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Old 03-15-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
Lefe21
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Default Worried about quality of LHBS supplies

I just tried a new LHBS for my last 2 batches and have not been impressed with the results. Both were extract recipes using DME with the addition of steeping grains and hops.

The first batch was an IPA with an OG of 1.054 that stuck at 1.035 after 10 days and has not moved in over a week. I thoroughly aerated and rehydrated my Notty yeast as per instructions. I thought my procedure was sound, but figure that stucks just happen sometimes and I would make a new batch so I could pitch the IPA onto its yeast cake. (I did however attempt to give it a shake, up the temp a bit, and repitch - to no avail)

So, the second batch was a Stout with OG 1.056 that has only moved down to 1.045 after 7 days. I find this to be extremely slow and figure that the same thing is happening here as the first one. To make sure the LHBS hadn't just given me some expired Notty the first batch, I purchased some US-05 this time. BTW when I buy the yeast the LHBS sells it in plastic portioned bags so I cannot check myself if its expired.

Both of these batches had very small krausens, maybe 1.4" at best that showed up after 3-4 days and never grew larger. Like I said both times I used sound practice, ESPECIALLY the second batch just to be certain. I'm really upset because it looks like im down $100 because these do not seem to be attenuating.

I want to talk to the LHBS but I'm not sure what the problem could even be. Could the malt extract be bad? Could the yeast be expired? (not sure if it can be expired if I did get some fermentation?)

Anyways, hoping you guys can help me figure out how to approach this situation with my LHBS... I'm still relatively new at brewing... About 7 batches now not including these 2... But these last 2 have just been a drag where its been hard to "RDWHAHB" because it seems im out $100. Any help is much appreciated!

**Edit: Fermentation temps were steady between 66-68 both times.
Thanks fellas.

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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BTW when I buy the yeast the LHBS sells it in plastic portioned bags so I cannot check myself if its expired.
That seems ... weird. Anywhere else you can get some more yeast?

And did you actually pitch the stout on the yeast cake or did you start over with the new yeast?
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #3
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Just for kicks and grins, what are your wort aeration procedures and fermentation temps?

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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That seems ... weird. Anywhere else you can get some more yeast?

And did you actually pitch the stout on the yeast cake or did you start over with the new yeast?
What I meant was the Stout's yeast cake was meant for the IPA to be pitched on. I used US-05 for the Stout. I did pick up yeast from a different place for the re-pitching of the IPA. Used Notty again and it did nothing, but I haven't heard much success about re-pitching to unstick so I dont know how valuable that info is.

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Just for kicks and grins, what are your wort aeration procedures and fermentation temps?
For my aeration I pour it from pot to bucket and then stir it up for about 5 minutes.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #5
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Also for kicks and grins, how does the IPA taste? I broke a hydrometer once without realizing it (small crack). Drove me nuts for an hour before I stuck it in some water and figured out what was going on.

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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Also for kicks and grins, how does the IPA taste? I broke a hydrometer once without realizing it (small crack). Drove me nuts for an hour before I stuck it in some water and figured out what was going on.
Tastes hoppy and sweet. I thought of that and check the hydrometer against water to make sure it was 1.000, and it was... this is frustrating
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:01 PM   #7
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try a liquid yeast with a printed expiration date on it. And make a starter. I have never had a problem with Notty..... did a 1L starter with WLP001 this weekend, and airlock activity was insane next morning, I expect it will hit final gravity within a week.

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Tastes hoppy and sweet. I thought of that and check the hydrometer against water to make sure it was 1.000, and it was... this is frustrating
repitch..... make a 1L starter, try an American Ale yeast and make a 1l starter 1 day before pitching it.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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try a liquid yeast with a printed expiration date on it. And make a starter. I have never had a problem with Notty..... did a 1L starter with WLP001 this weekend, and airlock activity was insane next morning, I expect it will hit final gravity within a week.
The good thing about this idea is that if it doesn't work, you can pretty much rule out the yeast process as an issue. Then you could look at what you're using to clean/sanitize as well as the DME source.

I'm assuming there's not like four pounds of crystal malt in these recipes, right?
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:06 PM   #9
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try a liquid yeast with a printed expiration date on it. And make a starter. I have never had a problem with Notty..... did a 1L starter with WLP001 this weekend, and airlock activity was insane next morning, I expect it will hit final gravity within a week.



repitch..... make a 1L starter, try an American Ale yeast and make a 1l starter 1 day before pitching it.
That's definitely something I could try... but I find it hard to believe I'd get two stuck in a row without there being something wrong with the supplies I got from this LHBS.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dogbar View Post
The good thing about this idea is that if it doesn't work, you can pretty much rule out the yeast process as an issue. Then you could look at what you're using to clean/sanitize as well as the DME source.

I'm assuming there's not like four pounds of crystal malt in these recipes, right?
No, each batch had less than about lb of steeping grains total. I could try the liquid yeast way, but I've read that using them to kick start a stuck fermentation is usually useless.
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