How badly did I mess up? (added Malt Extract late and extra volume. MJ JIPA kit)

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Dan K

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Hi all,

I'm sure I won't be the first person who's initial post is about a brewing blunder.

I've only done a handful of brews and all have gone quite well. Today, however, I made the mistake of completely forgetting to add the liquid malt extract before pitching the yeast.

Luckily I caught this mistake just after setting my fermenter up in it's water bath. I made the decision to heat the LME in some extra water and then gave it a bit of a stir in.

I'm farily confident the brew will still ferment, but I'm wondering how much I've diluted the brew and how it will work out. I'm guessing I added an extra 3 litres or so in total. The fermenter (23L) is basically full, with an inch or two headroom. So around 26 Litres in total.

I was wondering, with the Liquid Malt Extract's packaging stating it adds around 1.6% to the ABV, have I dodged a bullet? Would it still come out over 4% or so? Can I count on that extra percentage? Should I be considering extra hops and perhaps even a late addition of some dried malt or sugar?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Welcome! If it is already into the fermenter, I would just let it ride. Although, if it is a brew bucket with a spigot and you've got a test cylinder, thermometer and hydrometer, you can get your gravity and see where it is at. Again, I wouldn't worry about it, chalk it up as a learning experience and have a set plan for brew day, regardless of style, ie: fill kettle with X gallons of water, while water is heating sanitize fermenter and cold-side tools, once to temp steep specialty grains, after XX minutes pull grain bag, add part amount of extract, bring to boil and start boil hop schedule, etc.
It will definitely ferment out and give you a beer, just not what the recipe was shooting for.
 

ncbrewer

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What was your process? Did you use hopped malt extract or plain extract with hops added separately? Was DME added first, and boiled? etc.
 
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Dan K

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Thanks for the welcome. I've been lurking for a while.

I'm feeling doubly embarassed now as this is just a standard Mangrove Jacks Juicy IPA kit.
Standard procedures for a kit. Sterilise, add 23'C water, yeast and cover w/airlock in a water bath with aquarium heater.

I just somehow realised I still had the LME pouch unopened an hour later (I was kegging the other kit to be fair!). So then added that with some warm water (about 3L total).

I'm pretty sure things will turn out fine but just wondered how much I'd diluted things in terms of abv and taste, and if I should be giving it another stir to get the LME mixed in. The SG seemed very low at around 1.025ish but the temp was close to 24'C so that must have been way off?
I don't have a spigot on my fermenters which is something I need to look into.

I'm thinking of trying an extract biab brew next time with some oats, and definately paying a bit more attention. I just need to pursuade someone the stove can take the weight of the pot! ;)
 

D.B.Moody

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Relax; don't worry about the dilution. What's done is done. On the other hand, you might want to think about lack of space in the fermenter. Your airlock may be overwhelmed. If you aren't using a blow off system, you might need to crack the seal on the fermenter when things are going strong. (I've never used a blow off so I can't advise you on that.)
 
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ncbrewer

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If you aren't using a blow off system, you might need to crack the seal on the fermenter when things are going strong. (I've never used a blow off so I can't advise you on that.)
Good point. With just an inch or two of headroom, you could easily get a blow off. At one time, I would set the lid on loose, with about a 1 pound weight on it to keep it pressed down. Then sealed it after active fermentation was finished. Eventually, I got nervous about something getting into the fermenter and just got a larger fermenter.
 
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Dan K

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Thanks for the advice. I should have listened right away!

I thought the airlock was just about handling it and left it over night, then came down this morning to find it totally overwhelmed with a fair bit of a mess over the fermenter lid. Nothing too bad thankfully but I should have listened to the pros.
Another thing to chalk up as experience.

I've now attatched a siphon hose as a blow-off into a pan of boiled water and will add some sanitiser (only have Milton and Sodium Percarbonate). Quite a bit of foam coming down the tube from time to time but I've now figured that's the whole point.

When I was reading about Blow-off valves I saw someone mentioning to keep an eye on it in case of 'Beer suicide'? I don't like the sound of that at all!
 
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ncbrewer

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You were lucky if you just had a mess on the fermenter lid. One caution about blow-off tubes. I had an explosion when using a 3/8" tube - I transferred everything, including hops, into the fermenter. The hops plugged the tube. I was using a carboy at the time. The whole closet was a mess.
 
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Dan K

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Ouch! Yeah I'm honestly playing with fire in this location myself. Not had anything this vigorous before so really do have to think about migrating.

Definately upgrading fermenters soon, also. Spigots would be good. Step by step I'll get there!
 
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