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Old 05-18-2009, 06:05 AM   #1
BillTheSlink
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Default Would long term secondary help with this?

Here's the problem. I recently brewed a cream ale that just isn't right. Fermentation appears to be complete and I will know in another day or two for sure. #1. The mouth feel is totally wrong. It it feels too "thick". #2 There must be many solids in suspension, as the color is way too dark in the test tube. It was originally "Georgia clay red", but is now looks like brown, well how to politely put this, crap. It is supposed to be light straw and I know from drinking that style beer a lot more transparent.

I was wondering if once I have firmly established it is done fermenting, if I cold crash it and then rack it to secondary and store it in the basement for 1-3 months before bottling it might help. I have tasted the samples, of course they're green, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's a lost cause if the texture would improve and I have reason to believe because it so heavy that might take some time. Cream Ale should be a summer beer; light and crisp and we're just not there.

Last question. How to cold crash? I mean specifically what temp and how long to maintain it before transfer. Could I do it with bags of ice and water?

Bill

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Old 05-18-2009, 06:41 AM   #2
khiddy
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Cold crash in your fermenting pail or carboy. Put it in your fridge, set at 35 or whatever your fridge is normally at. Leave it there for at least 24 hours (48 if you can do it). Then rack the beer off of the trub into another carboy. Attach your airlock, and store in your basement for however long you want.

Cold crashing in the current fermenter will allow you to get the majority of suspended solids out of the beer, but will leave enough yeast to do the job of continuing the cleanup. Whether or not it works, and improves the mouthfeel, is another question. What was your recipe? I assume this was an extract batch?

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Old 05-18-2009, 09:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khiddy View Post
Cold crash in your fermenting pail or carboy. Put it in your fridge, set at 35 or whatever your fridge is normally at. Leave it there for at least 24 hours (48 if you can do it). Then rack the beer off of the trub into another carboy. Attach your airlock, and store in your basement for however long you want.

Cold crashing in the current fermenter will allow you to get the majority of suspended solids out of the beer, but will leave enough yeast to do the job of continuing the cleanup. Whether or not it works, and improves the mouthfeel, is another question. What was your recipe? I assume this was an extract batch?
Yes, it was indeed an extract with steeped grains. It came from Northern Brewer.

12 oz. Honey Malt
4 oz. Biscuit malt
6lbs Pilsner Liquid Extract
1 oz. cluster hops (60 min)
no aroma hops
Wyeast American Ale

OG 1.051
Final OG (so far) 1.018

I spoke to Norther Brewer and they offered to replace the kit, as the grains I described led them to question if they had made a mistake, but I would like to give it some time, as it appears to have potential, at least to my untrained pallet.
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Drinking: Ed Worts Apfelwein, Store bought Bass, Salvator. Can't brew in Winter and I needed bottles.


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Went down in a blaze of glory due to mold infection.

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
jharres
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What temp did you steep your grains at? How long has it been in Primary? What is the fermentation temp?

One thing to keep in mind is that Wyeast American Ale is a med-low flocculation yeast, as such, it's going to be a bit more hazy. It will taste clean, but will not clear up without either filtration or crashing.

I'm guessing that if you rack to secondary and let it sit for a couple of weeks before bottling, you will have more clarity to the beer. Then, once it's done carbing in the bottle, I'd fridge it for a week before you drink it. That should help it clear up some in terms of haze. As for color, I think you are stuck with what you have, the only way I know to lighten the color would be to water it down and you don't want to do that.

For future reference, it would be good to use either Irish Moss or Whirfloc tabs in your boil (last 10-15 minutes). It's made a world of difference in my beers in terms of clarity. Also, if you want a clearer beer, maybe look for a yeast strain that is highly flocculant.

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Old 05-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
BillTheSlink
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Originally Posted by jharres View Post
What temp did you steep your grains at? How long has it been in Primary? What is the fermentation temp?

One thing to keep in mind is that Wyeast American Ale is a med-low flocculation yeast, as such, it's going to be a bit more hazy. It will taste clean, but will not clear up without either filtration or crashing.

I'm guessing that if you rack to secondary and let it sit for a couple of weeks before bottling, you will have more clarity to the beer. Then, once it's done carbing in the bottle, I'd fridge it for a week before you drink it. That should help it clear up some in terms of haze. As for color, I think you are stuck with what you have, the only way I know to lighten the color would be to water it down and you don't want to do that.

For future reference, it would be good to use either Irish Moss or Whirfloc tabs in your boil (last 10-15 minutes). It's made a world of difference in my beers in terms of clarity. Also, if you want a clearer beer, maybe look for a yeast strain that is highly flocculant.
I agree with the Irish Moss idea. I have no idea why NB doesn't send it with the kits. Grains started at about 80 degrees and ended about 135-140. I was doing a full boil and didn't know to steep in a smaller amount of water (wasn't on the instructions). I did that with my Scottish 80. I put the grains in three quarts and started at 140 and removed from heat. Ended up much better as far as hitting color and predicted gravity.
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Drinking: Ed Worts Apfelwein, Store bought Bass, Salvator. Can't brew in Winter and I needed bottles.


Primary: Bass Clone Austin Home Brew Supply
Went down in a blaze of glory due to mold infection.

ON DECK: Moosebutt Faux Lager


Last edited by BillTheSlink; 05-18-2009 at 07:21 PM. Reason: adding information
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