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Old 04-28-2012, 01:45 AM   #1
titletowngirl
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Default Failed batch number 2

We've been brewing for about a year, 5 batches. 2 really good brews, but the last two have not been good! I'm frustrated! The last batch took over two days to start fermenting and ended up with a "chemical" taste. We would like to try a yeast starter for our upcoming batch. Does anyone have any helpful hints or words of encouragement?!

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Old 04-28-2012, 01:49 AM   #2
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Aeration?

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Old 04-28-2012, 01:52 AM   #3
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Are you doing extract or all grain?

What's your process like?

Are you aerating enough before pitching, or perhaps not enough yeast, which a starter would help ( like you said )

How old are the beers that taste like chemical? Perhaps theyre still green ?

Don't get discouraged, bad batches happen.

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Old 04-28-2012, 02:21 AM   #4
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Extract brewing

I think I'm stirring yeast vigorously. Using large spoon and stirring for about a minute after pitching.

Primary for two weeks. Secondary for three weeks. Bottle conditioned for 3 weeks. It was a warm winter ale kit from northern brewer.

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Old 04-28-2012, 02:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titletowngirl
We've been brewing for about a year, 5 batches. 2 really good brews, but the last two have not been good! I'm frustrated! The last batch took over two days to start fermenting and ended up with a "chemical" taste. We would like to try a yeast starter for our upcoming batch. Does anyone have any helpful hints or words of encouragement?!
http://morebeer.com/content/homebrew-off-flavors

Have you looked there or a similar site?
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:35 AM   #6
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Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize...and resist the urge to peek into the primary in order to check for progress. That can introduce nasties into the wort. I've had many beers take a while to get started, only to turn out fine. I just recently had one that never caused te airlock to bubble. I assumed I was screwed. After about 1.5 weeks, took a hydrometer reading and it was all good. Just let it be...

A starter is a good way to go, but patience is a virtue as a beginning brewer.

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Old 04-28-2012, 02:40 AM   #7
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I'm assuming your producing ales? How consistent are your temperature around your fermenters. From personal experience I think 3 weeks in the secondary is a lot of time, without the vigorous fermentation producing co2 to push out the oxygen, that's a long time to leave your beer in the secondary. Leaving it in the primary for 1wk-1mo then xfer to a secondary for a week max IMHO. This is just what I've discovered about my setups. Take it with a grain of salt I've only brewed 50gallons

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Old 04-28-2012, 02:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinkson View Post
. From personal experience I think 3 weeks in the secondary is a lot of time, without the vigorous fermentation producing co2 to push out the oxygen, that's a long time to leave your beer in the secondary.
I don't know that I agree with that. Search around and you'll see HBT'ers who have had beer sit in secondary for a year. The co2 doesn't need to continuously be pushing oxygen out of the fermenter. Remember, airlock activity is not a sign of active fermentation. co2 is more dense than oxygen and therefore, even when fermentation isn't rolling along as vigorously as it does in the first few days, it sits as a nice little "co2 blanket" ontop of your beer when its in the fermenter which protects it from oxidation even if there is not enough co2 to fill the entire head space of the fermentation vessel.

OP, are you brewing from kits? Making up recipes? following recipes that you find online? Just curious what you have and have not had success with.

Also, (and I'm going open a HBT can of worms with this one) have you considered skipping secondary all together and letting fermentation complete its course all in primary?

Lastly... Stirring the yeast in with a spoon? That just sounds like more more step for possible contamination to me... I simply pour my yeast directly on top of my wort and let it do its thing.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:10 AM   #9
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I am brewing from kits.

I was stirring to aerate wort prior to pitching the yeast. Do I not need to do that?

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Old 04-28-2012, 03:15 AM   #10
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Are you using dry or wet yeast?
If wet, are you making a starter?
If dry, are you hydrating the yeast?

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