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Old 03-17-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Yeast Autolysis?

I am brand new to brewing I started about a month and a half ago. My first brew I made an Oktoberfest. It was easy and turned out great. I then started an Irish Stout. I used the Brewers Best kit. I started fermentation Sunday March 3rd. OG of 48. I let it ferment till Wednesday March 6th. In the primary I waited to see no bubbles for 2 minutes before transferring. Then I transferred it to the secondary. I forgot to take gravity reading (I'm new to this it was late when i got home). Upon transferring to the secondary I added 3/4 pounds of lactose and 6 oz of vanilla extract. It then sat in the secondary till Thursday March 14th. Where I witnessed no bubbles at all. Through the process the temperature ranged between 68-70 degrees F. On march 14th I transferred my beer to the keg added 1/2 cup of priming sugar to carbonate. Shook the keg up real good then i let the foam settle then I took a gravity reading it was 22 from the brewers best sheet it says it should be in the teens. I tasted the beer and it had a watery sweet/malty flavor. I'm thinking the beer didn't ferment out fully. In the keg if I shake it up I do get pressure (how much I don't know, enough so the top can't be easily removed without releasing the pressure). Does anyone have any idea what might have happened or how I can fix this? I have issues with being patient so if that's the issue let me know.


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Old 03-17-2013, 01:32 AM   #2
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You cant go off of airlock activity to judge fermentation. Use your hydrometer to see when the gravity is stable for two days. I usually primary for 2-3 weeks. If it was only 3 days you are wayyyy short. Now you drink that beer and every time you drink one will be a lesson in patience. But keep at it it is a lot of fun

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Old 03-17-2013, 01:35 AM   #3
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Your beer was probably on target. The gravity was in the teens, but it sounds like you added your priming sugar before you took your gravity reading. This means the reading would reflect the added sugar, thus boosting the reading.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:40 AM   #4
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Your hydrometer is going to tell you when it's done fermenting. I know it stings to hear it...but you have to take readings over a few days at the end unless its a recipe you've used over and over. Once you know how a recipes can probably skip readings, but that's the only way to know for sure. You could move the keg to a warmer temp to try and get it to attenuate further...but you have to make sure you vent the CO2 often. (Otherwise that could get ugly) try warming it up and see if you can get it to finish fermenting.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:31 AM   #5
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While I agree the reply you got is awfully harsh, you will be rewarded for being patient. While this is forum is a great place to share stories and ideas, it is also a valuable resource for learning about brewing. Enjoy sampling your beer on a periodic basis after taking hydro readings so you can taste the changes as the beer finishes. Also, be careful with flavor additives, many of them can be strong at levels as low as 10 ppm.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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This site is great for learning the process and troubleshooting. Don't be so sensitive and you will get great advice.

If your timeline in the post was right you rushed the process at every step and skipped some steps (gravity readings) that would have told you what was going on.

Continue to read up on this site and any others that you can find. Ignore responses that offend you and digest the rest. There is a lot of great info online but also a lot of bad or outdated material and opinions. Read it all and figure out what will work best for you.

And in answer, I would say that the problem was because you were impatient and did not let the beer finish fermenting, then did not let it finish conditioning in the keg.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:03 AM   #7
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My guess is that even though you rushed it, your beer will still be fine. The lactose you added doesn't ferment so the beer will be sweet.

You are also tasting and measuring the priming sugar. That will ferment out.

Finally, this thread is horribly mis-titled. Yeast autolysis on the 5 gallon scale takes several months and gives the beer a rotten meat flavor.

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