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Old 11-29-2010, 08:03 PM   #21
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Cutting down on the malto-dextrine will not drastically affect this beer. It will simply be less creamy and have a little less body. 1 pound of maltodextrine will add about 7-8 points for a 5 gallon batch to both the OG and the FG because it is only about 12% fermentable. The recipe as it stands (excluding the malto) would have an OG of around 1.051-1.054 and FG of 1.013-1.018. Therfore, even adding 8 points to the high end of the FG (which would be 1.026), does not explain an FG of 1.033. Now if you cut out 1/2 of the malto-dextrine, that should leave your FG at the high end of 1.022.
Thanks for the advise big b. Would you happen to have any idea what could have gone wrong? I have been banging my head against the wall about this because i cant figure out whats going on. It does make me feel a little better that im not the only one who's having problems, but if i made a mistake i would like to learn what i did so i can do better next time

the yeast should still be fine because they were very active the first 3 days, then nothing, also both batches peaked at 3.5% abv, is this just coincidence?
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:39 PM   #22
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I couldn't say what went wrong, or if anything really went wrong. Usually the culprit on a heavy beer like a stout is lack of aeration, assuming you went with dry yeast (I say this because lack of a starter for a liquid yeast would be another suspect). That Notty should have finished the job on its own- its certainly capable. Also, it sounds like your fermenting temps were fine, so that's not a likely culprit. I suppose it could be a combination of several factors... The malto, combined with a high steeping temp, likely low aeration, and all combined with a highly flocculant yeast like notty.

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Old 11-29-2010, 10:06 PM   #23
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I couldn't say what went wrong, or if anything really went wrong. Usually the culprit on a heavy beer like a stout is lack of aeration, assuming you went with dry yeast (I say this because lack of a starter for a liquid yeast would be another suspect). That Notty should have finished the job on its own- its certainly capable. Also, it sounds like your fermenting temps were fine, so that's not a likely culprit. I suppose it could be a combination of several factors... The malto, combined with a high steeping temp, likely low aeration, and all combined with a highly flocculant yeast like notty.
I have a feeling aeration is probably the problem with my attempt. After having read some threads on the subject, it seems I didn't do nearly enough agitating of the wort before pitching.

I've just ordered an oxygenation stone to see if I can do another batch with a much, much higher concentration of Dissolved O2 to start.

That said, is there anything to do to save a batch that's stuck halfway and starved for oxygen? If I build up a starter with new yeast (thinking of using the Wyeast 1945 NB NeoBritannia I've got on hand), then pitch that, would it be able to kick off the fermentation again? I've read that the yeast mostly need O2 for reproduction, so with a starter built-up, it seems like there might be enough to pitch in to do the work. Or am I completely wrong about that?
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:38 PM   #24
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If you have enough equipment, try making another brew. Another ale that ferments to about 5% ABV, but not heavy like a stout (brown ale, hefeweizen, amber ale, etc). Then a week later transfer that to a secondary and rack your stout on that yeast cake. It will help aerate the stout, the yeast will be acclimated to an alcoholic environment, there will be LOTS of active yeast, and as a bonus, you get another beer. There are a few brewers that swear by this method. Otherwise, if you don't have the equipment or making another brew isn't feasible, then I think your approach would certainly be worth try.

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Old 11-30-2010, 05:25 AM   #25
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my brewday went without a hitch today! i broke my hydrometer during sanitation but bought a new one and continued.

i changed the windsor yeast that came with the kit to an activator pack of 1098 brit ale wyeast in hopes to fix the fermentation issue. we'll see how it goes!

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:40 PM   #26
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I brewed my Oatmeal Stout as well. Had a problem getting the OG to where it was supposed to be. I had put in the full pound of Maltodextrin, just to stay with the instructions. I had my wort all the way to nearly 6 gallons and still the OG wouldnt budge. I was stirring it very vigorously in order to get a good reading. I siphoned off a gallon of it, back down to 5 gallons and the OG improved a little...it was at 1.058. the range Brewers Best wants it at is between 1.048-1.056. I put in a Carboy, pitched the Windsor Yeast and fixed up a blow-off.

Checked it this morning and after about 9 hours a small amount of foam has accumulated and the blowoff tube is bubbling. We will see.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:42 PM   #27
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A few notes....

Damn its hard to keep the Mashing temp between 160-165.

With 2.5 pounds of grain and mashing in 1.25 gallons of water as directed, neither bag of grains could be completely submerged.

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Old 11-30-2010, 02:48 PM   #28
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Brewer's Best OG estimate is off IMHO. I believe they omitted the malto-dextrine in their calculations (many software programs do as well because it is mostly unfermentable). So, your 1.058 was fine.

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Old 11-30-2010, 10:02 PM   #29
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A few notes....

Damn its hard to keep the Mashing temp between 160-165.

With 2.5 pounds of grain and mashing in 1.25 gallons of water as directed, neither bag of grains could be completely submerged.
This kinda ticks me off big time... trust me i know exactly what you mean...

The first time i did this recipe i followed the directions, then when i didnt have my desired outcome i contacted Brewers Best via email, the guy i talked to was very very nice, and also helpful, he told me he would send me a new kit, and also modded the directions. He states...

Use 2 gallons and 1 quart of water to mash, and keep the temp at 160-162, and dont go over 165, also layer specialty grains in both bags. When the mash is over, add a bit of water to make it a 2.5 gallon boil, and continue like regular

But heres my thing... Why give those ****ty directions when they arent correct. That really burns me up, but oh well it is what it is. I just bottled my first batch today, and the specific gravity hasnt budged since day 3 of fermentation, my second batch is still in the primary after 2 weeks, and the same thing happened, stuck after 3 days of ferm.

Dont get me wrong, the beer tasted good, but its a little sweet for me and i would like a little more abv, both batches peaked at 3.5abv, I hope you all do better than me... Please keep me posted

Thanks
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:34 PM   #30
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What I think is funny about his modded directions is the tight temperature range he suggested you keep it at. This is an extract kit. In an extract with steeping grains, you are not "mashing" in the sense that you are trying to get fermentable sugars. You are more after the flavors. See: http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13-2.html Really with this kit, you could steep anywhere between 150 and 162 and be fine. The higher temperatures will yield slightly more body (and a slightly higher FG) because although you will get some conversion thanks to the 2 row, the higher temps will yield less fermentable converted sugars (Higher temps=more body, less fermentable, lower temps= thinner body, more fermentable). But, the overwhelmingly vast majority of the fermentables is being provided by the extract. Further, there are several things going to give this beer lots of body. In addition to the higher temps, there is a large amount of malto (which is just for body) and there is the oats themselves which lend creaminess (again body). I guess, I would ask, "Is that much necessary?" I haven't made this particular recipe, but I have made stouts with no malto-dextrine, lower steeping temps (152-156) and the same amount of oats, and the beers had plenty of body. I suppose I should be fair and actually try this recipe sometimes, because I'm sure it's a thick beverage...but I have my doubts if its really all that necessary to have so much body in a beer.

EDIT: Just as an off-hand comment, I strongly recommend reading the entire How To Brew online book, or better yet buy the current one. The online one is the first edition and is IMHO the best free resource for beginning brewers. The online one does have some outdated information (like the silly 1-2-3 stuff) but overall it is a great resource. And no, I am not a stock holder or in any way gain any benefit from sales of his books. I really think it is just great info!

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It's now degenerating into nu uh and uh huhs and it no longer serves a point.
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