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Old 07-18-2012, 01:29 AM   #1
jaytizzle
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Default Any idea what happened?

It seems like the brews that I am most looking forward to are just bitterly disappointing.

I made the following recipe. It was a partial boil, started with 3 gallons prior to steeping. Began boil with around 2.5 gallons. Added all of the DME at the start of the boil, returned to a boil then started my hop addition and timer. After completion of the boil, I cooled down to 68F, topped off to 5 gallons, then pitched my yeast starter.

Fermentables
9lbs Light DME

Specialty Grains, steeped 155-165F for 30 mins
0.75 lbs roasted barley
1.5 lbs chocolate malt
1.5 lbs dark crystal 150L

Hops
1 oz Columbus @ 60

1 whirlfloc @ 15

Yeast
Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale with a 1L starter prepped with 0.5lb DME

OG was 1.090. Beersmith said I should be around 1.082 so I'm comfortable that I was close enough. I brewed on 5/27/2012. Placed in primary at 66F. Cold crashed at 32F from 6/14-16 then racked to secondary on 6/16 (I needed my primary for more brews). Sat in secondary until today (7/17). I put it in the fridge to cold crash again but before doing so I took a gravity reading.

My first gravity reading was 1.040 and the second was 1.033 (I didn't trust the first one)! What in the hell happened? Did I not give it enough time in primary then knocked my yeast down too far to finish the job by cold crashing? Did I measure wrong? With 1084 I was expecting a minimum 70% attenuation (75% max) for a FG of 1.027-1.023.

I'm tasting the sample that I used for a gravity reading and it isn't bad, just a bit sweet and possibly a bit oxidized (kind of a stale taste). I'm still going to follow through with kegging and carbing this one. Hopefully it will improve (I imagine it will).

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:23 AM   #2
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Large gravity for irish ale yeast? Possibly too strong for that type of yeast is just a wild guess. I wonder if yeast energizer or nutrient would have helped.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:30 AM   #3
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My guess is that the yeast wasn't fully finished when you cold crashed the first time. Did you take a gravity reading when you racked to secondary?

I only cold crash prior to bottling, so I'm not sure of its affect on yeast when you do it mid-cycle. Either that, or the yeast doesn't do well with that high gravity as Jon mentioned ^^

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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I agree that is pretty soon to be cold crashing a 1.09 gravity beer.Im not familar with large beers but my average gravity beers usually take less than 5 days probably.Cant say from experience with that because i gave my few big beers at least a month.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:39 AM   #5
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I knew this yeast would have a challenge so that's why I made the starter. I'm thinking I may have cold crashed a but too early for this high of an OG. Fermentation definitely kicked off nicely so I thought the yeast had plenty of time. I did not take a gravity reading before crashing. I'll definitely do so before I cold crash anything in primary again!

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:53 AM   #6
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Wow, that is an intense amount of dark roasty malts for 5 gallons... nice strong beer. Very intense, very dark... even along 9 poundsa dry extract. you use salts in your water?

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Old 07-18-2012, 03:01 AM   #7
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No salts, just used good 'ol baton rouge tap water. I intended this one to be very dark and the color is definitely there. I'll know more about the flavor once it's chilled.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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The FG is a little high which tends to lead to a sweeter tasting beer and the mouthfeel is probably a little syrupy. According to mrmalty's yeast calculator, you didn't pitch enough yeast. Even if using a stir plate, the calculator advises using a 2.3L starter (I had to increase the growth rate factor a little as well). I know that seems like an awful lot of yeast, but the calculator is usually pretty accurate in my experience. You could also pitch a second vial, but even so, a starter is still required. It seems like about half of the necessary yeast were pitched in your case. The length of fermentation time was probably ok, although I would wait until primary fermentation is done and stable before transferring to a secondary, if at all. Pitching the proper amount of yeast and having the beer attenuate fully will make a huge difference.

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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Yep, that was my very first starter and before I really knew what I was doing. I learned a lesson and will brew this beer again but make my starter calculation properly next time.

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Old 07-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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I've done the same thing, that's how I learned the importance of the yeast pitching rate..

Just a suggestion on the recipe, an intermediately kilned type of malt might add a nice touch. You have roasted barley, chocolate, and crystal 150L which are dark, highly kilned grains. Sometimes, something in the middle helps to bridge the light base grains with the dark malts. You may want to consider adding C60, C40, of munich malt and reducing the dark malts slightly to compensate. It's not a requirement, just an idea for a future adaptation.

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