Yooper, I added 3 lb Marris Otter LME at knockout. I had forgotten that in the original body of the post and put it at the bottom...really easy to miss.
Total Volume: 2.13 gal
Boil Volume: 1 gal
0.5 lb Crystal 60L @ 155*F for 30 minutes
1 lb Marris Otter LME (beginning of boil)
3 lb Marris Otter LME (at knockout)
- 0.25oz Target hops - 60 min
- 0.25oz East Kent Goldings hops - 15 min
- 0.25oz Target hops - 15 min
- 0.25oz East Kent Goldings hops - 5 min
Cooled the wort to about 70*F and added to LBK fermenter. Topped off to 2.13 gallons with very cold (~32*F) purified drinking water.
Pitched Safale-04 at about 58*F on 12/1/2013
Fermented for the first week in a swamp cooler kept around 62*. After that, left fermenter out in room about 65* for another week and then more like 68* for an additional 2 weeks.
FG: 1.016 (6.4% ABV) - 12/27/2013
1) Should I have rehydrated the Safale-04 before pitching? I just sprinkled it into the LBK once I was up to 2.13 gal in there.
2) Is the lack of a really rolling boil a possible issue? My glasstop stove is wussy with BTU's, so the wort on this one never really went to a "rolling" boil...more of a simmer, really.
3) Is the fermentation temperature an issue? Was 62*F too low? Was a week at 62*F too little? Should I have waited longer to let the wort get to ambient temperature? Did I let it sit too long? I couldn't find the time to bottle with the holidays.
4) It was really apple-y at bottling. Is that something the bottle-conditioning can help with, or is it too far gone?
Full disclosure: I have had this problem before multiple times. In fact, I have only had one good batch so far. I'm definitely suspecting my process is not as good as it could be.