Author Topic: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt  (Read 552 times)

Offline CHOPP13

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Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« on: May 04, 2021, 03:53:58 AM »
I tried an experimental SMASH single two row base malt only, mashed maintained 152F for 1 hour, boiled, hops, got OG 1.053 for about 3 gallons after cold break. Pitched whole dry US05 yeast package (11g) and kept around 70F. Bubbling for 36 hours and stopped...

Now about 10 days later I see only dropping to 1.040 reading using hydrometer and very hazy (almost like orange juice). Fermenter sitting in the basement at 65F.

Any clues for this surprise? Should I wait to additional attenuation, flocculate and clear with time? Too much yeast? Issues with the mash or lack of other malts? Any hope to salvage this?

Thanks for your input, I am very surprised

Offline Megary

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 11:09:42 AM »
3 gallons into the fermenter is my standard batch size and I always pitch a full pack of yeast.  I’ve never had a fermentation stall/quit like this but in fairness I don’t use US-05 often.  (Though, when I have it’s been nothing if not reliable.) At 70F I would expect US-05 to have a field day, plenty of activity.

Apologies for asking the obvious question first, but are you sure your gravity reading was correct?

More helpful answers will undoubtedly follow...good luck.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 11:29:55 AM »
Apologies for asking the obvious question first, but are you sure your gravity reading was correct?

I agree, that is the first thing I would check.  Make sure the hydrometer isn't resting on the bottom, including the hop matter and trub on the bottom.
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Offline goose

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 01:28:24 PM »
Apologies for asking the obvious question first, but are you sure your gravity reading was correct?

I agree, that is the first thing I would check.  Make sure the hydrometer isn't resting on the bottom, including the hop matter and trub on the bottom.

Or has bubbles sticking to the side of the hydrometer.  Give it a swirl in the test jar to make sure any bubbles are dislodged from the glass.  That could make the reading look higher than it really is.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 02:25:16 PM »
Apologies for asking the obvious question first, but are you sure your gravity reading was correct?

I agree, that is the first thing I would check.  Make sure the hydrometer isn't resting on the bottom, including the hop matter and trub on the bottom.

Or has bubbles sticking to the side of the hydrometer.  Give it a swirl in the test jar to make sure any bubbles are dislodged from the glass.  That could make the reading look higher than it really is.

Excellent point.  This is in fact exactly what I am seeing on my current honey wheat lager fermentation.  This morning I plunked the Tilt into my almost-finished fermenting beer at diacetyl rest just to monitor for when it will be finished.  When I first plunked the Tilt in there today, it started at 1.014 which I believe is true, but then quickly rose up to like 1.035 as I observed thousands of tiny bubbles forming on the side of the dang thing.  I hope they come off over time so I can get a more accurate reading.  Perfect example here, and being that it's a Tilt, you can feel free to monitor progress along with me.  OG was 1.036 if it matters but I only put the Tilt in there today on Day 10.  It definitely is way below 1.036 now because it had krausen within less than 10 or 12 hours, 9 days ago, and very obviously has CO2 in it today.  Smells lightly of diacetyl which I expect will clear up within a week or so.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14fRq7yQc-Zta3qZWT0a1-0YC0dF6W4TnKtYe4wbFp_Q/edit?usp=sharing

EDIT: Link broke, I replaced it with a good one.  Looks like FG will be about 1.002 -- unbelievable, wow.  My Tilt must be miscalibrated, dang it.  Smells like an absolute diacetyl bomb -- it's going to take a long time for this to age out.  But I'm still hopeful this will turn out well.  But anyway... I digress...
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 11:57:30 AM by dmtaylor »
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Offline CHOPP13

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 07:41:31 PM »
Thanks all of the feedback, I want to believe it is faulty hydrometer readings but my hope is low since I triple checked. I will wait another week and get another reading both with hydrometer and refractometer (I know to adjust). I was wondering this particular mash yield low fermentables for some reason which would explain the high FG.

Any clues regarding hazy/orange juice for this single malt fun?

