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Old 01-28-2014, 01:58 AM   #11
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:01 AM   #12
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My guess (this is my guess and I don't know what I am talking about half the time) is you underpitched causing the off flavors. Half a vial for a 5 gallon batch is a bit short. Hence 3 days to see signs of fermentation. The yeast had to get their numbers up first.


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Old 01-28-2014, 02:39 AM   #13
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So is the batch a loss, or do I just need to give it a little longer due to the under pitch?
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:43 AM   #14
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Let it go. It will mellow in time. IMO.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:46 AM   #15
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Thanks. And what about bottling? Now or wait a little longer?
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:28 AM   #16
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Take another gravity reading in a couple days. If it hasn't moved, it's done and you can bottle it up.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:15 PM   #17
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The first batch I did had the same problem with the yeast. It took about a week longer then I thought to ferment but still came out alright. If you give it time it should turn out alright.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:23 PM   #18
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Count me in the "should turn out fine after aging works its magic" crowd.

Quick questions - while in the carboy did you let air in after the fermentation activity slowed down, possible while checking gravity readings or poking around inspecting it? Second, was the carboy in direct sunlight at all during the 3 week period?

I am not an expert on the nuances of beer flavors and the causes of off flavors, but I was under the impression that "skunky" beer flavors can often be attributed to oxidation, which can occur through exposure to oxygen in the headspace, or by UV light. Just my initial thoughts.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHNF View Post
My guess (this is my guess and I don't know what I am talking about half the time) is you underpitched causing the off flavors. Half a vial for a 5 gallon batch is a bit short.
I agree. Even a moderate-gravity ale would require at least 160 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch. A perfectly-viable vial of yeast would have 100 billion cells, so it's safe to assume yours was somewhat less than that. If it was 80% viable, and you lost half of it, then in actuality you only pitched around 40 billion cells, or 25% of what you should have pitched.

My diagnosis is the yeast was severely stressed from being asked to multiply so dramatically, and produced off-flavours.

Next time, make a starter, or pitch 2 vials of yeast (without spilling ).
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:43 PM   #20
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Yep, you didn't put enough yeast in. Little guys got stressed in your gravity reading of 1.056 I think is what I read. That's what I would suggest first. What was your...

-grain to water mash ratio? Did you use 1.25qts water per pound of grain?
-mash temps?
-mash time? My neighbor once walked away after being done with his batch and came back hours later for the boil. Tasted bad.
-sunlight? Skunky flavor is a result of this.

Bottle it if FG was consistent for a few days. Bottle prime and then cold condition for awhile and there is a decent chance this lagering process might help the flavor clean up some.


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