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Old 09-04-2006, 02:46 PM   #1
Apr 2006
Posts: 6

Last week, I brewed a batch of Original Ballard Bitter clone per Papazian's recipe in his Microbrewed Adventures book. It called for the usual ingredients (5 lg DME, hops etc) and Ringwood yeast. I found a 125 ml Wyeast smack pack of Ringwood @LHBS, dated 3/06. Followed the directions on the package and smacked the pack about 3 hrs before pitching. It had plumped up a little bit. I oxygenated with vigorous shaking, which has worked ok in the past.

24 hr later, there was no activity at all, I went back to the LHBS and we decided I should add a little yeast nutrient. 12 hrs later, the fermentation began, with what looked like normal Krausen, CO2 production etc.

Racked to secondary yesterday; there was a noticeable aroma and taste of fruit (pineapple/mandarin oranges.) The question is, will the off flavors, which i take to be esters, go away with secondary fermentation/bottle conditioning?

Also, the LHBS guy told me that it is generally accepted that the smack packs need to be activated one day for each month beyond the production month, so i should have smacked my pack 6 days before brew day. is true?

thanks for the help

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Old 09-04-2006, 05:01 PM   #2
Exo's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 768
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I don't know if the 1-day per month is correct, but I'd say that making a starter would have been much more correct.

Some of the off-tastes might be metabolized by the healthy yeast but your probably going to have that flavor in your finished beer.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:54 PM   #3
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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1187 Ringwood Ale Yeast. Great Yeast of European origin with unique fermentation and flavor characteristics. Distinct fruit ester and high flocculation provide a malty complex profile, also clears well. Thorough diacetyl rest is recommended after fermentation is complete. Flocculation - high; apparent attenuation 68-72%. (64-74º F, 18-23° C)

Maybe you're stuck with them, but try bringing the ale up to 75F for three days. Then cool it back down for clearing.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:34 PM   #4
Apr 2006
Rocky Mount NC
Posts: 179

My LHBS told me the same about 1 day for each month past... but I do starters now.
I've had problems with smak packs in the past.

Bottled: Cherry Wheat
Bottled: Raspberry Wheat
Bottled: Traditional Mead
Bottled: Cheesefood's Caramel Cream Ale

Fermentor (2): Common Cider

Secondary: Holiday Cider

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Old 09-04-2006, 06:45 PM   #5
Feb 2006
Olathe, Kansas
Posts: 115

The yeast will clean up after themselves in titme. I would give the yeast a little more time in the primary to do some of this cleanup. The pros on this forum might be able to give you better time estimates, but I suggest that you follow a 2-2-3 pattern. So, an extra 5-7 days in the primary.

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Old 09-05-2006, 12:51 PM   #6
Apr 2006
Posts: 6

thanks for the advice, all. I guess the question is whether to go with a long secondary fermentation, tying up my only 5 gal carboy, or recognize failure and pitch the stuff now and try again, with a good starter this time

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Old 09-05-2006, 01:20 PM   #7
Mykel Obvious
Feb 2006
Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 125
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Originally Posted by Owaow
thanks for the advice, all. I guess the question is whether to go with a long secondary fermentation, tying up my only 5 gal carboy, or recognize failure and pitch the stuff now and try again, with a good starter this time
When I first started back brewing, I had a porter that I under pitched and under oxygenated (I now ALWAYS use starters and a filtered air pump)... the porter came out with a TON of banana esters, more than any Hefe I've ever made... so much banana that you couldn't even taste the roasty-toasty malt flavors!! About 4 months after bottling, it was finally getting near where I expected it to be when I made it, and I'm sure it would have been great at 6 months, but my girlfriend liked the banana flavor so much she finished them off LOL

So give it a long primary, a long secondary and keep the bottles warm for a month or so and you should get down to where the yeast is suppose to be... and never, EVER dump a batch until you absolutely must have the bottles!!! You'd be surprised how much a bottle of beer can change over time... I was!!


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