Offline denny

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 07:56:23 PM »
Thanks all of the feedback, I want to believe it is faulty hydrometer readings but my hope is low since I triple checked. I will wait another week and get another reading both with hydrometer and refractometer (I know to adjust). I was wondering this particular mash yield low fermentables for some reason which would explain the high FG.

Any clues regarding hazy/orange juice for this single malt fun?

I doubt it's a case of unfermentables.  Which/whose 2 row malt did you use?
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Offline RC

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 08:03:21 PM »
My money is on the yeast being mostly dead. Dry yeast is hardy, but it happens. If it was something else, there would have to be a gargantuan error somewhere in your process or equipment calibration to account for a fermentation stalled at 1.040, and this seems unlikely. Yes, it's a good idea to to de-gas the hydrometer sample, but if you don't, the bubbles only make a one or two point difference--not a 20 or 30 point one.

The haze/orange-juice appearance is from turbidity from the cells in suspension. Hopefully it's all yeast cells. If it were me, I'd taste a sample to make sure it's not infected.

Assuming it's fine, if the gravity doesn't move any further, you'll have to krausen it to salvage it. EDIT: Actually you probably won't need to krausen it, you'd probably be fine just sprinkling in more yeast, given that the beer is still mostly unfermented wort.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 08:08:40 PM by RC »

Offline CHOPP13

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 02:09:35 AM »
I used American Pale Ale Malt, probably Briess (it was pre-packed generic).

RC I will give a couple of days and check again for new gravity and the taste, the aroma was fine. The idea of pitching more yeast in this stage is frustrating and probably will change the sensory of this (light) beer.

Thanks all for helping solve this puzzle

Offline waterbull66

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2021, 04:43:07 PM »
  I don't see any serious downside to pitching more yeast at this point, especially if it's 05. I'm with RC that as unlikely as it is, low viability yeast seems to be the most likely cause of your problem, unless your mash temp was WAYYY higher [or lower?] than you thought.

Offline CHOPP13

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 02:42:51 AM »
Thanks waterbull66, do you have a way to check (or trust) viability before pitching? The pouch I bought had expiration date 07/2023, probably very fresh. I am also not concerned with the mash, maintained close to 152F for at least one hour.

Still hazy today with no signs of infection, tasting malty. I am tempted to get a viking kveik to get the job done (smile)

Offline waterbull66

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 11:35:54 PM »
  If you have doubts about a package of yeast you can always mix up a small amount of warm [~ 85* to95*] water and sugar, say 1C H2O & 1tsp of sugar, sprinkle a little of the yeast on the surface and see if it does anything. As reliable as dry yeast generally is sometimes you can get a dud. I finally tossed the remainder of a sachet of CBC-1 this AM cuz I determined it was NFG. I tried using it a couple times before for bottle conditioning when the beer to be bottled didn't have enough viable yeast to do the job, and wasn't happy with the results. This morning I mixed 3/4C 95* H2O & 1/2 tsp sugar and sprinkled 1/2 tsp of the CBC1 on the surface, after 1/2 an hour nothing was going on so I dumped it and did the same thing again, once again after 1/2 hour nothing. Tried the exact same procedure again with 1/2tsp from a new sachet and within 10 minutes there was 1/2" of nice yeasty foam on the surface. The 1st pkg had an expiration date of 7/22, the 2nd one 7/23, both have been kept in the fridge since they arrived.
  I got to wondering if water treatment might be a contributing factor to your issue, maybe some of the folks with more expertise in that area can chime in.

Offline BrewBama

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Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2021, 12:54:06 AM »
I have never had a dry yeast fail to start.

...but to illustrate the proof instructions above, from Fermentis Tips and Tricks:

« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 03:07:01 AM by BrewBama »
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Low attenuation Safale US-05 and hazy single malt
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2021, 09:14:28 PM »
I've used US05 extensively and never had a problem.  It always finishes well although I don't usually take FG gravity readings until about a week after I've pitched it.
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