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Old 05-30-2013, 07:02 PM   #5031
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dont pitch ANY MORE YEAST and dont bottle yet! you still need about ten days of fermentation left until it will be ready, maybe sooner but keep reading the gravity every other day. once it is about to 1.015 and is consistent at that level for a few days it is ready



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Old 05-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #5032
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Does anyone know the FG of the Mr. Beer West Coast Pale Ale? I just took a reading and it was 1.029. I didnt get an OG because I didnt have my hydrometer at that point.
1.029 is about what I would expect the original gravity to be for the West Coast Pale Ale (1.2 lbs. malt extract) & some booster in 2+ gallons. Apparently, it has not fermented at all. If you have access to a homebrew shop near you, I would go buy a package of Cooper's or Munton's, and sprinkle it in. Hopefully, it'll kick off before the batch is totally spoiled. If no LHBS nearby, you may have to resort to baker's yeast. Better fresh baker's yeast than dead brewer's yeast. That's my two cents worth.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #5033
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the OG should not be around 1.029 for west coast pale ale but in between 1.044 and 1.054. if i were you i would not add anything to this beer yet but let it finish its natural course. it should reach final gravity as expected around 1.013 in a week or so

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:20 PM   #5034
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I just plugged 1 WCPA and 1 Booster into Qbrew and came up with 1.038 for an OG with an estimated FG of 1.010. That's assuming the full booster bag was used and it was filled to the 8.5 Qt mark. If it's overfilled, or if less than the full bag was used, I could see the OG getting close to 1.029.

1.029 is definitely too high for it to be finished. But I don't think we know for sure whether it has even started.

Can you tell us all of the ingredients you used?

What is the temperature where you have the fermenter?

Did you see any krausen build up?

Is there a layer of sediment (trub) on the bottom?

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #5035
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The kit came with a West Coast Pale Ale HME, and a booster pack. I added a cup of brown sugar, but that's it. It was a two gal brew. It has been fermenting around 65 degrees the past 9 days. The temp was around 70 the first day or two. Im not exactly sure what krausen is but there didnt seem to much build up at all on top of the wort, just a tiny bit of foam. I didnt check to see if there was trub on the bottom.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:29 PM   #5036
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I just plugged 1 WCPA and 1 Booster into Qbrew and came up with 1.038 for an OG with an estimated FG of 1.010. That's assuming the full booster bag was used and it was filled to the 8.5 Qt mark. If it's overfilled, or if less than the full bag was used, I could see the OG getting close to 1.029.

1.029 is definitely too high for it to be finished. But I don't think we know for sure whether it has even started.

Can you tell us all of the ingredients you used?

What is the temperature where you have the fermenter?

Did you see any krausen build up?

Is there a layer of sediment (trub) on the bottom?
Yep! Now way you're going to hit 1.044 - 1.054 with one 1.2 lb. can in 2+ gallons, unless you add a LOT of booster! FWIW - 1 lb. LME/1 U.S. gallon = 1.036. The booster should be in the same ballpark. It's been a while since I've seen the old WCPA recipe, but I don't recall it calling for (and/or including that much Booster). My next question was the same as yours: What temperature has this been kept at? Have you seen ANY signs of fermentation (e.g. head/krausen)? Keep in mind that these ingredients are a minimum of 1 year old and possibly several years old. The yeast dies first.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #5037
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Originally Posted by sockman91 View Post
The kit came with a West Coast Pale Ale HME, and a booster pack. I added a cup of brown sugar, but that's it. It was a two gal brew. It has been fermenting around 65 degrees the past 9 days. The temp was around 70 the first day or two. Im not exactly sure what krausen is but there didnt seem to much build up at all on top of the wort, just a tiny bit of foam. I didnt check to see if there was trub on the bottom.
It sounds like your yeast is old and weak. It has fermented some (the brown sugar would have boosted your O.G. into the low 1.040's and now it's 1.029), plus you saw a little foam on top. At 70°F for a couple of days, it should have gone crazy if the yeast had been fresh. I would still recommend you add a fresh pack of Cooper's or Munton's if you have a LHBS nearby. Add the yeast and bring the LBK into a little warmer temperature until it kicks off. The fresh yeast may, or may not, kick in and finish off the fermentation, but it cannot hurt.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #5038
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It sounds like your yeast is old and weak. It has fermented some (the brown sugar would have boosted your O.G. into the low 1.040's and now it's 1.029), plus you saw a little foam on top. At 70°F for a couple of days, it should have gone crazy if the yeast had been fresh. I would still recommend you add a fresh pack of Cooper's or Munton's if you have a LHBS nearby. Add the yeast and bring the LBK into a little warmer temperature until it kicks off. The fresh yeast may, or may not, kick in and finish off the fermentation, but it cannot hurt.

