I think it's time to flush my beer

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Blaze

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I have brew a dozen malt extract beers and recently gotten into all grain. On my last attempt on a Amber Ale, I think I have to flush this batch down the toilet. After 3 days, fermentation seem to stop, was slow, not much activity, but left a thick creamy head in the fermentor. After 7 days, no change, took a reading of .023 on the hydrometer. Started with .051. Now after 14 days, no change. Still have the thick creamy head, reading .023 and beer seems to be very carbonated, cloudy and it has a sour taste. I just re-pitch some yeast and threw it into the secondary to see what happens. I'm a little confused whats going on because I took extra sanitary measures than I normally do. I use to sanitize with bleach, this time I used Star San. I normally gargle with Bourbon and siphon with my mouth, this time I filled the hose up with water and let it drain to start the suction. Only thing I can think of is when I boiled the water to hydrate my dry yeast, I filled an non-sanitized bowl, let it cooled down and added the yeast a half hour before I pitched it. I have heard horror stories of mistakes people have made and there beer turns out fine. I think I go back to my old practices. Any recommendations, suggestions, are appreciated.
 

conpewter

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Don't dump it, just let it age for a while. It is quite possible that you mashed really high and so have a high final gravity. I had a porter that stopped at 1.030 and was still really good. The bowl would have been sanitized if you put boiling water in it so don't worry about that.

Also if you want to start your siphon the way you mention, fill it with star-san solution instead of just water. You probably do not have an infection though, beers can act very strange just because they contain live yeast that act differently. It is just green beer and needs to age for several more weeks before you can judge it fairly.
 

Homercidal

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Don't dump it, just let it age for a while. It is quite possible that you mashed really high and so have a high final gravity. I had a porter that stopped at 1.030 and was still really good. The bowl would have been sanitized if you put boiling water in it so don't worry about that.

Also if you want to start your siphon the way you mention, fill it with star-san solution instead of just water. You probably do not have an infection though, beers can act very strange just because they contain live yeast that act differently. It is just green beer and needs to age for several more weeks before you can judge it fairly.
Good advice! Don't dump it! If you added more yeast, it's probably going to finish, but might finish high, conpewter says. The sour flavor could be young beer, but if it's carbonated, then something going on. I was going to suggest stirring it up to get more yeast in suspension. Also, check your temps. What were they during fermentation and now? It could be that you have dropped below the minimum the yeast need for an active fermentation.
 

RICLARK

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What was the recipe?? Its possible that you had to many unfermentables or you mashed at too high of a temp. The thick creamy "head" you speak of is likely not an infection, A lot of the beers I make have it. I get it every time I make a heffe.
 

Ysgard

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Thick, long lasting krausen tends to be a sign of a ton of protein. It will fall to the bottom as trub eventually. Or you can stick your Racking cane through it and leave it behind, either way.
 

bull8042

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Please post your notes from the brew session. I am thinking you mashed a little high like the others here, but without specifics, it is hard to say.
Regardless, DON'T DUMP IT! Trust us on this..... Only if it tastes like satan's anus should you consider pouring it out.
 

ewbish

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The carbonated issue is a bit strange. I've only had beers fermenting in unpressurized containers show signs of carbonation when lagering at cold temps.......for an ale in an unpressurized container, I don't see how it could be carbed unless it was chilled way down during active fermentation, allowing the cold wort to absorb some of the CO2.

I'm for not tossing it and letting it go longer as well. Check your fermentation temps. Don't know what yeast you're using, but make sure you are staying consistently in that range. If you don't know, get it to 65 and try and keep it consistent there.
 
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Blaze

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Below is the recipe I used and the temps remain pretty constant around 68 degrees behind my bar upstairs in the carboy. So I had it in the primary for two weeks. I also rolled the carboy gently last week to see if that would do anything, but there was no change. This is my 3rd all grain batch and it has been getting better every time until now. Normally during fermentation, I loose about a pint thru the blow off hose. This batch however the Kraeusen only rose an inch and stayed there. Always fell back into the beer and settled before. Well, I’ll wait a couple of weeks before I keg it. May turn out to be my best batch yet (maybe)?

