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Old 03-25-2009, 10:16 AM   #11
Zman3382
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Again, thanks to everyone for the kind advice.

The first batch was bottled 9/17/08, and the most recent was bottled 1/6/09. There are still bottles left of each so they've had some time to hang out. They're stored upright on shelves in a closet on the main floor, not far from the thermostat. Always careful not to pour the yeast sediment out when consuming. As far as doing anything to 'fix' it.. I started using starters after the first few batches. I think theres probably a good bit of merit to the statement that the yeasts Ive been using are in the more tempermental range.. I may need to get a chest freezer with an external thermostat just to achieve good consistent temps... time to buy a bigger house :-)


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Old 03-25-2009, 11:11 AM   #12
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Yea - yeast temp I believe is a large problem here. That and MAYBE water chems? if you are making a lot of lighter brews and your water is hard you could be having a problem because darker grain will fix this while lighter grain has a problem.

But I have to think the warm fermenting is the #1 problem. 5 degrees fluctuation is not THAT bad (I've had that with no bad results) but I don't think I've ever had a batch ferment above 70. . . . .but I live in Wisconsin.


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Old 03-25-2009, 11:32 AM   #13
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one thing that dogged me for taste the first 4 brews that was fixed in the 5th brew was switching from one step to star san I know one step is no rinse and supposed not to affect the beer but myself and a brew buddy both felt it had an aftertaste in the beer that was resolved with star san. just a thought.

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Old 03-25-2009, 11:42 AM   #14
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1 - Irish Red - Wyeast 1056 Activator (just 1 smack pack..)
2 - Amarillo Pale Ale - Wyeast 1332 Activator (just 1..)
Just a question for the "pros" around here. Aren't the activator packs the 125ml ones that you only need 1 pack for 5 gallons? Rarely have I seen anyone say that they underpitched with the activator packs...propagators, yes, but not the activators.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:49 AM   #15
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Check out the link for my ghetto fermentation chamber in my sig. Unless you are fermenting in a 4 square foot apartment with no freezer you can control fermentation temps.

All the yeasts you listed would be pretty awful without temp control. When you say 70-74 I presume you are using an ale pale, no water bath, and room temp is 70-74 in which case you were really fermenting at about 80*F or higher since the plastic traps in heat created by the fermentation itself. In a water bath like my method the temp of the surrounding water is within 1-2* of the inside of the fermenter.

It sounds like you are doing everything else right. If you use a more forgiving yeast, pitch dry for awhile, and try the water bath I would be surprised if you weren't pleased with the results.

I use a lot of dry yeast; SafAle S-04 is one of my go-to house strains I use for everything from pale ales to cream ales to IPAs. At 66-68*F in the water bath it ferments clean with a slight but pleasant fruitiness, sediments well making it ideal for bottle conditioning, and attenuates fairly dry like US-05 or Nottingham.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Just a question for the "pros" around here. Aren't the activator packs the 125ml ones that you only need 1 pack for 5 gallons? Rarely have I seen anyone say that they underpitched with the activator packs...propagators, yes, but not the activators.
Not a "pro" but it depends mostly on how fresh your yeast is. If the yeast is 2-3 weeks old pitching a smack pack directly into a 1.050 wort is not ideal but will work. If your yeast is 3-4 months old you are severely underpitching. Unless you are lucky like me and live a few miles from Austin Homebrew, your yeast is probably more than 2-3 weeks old.

Wyeast has a "mfg on" date stamped on the package, White Labs has an expiration date which is 4 months after the date of production.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
...I use a lot of dry yeast; SafAle S-04 is one of my go-to house strains I use for everything from pale ales to cream ales to IPAs. At 66-68*F in the water bath it ferments clean with a slight but pleasant fruitiness, sediments well making it ideal for bottle conditioning, and attenuates fairly dry like US-05 or Nottingham.
+1 Dry yeast helps to keep things simple. I like and use all three of those mentioned above.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:06 PM   #18
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I had the same experience making kits(everything tasted the same), but once I started trying recipes with more ingredients, a whole new world opened up.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:14 PM   #19
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I will tell you 100% without a doubt that your problem is your fermentation temperatures. The first 4 batches I made all had the same/similar tastes and they were as far apart as you can get in style. I started doing a water bath in a rubbermaid tub with frozen 2L bottles and Bam, problem is gone. Do yourself a favor, go buy a rubbermaid tub, freeze some 2L bottles filled with water, brew a batch, and go ahead and stick your fermenter and 2L in the rubbermaid and fill with water up to the 5gal mark. The next day or if you can, earlier, throw in another frozen 2L. Try to maintain the temp in the mid 60's at the highest and your estery problem will disappear. The Estery taste usually masks everything because its SO STRONG. After this your beers will taste dissimilar, which is good!

Jump in your car, go now.


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