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Old 12-01-2011, 01:11 AM   #1
rodwha
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Sep 2011
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Bottled an amber ale after 3 weeks fermenting and only reached 1.02 FG, which should have been closer to 1.015.
I'm assuming it's due to pitching 1 smack pack of yeast. I do not want that to happen to the IPA I'm brewing soon (Fri-Sat) with a slightly higher OG.
From what I gather on making a starter is that I can use 4 oz of my LME for 1 liter/quart of starter with a boil time of 10-15 mins. That should give me an OG of about 1.036. All good so far?
I didn't find anything about storage temp of starter. Is 68* for 2 or 3 days OK for that? Can keeping it warm (74*) create fusel alcohol? The yeast is Belgian Leuven Pale Ale.
A video I watched of someone making their starter showed that using an air lock isn't necessary as I've read others claim. This guy screws the lid on then backs it off a touch. I am planning on using an unused sports bottle for this.



 
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:18 AM   #2
ETCS
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I always make a starter. 1/2 cup DME with 2 Cups water, boil for 5 minutes, cool to the same temp as the liquid yeast pack (or close to it), pitch yeast and place a piece of sanitized aluminum foil over the top. I don't use an airlock. If you are not using a stir plate, you should shake it every couple of hours.

NOTE: You may or may not see any kind of Krausen on your starter, this doesn't mean it isn't working.


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Old 12-01-2011, 01:21 AM   #3
Mookie
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I typically do my starter at the same temp as I plan to brew. I feel it is a good idea to condition the yeast to the temperature that the will be working at, But I get the feeling that some people may do the starter at a slightly higher temp to get the process to happen quicker. If you plan to cold crash and decant the liquid then I don't feel that fusel alcohol would be a problem if any is created. JMO.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:24 AM   #4
rodwha
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Can an under pitched brew reach its FG with additional time or can its slightly higher FG # be all it would achieve?

 
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #5
jester5120
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those smack packs say they can ferment a 5 gallon batch of 1.060 wort without a start. I'd recommend always using a starter tho. but as long as the og of your ipa isn't off the charts that starter should be fine. I would keep the starters temp at the same temp you are planning on fermenting your beer at. decant your starter before you pitch it and you shouldn't have any noticeable issues with the final product

 
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #6
kh54s10
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You should weigh out the dme. That is more accurate. I use 1 gram per milliliter of wort. So a 1 liter starter gets 100 grams of dme. I boil in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes.

I agree on no airlock and agitating often. I use a stirplate on the kitchen counter and have pitched at high krausen, about 18 hours, and also cold crashed and poured off the liquid. I don't think that you have to worry about fusel alcohol unless you are pitching a very large starter without decanting.

 
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #7
ETCS
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I would just let it go for at least 3 weeks or so and see what happens. Worst case: you have a slightly lower ABV, but still beer. Best Case: it ferments out all the way, but still beer!!!

Just don't go messing with it, just take it as a lessons learned for next time.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:30 AM   #8
rodwha
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I intend on fermenting at 64-65*, but that seems low for a starter I would have thought. I'd assume that low 70's would be ideal to kick start them quickly. But I like the idea of training the yeast to work at the temp you plan on working them at.

 
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:31 AM   #9
jester5120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodwha View Post
Can an under pitched brew reach its FG with additional time or can its slightly higher FG # be all it would achieve?
it will usually still hit it's fg. sometimes it'll under attenuate and not eat up all the sugar but usually the yeast just gets stressed when it is underpitched and will throw some light off flavors

 
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:34 AM   #10
rodwha
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I'm using LME and read the conversion of DME/LME is .6/.75. What I read stated to use 4 oz DME for 1 liter/quart so the math gave me an additional oz for using LME



 
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