returning brewer

Discussion in 'Beer Kit Brewing Discussion.' started by woomfy, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Dec 6, 2017 #1

    woomfy

    woomfy

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    Hi folks,

    from bonny Scotland.

    Made a few beers and wine kits many years ago.
    Have just started a kit I was given as a gift from my son last Christmas.
    Didn't remember it being as complicated. This was a Brooklyn brew kit with proper grain and stuff, not the boots cans from my yoof.

    Anyhow found myself quite enjoying the process, thinking I could get into this.
    All went well, although i felt my dark place under the stairs was a bit cold, so I moved the jug to a warmer spot near a radiator. Things really took off then. To the extent, on day 3, before I removed the tube positioned in a jug of water, to be replaced by the air lock, things have stopped and the beer has started to settle and clear.

    So my questions, should I, can I add some sugar to get hings going again?
    Or, has the primary brewing finished early,due to the heat and am I now ready to bottle?

    I don't have Hydrometer to check the gravity yet, just going to order one but fear it might not arrive in time to save the brew.

    Many thanks in advance for anyone with the time to advise.
    regards,
    Davie
     
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  2. Dec 6, 2017 #2

    GerritT

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    I started with a Brooklyn kit :D
    Just leave the jug (not too close to the radiator though, it should be room temperature, not warm), order the hydrometer and measure. Some yeasts do their job in 3 days, but leave it longer, give the yeast time to clean up properly. OR it has stalled and you need to measure. Anyway between pitching and siphoning, two weeks should cause no harm. Just relax. It's fun! Not work.
     
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  3. Dec 6, 2017 #3

    LarryF

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  4. Dec 17, 2017 #4

    woomfy

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    So 2 weeks up and bottling time today........ checked my SG, because I now have a Hydrometer, and bah still high @ 1015, as I suspected.
    So on the the advise of the nice lady in the shop that I just bought my NEXT kit from, I cleaned out the demijohn, brought the temperature back up to 21 deg, and added more yeast. (from my new kit) Which means I'm now short for my next batch. Can I cultivate the yeast I have left or should I just buy more.
    Doh, just had a thought, the second batch of yeast was a different type, might it matter?
     
  5. Dec 26, 2017 #5

    woomfy

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    no movement.
    so down the drain then?
     
  6. Dec 27, 2017 #6

    ExpatBrewer

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    It's rarely a good idea to pitch dry yeast into a brew that already contains alcohol. It probably died on impact! I think it's generally considered better to pitch slurry from a previous batch or use a fresh starter if trying to fix a stalled fermentation. Which also kinda answers your question about cultivation - many brewers capture a jar of a yeast slurry post-bottling/kegging and use this to ferment their next batch. There's much discussion/debate on this topic, (like most topics to do with brewing!) but it works well enough.

    Given that it's been two weeks now I'd be inclined to just bottle it rather than messing about with it any further. You might want to prime on the low side though... just in case! I've had similar situations where a brew has finished a little high, several points above the expected FG. It's hard to know if these are stalled ferments or for other unknown reasons the yeast just simply wasn't in the mood to ferment any lower! In your case what sounds like a dramatic change in fermentation temperature may have contributed to the stall. It's always best to try keep the temperature stable. I suggested priming with caution because I have a theory that sometimes when the yeast is 'reawakened' by the priming sugar it not only ferments that, but then also carries on working it's way through any residual leftover fermentables the were responsible for the elevated FG in the first place(i.e. 1.015 in your case).

    Good luck!
     
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  7. Dec 27, 2017 #7

    GerritT

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    Have you tasted it? 1015 is not dramatically high.
    Bottle it and prime low. I prime at 2.0 volumes anyway, given an earlier experience where the contents of a bottle managed to hit the kitchen ceiling. Luckily my face blocked most of it :lol:
    But I fed the rest of that (small) batch to the front garden: ashes to ashes, dust to dust, etc.
     
  8. Dec 27, 2017 #8

    terrym

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    My advice; bottle it. I have packaged at higher than 1.015 and it's been fine.
    Prime at lowish rates (say half tsp per 500ml). If the beer is clear, as it might well be after so long in the FV, it might need a little longer to carb up but it will get there.
    Use at least one PET bottle so you can monitor how its carbed up, to warn of any gushers
    Open the first one with caution.
    And if its a bit 'lively' keep them in the fridge before you serve.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2017 #9

    MickDundee

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    Those Brooklyn brew kits are small batch all grain kits aren’t they? If that’s the case, and you are a complete novice it’s possible that your mash temperature was quite high so it left some unfermentable sugars behind.

    If that’s the case you should be safe to bottle but, as other have said, use less priming sugar than directed just in case.
     
  10. Dec 30, 2017 #10

    woomfy

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    Thanks for the reply's Guys.
    Got myself a heat pad just before Christmas, and I think the steady temperature got it ticking again. Plan to check the SG soon.
    Had to buy some more yeast to start my next batch. Bought some local from https://www.crossmyloofbrew.co.uk/
    Got some advice from their brewer. "the most important ingredient in beer making it the temperature."

    Will keep ya'll informed of outcome.
     
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  11. Dec 30, 2017 #11

    ExpatBrewer

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    Good luck! :thumb:


    Not sure I entirely agree with this though. Temperature certainly plays an important part in the brewing process (though according to some not as much as we've been led to believe)... but is it really the MOST important thing? :hmm:
     
  12. Jan 11, 2018 #12

    woomfy

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    Update... hang on to your seats.
    Primary fermentation complete SG down to the Black Bottling line on the hydrometer. (beginner terminology )
    6 pigging weeks BTW
    Managed a whole 6 and a half bottles for my efforts. Don't laugh, it better be bloody good. Actually tasted very nice, and quite potent during sooking for siphoning.

    I'm now worried that I may have added too much sugar. 2 carbonation drops per 500ml bottle, not completely full, due to losses and inexperience.
    I've used swing top bottles.
    Would it be sensible, possible, to check and release some pressure from bottles?
     
  13. Jan 12, 2018 #13

    RichK

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    I've previously used 2 carb drops per 450/500 bottle without issue (though I now batch prime) so that's not necessarily a problem.
     
  14. Jan 12, 2018 #14

    woomfy

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    Cheers, Rich.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2018 #15

    GerritT

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    Swingtops can handle this, they won't break. And the rubber seals have been known to release pressure in extreme situations, so they're valve-like too :)

    Now, 3 liters from a 3.8 liter demijohn is not bad at all. But I sense a bit of... disappointment? Doing that all-grain (okay, pre-crushed, but still all-grain) work for 6 nice pints? When you could do the same amount of work and have 20 pints as reward? That would be way more rewarding, wouldn't it?

    Let us know if you want to look at scaling up, and what needs dealing with: pots, stoves, storage, the missus*. Plenty of expertise here :gulp:



    *assuming there is a missus, since I took 'Davie' as hint for gender and assumed standard male-female relationship, etc.
     
  16. Jan 13, 2018 #16

    Gerryjo

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    Hi good to see it all turned out good so far and no downsides as this is a fantastic learning curve and all positive for what not to do as you go forward on your brewing journey.
    We all make mistakes and learn from them and that keeps it positive.
    Next you'll be wanting more beer,needing more grain,equipment,bottles etc and more money too but it's worth it.
     
  17. Feb 3, 2018 #17

    woomfy

    woomfy

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    Well, all was well after all.
    Was worth the wait too.
    Next batch on, sitting at a steady 22 deg.
     

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