First all Grain, where did i go wrong?

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MrMikeWhite

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Howdy!

So brewed my first AG batch a few weeks ago, Peace Coffee Stout (Second Crack), and also for the first time used dry yeast.

Re-hydrated the Safale S-04, pitched it at about 76*F. put the top on and let it go at a OG of 1064 on 11/17

Jump to today, i transferred to my secondary and then took a grav reading (probly should have done it in the other order), sitting at a STRONG 1042 @65*F

:eek: sums up my expression, i have never had this happen with the numerous extract brews have done. Does it sound like my ferm stopped due to it being too cold or maybe somewhere in my brew day? If its a brew day issue i will write step by step what i did.

I will say this, even if it ends up at a 2.88% abv, ITS DELICIOUS so i dont care lol

thanks all
 

davekippen

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Yeah that's odd. Temps seem OK. Maybe pitched a little warm but that shouldnt have caused too much problem? I ferment 04 at about 64 degrees in a ferm chamber and never have any issues in that range. Maybe post the full recipe for further dissection.
 

cjgenever

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Perhaps your mash temps were too high creating allot of unfermentables
 

davekippen

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Hmm and if it doesnt taste waaay too sweet at 1042, is there a chance you have the reading wrong? I would think that it would be like syrup, even for a stout.
 

BackAlley

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If it was me, I'd make a starter and oxygenate the hell out of the starter too then repitch if you're really confident in that hydrometer reading.
 
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MrMikeWhite

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Thanks for the replys!

I hydrated for about 15 mins

I always use a calculator when taking a reading, i use a test tube and a hydrometer and then plug in my numbers including sample temp

I mashed in at 178 and it sat in the 155-158 range, and i sparged with about 176* ( my thermometer was a bit screwy that day so thoes are more round about)

As for taste, its not sweet at all, you get all the coffee and stout back end.
 

fearwig

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If it's .042 and it's not sweet I have to wonder what the heck is in solution, if not sugar. I'd guess starch, since it's your first AG--very low conversion. Not a lot you can do to solve that now, but I would really watch your mash temps next try, they were either too high or way low (you should get total conversion from about 145-160, past that and it's a crap shoot).

You can bottle this if you really want when you're 100% sure it's done fermenting (no movement on hydrometer for 3 days).

Also bring that temp down next time, s-04 gets funky on me even in the low 70s. Next time pitch 63-68 and focus on keeping it there for at least the first five days, then you can get sloppier with temps if it's hard to maintain.
 

ericbw

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MrMikeWhite said:
Thanks for the replys!

I hydrated for about 15 mins

I always use a calculator when taking a reading, i use a test tube and a hydrometer and then plug in my numbers including sample temp

I mashed in at 178 and it sat in the 155-158 range, and i sparged with about 176* ( my thermometer was a bit screwy that day so thoes are more round about)

As for taste, its not sweet at all, you get all the coffee and stout back end.
I had two similar problems that might shed some light. With a brown ale, I misread the thermometer and mashed over 160. Thinking I was a little over 155. The FG was high, but it was sweet. It actually turned out pretty decent all things considered.

Another time, I had a faulty timer. It was a British pale. The end result was about 2.8%, and very bland. I think you/I have dissolved starch that didn't convert. There was enough to ferment some, but the non-sweet, high final gravity must be starch. You still get the flavors from the roasted grains.
 

MKBoitnott

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Also bring that temp down next time, s-04 gets funky on me even in the low 70s. Next time pitch 63-68 and focus on keeping it there for at least the first five days, then you can get sloppier with temps if it's hard to maintain.
I have also had this issue with s-04. I went and did a lot of research on the pitching rate of s-04. Turns out that many people differ on the amount of yeast that is in each of those packets (11g). I found the most consistent evidence that s-04 is close to 100 billion cells per packet (not 200 billion). In a typical 5-gal batch, you need double that. Therefore pitching one packet of s-04 into a typical 5-gal batch would be dramatically underpitching.

Interestingly, this seams like less of an issue with s-05

Of course this is just some brief research I have done, so I am not exactly certain. It could lead to 2 conclusions:

1. Go with liquid over dry
2. Double pitch s-04

Im leaning with 1...
 

cjgenever

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At this point I'd make a starter with some new yeast to proof and ensure pitch rate. If sg doesn't come down enjoy a chewy super sessionable brew.

perhaps brewing another batch with a low (145) temp mash could give you a dry finish that would blend well with what you have now? Probably not if it is not sweet. Would work with excessive unfermentable sugars, but not chewy tasteless starches.

Perhaps a different yeast could clean it up better? I realize it is frowned upon to switch strains, but I've seen us-05 do some pretty amazing things. The stuff is voracious.
 

ericbw

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I think you'd be better off adding amylase enzyme to try to convert the starch than to worry about the yeast. I've never used the enzyme, so I don't know how it works.

As far as blending with something else, I think that's a waste, too. If it is like my experience, it's just bland and gross. If the yeast stalled out, it would be sweet, which is at least like a malty pop.
 

cjgenever

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I think you'd be better off adding amylase enzyme to try to convert the starch than to worry about the yeast. I've never used the enzyme, so I don't know how it works.

As far as blending with something else, I think that's a waste, too. If it is like my experience, it's just bland and gross. If the yeast stalled out, it would be sweet, which is at least like a malty pop.
I didn't realize you could get straight enzyme. that would be more of a fix then all the band aids I had mentioned. guess I'm still a little too green :)
 

fearwig

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I think you'd be better off adding amylase enzyme to try to convert the starch than to worry about the yeast. I've never used the enzyme, so I don't know how it works.

