Very little fermentation

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Fordzilla

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Hello! I am hoping you guys can give me some advice with my Smoked Porter Extract Kit from Brewer's Best. This is my first Brewer's Best kit, I have been using True Brew kits previously.

I brewed on 01/16, and pitched some White Labs WLP011 European Ale Yeast. (The best by date was 01/28.) After about 36 hours I finally saw some fermentation. It wasn't very much though, only about 1.5 inches of krausen. This lasted for around 24 hours and the foam was gone, with no blowoff tube activity.

On 01/20 I was worried the yeast had been no good so I pitched the dry English Ale Yeast that came with the kit. This produced nothing.

Today I took a gravity reading. (I did not take an OG reading...I have been ignoring my hydrometer up until now because my beer has been turning out well without reading it. Will be recording OG/FG from now on.) The gravity is 1.021 and the kit says the FG should be 1.014-1.017. I tasted the wort that I measured, and was not impressed. I have never tasted wort at this stage but it tasted very watery. No strange off-flavors, but not very rich like a porter should be.

At this point I have two questions.

Is this even worth finishing the time in primary and bottling? I know I messed up by not taking an OG reading, so I really can't know how much fermentation has actually happened. I'm considering dumping it.

What could I have done wrong? I have produced what I consider to be 2 delicious beers and one mediocre beer prior to this batch, and I would like to keep learning and improving my methods. I am not upset that this didn't turn out well, but I want to make sure I learn something from this batch.

Thanks! Any help is much appreciated.
 

comer88888

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Never dump beer. Thats alcohol abuse! What were your ingredients we can figure out your og. What temp are you fermenting at?
 
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Fordzilla

Fordzilla

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Here's the info from the kit directions.

Grains
1 lb. Smoked
8 oz. Chocolate
8 oz. Caramel 80L

Fermentables
6.6 lb Porter LME

Hops
1.5 oz. Bittering
0.5 oz Aroma

OG: 1.058 - 1.062
FG 1.014 - 1.017

The Yeast vial said to keep it above 70 degrees until fermentation began. So until the krausen appeared, I had it at about 71-72 degrees. Then I dropped it down to about 68.

I aerate my wort by pouring it back and forth between the pot and the fermenter a few times prior to pitching. Should I be using another method to ensure more thorough aeration? (I've seen people use fish tank air pumps. Is this a good way to go?)

Thanks for the help!
 

MuchoGusto

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Don't dump it. You can't reasonably judge a brew "before its time". It's green.

You should have made a starter considering the estimated OG according to BB's instructions is 1.058 to 1.062 and the expiration date on the WLP was "days" away. One last thing... never again neglect to take an OG reading. You wouldn't expect an ER doc to make a call on your kids possibly fractured leg without an x-ray would you? That's how important an OG reading is in helping to troubleshoot issues down the road.
 

comer88888

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In extract kits your og is already pretty much calculated for you. Steeping speciality grains add verry little to the gravity. I would take a gravity reading tommorow and see if it is the same.
 

unionrdr

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Seeing as how it's only been in primary for 12 days,it won't hurt to give it another week. You could even gently swirl the fermenter to stir up some yeast back into suspension. That should help nock off another few points.
 
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Fordzilla

Fordzilla

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I decided to rack to a secondary today, and let it sit for a couple weeks before I bottle. My reasoning is that more time can't do anything but make it better. I measured the FG as 1.019 today, which is closer to the FG range listed in the kit.
 

bad67z

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check your airlock for activity....that's the only way to tell if fermentation is under way
I'm beginning to think someone^^ may not have had there happy pills today. This is the second post from "someone" ^^in the last few minutes that contained some "questionable" advice IMHO.
 
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