1st Batch Ever - Possible Problem

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zachcrosen

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I am just getting into brewing my own beer finally. Ive been wanting to do so for a while but never bought the equipment. My wife bought me an extract kit for Christmas and I went ahead and started it last Wednesday.

The kit is a Midnight Milk Stout from Monster Brew. It is an extract kit. The kit consisted of the following:

-specialty grains
-lactose
-malt
-Chinook and Kent Goldings hops
-yeast

When I started boiling the wort, I couldn't get a great boil. I guess it was due to the canning pot I used and the smooth cook top stove I have. I got it to around 195-205 for the hour required. I added the ingredients as the directions called out. I cooled it in the ice water bath in the sink to around 75 degrees. I poured it into the primary fermenter and pitched the yeast. The OG was around 1.045 corrected for the 60 degrees. I saw where others have tamped the yeast down into the wort so I did as such.

I then stuck it in a closet and the temp on the bucket stayed between 66-72 degrees which is what the recipe called for. It said to leave in fermenter for 5-7 days. I didnt start seeing bubbles out of my airlock until late the 2nd night. It seemed to be a vigorous fermentation for about 36-48 hours then the airlock quit bubbling. I went ahead and checked the SG on the 6th day and it had only dropped to 1.024 corrected. So, I read where you can gently stir the stuff in the bottom to rejuvenate the yeast. This was on Tuesday. I just checked the SG again and it is still at 1.024. The FG should be 1.007... The directions say to go from fermenter after 5-7 days and straight to bottling. What should I do now? Should I bottle anyway? Is this batch toast? I don't have a brew store very close by to go get stuff.

HELP!!!

Zach
 

Upthewazzu

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I can't really help you about the stuck fermentation (which seems odd based on the temps you described), but just know that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to brewing. The 5-7 days timeline is just a guesstimate, not something you must absolutely stick to.
 

NTXBrauer

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I don't think your batch is toast. Check the FG again in 2 days, and if it has not changed, then you have 2 options to look at.

(1) Go ahead and bottle it. (It may take more than a couple weeks to carbonate, if the suspended yeast is minimal) Sounds like you may have a low yeast count.

(2) Pitch more yeast, if you can get you hands on some in the next few days, and let it ride 1-2 more weeks.

Good Luck!
 

Cyclman

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Did you aerate it? If not, that could be the issue, and there isn't much to do at this point. Also, did you hydrate the yeast, that can help.

Extracts have a reputation of not finishing below 1020, though I have done some that have finished well below that with O2 injection and temp control.

Taste it, if it's not too sweet, bottle it.
 

chickypad

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I think that estimated FG is an error or a misprint. That would be pretty low even for a dry stout, but seems way off for a milk stout. The lactose is not fermentable so contributes 100% to the FG - a lb of that raises the gravity 7 pts in a 5 gallon batch. It sounds as if it's likely done.
 

loucurr

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What do you mean by "tamped the yeast"? I would not worry...have a home brew and bottle it. The worst thing that can happen is that you will have a sweet beer.
 
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zachcrosen

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I don't think your batch is toast. Check the FG again in 2 days, and if it has not changed, then you have 2 options to look at.

(1) Go ahead and bottle it. (It may take more than a couple weeks to carbonate, if the suspended yeast is minimal) Sounds like you may have a low yeast count.

(2) Pitch more yeast, if you can get you hands on some in the next few days, and let it ride 1-2 more weeks.

Good Luck!
If I do pitch more yeast, does it matter what yeast to get? I don't know if I can find the same yeast locally...
 
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zachcrosen

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Did you aerate it? If not, that could be the issue, and there isn't much to do at this point. Also, did you hydrate the yeast, that can help.

Extracts have a reputation of not finishing below 1020, though I have done some that have finished well below that with O2 injection and temp control.

Taste it, if it's not too sweet, bottle it.
When I poured the wort into the primary, I poured it thru a strainer to add air to it. Im not sure what you mean by hydrating the yeast. I have tasted it and it is really watery. I think it will have a good flavor but it just tastes watered down right now. Will that change once bottled?
 
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zachcrosen

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What do you mean by "tamped the yeast"? I would not worry...have a home brew and bottle it. The worst thing that can happen is that you will have a sweet beer.
After I pitched the yeast, I used the spoon to tap it down into the wort. I think the ABV is around 2.5% as it sits now. :(
 

BigFloyd

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I think that estimated FG is an error or a misprint. That would be pretty low even for a dry stout, but seems way off for a milk stout. The lactose is not fermentable so contributes 100% to the FG - a lb of that raises the gravity 7 pts in a 5 gallon batch. It sounds as if it's likely done.

This was my first thought as well, followed by thinking that ferment temps into the 70's are certainly on the high side for yeast you would normally find in a stout kit.

If you have a pound of lactose in this milk stout, expect your FG to come in at around 1.022.
 

Cyclman

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Hydrating yeast is taking dry yeast, putting it in 100 degree water, and giving it about 20 minutes.

Carbing a beer will brighten up the flavor, may help some "wateryness."
 
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zachcrosen

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This was my first thought as well, followed by thinking that ferment temps into the 70's are certainly on the high side for yeast you would normally find in a stout kit.

If you have a pound of lactose in this milk stout, expect your FG to come in at around 1.022.
There is a pound of lactose in this recipe. I recall that amount. I may go ahead and try to bottle this weekend and hope for the best!
 

BigFloyd

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There is a pound of lactose in this recipe. I recall that amount. I may go ahead and try to bottle this weekend and hope for the best!
Since this beer hasn't even seen two weeks of fermentation yet, I'd strongly suggest that you wait and plan to bottle next weekend instead.

Not only do you want the yeast to eat the fermentable sugars to make alcohol, you need to give them a chance to clean up the yucky by-products that are produced during fermentation (especially at higher temps). Time is your friend.

Also, you should plan on letting this kind of beer bottle condition at 70-75*F for about 3 months before chilling in the fridge a few days and trying one. Your patience will be rewarded.
 
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zachcrosen

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Since this beer hasn't even seen two weeks of fermentation yet, I'd strongly suggest that you wait and plan to bottle next weekend instead.

Not only do you want the yeast to eat the fermentable sugars to make alcohol, you need to give them a chance to clean up the yucky by-products that are produced during fermentation (especially at higher temps). Time is your friend.

Also, you should plan on letting this kind of beer bottle condition at 70-75*F for about 3 months before chilling in the fridge a few days and trying one. Your patience will be rewarded.
Sounds good. Thanks everyone for the input!
 
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