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Old 03-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
mike024
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Default My batch from hell..... is still effed up!

After buying some new gadgets and getting really excited about my brewing, I am now getting flustered. I bought a stir plate and a wort chiller to help make a better beer. Everything went well up until fermentation. My recipe was for an Imperial IPA. The OG was 1.072. I used wyeast esb 1968. The weather here in Norcal is a bit touchy this time of year and it fermented a bit higher than it should have. Recipe asked for 67, temp got up to 71 at one point. My blow off got clogged and the bung and about a gallon of wort ended up all over my bathroom. Sanitized everything and replaced it.
Yesterday was 13 days in primary and my FG is 1.022. Should be about 1.018. The beer is sweet as hell and quite frankly tastes like ass.
Could I have an infection? The ceiling above my carboy looks like it could have dripped back into it while it was open. Could I have blown out my yeast as well? The temp range on that yeast goes up to 72.
This batch is turning into a bitch! Any suggestions? Should I pitch some more yeast? Should I dump it? HELP!

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Old 03-09-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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If you brewed all extract I wouldn't be that concerned with 1.022 on a high gravity beer. There are more unfermentables in extract than all grain which stalls the final gravity a few points higher than you anticipate. I'd say wait another week. Then bottle it. Its probably fine!

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Old 03-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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You got about 70% attenuation from that yeast, which is right within it's range. I'd let it ride for a few more days

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Old 03-09-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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You could probably use another gadget and it's cheap. A tub to set your FV in with cold water to keep your fermentation temperature lower. Otherwise called a swamp cooler. Cooling effects can be enhanced with a fan. Fermentation is exothermic. Your yeasts temperature range is 64° to 72°. Fermenting yeast in a high gravity brew will raise the wort temperature 5° to 10°. Some brewers have measured 15°. Extreme yeast activity to cause a blow off may indicate your fermentation temperature was above 71° at some point. High temps will cause off flavors.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #5
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What would you recommend if I wanted to dry hop? Wait another week or do it now? I know it is frowned upon, but my intention was to transfer to secondary after two weeks and dry hop for five days. Should I just let it sit on the cake and trub for another week, then transfer? Or will that not allow the yeast to clean the horrid off flavors this has?

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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A brew won't stall just because it extract at 1.020. I think it's not just old or poorly made extract,but some fault in the process. Stressed yeast can do this. Wait till it settles out clear first, It cleans up fermentation by products at this same time as it settles out.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Any further thoughts in process error? I trust that my extract was fresh. My LHBS doesn't do the can. They cycle through 25 gallon drums about once a week. My last brew came out beautiful. The changes in my process were only the addition of a stir plate starter and a 50' copper chiller. I stirred the starter for 36 hours, refrigerated for 48, decanted, brought to room temp and pitched with an additional smack pack. I am sure I had enough yeast. I also used servomyses in the wort. Fermaid k was used in the starter. Fermentation started in 6 hours, pretty rapidly. I had never seen such a vigorous fermentation. I am leaning on the side of a massive temp fluctuation during fermentation.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #8
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Wide enough temp fluctuations can stress the yeast. Or if the temp goes too low,they settle out dormant. Also if you pitch the yeast when it's at,say 80F & the wort is 64F or so. The yeast stress,some die,etc. It'll then take longer to get going again after the reproductive phase that makes enough sells to start visibly fermenting.
And since you got fresh extract,if you put it all in at the beiginning,the 1 hour boil can darken it,making less fermentable wort. You'd then get a higher FG. Just a few thoughts from my experiences...

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Old 03-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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First thing to do is relax. Controlling the fermentation temperature is a good step toward better beer because the higher temperature will allow the yeast to form some odd compounds that don't taste so good. Leaving the beer in the primary fermenter will let the yeast clean up some of that.

You are making a bigger beer than your first and the bigger beers take more time. Give this one another 2 weeks before you do anything and then check your hydrometer and have a taste. I'll bet it is lower in gravity and tastes better too. If it is at final gravity, add the dry hops right into the primary fermenter. When a week has gone by you should be able to bottle it. It will still take more time in the bottles to mature than a lower alcohol beer so don't rush it here either.

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Old 03-09-2013, 06:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply. This was actually the first batch that I.did the late extract addition. Definitely noticed improved color. My home stays at about 70° so the yeast was no warmer than that. My wort was at 68° when I pitched, so that takes.care of that one. Thanks for walking through this with me. I'm definitely able to check se things off. Just want to pinpoint it.

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