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RyePA - WTH did I do wrong?

Denny’s extract kit
Brew day went as normal. Actually about as good as they tend to go for me. Came in a little high at 1.084. Pitched a very healthy starter after aeration.

~25days go by (yes should’ve checked in sooner) take a reading about ready to go to 2ndary - 1.04

I rouse the yeast, put it in the warmest part of the house. a few days go by no change.

Go to the local homebrew shop, they give me wine yeast. Whatever. I just don’t want to flush a kit at this point. ~3days go by, maybe it’s down to 1.036, but I think i’m looking at the glass half full.

I just transferred because I don’t know what to do, but it tastes like garbage. I’ve had under-fermented sweet beers before, but this just about made me gag.

I’m basically resigned to the fact that I’m probably dumping this in a couple months, but I’d like to know where I could’ve gone wrong to bung this up so badly. Thoughts?

btw: fermented in the same spot of the house where I always do. low-mid 60’s.


I think I would have tossed a packet or two of US-05 in there to fix, but at 25+ days you might be toast by now. Sorry dude.

If you have a local brewery that gives away yeast to homebrewers you might try getting a growler full and pitching that into the beer. Otherwise unfortunately I think the beer is toast.

What size starter and what yeast did you use?

I’ve made that kit several times and it should finish in the 1.020 range.

Oh I know I screwed something up. :slight_smile: I just can’t figure out what.

Your best bet is to get a small starter going with US05 or wine yeast either one, then add a little of the beer to the starter every hour to acclimate it, then pitch after a few additions. Warm the beer up first too, 70’s will help it finish.

What yeast were you using?

Please, Lennie, for the love of humanity…NOT wine yeast!

so after racking last night there’s a little bit of renewed activity. I’ll maintain some hope…

Since I’ve already fubar’ed this thing… what’s to say I can’t do a little krausening, as was suggested before, and then rack again to get it off the sediment?

Denny, I’m really bummed. I’ve been looking forward to trying this one for some time. Trying to maintain a glass half full perspective.

Krausen away, man. It might work.

He started it!

Two thoughts - first, are you using a refractometer for the FG reading and not using a correction factor? And second, there’s no rush to take the beer off the yeast if you do go the krausen route - leave the beer on the cake until you reach your desired FG, then rack.

“Go to the local homebrew shop, they give me wine yeast. Whatever. I just don’t want to flush a kit at this point. ~3days go by, maybe it’s down to 1.036”

I agree those Dudes/ Gals etc… at the LHBS were not really helping with that “great” suggestion.

This is what has me baffled though. “maybe”?? Have you actually checked after 3 days when you racked and tasted after dosing with wine yeast as I would assume you’re way under 1.030 and is part of the flavor profile coming from the wine yeast now also, not just the residual SG from the primary beer ferment?

Those wine yeast should chew through dirt damn near. And I have a strong feeling they gave you EC-1118 “champagne” which is a bastar-d as it has high alcohol tolerance, super strong ferment characteristics and is used for “stuck” wine ferments although that’s a different thread ( I’m being good admins I will stick er in the correct forum listing from now on I swear!!!) altogether and there is better ways to re start stuck wine ferments than blindly throwing EC-1118 at it ( end rant )

Does it taste unfinished? A time or two I have had the dissolved co2 gather on the hydrometer after sitting a few minutes and push it up giving a bad reading. Just a thought.

ok, multiple thoughts here
“And I have a strong feeling they gave you EC-1118” - that’s the one. Given the other comments and lack of movement, I’m stuck think that I just have an abnormally large amount of unfermentables. Is that nuts. After ~3days on this yeast, little to no movment, hence…

““maybe”?? Have you actually checked after 3 days when you racked and tasted after” - I did check and taste. It’s not fermented, but there was no real movement with the above yeast. The “maybe” portion of the statement was the fact that the hydrometers are not exactly precise, and the fact that I was trying to look at the glass half full.

“Does it taste unfinished?” - OH YEAH. Underfermented.

“no rush to take the beer off the yeast if you do go the krausen route” - I was always led to believe that after more than a month on yeast and the yeast would start to break down introducing off flavors. Again maybe not a concern, since this brew is in trouble anyway, but I’d like to understand.

Thanks all for the responses. Much appreciated.

The myth of autolysis after XX weeks just won’t go away and it’s the cause of many stuck fermentations as homebrewers rush to rack off the cake. Autolysis is typically not going to happen until months have passed and shouldn’t be an issue when there are other easier sources of food available for the yeast (all the unfermented sugar in the beer). Getting the desired FG is the goal and the only way to do that is to keep the yeast working – warm the beer and rouse the yeast a couple times a day and they’ll usually kick back up again and finish it off if they can.

I agree that autolysis isn’t a problem after a month, but I would also say that I have never had a normal Sacch fermentation take more than a month to finish. Something went wrong with this beer. It might have been a lack of nutrients, or inadequate oxygen for the yeast to reproduce and be healthy early on, or who knows what. I don’t think racking after a week is a good idea unless you also carry over as much yeast as possible.

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