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Old 08-31-2008, 01:26 AM   #1
jagdeuce
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Default Fermentation Issue...advice needed!

Ok I have brewed 2 batches so far and have had the same problem with both of them. Both times my OG was just about right on what the kit said it should be. Fermentation started off somewhere around 12 hours for both seemed to be going well for a little over a day. Bubbling stopped after about 30 hours or so. I let them sit for over a week each, and then tested the Sp Gr. In both cases they were well above the predicted FG (by .09 or so) I let them sit another week or more and checked the Sp Gr again, with no change.

With the first batch I re-pitched and it came down closer to the target final gravity, so I bottled. It is currently bottle conditioning, and I tested the first one after about two weeks. It was ok, no real off flavors, and it was carbonated.

With the second batch I also re-pitched and currently more fermentation is taking place. I should note that I attempted to stir the yeast back up and let them go another week with this one, but to no avail.

I am at a loss for what I am doing wrong. Sanitation does not seem to be an issue, I pitched around 67 degrees and aerated the wort well. I am fermenting in my closet. My room has air conditioning and the closet stays fairly cool, although not constant (fluctuates from 66-70 degrees)

Could that be the problem?

I am using kit beer, could the yeast be of poor quality?

Sorry for the long post this has been eating at me for some time, I am ready to brew batch 3, but am looking to avoid the same results.

Thanks for all and any help

~Jim

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Old 08-31-2008, 01:59 AM   #2
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Temps seem ok.
Bad yeast....could be.
I guess the thing that I'd say is that IF it's stable, and IF it carbonates, and IF it tastes ok to you, it's probably ok. Check out our recipe section here, find something that fits your tastes, and skip the kit this time. There is a good chance that you'll be VERY happy with the results. Most of the kits out there are very middle of the road Bland and Boring. They fit the style, but that's about it. The Recipes here have a little BAM factor that really makes the difference. Havign fresh ingredients and not KIT YEAST will probably cure your issues.

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Old 08-31-2008, 02:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKahuna View Post
Temps seem ok.
Bad yeast....could be.
I guess the thing that I'd say is that IF it's stable, and IF it carbonates, and IF it tastes ok to you, it's probably ok. Check out our recipe section here, find something that fits your tastes, and skip the kit this time. There is a good chance that you'll be VERY happy with the results. Most of the kits out there are very middle of the road Bland and Boring. They fit the style, but that's about it. The Recipes here have a little BAM factor that really makes the difference. Havign fresh ingredients and not KIT YEAST will probably cure your issues.
+1 I was going to opt for ingredients not being fresh.
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:42 AM   #4
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1. Always have several bags of ice handy on brewday!
2. Never Pitch above 80 deg if u can help it
3. An old freezer with an exterior temp control unit is a priceless thing
4. RDWHAHB

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Old 08-31-2008, 03:26 AM   #5
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1. Never use the yeast that comes with the kit.

2. Never use a kit. Get fresh ingredients and make your own recipe or use on of the tried and true ones on this awesome site.

3. I did not see if you mentioned dry or liquid yeast. I am assuming it was dry because it was the kit yeast. If that is the case, and since you will never use the kit yeast again . Make sure to rehydrate all dry yeast IMO. This way you can start the process of multiplying the little critters. With liquid, always make a starter.

You should never have to repitch with extract beers that are not barleywines or RIS's.


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Old 08-31-2008, 05:38 AM   #6
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I think your yeast was the culprit. If you get fresh Nottingham and hydrate it should take right off. If you use liquid yeasts then you should make a starter. Use DME (Dried malt extract) to make a 1.040 wort and use yeast nutriant in the boil to give the yeast the nutriants they need to multiply. Cool this to 70 and pitch the vial into the starter wort. Keep at 70F the whole fermentation time. When you pitch this you will see a big difference as it will start fermenting almost right away. A starter also ensures a complete fermentation. Always keep your fermenter at the yeast MFG's recommended temperature during fermentation so no off flavors are created in your beer. Usually 66F ales and 52F lagers works great for me.

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Old 08-31-2008, 06:05 AM   #7
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Does the finished product taste especially sweet, sticky, and/or malty? If the beer tastes great but measures high, your hydrometer could be the culprit.

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Old 08-31-2008, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Does the finished product taste especially sweet, sticky, and/or malty? If the beer tastes great but measures high, your hydrometer could be the culprit.
He should have checked that already but who knows?? He says he repitched and it took off again??
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:34 PM   #9
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First off thank you all for the help. I do have another kit beer that I will be brewing (I already bought it) but I will be replacing the YEAST for sure!

I did check the hygrometer and it is right on, and yes both batches continued fermenting after re-pitching.

Kayos: you said to rehydrate all dry yeast with IMO....what does that mean? Thanks

Any other suggestions keep them coming.

Thank you all I will keep you posted.

~Jim

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Old 08-31-2008, 03:34 PM   #10
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IMO = In My Opinion
You can sprinkle dry yeast in the fermenter, and a lot of brewers do just that.
But the manufacters recommend re-hydrating dry yeast in tap water that has been boiled to kill bacteria and drive off chlorine, then cooled to 80 - 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is less stressful for the yeast.

Dry yeast should be rehydrated in plain water because they are dried after they have accumulated oxygen and energy reserves.
They are in suspended animation and just need a little water.

I think new brewers should stick with dry ale yeast for ease and reliability.
There are more different strain of liquid yeast cultures, and can produce more variations in flavor, but it takes more effort to get the best out of them.

Liquid yeast cultures are semi-dormant and continue to expend their reserves during storage.
The number of viable cells decline during storage and they are in need of oxygen and sugar.
So liquid cultures are often added to a starter beer to get them going.

Method A: Add liquid yeast to 1 pint of boiled and cooled wort at 1.040 (About 2 ounces light Dry Malt Extract by weight or 1/3 cup by volume). Cover flask or jar loosely with tin foil to allow CO2 to escape and oxygen to get in.
Swirl the container occasionally to give the yeast more contact with sugar and to drive off the CO2.
After 24 hours at 60 to 80*F, the yeast should be fully awake and ready to go to work.
Also, the foaming indicates that the yeast are viable.

A small starter will not result in significant increase in yeast cells, so (especially for lagers and high gravity beers):
Method B: Begin a week ahead of brew day with at least 2 quarts of boiled and cooled wort at 1.040 (1.5 cups light DME). Cover loosely with foil and swirl occasionally.
The foaming will stop after 3 to 5 days at room temp.
At this point there should be 2 or 3 times as many cells.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, to get the yeast to settle to the bottom.
It can stay in the fridge for a couple weeks like this.
On brew day pour off most of the clear liquid and allow to warm up before pitching.

There are other variations, search for 'yeast starter' to learn more.

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