Quantcast

Strange problem in my brew today - help!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

fsinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle area (Bothell)
I need some help! I'm on my 10th batch, all have been successful so far. I use partial grain recipes. Well, today I steeped the grains as usual and the result looked fine. Then I added 7 lbs of light, unhopped DME which seemed to disolve just fine. I brought it to the boil, and started to notice lots (LOTS) of little pieces of crap floating around in the wort. At this point I've boiled for 40 minutes (20 more to go) and the crap is still churning around. The pieces are soft, about 1/4" and smaller, and seem to be undissolved DME. Rubbing one between my fingers leaves a sticky residue.

I haven't changed anything with my process, and have never seen this. Old or bad DME???? Any guesses??

Thanks
 

sudsmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2005
Messages
1,238
Reaction score
8
Location
Deepest, darkest Eastern NC
Did you add the DME before it was boiling? I always get it rolling first, stir vigorously, and add the DME into the vortex a little at a time. Sounds dramatic, huh .
 

andre the giant

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
539
Reaction score
5
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
I don't know what to tell you. If you were doing all grain, I'd say you're seeing coagulated protiens, hot break, etc. I didn't think that happened too much with DME.

It sounds like undissolved DME though. Sudsmonkey is right, add the DME close to, or at boil. That should help.
 

kneemoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
91
Reaction score
0
Location
latham, ny
old DME is my guess, i had a batch do that once, just poured it through a fine mesh to break it up and boiled the whole thing again once i noticed the problem....i think the DME got some moisture into the bags before brew day and clumped on its own, and those clumps seemed to want to stay together a lot longer than i expected them to.

edit -
or you could just screen off the messies into a seperate pot with a little boiling water and get it all dissolved that way
my only real advice is to make sure you get fresh supplies next time ;)
 
OP
F

fsinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle area (Bothell)
Thanks for the suggestions. I did add the DME to a cooler wort than I usually do. I usually start adding just before the boil, or at the first boil, this time I added right after the grain steep at about 158 degrees. I won't do that again, just in case.

No wheat in the DME, all light, unhopped, barley DME (according to the package labels anyway). This is an IPA.

Old DME might be the problem, but I just picked it up the day before at my HBS, don't know how to avoid that one!

I have a 6-gallon fermenter with a lees draining valve and a bottling valve - so I've let it settle for two days and drained most of it out (I hope). Beer smells great, and yeast is very active, so no problems there. When I rack to a carboy I'll see if the mess is gone. If not, I may use a fining agent to try to get rid of the rest. I imagine it all settled the first day or so - I got LOTS of crap when I drained out a quart or so. Thanks again,
 

El Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
3,584
Reaction score
16
Location
Houston
Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action...I'm oilin up my pistols. Where is this Breiss dude anyway?
 

Sir Sudster

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
2
Location
Buda, Tx
Oh yeah, another interesting note. I did an All grain using10lbs of Breiss two row last week and I witnessed the same occurance in the boil. It's not just limited to DME. It actually prompt me to buy a hop stopper from tnlandsailor. I thought Man , what the hell is all that chit. I thought it was high protein levels in the DME until I saw the same thing in the grain . It's like chunks of "gunk". What's up fellas?
 

Sir Sudster

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
2
Location
Buda, Tx
Hey nice call El Pistolero. I did change the water characteristics. Usually I supplement my water with at least half distilled. We have extremly hard water. In this last case I used all tap water . I was making an American Pale
and wanted better hop utilization. I still treat my water with 5.2 ph stabilizer but you may be on to something. Thanks Man!
 

Rhoobarb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,553
Reaction score
20
Location
Gainesville
Interesting and very strange.

I've only used M&F DME. I've done brews with 100% Lake Michigan water (very hard water), 50/50 Lake Michigan and bottled spring water, 100% tap water where I currently live (it's filtered, but still very hard well water with a pH so high, you can't measure it), 50/50 well and bottled spring and 100% bottled spring. And I've never see this coagulated protein of which you speak. :confused:

I've used Breiss LME with very good results, but never their DME. And I had read some mixed reviews posted on a homebrew newsgroup about their 2-row, so I haven't been itching to buy any.

FWIW, my LHBS carries Rahr and it has been great - I'm leary of trying any other domestic 2-row. If it ain't broke...
 

Sir Sudster

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
2
Location
Buda, Tx
Come to think of it I used 100% distilled water for my starter and this is when I first noticed the "gunk" ( for lack of a better word). I don't know if its coagulation of proteins I just assumed it was. When I saw it from my grains I was utterly perplexed. Sure wish I could get a load of North Country Malt here. Been dyin to try it.
 

Sir Sudster

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
2
Location
Buda, Tx
El Pistolero said:
Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action...I'm oilin up my pistols. Where is this Breiss dude anyway?
You got guns but will you travel?:D
 

Sir Sudster

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
2
Location
Buda, Tx
Yeah, I know thats what has been the problem. But if my HBS keeps selling me gunk I may switch.
 
OP
F

fsinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle area (Bothell)
More on my gunk in the wort problem. . . no water change. I use our Seattle water, which we have a lot of, very soft and excellent for good brews. So, no change there.

I threw the darned DME bags away, and didn't keep the receipts. My HBS usually sells me Cooper if the DME is barley malt base, and Breiss if it is wheat base malt. This was all barley malt IPA.

Each time I drain the lees off my fermenter, I'm getting less and less of this junk and more normal yeast leavings. Interesting to see that others have experienced this - did it affect the final brew? I wonder if some of the DME isn't getting properly dissolved (obviously it isn't), and it will have an effect on the body. We'll see - it's still working (one week today) but I'll rack it to a see-through carboy tonight. I hope the crap is settling properly, this smells like a winner brew. I don't want it screwed up!
 
Top