Want to hypothesize if my beer will be decent?

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beerfactory

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Hello - anyone want to chime in on what I might expect on flavor? I am planning to brew the same recipe (fixing the volume and chilling issue) and looking forward to comparing. Also... I had intended to pitch on top of my yeast cake and am reconsidering that now based on pitching temp affecting my yeast health???

I pitched my yeast @ a touch below 75 degrees (wort temperature) where it stayed a good ten hours.
And then started to cool it down with an ambient air temperature of 65 degrees (in a fridge with temp controller).
After it cooled for 16 hours, I taped the probe to the side of the fermenter and began chilling to 64 degrees wort temperature.
WLP001 California Ale - White Labs Yeast (1 liter starter which had been going for 36 hours)
OG 1.062 vs expected 1.047 because I missed by volume by ~1.9 gallons
Will check FG after 10 days (today is 7 days) and package

Lady Liberty Ale - John Palmer - some notes on the brew day:
grain bill - 7 lbs british pale malt, .5 lbs crystal 60L, .5 lbs amber malt, .5 lbs Munich malt

mash - strike temp at 163 - mash temps were 153, and then added a 2 qt infusion and got to 154 and then drifted down to 151 over the course of a 60" mash

batch sparged and missed my volume. ended up w/ ~ 5 gallons in the boil kettle and failed to meaningfully recognize/correct the volume (I had distilled water and could have fixed it there).

60" boil - hops - .5 oz Northern @ 60", .5oz Cascade @ 30", 1 oz Cascade @ 15"

chilled to 75 degrees and racked to fermenter. put the fermenter into my fridge/ferment chamber and taped a controller probe to the fermenter wall. took forever to chill, so I went to bed. OG was 1.062 vs an expected 1.047 this is due to ~3.9 gallons into the fermenter vs my expected 5 gallon target

got up the next day and pitched the yeast. I failed to realize the compressor had locked up on my fridge and ASSumed my wort was chilled to 65 degrees. WLP001 California Ale - White Labs Yeast (1 liter starter which had been going for 36 hours). that was a mistake as I didn't check the temperature, assuming it was chilled to 65.

when I came home from work... the probe read 74.6 degrees. I unplugged the fridge, plugged it back in (which reset the compressor) and left the probe hanging loosely (through the handle of my 30L speidel) inside the fridge. started cooling to 65 degrees ambient.

the next day, I dropped the controller to 64 degrees (+2 degrees and -0 are the parameters), taped it to the fermenter. it's been holding steady since then and today is 7 days in the fermenter.

after 10 days... will check the FG and probably make a corn sugar solution & chill, rack the fermenter to a bottling bucket with the sugar solution, and bottle all of it. I've been thinking some bottle conditioning might help? I might also keg into a 2.5 gallon ball lock (force carb) and bottle the rest... not sure yet.
 
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Spundit

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I suspect your beer will be fine but it will be quite a bit different than the recipe intended. Stronger, higher ABV, more hop character, and possibly some fruity ester from the warm fermentation start. This strain (chico) is pretty temperture tolerant so it is quite possible it will still be a "clean" ferment. If I am reading this right you started actively cooling it within 10hour after pitch so hopefully the temp never got too far out of range.

It's hard to answer your question about pitching onto the yeast cake. I think it will be fine. I would just taste the first beer when transferring it to the bottle bucket or taking the FG reading. if nothing seems off I would assume they are healthy and ready for another go.

Next time remember you always have the option to top off the fermenter with water (sterile) to get back on recipe.
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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Thanks Spundit! You were reading it right and I hope it does ferment clean!

I no longer am going to pitch onto the yeast cake - I am going to make a starter from the slurry - a brulosphy article scared me off of pitching onto the cake.

Great advice on topping off the fermenter! I should have caught it going into the boil kettle and added some distilled water as a "3rd running". But I will not make this mistake again, education always has an expense...
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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well, I ended up with 1.014 FG. that was after fermenting for 14 days at 64 degrees ambient (except the first day which was 75 degrees fermenter temp)
ABV=(og-fg)*131.25 yields 6.3% which isn't terrible - the sample tasted quite good
yield was 39 bottles- and I scooped out some yeast, stored in fridge for my next pitch (which will be the same recipe).

things to improve on:
- better plan for stirring in the corn sugar (cleaning my auto siphon was nasty, so I just poured a corn sugar solution straight into my fermenter and bottled from the spigot using a bottling attachment)
- actually I might just keg the next batch
- hit my volume!
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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made this similar beer today.

