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Old 03-15-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
AfternoonReview
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Default Poured fermented beer w/ honey back into carboy...

What have I done?

So I had 3 gallons of beer to bottle before I went out of town, but I only had 1.5 gallons of bottles. So I siphoned all 3 gallons of beer out of the carboy, added honey (as my bottling sugar) for the total 3 gallons, but only bottled 1.5 gallons of it. I poured the remaining beer/honey mixture back into the carboy on top of the yeast cake. I then added about .2 oz of Northern Brewer hops (10.4 AA) into the carboy for dry-hopping. What the heck is going to become of this beer?

I won't be able to bottle it for another 10 or 11 days, which I know is a little long for dry-hopping - so that's one issue. I figure the yeast will start eating the honey and fermentation will re-start - which is another issue since you're supposed to wait for fermentation to stop before dry hopping, correct? Anybody have any insights into what type of effect all this will have on the finished beer?

Thanks!



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Old 03-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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I'm guessing you're right. It'll quite possibly kick-start fermentation again, giving you a higher abv. Possibly some honey flavor too. Dunno what it'll do with the hops in there. Worst case scenario though, you'll still have beer.

You will have to re-prime when you bottle the rest also.



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Old 03-15-2011, 03:19 PM   #3
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Did you take a gravity reading on the 'honey / beer' mix? My only concern is if you have enough fermentables to hit whatever targets you may have in mind with just enough honey to bottle condition. I know it takes more honey than corn sugar to bottle condition, and probably a lot more to do a primary fermentation. I have zero experience with that particular dry hopping issue. Sounds like something Dogfish Head would try though, might turn out really good. Let us know how it does.

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Old 03-15-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Your fermentation will start back up to a small degree but the priming sugar needed to properly carbonate isn't a huge amount. It's a relatively small amount in comparison to the sugar in unfermented wort. The honey will most likely dry the beer out a touch.

The problem with dry hoping before primary fermentation is over is that the hop oils tend to cling to the yeast. Once the yeast settle out these hop oils are lost. To dry hop like this is ok it just reduces the effects of the dry hop.

The thing I am wondering is if you actually "poured" the beer back into the fermentor. This should have been a siphon to limit oxygen exposure.

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Old 03-15-2011, 04:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I did siphon the beer back into the carboy, but only because it was convenient. Why do I need to limit oxygen exposure?

I'll let everyone know how this turns out when the time comes.

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Old 03-15-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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Exposing fermented beer to oxygen will create off flavors similar to card board.

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Old 03-15-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfternoonReview View Post
Thanks for the replies. I did siphon the beer back into the carboy, but only because it was convenient. Why do I need to limit oxygen exposure?

I'll let everyone know how this turns out when the time comes.
I think the concern about having extra oxygen in the fermentor comes from the fact that you are probably really short on fermentables at this point since it was ready to bottle before. Question kind of circles back to your current level of fermentables and how active the yeast is really going to get on this second round, if it really wakes up, having that air in there is definitely ok. The yeast will like that it is there and take care of it. However, if you don't see much activity in the fermentation because the yeast have nothing really to eat, that air will serve to oxyginate your beer, which is not a great thing. In small amounts, it should not be a big deal. I'm not sure what I'd do personally...but knowing your initial and final gravity would help. If you add enough additional honey or whatever to get your fermentation really going, your alcohol content is going to really climb I imagine... not sure what style beer you've made, what the alcohol levels are in what you've already bottled. vs. what you are ok with drinking. If you want this to taste mostly like what you've already bottled, I wouldn't do anything else except adding the additional priming sugar / honey when you get to that point and dry hop again if you want since you probably won't see much benefit from your prior one. If you are willing to experiment further, I'd be leaning towards adding a boatload of additional honey, enough to hit maybe 1.04 or 5 and see what you get after the yeast are done with their second helping of food and same as before, if you want to dry hop again, go for it. We're only talking about 1.5 gallons of beer I think, not much to lose.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:55 PM   #8
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The FG of the honey beer mixture was about 1.012. I didn't take an OG reading. The part of this batch that has been bottled was supposed to be a mild ale for my non-beer enthusiast friends to enjoy. I don't really care what style the last 1.5 gallons turns into. I just want to salvage it so that it can be consumed. It might be cool to get the ABV way up there, but I've already left it with just the bottling honey in the carboy so who knows if fermentation will really start again. It'll be interesting to see what this turns into...

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:58 PM   #9
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Just an update:

I bottled the last half of this batch (the leftovers from what I couldn't fit into bottles weeks ago). It tasted fine and smelled great thanks to the dry-hopping.

I took another FG reading and it was 1.010. So it looks like the bottling honey that I mixed in made fermentation start up just a little bit.

I'll update again on the taste in a few weeks.

Thanks again

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerand420 View Post
I think the concern about having extra oxygen in the fermentor comes from the fact that you are probably really short on fermentables at this point since it was ready to bottle before. Question kind of circles back to your current level of fermentables and how active the yeast is really going to get on this second round, if it really wakes up, having that air in there is definitely ok. The yeast will like that it is there and take care of it. However, if you don't see much activity in the fermentation because the yeast have nothing really to eat, that air will serve to oxyginate your beer, which is not a great thing.
The yeast have already entered the anaerobic state, putting oxygen in there and/or more fermentables will not make them go aerobic again. Adding oxygen after fermentation has begun is not a good idea - once you've noticed that fermentation has begun (CO2 being expelled), they've moved on from reproduction and O2 consumption to eating sugars.


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