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Old 05-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default Why do I always make mistakes!! When to repitch?

Did a leftovers extract brew which went text book apart from the loss of my hydrometer. Anyhow I pitched a wyeast kolsch yeast which I've had in the fridge for ages and although it took three days it's been fermenting nicely. After three weeks here was still a shallow krausen but as I needed the bucket I racked it to a better bottle secondary. However....two things are bothering me. Firstly, the beer was rather sweet, indicating I hadn't fermented enough. Secondly, I kept he yeast as I wanted to use it for my first all grain kolsch recipe....this was put in a sterile air tight container in the fridge.....this now has a two inch krausen on it (to about 3/4inch of wort) and is going some, the container is very swollen.... given this I'm assuming there is a lot of unfermented goodness in the beer in my secondary.

So question is should I:

Repitch the yeast I farmed off back into the brew and see what happens?

Pitch some new yeast? Not keen to do this really.

Leave it? There are White patches forming on the top of the secondary which may mean I get a secondary fermentation anyway.

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Old 05-15-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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See how it goes,but you might have to re-pitch.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:48 PM   #3
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I would also advise getting more fermenters to use, so that you're not pushed to rack... Personally, I'm not racking anything until fermentation is 100% complete. Then it's either to the bottling bucket, or to age on some oak.

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Old 05-15-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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I hear you on that. Bought another yesterday. The reason I'm short is that I stacked three and can't for the life of me get them apart....even had comedy moment with me on one end and the wife on the other!

Tbh I thought fermentation was pretty much done, airlock action had slowed to pretty much nothing....proof I suppose that you really do need to take hydrometer readings. So if I repitch into the better bottle, should I go with the stuff that's going crazy in the fridge?

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Old 05-15-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
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Seems to me you'd have to warm the yeasties up a little to keep from thermal shocking them.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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You're probably suffering from the extract curse of 1.020...

As for the three stuck together fermenters... LMAO!!! Another line in the list of why buckets SUCK (IMO)... Carboy's wont' do that, nor will kegs. My fermenter of choice is now kegs. I have one 5 gallon corny converted over and four 1/6 barrel sanke kegs to use (three of them have brew in them, fourth is waiting)... I'm working on getting some 20L-25L sanke kegs to use for bigger brews, or those with top cropping yeast, or when I want to have closer to 5 gallons going into bottles.

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Old 05-18-2011, 06:04 AM   #7
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So still fretting. Secondary is fermenting but not very hard. Fridge based yeast is easing down know. I'm trying to resist repitching, as I'm not convinced it'll really help matters. Given there is activity in the secondary I'm thinking patience is the way forward?

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Old 05-18-2011, 06:28 AM   #8
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A) I think you should buy a hydrometer to really see wtf is going on.
B) Wouldn't the fridge have dropped the yeast out of susspension?

I personally wouldn't pitch anymore yeast into the secondary after three weeks without taking a hydrometer reading.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:45 AM   #9
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Yes this was the weird thing. I expected the yeast to fallout in the fridge but it seems to have fermented harder at those low temps. Wondering if the wyeast kolsch is more suited to low temps?? Will have a look online in a bit.

I have bought a hydrometer, will use it tonight depending the krausen level at the top (if it looks like it's going some I'll leave well alone).

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Old 05-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #10
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Kolsch by definition of style is "Fermented at cool ale temperatures (59-65F) and lagered for at least a month, although many Cologne brewers ferment at 70F and lager for no more than two weeks." according to BJCP.

Kolsch yeast can be fermented either ale or at near lagering temperatures. Wyeast 2565 description says "This yeast may also be used to produce quick-conditioning pseudo-lager beers and ferments well at cold 55-60°F (13-16°C) range." But has an overall temperature range of 56-70° F (13-21° C)

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