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Old 02-02-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
Chocolatey_Stoutz
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Default I'm afraid I have ruined my first batch.

I have made a number of mistakes with this, my first, batch of brew. I am woring with a stout extract kit with a targeted abv of 8.1%. I initially pitched the dry yeast at too high of a temperature because I didn't realize the dangers of doing so in creating fusel alcohols.

The recipe instructions call for about one week in the primary and the wort was placed in the fermenter almost precisely a week ago. The airlock bublled intensely but quit after a day.

I removed the lid from the fermentation bucket to find a thin layer of brown crust (can't call it sediment b/c it wasn't settled) floating on the top. There is some brown foam around the edges of the bucket. I presume this is the remnants of krausen.

I wanted to take a hydrometer reading, but a thief wasn't supplied with my entry level kit. I grabed a dinner glass from the cupboard and sanitized it using the powder cleanser provided in my kit. I tried to dip this glass and scooped some wort (and krausen/floating crud). However, I didn't gather enough. So, I repeated the process, again to no avail. I am afraid that this foolish move may have introduced bacteria into the beer.

I was able to tast what I have created so far. It mostly tast like flat stout. However, none of that semi-sweet bakers chcolate and unsweetened cocoa powder is present. Also, the beer tast kind of "green," for lack of a better term.

My gut instinct is to let the beer sit in the fermenter for another week. However, I would like to transfer the beer into the secondary so that I can use my fermenter to brew a pumkin ale tomorrow night. I suppose I might as well make the transfer because I have already introduced bacteria and oxygen into the mostly fermented wort.

One more thing. I noticed some tiny bubbles burping at the top of the beer before I attempted to gather a hydrometer reading.

As always, appreciate any and all help and advice.

Thanks.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:50 AM   #2
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Let it sit bro! Cant do much more harm now.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:53 AM   #3
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It'll most likely be fine. If you can leave it in primary longer, it'll help. It's easy to stall out the fermentation by transferring before its done. It's not the greatest practice to dip stuff in the beer, but you most likely didn't hurt it at all.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocolatey_Stoutz
I have made a number of mistakes with this, my first, batch of brew. I am woring with a stout extract kit with a targeted abv of 8.1%. I initially pitched the dry yeast at too high of a temperature because I didn't realize the dangers of doing so in creating fusel alcohols.

The recipe instructions call for about one week in the primary and the wort was placed in the fermenter almost precisely a week ago. The airlock bublled intensely but quit after a day.

I removed the lid from the fermentation bucket to find a thin layer of brown crust (can't call it sediment b/c it wasn't settled) floating on the top. There is some brown foam around the edges of the bucket. I presume this is the remnants of krausen.

I wanted to take a hydrometer reading, but a thief wasn't supplied with my entry level kit. I grabed a dinner glass from the cupboard and sanitized it using the powder cleanser provided in my kit. I tried to dip this glass and scooped some wort (and krausen/floating crud). However, I didn't gather enough. So, I repeated the process, again to no avail. I am afraid that this foolish move may have introduced bacteria into the beer.

I was able to tast what I have created so far. It mostly tast like flat stout. However, none of that semi-sweet bakers chcolate and unsweetened cocoa powder is present. Also, the beer tast kind of "green," for lack of a better term.

My gut instinct is to let the beer sit in the fermenter for another week. However, I would like to transfer the beer into the secondary so that I can use my fermenter to brew a pumkin ale tomorrow night. I suppose I might as well make the transfer because I have already introduced bacteria and oxygen into the mostly fermented wort.

One more thing. I noticed some tiny bubbles burping at the top of the beer before I attempted to gather a hydrometer reading.

As always, appreciate any and all help and advice.

Thanks.
First of all, relax, I'm sure it's fine. Pitching at a high temperature can stress the yeast (or worse depending on just how high) but does not create fusel alcohols, fermenting at too high of a temperature does. Introducing bacteria is harder than it sounds. Beer is very forgiving, especially once there is alcohol present. You need to take a few gravity readings before you transfer the beer out of primary, they need to be the same reading for three days. Make this happen! If you don't have a thief...Go get one! Give the beer time to fully develop, it will probably taste great if you are patient with it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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I would put my last dollar on the bet that this will be a great beer. Also, keep in mind that most high ABV beers will age very, very, very well. In all likelihood, your very last one will probably be the very best beer of the batch, just because of aging!!

Don't worry about the O2, as long as you were not whipping a wisk into it, you did nothing wrong. Those little bubbles mean one thing; active fermentation. I would leave your beer alone for another week, get yourself a thief in the mean time, then take a couple more readings a few days apart. When you get the same reading or very close two times, go ahead and rack if you want to. I might be inclined to just get another primary and let it sit on the cake for a month. Also keep in mind that a good heavy stout will not be so easily ruined by a few minor inconsistencies in your technique.

Finally, I also bet that with some good aging, the chocolate comes out.

Best of luck, enjoy!

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Old 02-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #6
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Yeah,one week in primary won't be enough for a big ber like that. When all the fast bubbling slows or stops,that just means initial fermentation is over. It'll then slowly,uneventfully creep down to FG. Then another 3-7 days to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty.
And co2 is a heavier gas than o2. So if you didn't stir things up by roughly taking the samples,it'll still have co2 in there & it'll be ok.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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Doesn't look that bad... At worse the yeast will mutate into the next global pandemic... ;-)

By "cleanser powder" you do mean sanitizer? Not cleaner? Not the same...

I dip stuff in the beer pretty often after it's been sanitized.... No problem....! Problem is more about O2, but if you didn't shake it while opened or left it opened,it's fine...

Don't forget yeasts are very resilient.

Don't transfer though! I'd let it sit for 2 more weeks, then transfer it.

You could easily ferment your second beer in your secondary, providing you use a blowoff tube instead of an airlock, and still leave a little headspace... At least 15%.... (You might want to scale down the recipe)

While you wait for both, find a used carboy, they are pretty cheap, or buy a new one. ... Transfer the pumpkin after 2 weeks, clean its primary, sanitize, then use it as secondary to transfer the first beer... (how high abv is the pumpkin?)

You can also buy another primary, they are so cheap... You might not even need a secondary for the pumpkin, unless you dip fruits, and even then, you could drop them in the primary....

Goid luck... ;-)

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Default Thanks for the help man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woknblues View Post
I would put my last dollar on the bet that this will be a great beer. Also, keep in mind that most high ABV beers will age very, very, very well. In all likelihood, your very last one will probably be the very best beer of the batch, just because of aging!!

Don't worry about the O2, as long as you were not whipping a wisk into it, you did nothing wrong. Those little bubbles mean one thing; active fermentation. I would leave your beer alone for another week, get yourself a thief in the mean time, then take a couple more readings a few days apart. When you get the same reading or very close two times, go ahead and rack if you want to. I might be inclined to just get another primary and let it sit on the cake for a month. Also keep in mind that a good heavy stout will not be so easily ruined by a few minor inconsistencies in your technique.

Finally, I also bet that with some good aging, the chocolate comes out.

Best of luck, enjoy!
I appreciate the encouragement and the sage counsel offered by everyone.

Do you think that crud floating at the top of my fermenter, much of which I inadvertently scooped out, was the yeast? Or, has the yeast settled to the bottom to form a cake?

Also, I plan on following everyone's advice by letting it condition in the primary for another week. Then I will rack onto some cocoa nibs in a knock off brand better bottle. I ordered another fermentation bucket yesterday.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
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That stuff on top was yeast floaters & krausen. It'd settle out by itself eventually.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
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Now you have a tale to tell while you are quaffing that excellent stout. That is one of the best parts of brewing, the story telling.

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