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Old 01-13-2014, 01:32 PM   #11
jrrenola
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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

Steeping Grains:
0.5 lb Crystal 60L @ 155*F for 30 minutes

Fermentables:
1 lb Marris Otter LME (beginning of boil)
3 lb Marris Otter LME (at knockout)

Hop schedule
- 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

OG: 1.065

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

Questions:
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.

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:28 PM   #12
jrrenola
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Crud, in doing some quick Googling, I think I may have an answer to how I stressed out the poor yeasts.

From http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/...02/SFA_S04.pdf

Rehydration instructions:
Sprinkle the yeast in minimum 10 times its weight of sterile water or wort at 27°C ± 3°C (80°F ± 6°F). Leave to rest 15 to 30 minutes.
Gently stir for 30 minutes, and pitch the resultant cream into the fermentation vessel.
Alternatively, pitch the yeast directly in the fermentation vessel providing the temperature of the wort is above 20°C (68°F). Progressively sprinkle
the dry yeast into the wort ensuring the yeast covers all the surface of wort available in order to avoid clumps. Leave for 30 minutes, then mix the
wort using aeration or by wort addition.


I'm guessing dumping the little buggers into 58°F wort made them fairly unhappy and stressed out. Now I know another improvement to my overall brewing process.

Note: My one "successful" batch (i.e. less off-flavors, etc...) used liquid yeast. All the others have been dry yeast - coincidence? Probably not.

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:42 PM   #13
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The first batch I ever brewed had an apple taste that hit your mouth before anything else. It didn't linger, and the beer was still enjoyable, but the taste didn't go away even with more time in the bottles. If anything, it may have gotten more prominent. I know for a fact that I aerated the cold wort on that batch due to poor racking technique. I don't know if that caused the off flavor, but I'm sure it didn't help.

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Old 01-13-2014, 08:16 PM   #14
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I used the Mr. Beer spigot to pour the beer into the bottling bucket. I did my best to minimize splashing by running it down the side of the bucket. I wonder if I didn't do some impromptu aeration. In the future, I guess I will use the autosiphon to rack it.

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Old 01-27-2014, 02:44 PM   #15
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Default Still gnarly...

Well, I've tried rousing the little yeasties in the bottle and storing the bottles in a warmer area. When I tried one last night, it was just as apple-y/gnarly as before. It isn't all that pleasant, but it isn't undrinkable either. Guess I'll chalk this one up to a learning experience. At least it was only a 2 gallon batch!

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