As far as blending with something else, I think that's a waste, too. If it is like my experience, it's just bland and gross. If the yeast stalled out, it would be sweet, which is at least like a malty pop.
I thought of amylase too but I bet by the time he gets some and uses it, something that eats starch better than saccro will move in and take over. Just my theory.

Amylase at this stage would probably result in super attenuation, too, which I think is probably not what you want from this beer. But if you are desperate to save this batch it is an option.
 

fearwig

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I have also had this issue with s-04. I went and did a lot of research on the pitching rate of s-04. Turns out that many people differ on the amount of yeast that is in each of those packets (11g). I found the most consistent evidence that s-04 is close to 100 billion cells per packet (not 200 billion). In a typical 5-gal batch, you need double that. Therefore pitching one packet of s-04 into a typical 5-gal batch would be dramatically underpitching.

Interestingly, this seams like less of an issue with s-05

Of course this is just some brief research I have done, so I am not exactly certain. It could lead to 2 conclusions:

1. Go with liquid over dry
2. Double pitch s-04

Im leaning with 1...
My understanding is that 1.5-2 packs is pretty much the average "correct" pitch for most dry yeast, but you're better off with starters anyway, in my book.

I used s04 for my first two newbie AG batches, underpitched AND fermed too hot. Not a forgiving strain, those beers were so "English" they invaded the Falklands.
 

ericbw

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cjgenever said:
I didn't realize you could get straight enzyme. that would be more of a fix then all the band aids I had mentioned. guess I'm still a little too green :)
Where do you get your supplies? They probably have it. I don't know if it will fix it, but it might change it.
 

MKBoitnott

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My understanding is that 1.5-2 packs is pretty much the average "correct" pitch for most dry yeast, but you're better off with starters anyway, in my book.
Man, I wish I was told that standard before I started pitching dry yeast... oh well. Thanks!
 

cjgenever

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My understanding is that 1.5-2 packs is pretty much the average "correct" pitch for most dry yeast, but you're better off with starters anyway, in my book.

I used s04 for my first two newbie AG batches, underpitched AND fermed too hot. Not a forgiving strain, those beers were so "English" they invaded the Falklands.
I think that is more "back in the day". I've been doing extracts and partials for years and have never had yeast problems with only one package. I always hydrate these days but have done allot of just dump it in before I knew better. The only yeast problems I've had was too fast an initial fermentation creating unexpected heat. Resulted in a fuggles fusal (that's what I called it). Pure instant headache :(
I think that was t-58.
 
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MrMikeWhite

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Man you guys rock, see when I researched I was going to do a starter but they said it was more than enough. I usually use liquid, but I figured I would try dry and save $3.

I also am going to pay attention to my mash temps when i brew this weekend.

As for the stout, I am going to just let it ride, keg it up, and enjoy a low Abv java stout lol

Thanks for all the help and insite, I guess I will do more reading about all grain
 

ericbw

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I thought of amylase too but I bet by the time he gets some and uses it, something that eats starch better than saccro will move in and take over. Just my theory.

Amylase at this stage would probably result in super attenuation, too, which I think is probably not what you want from this beer. But if you are desperate to save this batch it is an option.
At least if it over-attenuates, you could mix it with something else. A sort of nasty black & tan. Just kidding. It won't be totally nasty.
 

Bloom_198d

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I use 1 packet of us-04 in 5 gallon batches all the time. Some of these batches are higher gravity as well. Your fermentation might not be as clean as using 2 packets (although I think it is negligible)... but its not gunna stop at a fg of 1.042. I have had way bigger problems with liquid yeast (says 100 bill but by the time you get it... who knows?).
 

fearwig

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Liquid yeast has a much lower cell count per package, it's strictly for propagation. Of course, they won't advertise it that way.

Underpitching by 30-50% won't wreck your beer, but if you do that on an English yeast 10f (internal 15f at peak krausen?) over max temp your beer will be crazy stressed and taste dirty. I know, I've made that beer. It was still beer. I liked it a little even, but it wasn't "good" and it's not the flavor that yeast is best suited to produce.

Try that on US-05 and Notty and it'll still have funk, but S-04 hates stress. It's fast and pretty tough, you just have to be nice to it or it will taste like badger junk.

But all this is non sequitur because OP definitely had a mash problem, not a yeast problem (probably too hot).
 

davekippen

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I use 1 packet of us-04 in 5 gallon batches all the time. Some of these batches are higher gravity as well. Your fermentation might not be as clean as using 2 packets (although I think it is negligible)... but its not gunna stop at a fg of 1.042. I have had way bigger problems with liquid yeast (says 100 bill but by the time you get it... who knows?).
Bloom is right on the money. :rockin:

The dry yeast we buy these days is very predectable and even with only one package (which is all I use, have never doubled up) I have never had 04 poop out on me.
 

avm221

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I have 2 batches of beer gping right now with US-05. For both of them I didnt do a starter I just dumped in the dry yeast and I only used one packet
 
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MrMikeWhite

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welp let it sit till last night in the secondary, got it down to 1030, so now its in the keg, still wicked taisty.

Thanks for all the advice
 

Bobby_M

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I mashed in at 178 and it sat in the 155-158 range, and i sparged with about 176* ( my thermometer was a bit screwy that day so thoes are more round about)
Mashing in with water around 178F sounds like the issue here. Did you first add that water too the cooler and let the temp come down to around 165F before adding the grain or was the grain sitting in a cold garage requiring a really high strike temp?

In any case, make sure you have a decent digital thermometer that is verified as pretty accurate by testing icewater slurry and boiling temps. +/-5 degrees can be the difference in a mash.
 

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