Lady Liberty Ale - John Palmer - some notes on the brew day (changes to process from my 1st batch in blue):
-grain bill - 7.5 lbs british pale malt, .5 lbs crystal 60L, .5 lbs amber malt, .5 lbs Munich malt (extra half pound of pale malt because I had it left over)
- mashed right at 155 on the first try (heated my strike to 165 this time which is 2 degrees hotter than before. did a better job heat soaking my mash tun too)
- added another batch sparge in order to start with 7 gallons in the boil kettle
- 60" boil - hops - .5 oz Northern @ 60", .5oz Cascade @ 30", 1 oz Cascade @ 15", .5 oz [email protected] 5", .5 oz Cascade @ flameout and let it sit for 30" before chilling
- chilled to 70 degrees and siphoned. pitched at 69 degrees. my fermentation chamber (refrigerator) is set to 63 degrees -1/+2 ambient
- pitched Safale US 05 dry yeast (partner saw my yeast slurry in the fridge and pitched in the trash... thinking it was something disgusting. chalk that one up to getting on the same page - I'll be labeling going forward)
- ended up with 6 gallons in the fermenter!!! made my volumes this time :D
- OG was 1.046 which is on the low end 1.045-60 the recipe suggests as a target. I'm counting this as a win!

things to improve on:
- I'm using a prechiller... but I need to start recirculating after I knock the temp down a bit. wasting a ton of water
- use a hop bag during boil to keep the hops out of the fermenter
- get a different kettle. I took my dip tube out this time in order to use my immersion chiller more effectively. that means I am auto siphoning into my fermenter.... which is probably good for oxygenating but I would prefer to utilize my valve.
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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I suspect your beer will be fine but it will be quite a bit different than the recipe intended. Stronger, higher ABV, more hop character, and possibly some fruity ester from the warm fermentation start. This strain (chico) is pretty temperture tolerant so it is quite possible it will still be a "clean" ferment. If I am reading this right you started actively cooling it within 10hour after pitch so hopefully the temp never got too far out of range.

Next time remember you always have the option to top off the fermenter with water (sterile) to get back on recipe.

My first pale ale DID turn out fine. I am not getting any esters on my palate. I will take it to a homebrew club on Tuesday - not because I am proud of it but to demonstrate that I at least have made beer. Won't say anything before they try it - might be fun to hear about my multiple improvement opportunities!

Monday will be (3) weeks in the bottle. I started drinking it Weds of this week (consumed 8 so far and another 2 are in the fridge). Before I bottled, I used an online calculator to determine an appropriate corn sugar quantity. Boiled to dissolve and then cooled. Added directly to primary and did not stir! So... some of my bottles were flat and one has been a gusher.

I am going to keg my second batch today. This time, I am going to transfer into a bottling bucket with the dissolved corn sugar. Then transfer to (2) 2.5 gallon ball locks and bottle anything left over. Anticipate this second batch will be much improved. If it is - I will be moving to (10) gallon batch quantities on my pale ales.
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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So..genuine question.

Why did you pitch at 69, then decide to ferment at 63? I’ve always pitched at, or on occasion slightly below the temp I wanted to ferment at out of fear of putting the yeast into a sluggish state.
64 was the ambient setting (changed my mind at the beginning of fermentation and did not edit my post). I figured setting the ambient to a low of 63 and a high of 66 would keep my fermentation from getting too much above 72 at its peak. Recommended Fermentation Temperature: 64–74F.

FG of 1.046 and SG 1.012 which should be around 4.46%. The gravity sample tasted pretty similar to my first batch...

When I was transferring to my kegs - I filled my first keg too full. That led me to get out my auto siphon and work a bit too hard getting every last drop out of the fermenter. I think my 2nd (2.5) gallon keg will be more oxygenated than my first. Labeled them so I can tell the difference.

Maybe the natural fermentation will eat some of the O2 and mitigate. Not sure. I do know I won't do that again.

Also - I boiled 1.25 cups of water and dissolved 54 grams of corn sugar, chilled, and added that quantity to each keg prior to transfer.
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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I appreciate your asking because it makes me think critically about my process. Nothing I have done has been ideal. I will get my process down, develop some common sense and crank out some beer that will satisfy me - but that is going to take time. frankly - I'm just happy to have drinkable beer and the makings of a pipeline. :p

I wanted to be using WLP001 instead of S05- but my wife disposed my slurry since I hadn't bothered labeling the jar and it looked disgusting in the fridge. Lesson learned.

I could not chill to 65 because I ran out of ice for my pre chiller. I know from experience that the compressor on my 5cf fermentation fridge cannot handle chilling 6 gallons by 4 degrees overnight. So, I set my ambient to what I knew the fridge could handle and went on vacation... slowly learning.
 
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