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Old 11-11-2009, 05:36 AM   #1
ToddO
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Default Fermentation trouble/question

Brewed an Extract IPA on 10/24. 4th batch.

8lbs PME
Crystal 75 1lb
Honey Malt .5 lb
Biscuit .5
w/ chinook & centennial hops.

OG was 1.052 (I believe the recipe stated something around 1.057).
Pitched a 1 liter starter of WL0001 Cal Ale (started 3 days prior).
Pitched under 80 degrees. Shook the hell out of the carboy before sealing it up. The temps have been great and fluctuating between 65-70 the whole time. Might have dipped a little lower at night when I couldn't check it. Chugged for a week and I checked on 11/3 when I dry hopped and it was 1.030. Checked again today and it was at 1.028 and I assume pretty much done. I have been swirling it etc. since the dry hop to get it lower but..

Is this all I am going to get out of this one? Should I just check it for a few more days and then bottle it this weekend? Pitch a Safale 05 packet to get it down?

Im a little frustrated as the stout I just bottled finished pretty high as well. Dont really want a just over %3 ABV IPA.

Any thoughts?

Thanks~

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:19 AM   #2
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try warming it up a bit to get the yeast active again.

It might just be slowing down but as long as your seeing a change I would leave it alone though

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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2nd for warming it up. Also 1 1/2 weeks is a bit too early to be checking FG's on almost any brew. As the great and wondrous Revvy will tell you, give it a good 3-4 weeks to let the yeasties finish the job and clean up after themselves before bottling. From experience, I can tell you that one tidbit made all the difference in my brews.

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Old 11-11-2009, 11:14 PM   #4
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It's been 18 days and you dropped from 1.052 to 1.028? I'm a bit surprised since you made a starter. What was the use by date on the vial? Did you notice signs of life when you made your starter (foaming, cloudiness, etc.)? When you made your starter, did you leave it at room temp the entire time, or did you ferment for some time at room temp and then put in the refrigerator?

Your low attenuation may be due to the temperature fluctuations. Usually if the yeast experience a drop in temperature, they'll drop out and stop fermenting.

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Old 11-12-2009, 03:26 AM   #5
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Hey guys, thanks. Im surprised too. The starter was at room temp the whole time. Did not put it in the fridge at all. It did look like it was doing something but not much in the starter but then again its the 2nd one I have made so who knows. I did see a few chugs in the airlock. December sometime was the viability date.

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Old 11-12-2009, 03:52 AM   #6
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I think I might have some explanations. I went to this website
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
and put the manufacture date as 8/15 (4 months from the best by date). It said that the yeast were 35% viable. With your starter, that should have brought your cell count to 100 billion if you shook it intermittently. Your yeast was pretty old, so you probably under pitched even with the starter. The pitch rate calculator says you needed about 182 billion cells (assuming a 5 gallon batch).

I'm curious about your starter. How much DME did you use? Did you swirl it all during the 3 days?

Also, you shouldn't use an airlock for your starter. It needs the oxygen in order for the yeast to grow rapidly. Covering the vessel with foil is the way to go.

You should pitch your starter at its peak of fermentation. I find that for me, that usually occurs at about 20 hours after making the starter.

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Old 11-12-2009, 04:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for that info. Helps a lot. I believe I did 1 cup of of some light DME to a quart of water. I swirled the thing every time I passed it. Shoot, now I am feeling like I underpitched a stout I just did this weekend also. Should I pitch some more yeast at this point? Saf05 packet?

Thanks

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