Help! I think I screwed up my second beer

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homebrewjapan

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My first beer (Black Rock Lager with sugar) fermented down to 1006 without any problem

But my second beer (Black Rock Whispering Wheat with Munton's Wheat Spraymalt) has issues.

Firstly, on day 1, it almost exploded:
Something wrong? « Homebrew Japan

I then left it, went on vacation, and came back to there being almost no activity. I left it again and there continued to be no activity so 3 days ago I tested the gravity: 1018-1020.

I should expect 1012 using malt, right? So again I left it. But last night I tested the gravity again and sure enough, 1018-1020. It really isn't doing anything. Temp range is around 20-24 so it should be doing something.

So last night I took the yeast from another kit and sprinkled it on top. It foamed a little when I did, so I put back on the lid - and I could see some activity (the lid started to swell).

But this morning I've woken up and there's no activity at all. Peeking inside the lid there's not a single bubble.

I realise that it was probably stupid and pointless to sprinkle yeast in because yeast needs oxygen to get going and there isn't any in there now, right! Doh.

I think this might have been screwed up from the beginning. On the Munton's Spraymalt webpage it says "Substitute two packs (1 kg) of Spraymalt for all the sugar recommended in the beer kit recipe. Important note: when using this recipe you must use Muntons Premium Gold yeast as you will be producing a beer particularly rich and full-bodied requiring the improved fermentation characteristics of the Muntons Premium Gold yeast." I mailed them and said I can't buy Muntons yeast in Japan and they said kit yeast would be OK, but now I'm not so sure.

So what do I do now?

1. Accept that 1018 is the final gravity and bottle? The sample I took before adding the second yeast still tasted sweet, so I don't think it is ready.

2. Gently stir to aireate the beer? I don't want to oxidize it, but then if the yeast needs oxygen, what can I do? This page (Things Beer Kit Instructions Don) says: "Fresh, good quality yeast may also help get things going again. Safale 04 is a good choice of yeast for this purpose. It can be sprinkled on the wort, allowed to re-hydrate for 20 mins then briefly and gently stirred in however, better results may be achieved by starting the yeast off in wort first. " I didn't wait the 20 minutes or gently stir at that time. I really seems like I've missed the step of gently stirring, and this is what I need to do.

3. Buy a pack of yeast, rehydrate it, check it is working with sugar, then add that? I'm sure there's still too much sugar not yet turned to alcohol.

4. Add yeast nutrient?

At this stage I'm very demoralised. My first kit got down to 1006 but has a disappointing flavour. I was expecting a wheat kit with wheat malt to be fantastic, and it is turning out to be a disaster!
 

Yooper

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Sounds like it's about done. Keep it at 20C or thereabouts. If it's still at the same SG in a week or so, bottle it and enjoy it!

It sounds like you just didn't use a well attenuating dry yeast. That's par for the course with Munton's yeast. If you can find some other brand of yeast, that might work out better for you next time. I have no idea what you have available, though!
 
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homebrewjapan

homebrewjapan

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I couldn't find Munton's yeast - I had to use the kit yeast: "I mailed them and said I can't buy Muntons yeast in Japan and they said kit yeast would be OK"

It tastes too sweet at the moment though, and no wheat taste - there should be some from the wheat kit and wheat malt (I hoped).
 

Yooper

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I couldn't find Munton's yeast - I had to use the kit yeast: "I mailed them and said I can't buy Muntons yeast in Japan and they said kit yeast would be OK"

It tastes too sweet at the moment though, and no wheat taste - there should be some from the wheat kit and wheat malt (I hoped).
Once it's carbonated, it'll be better, but still probably taste a bit too sweet. Do you have any commercial ale yeast strains available to you? We could help you pick one that might be better for next time.
 
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homebrewjapan

homebrewjapan

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Fermentis Safale S-04 and S-23 are the most common here (I can by these in a local department store that has a few supplies). Most mail order suppliers carry some other Fermentis (US-05, WB-06, S-33, T-58), and there are a few others here which are only available for certain websites (see below) - since homebrew isn't big in Japan, I've no idea how "fresh" these would be.

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Would it be worth getting an S-04, rehydrating it, and adding that? Would it do any harm?
 

Yooper

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At this point, I'd just call this brew done. It won't go much lower, and once it's carbonated it'll taste much better than it does now.

For next time, though, grab the S04 and S05. The SO4 is great for English style beers, and just about anything else you can think of. I'd use it in stout, English pale ales, etc. The SO5 is also awesome. It's great in American style beers especially. It's a clean, well-attenuating strain that is great for IPAs, American browns, etc. Those are my two "go to" strains. Well, that and Nottingham.

The first brew that fermented down to 1.006 is because of the corn sugar- that's really pretty low and that beer must be pretty dry. This one is a bit too sweet at 1.018, but it'll be ok. I think if you get the S04 and use that from now on in a recipe like your wheat that you'll be very happy.
 
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homebrewjapan

homebrewjapan

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I'm a bit reluctant to bottle this, to be honest. Feel like just throwing it away.

The first brew (lager and sugar) doesn't taste great (so far). This one actually tastes similar to the first, as if I'd used sugar instead of malt. Seems like a waste of bottles to bottle it.

Thanks for your help, Yooperbrew. The advice is much appreciated. I'll get S-04 in future!
 

obezyana1

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Don't pour it. Just bottle it and let it sit for a while. It may not be exactly what you expected it to be, but it will be beer and it will most likely still be good, although a little sweet. If you start pouring out beers everytime something tastes a bit different than what you expect, then you will never bottle anything. Give it time in the bottle. The carbonation will help a bit with the sweerness and help the flavor of the beer. A bit of time in the bottle will also help mellow things out. It's your money and time if you want to toss it, but many a good beer have been wasted by tossing them down the drain.
 
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