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Old 06-21-2013, 02:50 AM   #1
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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So I made this extract amber ale recipe:

1/2# carapils
1/2# Victory
3/4# Caramel 80
A basic Amber LME
1 oz Northern Brewer dual purpose hops 60m
1 oz Kent golding aroma hops 10m
English Ale yeast (in a vial) (WLP002)

Then I added some blueberries and blackberries to secondary 3 days before bottling. After I emptied as much as I could I decided to dump some apple juice (from concentrate) on the yeast cake, just for an experiment (I also added brown sugar). I thought maybe I could get a little more out of the berries. Man, after 24 hours or so that thing was churning. I figured that would happen so I only had my carboy about half full.

Anyway, I just thought I would share, and also ask a question. Its been 5 days or so and its still fermenting like crazy. So I decided to give the airlock a whiff. Smells like banana. Anyone know what that might be? I'm sure I'll get all kinds of off flavors for over pitching and whatever else I'm doing wrong, haha. Just curious if anyone knows what that smell might mean.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:53 AM   #2
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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I'm thinking about racking it.. hard to tell by looking but I wonder if the fruit is going to mold.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:47 AM   #3
FatsSchindee
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Mar 2013
Austin, TX
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What temp are you fermenting at? I've heard that banana esters can be a byproduct (or "off flavor", depending on how you look at it) of either a higher than optimal fermentation temp, or also of overpitching, which it sounds like you did. Can be desirable on some styles... But not always.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatsSchindee View Post
What temp are you fermenting at? I've heard that banana esters can be a byproduct (or "off flavor", depending on how you look at it) of either a higher than optimal fermentation temp, or also of overpitching, which it sounds like you did. Can be desirable on some styles... But not always.
Pretty sure its stayed around 68-70.
(Edit) - Fahrenheit

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
saramc
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Feb 2011
suburb of Louisville, KY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likafox View Post
I'm thinking about racking it.. hard to tell by looking but I wonder if the fruit is going to mold.
Blue/blackberries in primary have typically reached their extraction points around Day 5-8; but I never ferment under airlock in primary so things are going to be a bit different. They should not mold though--you need to make sure they are under the surface, punch down the fruit cap 2x/day. How much headspace do you have?
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc View Post

Blue/blackberries in primary have typically reached their extraction points around Day 5-8; but I never ferment under airlock in primary so things are going to be a bit different. They should not mold though--you need to make sure they are under the surface, punch down the fruit cap 2x/day. How much headspace do you have?
Its half full in a 5 gallon carboy. Im going to rack it today to get it off the yeast cake and fruit. By the way, I took a gravity reading before fermenting, but then I added two cups of brown sugar. Is there any way to get a rough estimate on how much that would add to the gravity? Kind of a silly question but im just curious. I imagine I could maybe add sugar to 2.5g of water and see how much it adds but I would rather not waste it. Anyway, ill post the gravity later when I make the transfer.

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc View Post
I never ferment under airlock in primary
I thought you needed an airlock to practice good sanitation and to keep from oxygenating, are you using something different?

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
Pastorken
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Sep 2012
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Can't remember where I saw it, but there is a chart somewhere on HBT that gives a pretty good idea of how much gravity is added to a 5 gallon ferment by adding different sugars. If you can find that you should be able to do a little math and get close.

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:33 PM   #9
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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It's at 1.004, and it tastes good. That would put it at 5.28% ABV, minus the two cups of brown sugar I threw in after taking down the SG. I think I'm going to rack a gallon into a growler and let it ferment dry, then mix in some more brown sugar and bottle the rest.

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:32 PM   #10
likafox
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Jun 2013
, Michigan
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Man, I refrigerated the cider from my test tube. Its sooo good. I definitely taste the blueberries/blackberries. I used 40 grams of brown sugar for 1.6 gallons. Hope that will do the trick. Maybe I'll figure out how much higher than 5.28 the abv really is later. If anyone knows a good calculator or something let me know. I'll call it black and blue cider. I think that fits since its made with blackberries and blueberries, and its high alcohol content might leave you black and blue by the end of the night. Right? Bad joke

 
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