Author Topic: Sugar  (Read 1834 times)

Online denny

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2011, 11:22:11 AM »
I have a feeling that the "answer" is what was previously mentioned - I had a poor distribution of sugar.  Having previously been strongly warned that aeration should be kept to a minimum during transfer to bottling bucket, I dumped the sugar (after boiling it for 5 minutes) into the bottom and just ran the siphon on top of it.  I'm thinking that I should have not been so worried about aeration and should have done a good stir job before starting to boil.  And thanks for the warning of detonation - in FACT, I lost 6 22oz bottles due to explosions on my last batch.  I then put it down to the unwise bottling into the thinner 22 ounce bottles, but I'm thinking now that it was a bad sugar distribution even then.

Thanks guys!!!  Still learning.
Don




I don't think so.  Given the sweetness and exploding bottles, I th9ink you bottled too early, before fermentation was finished.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dons

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2011, 11:23:51 AM »
Fermented at a pretty steady 68 deg F.  Might have been a couple spikes here and there, but not many.  Agree that fermentation was incomplete and yeah, I bottled too early.  Hoping it will settle down as time goes on.  

I primed with just under a half cup of sugar.  Boiled in a pint of water on stove and added to bottling bucket before siphoning.  

And, yes, Jeffy, that is EXACTLY what I'll do.  When activity stopped prematurely I had a notion to add more yeast and give it another chance, but being in the backwoods it would have meant another long trip to get yeast.  UNLESS I wanted to risk using a bit of regular household cooking yeast and see if I could stir things up a bit, if you will.

I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Online denny

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2011, 11:24:58 AM »
FWIW, I keep a couple packs of US-05 on hand at all times for unexpected situations.  It's cheap insurance.
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Offline smoga

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2011, 11:34:49 AM »
Just a couple of questions to satisfy my curiosity:

What's your thermometer? Is it a dial thermometer? When's the last time it was calibrated?
and did you make a starter? and if so how large?

Offline dons

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2011, 12:29:04 PM »
What's your thermometer? Is it a dial thermometer? When's the last time it was calibrated?
and did you make a starter? and if so how large?


I have the old standard dial, analog type thermometer.  Not attempted to calibrate for couple of years.  I'm not sure of the process for calibration but what I just did was put it in an ice bath, note lowest temp I could get it to and did the same in boiling water. 

In the ice I could not get below 35deg and it got to 213deg in boiling.  I would guess that means that, on average, my thermometer is showing about 2 deg higher than true.

No, I did not make a starter.  Frankly, I'm not sure the process of doing that (ie, what medium to use, how long to wait before adding to wort, etc).  And I don't know if it is necessary.  I don't want to start  a new topic here, though.  I'm sure there is another thread I can find about it.

I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Online denny

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2011, 12:32:14 PM »
I have the old standard dial, analog type thermometer.  Not attempted to calibrate for couple of years.  I'm not sure of the process for calibration but what I just did was put it in an ice bath, note lowest temp I could get it to and did the same in boiling water. 

In the ice I could not get below 35deg and it got to 213deg in boiling.  I would guess that means that, on average, my thermometer is showing about 2 deg higher than true.

Unfortunately, that's not a great test.  It could be WAY off around 150 where you really need it to be accurate.  The best way to calibrate it to get a calibrated lab thermometer and compare your to it at mash temps.


No, I did not make a starter.  Frankly, I'm not sure the process of doing that (ie, what medium to use, how long to wait before adding to wort, etc).  And I don't know if it is necessary.  I don't want to start  a new topic here, though.  I'm sure there is another thread I can find about it.



Unless your beer is under 1.040 OG, making a starter will always make you better beer IMO.  For great info, see mrmalty.com .
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline smoga

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2011, 12:43:55 PM »
Amen Denny!

dons, I experienced many of the symptoms you describe here; The low extraction rates, the lack of fermentability, the reluctance of yeast to clean up. I solved it one way:
I bought a lab thermometer... Sing praises to the brewing gods!

The dial thermometer I was using was at least 6 degrees off (high) at 150F I was mashing in way too low.
when I switched to using the lab thermometer, my extraction rates jumped almost 10 points.
I brewed a beer similar to your beer (OG 1.043) last week using only 8 lbs. of grain vs. your 11lbs.

A lab thermometer and making yeast starters will change your (brewing) life.  
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 01:00:18 PM by smoga »

Offline majorvices

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2011, 01:35:30 PM »
I have the old standard dial, analog type thermometer.  Not attempted to calibrate for couple of years.  I'm not sure of the process for calibration but what I just did was put it in an ice bath, note lowest temp I could get it to and did the same in boiling water. 

In the ice I could not get below 35deg and it got to 213deg in boiling.  I would guess that means that, on average, my thermometer is showing about 2 deg higher than true.

Unfortunately, that's not a great test.  It could be WAY off around 150 where you really need it to be accurate.  The best way to calibrate it to get a calibrated lab thermometer and compare your to it at mash temps.


No, I did not make a starter.  Frankly, I'm not sure the process of doing that (ie, what medium to use, how long to wait before adding to wort, etc).  And I don't know if it is necessary.  I don't want to start  a new topic here, though.  I'm sure there is another thread I can find about it.



Unless your beer is under 1.040 OG, making a starter will always make you better beer IMO.  For great info, see mrmalty.com .

+1 on both accounts, I've gotten into the habit of double checking with the lab thermometer every time I brew just about. As far as making a starter go, couldn't be simpler, just like making a small batch of 1.040 beer. DME as the medium (or you brew up several batches as AG.) I know you said you didn't want to "start a new topic" - but had you made a starter (or, more accurately, started with the appropriate pitch of yeast) you would probably have not run into this problem. Pitching enough healthy, fresh, viable yeast is one of the most important aspects of brewing.
Keith Y.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2011, 02:32:07 PM »
One other important task to put onto your process checklist is estimating and targeting your terminal gravity. When you brew beer there are vital statistics (range) that are inherent to a particular recipe and process. One of the critical statistics is terminal gravity which is calulated and targeted during the fermentation process. Factors such as grist bill, mash regime and yeast origin must be considered in order to estimate and target a terminal gravity.

In your case using the grist bill and mashing parameters accompanied with WLP001 should have brought you down to the 1.010-1.012 range of terminal gravity. With this knowledge you would have allowed for the yeast to finish it's job prior to bottling.
Ron Price

Offline dons

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2011, 04:02:07 PM »
I'm starting to find myself wondering what I have done right.
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2011, 04:03:52 PM »
I'm starting to find myself wondering what I have done right.


you started to learn how to make your own beer!

Offline majorvices

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Re: Sugar
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2011, 04:13:55 PM »
I'm starting to find myself wondering what I have done right.


Every batch is a learning experience. Brewing is a craft and the longer you do it the more you learn how much you don't know. I've been brewing for 15+ years and I still am amazed how much there still is to learn, which also makes it still fun. That said, once you learn proper fermentation practices everything else falls into place.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 04:16:46 PM by majorvices »
Keith Y.

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