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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Is my IPA DOA? < Previous Next >

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Variable Pessure Blow off ValveBrandon Dachel12-16-03  12:32 pm
Corny QuestionsPeter Roman12-16-03  04:19 am
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John Schmidt (65.238.10.131)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 02:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brewed my third batch a week ago (OG = 1.066, with 6 lb Laaglander Ex. Pale DME, 0.5 lb crystal, and 1.5 lb sugar), and fermentation was pretty much stopped at 1.030. At first, I thought that I had yet another stuck fermentation, but then I found out that Laaglander DME is notoriously high in nonfermentables. On one website, it said that it typically had an actual attenuation of 44%. I don't think you're supposed to use 6 lb in a 5 gal batch. So I decided, for some strange reason, to add another 3 lb of cane sugar. That's 4.5 lb sugar in a 5 gal batch! Actually, now it's closer to 5.5 gal. The airlock was bubbling at about 1 bubble/sec 3 hours after I stirred in the sugar solution. Has anyone else made a beer similar to this before? Was it drinkable? The samples I have taken (before adding the last 3 lb of sugar) tasted pretty good because of the high bitterness and strong cascade flavor. It will be an interesting experiment if nothing else.

There should really be a warning on that Laaglander stuff. I'll have to mention it to my LHBS owner the next time I'm in the store.
 

chumley (63.227.172.129)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 03:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Although Laaglander has a pretty low fermentability, I wouldn't have added another 3 lbs of sugar to a 1.062 beer that stopped at 1.030. I don't think it is so much unfermentable sugars, but more like unfermentable destrins. The beer would have been real thick bodied, but not overly sweet.

Laaglander is good to add in smaller quantities to beers you want to end up more "chewy". For example, I like to add a poound of it to my all grain 70\ Scottish ales.

Let us know how the beer turns out. I am guessing you may end up with a bit of a rocket fuel flavor.
 

John Schmidt (65.238.10.3)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 04:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never tasted rocket fuel. Is it good? I've been really good about controlling the temp of this batch. It's never gotten above 66 F. Maybe that will help with the flavor. I'll try to update when it's done. Hopefully this will provide some evidence for or against the idea that lots of sugar = cidery flavor.
 

David Woods (63.95.170.150)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 05:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have heard of adding beano to stuck ferm. to break down the dextrins. It was in BYO mag a while back.

I would have tried that before the sugar. Its best use is for priming.

David
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 06:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rocket fuel doesn't taste good, though personally I've only tasted unleaded gasoline, which I am going to assume is fairly close in FG, bitterness, and body.

Keeping the ferment low should help you out a LOT in this case. I think you'll be OK, though you may want to monitor the FG on a daily basis.
 

John Schmidt (65.238.10.81)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 04:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Update: the gravity was 1.040 this evening, and it's still bubbling about every 2 seconds. I expect to transfer it to secondary in one or two more days. It's a little sweet, but it's still good. I can't wait to taste it after dry hopping with 1 oz. of cascade.
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> I expect to transfer it to secondary in one or
> two more days.

I have a better idea - wait until it's done. I can't imagine racking anything that's anywhere near that gravity.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As usual, Brandon's advice is sound. Have patience and give the beer some time before racking it.

The Beano (amylase enzyme) discussion is a common one, and becoming tiresome. It shouldn't be thought of as a cure-all for stuck or sluggish or stuck fermentations. It's more of a last resort when all else fails. It's rather unpredictable and can eaily produce thin, alcoholic "rocket fuel" lacking body and with raw flavors that can take months or even years of aging to mellow.
 

John Schmidt (65.238.10.190)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Point taken. I wasn't planning on racking it when it was still bubbling, though. I just expect that the fermentation will be nearly done then. Actually, this morning it was still bubbling pretty good, so it may be a few more days. Also, 40 points isn't too far from the expected final gravity because of all the Laaglander DME I used. But then again, I'm just a newbie, so maybe I'm completely wrong.
 

Tim W (56.0.84.110)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 04:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think you did the right thing , adding this much sugar will thin the body lighten the taste and increase the eff to a reasonable level .
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 04:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As has been mentioned frequently, don't take much stock in estimates of fermentation time. There are too many variables (ingredients, pitching rate and temperature to name only a few); the real answer is that it takes as long as it takes. Specific gravity readings are a much better indicator of the progress of fermentation.
 

John Schmidt (65.238.10.183)
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 02:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gravity reading: 1.030. That puts it at about 7.5% abv by my calculations. It's still bubbling about once every 5 seconds. The taste is...interesting, though I wouldn't describe it as cidery. Hopefully dry hopping in the secondary will improve the flavor. Anyway, it's much better than my first attempt at an IPA.
 

Joe Alf (65.139.148.112)
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 02:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's only been a week,be patient,and rouse the yeast with a little stir when you get real antsy,that's what I'd do.
 

Jared Cook (24.1.247.22)
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 03:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John,

You are such a newbee (I know, I was there too once). Leave it alone. Let it finish. If you really are concerned about how long it should be in primary, I don't have a problem letting a 1.050 beer sit in primary for 3 weeks. I would let a beer as big as you made sit even longer. Remember, secondary is mostly for clarification, so let it finish fermenting in primary.

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