Author Topic: Newbie here! Can someone help me with my first recipe - Pliny the Step Child?  (Read 28049 times)

Offline brewfun

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Likely, it's Fermentis Safale SO5. Get four packets.

After you pitch them directly into the wort, aerate by rocking and shaking the bucket for a while.

This is a triage suggestion. Normally, you would want to rehydrate yeast, but I think buying more yeast and skipping that step is pragmatic.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline electrotype

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Maybe I'm currently brewing the best Lambic ever?  ;)

Thanks for the help guys, I'll let you know how it turns out.

If I'm back home and there are bubbles, is it a sure sign that there is an infection? Is it possible that the yeast survived the hot wort?

When you pitch your yeast, if there is no scum on the top of the wort surface, you're probably good.

What should I look for? Does scum look like this (this is not mine, it's a random picture)?


Offline electrotype

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I'm pretty sure it's game over... I took a look into the bucket before shaking and pitching the 4 packs (you were right brewfun, they are Fermentis Safale SO5). Looks like there has been activity, sadly.

I still pitched for fun, to see what will happen.

The good news is that it smells absolutely fantastic! I'm sure I'll love that beer when I'll got it right!

« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 04:57:26 PM by electrotype »

Offline RiverBrewer

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It just looks like hop particulates and your face to me.

Maybe you got your miracle!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 07:18:37 PM by RiverBrewer »
Enjoy good beer daily.....Hell is a dry town!

Offline Scott Ickes

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It looks like beer to me!!!
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline electrotype

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It's 3AM, I woke up and decided to take a look : BUBBLES!!!

What a great sound to hear! The end of the night will be full of good hoppy dreams! :)


Offline electrotype

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Hello guys!

Some updates :

Video of my bubbles (I know it's not very interesting for any homebrewer with experience, but those are MY bubbles, so they are the nicest ever! ;) )

Bubbles have now slowed considerably.

Sunday, I'll rack to a secondary fermenter. The recipe says to rack after 4 days but in my case it will be +/- 6.

I'm racking to a secondary fermenter for two reasons : the recipe does so and I'm gonna brew another batch and will need my primary fermenter for this new batch.

My plan for this new brew is to do the exact same recipe but this time by leaving it in the primary fermenter, no secondary, to see if there is any difference between both beers.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 11:12:00 AM by electrotype »

Offline Scott Ickes

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My advice would to not be in a hurry to rack to a secondary.  IMHO, You should never rack into a secondary based on a recipes suggestion or based on you needing a fermentor for your next batch of brew.

Some of my most annoying headaches were caused by racking to early.  I consider racking to the secondary only after my gravity has fallen at least 75% of what I think it's going to fall.  For example, if my starting gravity is 1.070 and I think it's going to go down to 1.010 eventually, I'll only consider racking once it has dropped to 1.025.  The math is 1.070 - 1.010 = .060 total drop in gravity.  75% of .060 = .045 drop.  1.070 - the anticipated .045 drop = 1.025.

If you rack early, the yeast might be greatly affected by this racking and slow down or even stop.  Leave them on the yeast cake until the beer tells you that it's ready to rack!

If you want to brew another beer, get another bucket fermentor.  They're inexpensive and you can never have too many of them.

I don't follow specific recipe instructions from others very often on primary, secondary, etc.  I rely on what is best for that particular beer.  You'll find that many brewers always use a secondary and they always follow the exact same primary/secondary/whatever timing, such as one week primary then two week secondary and then bottle.  Most of the time you'll make great beer following this set procedure.  Every once in a while though, you'll be racking too early and slowing or sticking your fermentation. 

You may be good on going from primary to secondary with this type of schedule, but you might be bottling too early, because the secondary wasn't long enough.  This might lead to beer that is fermented out and carbonates well, but hasn't really cleared well enough and is hazy or yeasty tasting.  It might also lead to a beer that isn't fully fermented out and you end up with bottle bombs.

Listening to your beer and what it is telling you is the key.  Become a "yeast whisperer"!  Have patience and you won't be disappointed.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline electrotype

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Scott, thanks for the help!

I read a lot about secondary fermentation and I know that now a lot of people prefere to only use the primary fermenter, no secondary. I have no problem with that. Furthermore, I like cloudly beers, so even if racking to a secondary fermenter helps clearing the beer (I know some say it doesn't!), I don't care!

