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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: manyguns on October 31, 2018, 10:43:58 PM

Title: More fermentation questions
Post by: manyguns on October 31, 2018, 10:43:58 PM
This batch of Power Pack Porter has been nothing but trouble. First I boiled the grain by accident, now my hydrometer readings are messed up. Beginning reading was 1.023 and after a week my reading is 1.021. What the? It never showed a great lot of action on fermentation. I just racked it into the secondary and added my toasted coconut and whiskey soaked oak cubes. My question is, should I pitch more yeast now? Is it possible that I got a faulty reading the first time?  I tasted a sample and it tastes pretty good bfore adding my additions. What to do. I'd hate to lose the batch and have a non alchoholic beer.
The more I think about it, the more I think I must have misread the initial hydrometer reading. I'm seeing by the recipe it should have been about 1.052. I plan on leaving it in the secondary for a week or 10 days. Would that final relaxing of 1.021 be o.k to bottle? Like I said, it tastes good.
Title: Re: More fermentation questions
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 01, 2018, 06:39:02 PM
I think there may have been some misreadings there, but here's the thing on extract brewing - if you hit your volumes, the original gravity should be darn close, because it is all pre-mixed ingredients (they made the wort already and just dried it or concentrated it).  The steeping grains typically are not converting (unless mini-mashing with some base grains), so I would not sweat it on this batch.  Sometimes the wort can stratify as it cools, but probably it just was a misreading of some sort.  Try it again, if you would like to check the recipe and this time let it stay in the primary for the entire fermentation, so you don't disrupt it by transferring a bit early (that would be cause for a stall, perhaps).  On this first batch, you can gently swirl the fermenter to rouse the yeast to complete the fermentation at this point - it may help.
Title: Re: More fermentation questions
Post by: manyguns on November 01, 2018, 06:50:03 PM
Thanks. It's in the secondary now. Are you saying I should stir it a little now to wake it up?
Title: Re: More fermentation questions
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 01, 2018, 06:56:28 PM
Don't open it, just give the whole vessel (closed with airlock) a gentle swirl for a few seconds.  It might rouse the yeast back into activity.  Check the recipe for final gravity and give it some time to get there.  It is possible that the yeast were dead and that is what occurred here, but as long as you didn't overheat them (100 or so degrees), they should be pretty active to complete the fermentation. 

I am intentionally not using specific, technical terms, because there is no reason to go there with you yet.  As you learn the hobby a bit more, you will likely try many different things to improve and that is normal.  Best of luck and Cheers!