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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Keep it or dump it?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
2xbrewing
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Default Keep it or dump it?

I'm very new to brewing and I brewed my first batch last week. I'm starting off with all grain Brewing and did a bad job at crushing the grains for this Guinness style beer and did not a airate the wort after putting in liquid white labs yeast. The first original gravity reading was 1.024 which I think is extremely low. Fermentation was almost inactive as I could see through the airlock so after 4 days of no activity I opened it sterilized my tools and aerated it with a drill attachment. At this time took gravity reading again and it was 1.012, does this mean there hardly any alcohol in it? After closed up there was slow activity from airlock but nothing that seemed extremely active just bubble every now then.
SHOULD I KEEP THE BEER OR TOSS THE BATCH AND TRY AGAIN?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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If you have any dry malt extract lying around, I'd boil up a strong batch up on the stove. Cool it into the 60'sF, and add to the fermenter. With 2 lbs of DME you'd add ~ .016 to your gravity for 5 gallons. That would be a 1.040 which would be fine for the style. Not sure how much water it would take to dissolve the 2 lbs of DME though, you might have to cut back. Pitch a new packet of dry yeast also if you are going to salvage.

If you can't do something like that, it will be pretty thin beer. I never advise to dump a beer, but in this case it might be appropriate.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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Yeah the only comes out to about 1.5%ABV. I Would definately try adding some DME as stated above. I don't really think you'd need to pitch more yeast as there should've been an appropriate amount in the original pitch and they certainly didn't have alot of work to do. I think there would be plenty of viable yeast waiting for more sugars to eat. Again as stated above though your biggest obstacle will be how much DME can you dissolve in a minimal amount of water to add to fermenter.

Good luck and welcome to the additction.
Worse case scenario you've still made beer. Light beer but still beer.

Oh and you generally want to refrain from aerating your beer once fermentation is/has occurring. Aerate before pitching for yeast Health. Aerate wort after fermentation will just give you chances to oxidize your brew. Just relax ,don't worry.....
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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I've got to admit that on brew day the enviornment was not very sterile concrete floor basement where dust kicks up a lot. I'm in the process now of making that space into a very clean sterile area. I've got a decent cast iron mill now and I guess I'll chalk that cost up to a lesson learned. Thanks a lot for the help guys.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Do you keg or bottle?


If keg keep it and have a nice little session ale - if bottling too much work
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #6
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what I like to do is to keep the batch and bottle it. Its useful information for later batches as you can do side by side comparisons. When its really bad, I turn it into a braggot and give it to people I dont like.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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what no one has asked so far is what is the recipe??? also was it extract and did you top off with water?? if so your 1.024 gravity reading may have been WAY off due to the water not being properly mixed in and your sample being water "heavy" so to speak. list the recipe first before doing anything. you're beer could very well be fine.

also DON'T go by airlock activity. your lid could have a loose seal and airlock activity is not a proper indicator of fermentation (just a byproduct). I've had batches rip and roar their way through and my last hefeweizen batch barely bubbled at all.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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dump it and brew again. if you aerated a fermented beer there is no point dickering with it any further, is there? other than raising the ABV adding extract is not going to make it any better than it is now.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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OP mentioned it was his first batch, and it was all grain. Suspected crush as the culprit. I do think adding some malt extract is the way to go. Even 1 lb would make it drinkable, but closer to 2 would be better. Gotta be proud of that first batch.

Aerating caused damage to the beers long term stability. But I doubt those problems would show up in the first couple of months.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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I wouldn't waste any effort or $ on fixing it, you could rebrew for the same effort. but taste it and see if its something you'd want to drink. 1.024 seems crazy low by todays craft beer standards but if it was ww1 or ww2 wartime england, it would be quite a respectable gravity. If there are no off flavours, put it in a keg and pound it back! ...but if you're bottling and don't want to go through the effort, no one could blame you for dumping it.
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