But I'm trying to follow the recipe as much as I can. And, above all, I want to see by myself if racking to a secondary fermenter really makes any difference or not! So yeah, I'll rack this batch. But when? I thought the "4 days" of the recipe was a little bit too short so I thaugh maybe 6 days would be ok.

I know the only real way of knowing if the fermentation is over is to check the gravity over 2-3 days and if it doesn't change, the fermentation is mainly over. But is it really important to wait for the fermentation to be over before racking to a seconday fermenter? Why? Since there will be an airlock on the secondary, I don't see why a fermentation still going on would be a problem?

Also, for my target gravity, I have to admit this is something I didn't really look into for this first brewing. My readings (very approximative) are :

- Before the boil : 1.055
- After the wort has been boiled and cooled : 1.041

But I do not know what final gravity I am targetting exactly! This is one of the reasons I'm following a recipe for this first batch : I do not understand everything well, yet!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 12:48:32 PM by electrotype »

Offline Scott Ickes

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I don't see your recipe in the thread anyplace, so I'm going to be just guessing at this.

I'm not sure what yeast you used, so I'm making assumptions based on US-05 yeast or similar.  Using 05 yeast and starting with a very fementable wort with a starting gravity of 1.041, you'll probably finish at about 1.008 (give or take a little bit).  This is a drop of .033 points.  I'd rack to the secondary when your gravity is in the 1.016 range.  Basically .008 from finishing.

Then leave it in the secondary until you have steady gravity readings for 3 consecutive days.  With the 05 yeast, you might already be down to 1.016.  I've found 05 to work fairly quickly through my wort.

Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline electrotype

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Thanks for those info Scott. So I'll first take my gravity reading sunday and then I'll decide then what I do!

This is my recipe : http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/172160/pliny-the-step-child Check the "Notes" section for the reference to the "4 days"!

And yes, the yeast is Fermentis Safale SO5.


Offline Scott Ickes

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Wow.  Your predicted starting gravity in the recipe is 1.078.  You were at 1.041.  I'm thinking you didn't get full conversion of the starches to sugars during your mash.  You should have had a lot higher starting gravity.  I have some questions.

How well were you able to hold your mash at 152F for the one hour of mashing?
   Did you overshoot the temperature and get it up into the 160F+ range?
   Did you undershoot it?
At what temperature did you take your gravity reading after the wort was coooled?
Did you crush your grains or did the supplier crush the grains?

If your gravity was really at 1.041, this will taste nothing like what you sampled.  It will probably be sweeter tasting.  With all of the IBU's in this recipe, it may end up being a quite tasty beer.  It just probably won't be anything like what you sampled.

Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline brewfun

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- Before the boil : 1.055
- After the wort has been boiled and cooled : 1.041


Wait! What?
Did you top up the fermenter with water, after the boil? Gravity should go UP with boil time.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 03:39:56 PM by brewfun »
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline electrotype

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I shouldn't have written my readings here because I'm not 100% sure of them.

I remember that I read the gravity after the boil, but I didn't write it down immediately. When I wrote it, I wasn't sure of it anymore.

I'm quite sure about the 1.055 pre-boil gravity though!

So yeah sorry about that, next time I'll have more specific informations to provide about gravity! I'll learn!

Did you top up the fermenter with water, after the boil?

No, I don't!


Offline electrotype

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How well were you able to hold your mash at 152F for the one hour of mashing?
   Did you overshoot the temperature and get it up into the 160F+ range?
   Did you undershoot it?
I realized too late that I didn't have a thermometre for the mash tun! So I used 160F water hoping it would go down to 152F with the cold grain. The mash tun was pre-warmed.

At what temperature did you take your gravity reading after the wort was coooled?
60F (I though this was the pitching temperature, see previous posts)

Did you crush your grains or did the supplier crush the grains?
Supplier crushed it.

If your gravity was really at 1.041, this will taste nothing like what you sampled.  It will probably be sweeter tasting.  With all of the IBU's in this recipe, it may end up being a quite tasty beer.  It just probably won't be anything like what you sampled.

As long as it's drinkable and that I learn, I'll be happy!

Thanks for your help.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 03:51:14 PM by electrotype »