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Messages - abarko

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: No evidence of activity in secondary
« on: May 18, 2010, 12:25:28 PM »
The 1st batch of bottles were around 65F (same temperature as when it was fermenting) for several weeks. We tried bottles at a few weeks up to 2 months in the bottle and there was little to no carbonation in all of them. As a sidenote, we bottled half the batch in 12oz bottles and half the batch in larger grolsch bottles. Little to no carbonation in either type of bottle.

Our 2nd batch was fairly carbonated after 2 weeks in the bottle (temperature after bottling was ~60F). Again, we bottled half in regular bottles and half in the larger grolsch bottles. Good carbonation in the regular beer bottles and little to no carbonation in the grolsch bottles. Our rubber stoppers seem to be in good condition so I can't figure out why the larger bottles aren't carbonating well - I center the rubber stopper before closing the bottle and it doesn't look like it is leaking pressure. Do you have any experience with these? For this 3rd batch I was going to just do all 12oz bottles and forget about the grolsch for now.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: No evidence of activity in secondary
« on: May 18, 2010, 07:43:04 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone - I'll be sure to pick up a book. I recently bought a hydrometer so this is the first batch that I'm taking readings on. So I'll be sure to take gravity readings over the next few days. In the next batch of beer I'll be sure to use the readings to determine when the primary fermentation is complete.

Tom - I'm not too sure what happened to the 1st batch that didn't carbonate. It was another beer kit - I think it was called Canadian Lager or something. It had really good flavor, good color but was really flat. We weren't sure if we just didn't put enough priming sugar in the batch or what (I was worried about bottle bombs the first time we brewed). I talked with the owner of our local homebrew store and he wasn't sure. Maybe just like the current batch we transferred it out of the primary too early? Our 2nd batch of beer was a German Altbier (Brewer's Best kit) and it turned out great - good flavor and nice level of carbonation. We let this one stay in the primary a bit longer (think it was around 2-3 weeks) because our apartment was pretty cold (55-60 deg) and fermentation was going much slower.

a10t2 - Are there any solutions if we did prematurely stall fermentation?

Yeast and Fermentation / No evidence of activity in secondary
« on: May 17, 2010, 08:25:09 PM »
I'm new to homebrewing so any advice is appreciated. I'm brewing an American Amber (Brewer's Best partial mash kit). I used a yeast starter and kept the beer in the primary for 9 days. Temperature started at 70 degrees but then got down as low as 62 degrees (I live in an apartment in Chicago so its hard for me to control our spring temperature swings - but I did have the primary in a larger bucket of water to try and even out the temperature swings). I transferred to a glass carboy secondary when the head collapsed - there was still activity but it was noticeably slower. I transferred all the liquid, leaving the sediment behind. I had to leave town since then and just returned. I know the temperature in the apartment was between 62-65 degrees. When I checked the secondary 5 days later I don't see ANY evidence of activity - not even a small ring around the top layer of liquid. (As a side note - I sanitized the carboy using an iodine solution and then letting it drip dry.)
Did I do something wrong when I transferred to the glass carboy? Is there a way to see if any yeast are still in there and alive? Is it even worth bottling (I've already had 1 batch of flat beer and don't want that again)

Thanks in advance for your help!

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