Thanks

5 lbs. Dingemans Pils
2 lbs. Munich Malt
2 lbs. Dark Munich Malt
0.50 lbs. Victory Malt
0.50 lbs. Breiss Crystal 60

1 oz. Perle (60 min)
1 oz. Hallertau Select (15 min)
Safale US-05.
Mash
153° F for 60 minutes
170° F for 10 minutes
 

hayabusa

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I normally gargle with Bourbon and siphon with my mouth.
That's not any more sanitary than using your dog's anus to start the siphon. I would definitly abandon that practice going forward and use the starsan in a tube or a auto siphon ($5.00 at your LHBS)
 

RICLARK

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Below is the recipe I used and the temps remain pretty constant around 68 degrees behind my bar upstairs in the carboy. So I had it in the primary for two weeks. I also rolled the carboy gently last week to see if that would do anything, but there was no change. This is my 3rd all grain batch and it has been getting better every time until now. Normally during fermentation, I loose about a pint thru the blow off hose. This batch however the Kraeusen only rose an inch and stayed there. Always fell back into the beer and settled before. Well, I’ll wait a couple of weeks before I keg it. May turn out to be my best batch yet (maybe)?

Thanks

5 lbs. Dingemans Pils
2 lbs. Munich Malt
2 lbs. Dark Munich Malt
0.50 lbs. Victory Malt
0.50 lbs. Breiss Crystal 60

1 oz. Perle (60 min)
1 oz. Hallertau Select (15 min)
Safale US-05.
Mash
153° F for 60 minutes
170° F for 10 minutes
Well everything looks ok. What were your fermentation temps? You may need to re pitch because S-05 should give you 75% Attenuation.
 
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Blaze

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Now that I think about it and this could be alcohol related, I may have mash at 158 degrees. This number seems to stick into my head. I also fly sparged at 170 for about 45 minutes. Wow, so a 5 degree difference in the mash process can have that much effect when all gain brewing? I better invest in a better thermometer and not brew on Friday nights after a tough week at work.
 

Matt Up North

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You know, I am not going to advocate a lack of sanitation here. I do want to point out though that beer has been made for centuries and long ago they thought that beer was better than water (I agree!) because they didn't realize they were boiling the water. If you use your mouth to start a siphon it will not kill your beer. I personally like to start my siphon and then spray an arcing shower over myself and then place it into the keg :)
 

conpewter

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If you use your mouth to start a siphon it will not kill your beer.
I disagree. I'd say "Probably will not" I've had infected batches (improper sanitation when starting out) and they just tasted like crap even after 6 months in the bottle. Finally poured out the last of it a year after brewing.
 

hayabusa

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You know, I am not going to advocate a lack of sanitation here. I do want to point out though that beer has been made for centuries and long ago they thought that beer was better than water (I agree!) because they didn't realize they were boiling the water. If you use your mouth to start a siphon it will not kill your beer. I personally like to start my siphon and then spray an arcing shower over myself and then place it into the keg :)
I understand your not advocating lack of sanitation but using your mouth to start the siphon is risky no matter how you look at it - your mouth is full of micro ogranisms that *could* lead to an infection whereas a tube filled with sanitizer is just as easy and removes that possible infection point from the overall brewing process.... Why add a variable with zero necessity to do so?
 

red96jeep

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u know a dog's anus it one of the cleanest surfaces in the world, why else would they insist on cleaning our carpets with them everyday?
 

ericm

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Now that I think about it and this could be alcohol related, I may have mash at 158 degrees. This number seems to stick into my head. I also fly sparged at 170 for about 45 minutes. Wow, so a 5 degree difference in the mash process can have that much effect when all gain brewing? I better invest in a better thermometer and not brew on Friday nights after a tough week at work.
mashing at 158 could definitely explain the high gravity
 
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