?

I don't think pitching more yeast will really do much, as was stated before there are billions and billions of healthy yeast cells floating around in your beer still, adding another billion or so won't really have much of an impact either way, I would save the $5-10 personally. Let it sit in secondary, in 65-75* temps, for at least another week and check the gravity again. Worst case scenario, the FG stays the same and then you can always re-pitch in a week and you will be where you are now anyways. If it continues to drop though, you saved a couple bucks and learned a little more about beer and your own personal brewing process.

For what it is worth, I typically leave everything in primary 3 weeks when I brew. I also will dry-hop directly into my primary when called for. The only time I secondary is when I am either aging something for 3+ months, or if I am using oak. Car-boys are a pain to clean, don't block as much UV, and the racking process is just one more opportunity for infection to find its way in.
If you click on the link in the first post, you will find the recipe/proceedure that I followed using the extract w/grains proceedure. I'll describe it as best as I can: (Be patient because I can't type very fast)
As stated in the recipe, I steeped the grain in 1 gallon of 160* -150* water, dumped the water in my brew pot, then sparged the grain w/168*-170* water (using a kitchen strainer to hold the grain sack over the brew pot) & let it drain naturally for ~5min. I used 8.125# Light LME (from the bulk dispenser @ the LHBS) to replace the 6.5# DME that is called for in the recipe. The Maple syrup, malto-dextrin & bittering hops were also added @ this time. I started out with a total of 2.5 gallons in the boil pot & I started to time the boil when the wort acutally started a full boil. After 45min I added the Irish moss & boile for the remaining 15min.
After the boil, I put the boiling pot in a sink full of ice water. My sink stopper leaks slightly, so I added cold tap water to the sink to cool the wort. I was approx 75* when I strained the wort into the fermenting bucket & added previously boiled water to the fermenter until I reached my O.G. of 1.065. I ended up w/ approx 5.7 gallons in the fermenter @ this time. By this time my smack pack(wyeast 1968) had fully expanded. I sanitized the pack & dumped in in the bucket. The yeast was somewhat "clumpy" which, from what I read, is normal for this strain.
I put a blow-off tube in the lid & checked it the next morning to find it was bubbling away happily. That evening, I moved it to the basement where the temp is closer to 65* rather than the 70* in the kitchen. I let it bubble away in the basement for 6 days before racking to the secondary, which brings us up to my original post.
Hope I provided enough info & please remember that you are dealing w/a NOOB. Every batch that I brew is a learning experience.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:39 AM   #9
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Wow that recipe has a ton of specialty grains, I suspect that to be the reason your FG isn't going to be lower.... your coming up to the three week mark let it sit warm it up and if it doesn't change after 2 consecutive hydro reads bottle.
I'm trying to figure how they got that FG on your kit? Per wyeast 1968 only attenuates 67-71% which would be like 1.019-1.021 and that's if you used the absolute freshest yeast?

All that matters is you made beer!! It should turn out fine!!

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Old 05-07-2013, 05:26 AM   #10
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I read some where that the grey "yeast" is dead or dying. I don't know. If I'm wrong, please correct me. I don't remember where I read, saw this. So me sources are unclear. I could be 100 % wrong. I have no issues with it if I am wrong. I know my "statement". Doesn'thave much to do with this thread. I just read, Parrothead, mentioned "grey chunks" in the yeast cake.

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