Author Topic: my first throwaway batch  (Read 3444 times)


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my first throwaway batch
« on: May 29, 2004, 05:42:13 AM »
After 10 years of on again/off again brewing I finally had my first totally unusable batch. I was making a simple American Light with liquid and dme . I cleaned and sanitized as usual and used the dried yeast supplied with can. I noticed after 24 hours slow but steady yeast activity but it never developed a foamy head in the carboy. After 1 week of slow activity I added a smack pack with no noticable change in activity.
My hydrometer reading after over 2 weeks was still 1.025. The wort at this time did not smell bad so I bottled it. I did notice when I added the priming sugar to the carboy that the whole thing started to foam for about 5 seconds which I thought was strange. After 24 hours in the bottle I got to thinking I might have made bottle bombs instead of beer so I opened 1. It gushed up out of the bottle and had a bad smell. Needless to say I threw the whole batch out. All were infected. Iam assuming poor sanitation was the culpret but I thought that would show increased activity , not less. Does anyone have a clue about what might have gone wrong?

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Re: my first throwaway batch
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2004, 06:05:32 AM »
Most likely either:

 1. Poor sanitation or...
 2. Poor ingredients

I had a huge problem on 2-3 batches in a row one time where the fermentation was incomplete, continued for a long time, taste was not stable and so on.  In one case I actually had a bottle explode.

Believe it or not the problem was not sanitation but very poor quality ingredients.  The LHBS was selling very old dry malt that was pretty well oxidized and it was very unstable when brewed.  I'm not sure his liquid extract was any better.  I finally switched to another supplier and have had no problems since.

The only other time I had this problem was when I brewed with some obviously stale base (all grain) malt.  In this case I knew it was well past its prime, but decided to use it anyways.  The beer turned out OK initially, but the flavor was not stable and it eventually went south.

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Re: my first throwaway batch
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2004, 02:08:18 PM »
Sounds like some of my "Adventures in Root Beer".  Given your story my best guess would have been same as Brad: Poor sanitation or Poor ingredients. Possibly the yeast didn't take off until you added the priming sugar possibly indicating poor sugar content in your ingredients. How long did you give the slam pack to work before you bottled?

I think I would have given the batch a little longer in the bottle, in a controlled bomb shelter of course, before tossing it all. I had one batch of Ale that I like to drink in the mid 50 degree range that was fermented, bottled then aged in the bottle for 3 weeks at around 70 degrees. When I opened it, it spewed like Old Facefull; I chilled it to 40 degrees then slowly allowed it to raise back up to 54 and it was just fine.

Your batch, Like Root Beer, may have killed the yeast once chilled well.

Just the opinion of 1 poor amature brewer. And as they say, "Free advise is worth just what you paid for it".

Brew on man, your next batch may just be your finest. U.J.