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Well I think I have finally screwed the pooch....

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DVCNick

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42 total batches under my belt; one I dumped likely prematurely; it was probably ok.... this one I'm not so sure about.

This is my most common recipe, I've done it with various minor tweaks probably at least half a dozen times, so I know how it is supposed to behave. It is roughly half and half 2-row and white wheat malt, with a little bit of carapils. Yeast is WB-06. Normally it's a quick finisher, tastes very good, cheap, just one of my all around favorites. It was my base recipe for my first attempt at a fruit addition in the fermenter (shredded fresh orange peel) which came out great.

So I've got a 10 gallon batch that is two weeks in, normally kegging time. I go to keg yesterday (yup, put one of them in the keg first). Gravity reading: 1.025 :( It normally finishes 1.009 to 1.011 depending. This is a 3.6% sugar bomb. The flavor/aroma character is more apple than the normal orange.
It is undrinkable as is, too sweet.

Even though WB-06 is dry, I mix it up in a starter for reuse so effectively for me it is like liquid. I've read before that to get the best flavors out of it, you need to "stress" the yeast by reducing oxygen and underpitching.
Looking at my notes I've been trending more in that direction with each batch. My second to last batch that finished at about 1.010-11, I splashed the wort on the way into the fermenter, and pitched half a normal size starter.

This time I still used half the normal size starter in each carboy, but with two additional changes: Used a hose to drain to the middle of the carboy from the kettle, so very little splashing (O2 likely very low) and also I added some yeast nutrient during the boil, which I usually don't do. It was about 6 TSP in a 10 gallon batch; just over half of what is recommended on the package.

Fermentation on this is normally fairly vigorous/it blows off. This was much more subdued with only about a half inch of krausen at the most. I guess that was a sign.

Any ideas on exactly what went wrong? Just went too far down the "stress the yeast" path and finally hit the wall?

What should I do with the non-kegged carboy? If no other ideas, I'm thinking throw some gluco in and see what happens.
 

JimRausch

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Any ideas on exactly what went wrong? Just went too far down the "stress the yeast" path and finally hit the wall?
Assuming your mashtemp and time was similar to usual, my guess is that you are correct about overstressing the yeast. So what do you do now, 2 weeks later? I'd repitch, perhaps with something neutral and bombproof like US-05. Adding amylase will only help if you messed up your mash schedule and created too much unfermentable dextrans. If you repitch, treat it like an active starter and pitch at high krausen stage. Good luck!
 

jrgtr42

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I'd first check gravity on the second carboy - make sure it's doing the same (presuming you haven't already.)
Then, I'd think about getting some fresh yeast and tossing it in with maybe a but of nutrient to try to get things going. Maybe even give a shake to see if things get going again.

Silly question time: was everything else in your brew day and fermentation normal? temps, gravities hit and so on?
 
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DVCNick

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Yes, everything about the brew day seemed totally normal and OG number was right on.
 
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DVCNick

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The other carboy has the exact same "look" with the low krausen, so.... I think it's the same though I haven't taken a reading yet.
This may be it for me and yeast nutrient for a while... in the few times I've used it, I've never seen a single positive attribute that I could attribute to it, and now this.
 

rburrelli

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The other carboy has the exact same "look" with the low krausen, so.... I think it's the same though I haven't taken a reading yet.
This may be it for me and yeast nutrient for a while... in the few times I've used it, I've never seen a single positive attribute that I could attribute to it, and now this.
The only thing that struck me was the amount of nutrient that you used. I think my Wyeast nutrient only calls for 1/2 tsp for 5 gallons. You state using 6 tsps and that was only half of what was recommended?
Not sure if the extra nutrients would somehow affect fermentation adversely.
 
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DVCNick

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Well I went to go double check almost hoping that was it, but it still says 1 tsp per gallon... this is the stuff I have:

 
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DVCNick

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Ok, entirely possible I'm a dumb ace... (I hope so :)) Just looked up wine must (didn't know that term). Is this product for wine and not beer? I don't see anything on the labeling saying specifically it is a wine product, but if this is the explanation I'll feel better.
I try not to be the guy that ensures we need directions on pop tarts, but some days just don't go your way...
 
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DVCNick

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Found this thread; doesn't seem to be conclusive...

 

RM-MN

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Fruit juices lack some of the nutrients that yeast need so we add nutrient when we want to make wine. Wort contains all the nutrients necessary so it normally doesn't need any.
 
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DVCNick

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Ok, here's another thread where the guy did the same thing... also way under-attenuated:

 

day_trippr

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While browsing around I did see a note to the effect that too much DAP causes an early explosion of cell multiplication that (inexplicably) can't actually finish the job. Weird science...

Cheers!
 
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DVCNick

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I think mine skipped the explosive growth part but I guess I'll just chalk it up to a learning experience and hope that fully explains it. Thanks sir.
 

IslandLizard

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What a bummer!

At this point, I'd make a "real" yeast starter using 1.040 DME-based wort stirred, swirled, or shaken for a day, then pitch that when it's at high krausen. Most character in your beer has been set already, you just want to finish it up. Pretty much any yeast will do, including WB-06. I'd say use 1-1.5 liter starter for each 5 gallon (keg) fermenter. Keep em warmish, 72F.

Or instead... mix in the glass with a fruit juice of your choice and enjoy those shandies during the hot weather!
 

Beermeister32

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I had a similar event happen. Turned out at about batch 80, my mash temperature gauge was finally off, and I was overshooting the mash temperature by about 10 degrees, denaturing the enzymes prematurely and leaving me with partially fermentable wort. It destroyed a batch of Vienna lager I was making. You might try adding a teaspoon of amylase enzyme per 5 gallons (2 for 10 gallons) to the fermentor to start breaking up those remaining starches, give it a month to do its thing. Probably going to be a dumper though, it is hard to correct a screwed up mash profile.
 
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DVCNick

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This was added during the boil.

Assuming this is caused by some level of nutrients being way off, is there really a good chance that more yeast will help?
 

isomerization

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This was added during the boil.

Assuming this is caused by some level of nutrients being way off, is there really a good chance that more yeast will help?
Worth a shot, as the previous yeast may have “used up” the excessive nitrogen source you added.

Or just dump and move on, your call.
 

Nate R

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What a bummer!

At this point, I'd make a "real" yeast starter using 1.040 DME-based wort stirred, swirled, or shaken for a day, then pitch that when it's at high krausen. Most character in your beer has been set already, you just want to finish it up. Pretty much any yeast will do, including WB-06. I'd say use 1-1.5 liter starter for each 5 gallon (keg) fermenter. Keep em warmish, 72F.

Or instead... mix in the glass with a fruit juice of your choice and enjoy those shandies during the hot weather!
Don't dump yet!! Plus one to lizard's idea here!
Assuning you cant or dont want to repitch... make shandys!
It's getting hotter and hotter out... i have two batches that i just don't care for plain... but man oh man do they make super easy & cheap shandys! Also makes 'em easy drinkin' all day beers!
 
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