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Old 09-08-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
Jul 2010
Orlando, FL
Posts: 179

Hey Guys,

I am trying to help out a friend who is also new to brewing and recently brewed his third batch (a Strawberry Blonde Ale). Well according to him all was well and the OG was where it was supposed to have been per the instructions from Austin Home Brew. It as been in the primary fermenter for ~8 days now and he went to take a hydro reading last night and this is where he noticed problems. Apparently the smell and taste of the beer is quite awkward and it had a funny head on the beer (link to pic below) and he is stating that the hydro reading is higher then it was on the first day.

He contacted AHB and they told him to try and re pitch some yeast so he is planning on doing that asap. Does anyone know what might have caused this and what could be done to help the situation. I know he didnt order the chill pack for the yeast when he ordered from AHB, could this have been the issue?


Thank you in advance for any feedback you can tell me to pass on.

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
Nov 2008
Posts: 833
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

Looks like a foamy beer to me. He probably just has a little CO2 in suspension. Is he taking the reading from the top of the foam or the top of the liquid? I would have him let the foam settle on his sample and then take the reading again.

It definitely looks like some fermentation has taken place, so I would not repitch yeast at this point.

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
Registered User
Dec 2007
Posts: 9,043
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Perfectly normal, what was the reading?

NO need to re-pitch at this point.

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
Sep 2008
Denver, CO
Posts: 1,082
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Also he's not gonna get a correct reading if the hydrometer is all crooked and touching the sides of the container like the picture....

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
Jul 2010
Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 102
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

From one newb to another... The first rule should be "don't worry... give it time to do it's thing."

The foam in the test jar/tube is absolutely normal. I've had that with every batch. Try to pour more slowly into the tube if you can, and pour down the side of the test tube and it will foam up less.

I for sure wouldn't pitch new yeast until I was absolutely sure it was the right thing to do.
- What were the gravity readings?? (and at what temps did he take the readings??? I forgot that was important on my first 2 brews...)
- What yeast did he use?
Bottled - Autumn Amber Ale (Midwest Spls)
Bottled - Wounded Knee IPA (Edwort)
Kegged - Deception Cream Stout (NCBeernut)
Kegged - Bo's American Brown Ale (First Recipe)

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Old 09-08-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
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Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 31,710
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I think that carbonation in the beer can lead to inaccurate hydro readings.

There is PLENTY of carb in that test tube! Have him shake the hell out of it until it stops foaming and try again. And make sure the temp is around 60F.

It LOOKS like a great beer!

And FYI - I rarely ferment for LESS THAN 3 WEEKS.

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Old 09-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
Jul 2010
Orlando, FL
Posts: 179

I was trying to get in contact with him and all I know is that he used white labs yeast and the OG was 1.048 and when he took it last night (I am sure the hydro was not crooked when he was taking the reading) it had actually gone higher. One thing I dont know, is whether or not he took the reading from the actual beer or the head but I will inquire asap.

As it stands now I will tell him to hold off....

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Old 09-08-2010, 06:13 PM   #8
Hang Glider
Beer Drinker
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Mar 2007
North Augusta, SC
Posts: 3,218
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A friend of mine makes wine. She said she kept adding dextrose, because her hydrometer wouldn't cooperate...

which leads me to my question - What does he call "higher?"

+1 to the above advice - get all carbonation out of the sample, get the foam out of the sample. make sure the hydro is FLOATING, not standing on the bottom - and the new number should be low - like 1.008 or 1.010...

I fill my sample tube to overflowing, so I have no foam, and I'm sure it's floating. then I know my readings are correct...

and we're all asking - because it looks to us like he made beer!

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Old 09-08-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
Jul 2010
Posts: 233
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Yeah, that sure looks like beer.

The smell and taste were awkward? Maybe he just means normal green beer and doesn't realize it?

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Old 09-15-2010, 01:03 AM   #10
Jul 2010
Posts: 6

I'm the noob that took the pic, and I took everyone's advise....i just let it week later my airlock is going crazy (i love to see the BUBBLES!!!) I'm so glad I didn't pitch more yeast. Before I called AHB I shook the crap out of my carboy though, and I'm not sure if thats going to effect the beer. Anyway, thanks again for all the help!!!

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