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+1

It's a little difficult to tell exactly how much the brown sugar added. Measuring ingredients can be a bit problematic because it's less exact than weighing. Depending on how tightly packed the brown sugar was, you may have even gotten the OG up to around 1.052. Using the rul of thumb of 75% attenuation, you'd expect to get to about 1.013. But since the brown sugar is almost completely fermentable, I think you could get even lower.

As deflaco points out, you've had some signs of fermentation (the foam on the top is the krausen to which I alluded earlier) and your gravity dropped some, but not nearly enough.

I also agree that with healthy yeast, it should have really gone crazy.

Since the WCPA is part of the old line and Cooper's acquired Mr Beer in April of last year, you're using some old yeast. The yeast packets that shipped with the old kits were small to begin with (I used to save them up and use 3 at a time). Since the yeast is also old, you're looking at a serious underpitching situation.

The directions that came with these kits said to stir vigorously, but they didn't really explain why, so many people didn't understand that the reason for the stirring was to introduce enough air for the yeast to be able to produce unsaturated fatty acids and sterols during the reproductive phase. If you stirred to mix the ingredients, you likely didn't get enough air introduced. So you started with too little yeast, then didn't give the yeast what it needed to reproduce in a healthy manner. It's entirely possible that the yeast you ended up with won't be able to fully attenuate.

If you can get some yeast from the LHBS, I'd do that. If you can't, since you've seen some signs of fermentation, I'd wait a week before resorting to using bread yeast, but if it doesn't drop any more, bread yeast is technically the same species as ale yeast, but they're different strains and are bred to favor different characteristics, so a yeast bred to be used for brewing is much better. I've used bread yeast before just as an experiment and it works, but it would never be my first choice.

As an aside, as a rule of thumb, you should try to keep adjuncts (simple sugars, like table sugar, honey, syrup, brown sugar, Booster, etc) to less than 1/3 of the total fermentables in a batch. The WCPA + Booster already breaks that rule. With the addition of the brown sugar, you've almost completely flipped the ratio, and are getting almost 60% of the alcohol from adjuncts. You'll probably want to let this condition in the bottle for at least 2-3 months before drinking any.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:59 PM   #5039
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+1

. . Using the rule of thumb of 75% attenuation, you'd expect to get to about 1.013. But since the brown sugar is almost completely fermentable, I think you could get even lower.

. . . If you can get some yeast from the LHBS, I'd do that. If you can't, since you've seen some signs of fermentation, I'd wait a week before resorting to using bread yeast, but if it doesn't drop any more, bread yeast is technically the same species as ale yeast, but they're different strains and are bred to favor different characteristics, so a yeast bred to be used for brewing is much better. I've used bread yeast before just as an experiment and it works, but it would never be my first choice.

As an aside, as a rule of thumb, you should try to keep adjuncts (simple sugars, like table sugar, honey, syrup, brown sugar, Booster, etc) to less than 1/3 of the total fermentables in a batch. The WCPA + Booster already breaks that rule. With the addition of the brown sugar, you've almost completely flipped the ratio, and are getting almost 60% of the alcohol from adjuncts. You'll probably want to let this condition in the bottle for at least 2-3 months before drinking any.
I would expect a final gravity to drop down to 1.010 or less with the addition of the brown sugar to the recipe. You're a long way from that point. Bread yeast is not my "first choice" either. In fact, it's near the bottom of my preferred options here. But, again, better active bread yeast than dead brewing yeast. bpgreen is right, it's good that you've had some signs of fermentation: a little foam and the gravity has dropped somewhat. This means the pH of the wort has dropped and there should be some CO2 blanketing the wort. These will afford some protection. Fresh beer yeast is the best route if that's possible. I also completely agree with his assessment of adjuncts: 1/3 by weight maximum. I prefer closer to 15 - 20% if refined sugar is the main adjunct. Honey is more forgiving.

Scott Birdwell
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:23 PM   #5040
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Does anyone know what the OG and FG for the Mr. Beer West Coast Pale Ale is supposed to be?



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