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Old 10-29-2008, 08:11 PM   #1
zaprozdower
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Default Questions on my Pumpkin Porter

So this is my first partial mash brew, hopefully it turns out ok. I have several random questions about it.

So primary fermentation seems to be winding down with OG at about 1.058 and FG at 1.020. So I was thinking as I rack to secondary I might put the little bit of yeast I have left with some brown sugar to get a little more fermentation out of the batch. I know you usually shouldnt use sugar for fermentation, but I was just going to use a couple cups and I figure brown sugar would go ok with pumpkin porter anyways.

Secondly, there's a LOT of particulate in my wort...probably from the pumpkin. Tonight it's going to get pretty cold out, can I just leave the fermentator outside overnight to settle it down? Would this be something I should do right before bottling instead.

Lastly, I freakin can't get good color out of my beer! It always seems to be this blah brown color, and I'd like something darker for a porter obviously. Would it be acceptable to mash a little more Black patent (started with .5 pounds) and dump it in with secondary to darken it up? It is pretty unacceptably light for a porter.



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Old 10-29-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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If it were me, I would probably let it sit in primary for a bit longer. It may ferment a bit further and the particulate in the wort will probably drop out a bit.

Adding brown sugar might not change the flavor a whole lot, but it will up the amount of alcohol in the end product.

I would probably not add the extra yeast unless you're looking for something specific to come out of it. The existing yeast will most likely convert any additional sugar you add just fine.



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Old 10-29-2008, 09:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loup View Post
If it were me, I would probably let it sit in primary for a bit longer. It may ferment a bit further and the particulate in the wort will probably drop out a bit.

Adding brown sugar might not change the flavor a whole lot, but it will up the amount of alcohol in the end product.

I would probably not add the extra yeast unless you're looking for something specific to come out of it. The existing yeast will most likely convert any additional sugar you add just fine.
I've read that cooling the beer to just above freezing can settle it down a lot, is there any particular reason why it would be a bad idea?

I'm thinking of adding more yeast because I don't have the materials for a yeast starter so I figure it may not be 100% efficient so adding more with a bit of sugar might jump start it to ferment whats left

Does anyone have any ideas as to adding a little bit of mashed black patent to the secondary to darken the color?
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaprozdower View Post
I've read that cooling the beer to just above freezing can settle it down a lot, is there any particular reason why it would be a bad idea?

I'm thinking of adding more yeast because I don't have the materials for a yeast starter so I figure it may not be 100% efficient so adding more with a bit of sugar might jump start it to ferment whats left

Does anyone have any ideas as to adding a little bit of mashed black patent to the secondary to darken the color?
Cooling your beer to just above freezing is called crash cooling. I do it to settle the proteins and stuff out of my beer and I know a lot of other people who do as well. The yeast will go dormant, so they won't really be of much use when you do that, so I would hold off on doing that until you're ready to bottle.

Leave it in the primary a little longer. With a pumpkin addition, you'll likely get less out of it because of all the extra gunk, but that's ok.

Sugar MIGHT jumpstart the yeast into getting it to ferment lower, but it might just eat the newly added sugar and up your alcohol content.

And you could add the black patent just like you suggested. I don't see any harm in that, although you'll need to be very strict on your sanitation methods. Honestly, I'd rather have a brown beer than a screwed up black one.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
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To darken it up a tad you could use "Sinamar" ( Sinamar is a coloring agent from Weyermann ) available here : NORTHERN BREWER: Additives

Skal!

Jens

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Old 10-29-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
Cooling your beer to just above freezing is called crash cooling. I do it to settle the proteins and stuff out of my beer and I know a lot of other people who do as well. The yeast will go dormant, so they won't really be of much use when you do that, so I would hold off on doing that until you're ready to bottle.

Leave it in the primary a little longer. With a pumpkin addition, you'll likely get less out of it because of all the extra gunk, but that's ok.

Sugar MIGHT jumpstart the yeast into getting it to ferment lower, but it might just eat the newly added sugar and up your alcohol content.

And you could add the black patent just like you suggested. I don't see any harm in that, although you'll need to be very strict on your sanitation methods. Honestly, I'd rather have a brown beer than a screwed up black one.
Thanks for the help. I only have one fermentor and no tubing anyways, so in order to do secondary I have to transfer the beer in my beer pot and clean out the primary, so I have to risk spoiling the beer regardless, so I'm gunna go ahead and mash some more black patent, it needs more roasted flavor in addition to color anyways.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:52 PM   #7
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i'd avoid the black patent addition, and i'd also avoid the transfer to your boil pot so you can clean and reuse your bucket. both of these are asking for big problems. i think the best course you can take is to leave your poor beer alone for another week or two. stop futzing with it!! you'll probably get a few more gravity points out of it. when you can't stand waiting any longer cold crash it out side over night if you want and then bottle it.

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Old 10-29-2008, 11:29 PM   #8
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Don't transfer it for the sake of the black patent. You're begging for oxidation problems if you're pouring the beer back and forth.

The flavor will come through a lot more with carbonation. Give it time, add a bit more sugar if you want to up the abv, and skip the patent addition.

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Old 10-29-2008, 11:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaprozdower View Post
Thanks for the help. I only have one fermentor and no tubing anyways, so in order to do secondary I have to transfer the beer in my beer pot and clean out the primary, so I have to risk spoiling the beer regardless, so I'm gunna go ahead and mash some more black patent, it needs more roasted flavor in addition to color anyways.
Nooooooo. Don't do this. Just leave it in primary and skip a secondary altogether. There's way too much introduction to oxygen if you're transferring into an open pot like that. Just leave it in primary until you're ready to bottle.

Use this batch to learn what you need to do for the next batch.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:55 AM   #10
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I made my pumpkin ale with a brown ale recipe and when I went to check the FG, the hydrometer went "thud" down into the collected pumpkin at the bottom of the bucket...wouldn't even float. I only got a disheartening 3.5 gallons from the whole 5 gallon batch, but it did taste very yummy.



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