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Separating Wort

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AaronJ

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I did a Kit & Bits brew 2 weekends ago using Morgans Golden Saaz Pilsener as the base.

To that the following was added:

- Brewmasters Blend 1.25kg
- 750g Light Dry Malt
- 550g Glucose
- 250g Dry Corn Syrup
- 1x Saaz Plug for 30min
- Saflager W-34/70 Lager Yeast

Basic procedure was bring 4L of water to the boil, add sugars, add boiled and strained hops water, add Morgans, top up to 23L cool on ice to 25C, add dried yeast.

Now there was an odd thing that happened. After the sugars were fully dissolved I did not bring the wort back to the boils and simply added the remaining ingredients. It sat for maybe 15 minutes before I poured it into the fermenter. When I went to pour it the wort had kind of separated!?

The only way I can describe it is if you know Japanese Miso soup. Mix it around a bit and its kind of cloudy. Let is sit a minute and the particulates settle into a dense cloud at the bottom of the bowel.

Well thats what the wort did.

Any idea what this means or if its even an issue?

I was not going to mention it but a few other things (post adding to fermenter) seem not completely right.

Firstly, this is my first use of a Lager and I was surprised that it seemed to take 2-3 days at 16-18C for the brew to start fermenting well.

Secondly, today is day 8 and I did a taste test. A lot of crud from the bottom cam into the tester, but it was not nice at all. All my other brews have been nice at pretty much any stage.

Thirdly, the smell. Like the taste, it seems odd or slightly off.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Aaron.
 

barfridge

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Dont stress about the sulphur/eggy smell. It's completely normal with a lager yeast. There's some more info in the bible here.

And as for the ingredients sitting at the bottom, thats ok as well, the yeasties will find them :)

RDWHAHB!
 

sosman

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AaronJ said:
... a dense cloud at the bottom of the bowel.

... Thirdly, the smell. Like the taste, it seems odd or slightly off.
[post="57144"][/post]​
I have that problem with my bowel also, and the term "slightly off" would be understatement.
 

AaronJ

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Thanks Barfridge.

Great link. Thanks for that as its answered a heap of questions I was going to aim at you guys.

However, one question I could not find and answer to with regards to the specific yeast I used...

The yeast was VERY slow to get going. I used it dry out of the packet and although there was a tiny amount of activity in the air lock within 24 hours it did not really get going until about day 4-5. Now at day 9 it is still going at a moderate pace with 1 airlock bubble every 15-20 seconds.

Brew is fermenting at about 16-17C so does this slow start seem normal for a lager yest (or the specific yeast) or could it indicate a problem?


LOL Sosman. My brilliant typing shining through again but maybe you should avoid 'bowls' of Miso for the time being given their impact ;-)

AJ
 

pint of lager

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The yeast was VERY slow to get going. I used it dry out of the packet and although there was a tiny amount of activity in the air lock within 24 hours it did not really get going until about day 4-5. Now at day 9 it is still going at a moderate pace with 1 airlock bubble every 15-20 seconds.
Lager yeasts are usually slower to start when compared to ales. But your higher fermentation temp should have meant a quick start. Lager yeasts also need higher pitching rates compared to ales, and generally take much longer to ferment out.

Airlocks are not a good guide to fermentation. Use the appearance of scum on the surface of your brew and your hydrometer to check how it is going and whether it is finished fermenting. Fermenters fail to seal properly, meaning leaks. After fermentation has finished, there is dissolved carbon dioxide in your beer, which will continue to come out of solution, making your airlock bubble, and the beer will appear to still be working, use your hydrometer, it will show correctly if the beer has finished fermenting.

Perhaps your packet of lager yeast was not in the best condition. It must be stored correctly, used within its use by date, and if it has been repackaged by a HBS from a large brick, it should be used sooner rather than later. But, since you didn't take any sg readings, this may not be the case. Perhaps the fermenter was not sealed up, then did seal up when your airlock started bubbling.

DCL yeast details

Next time you use this yeast, if at all possible, try and stay within the correct fermentation temperature.
Recommended temperature range: 9C-15C (ideally 12C).
Keep reading the John Palmer How to Brew site that Barfridge posted, it is a great resource. Check out the links page from the forum, more good info there. Also, have a browse through some of the older threads.
 

AaronJ

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POL,

Thanks for the reply.

Use the appearance of scum on the surface of your brew and your hydrometer to check how it is going and whether it is finished fermenting.
"Scum" started to appear on day 2 even though there was almost no activity in the air lock.

Perhaps your packet of lager yeast was not in the best condition. It must be stored correctly, used within its use by date, and if it has been repackaged by a HBS from a large brick, it should be used sooner rather than later.
I can only assume that the yeast was OK given it was from a reputable brew-shop.

But, since you didn't take any sg readings, this may not be the case.
OG = 1.042
SG on day 8 = 1.032
Today (day 10) SG = 1.022

So it's droppping at a faster rate now that temp is down?

Temp is now down to 15C.

I suppose my original fear was that as it took so long to get going that itmay have been contaminated.

However, it is coming good in terms of taste and smell.

Next time you use this yeast, if at all possible, try and stay within the correct fermentation temperature.
I know there is the ideal temp range, but I thought lager yeasts would still work at slightly higher temps. The issue was more about that at the higher temps you may not get the quality of fermentation and resulting flavors as when fermented at the preferred ranges?

AJ
 

dickTed

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The only way I can describe it is if you know Japanese Miso soup. Mix it around a bit and its kind of cloudy. Let is sit a minute and the particulates settle into a dense cloud at the bottom of the bowel.
This sounds like hot break material or "hot trub". J Palmer describes it as looking like "egg drop soup".

The brew I'm drinking now had this cloudy muck in it, and although it's a nice tasting beer, it has poor head retention, it's a little hazier than normal and it came up surprizingly bitter.

Still very drinkable though, hic. :p
 

AaronJ

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Thanks tD.

I bottled the brew this last weekend.

I have to say it still has quite a funky smell and aftertaste to it. I cannot describe it but it's just weird. Maybe slightly chemically!? A few others taste tested as well and all noted the weird aftertaste.

At this stage I'd not enjoy drinking it, but I'll give it a while in the bottle to see.

AJ.
 

fergi

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hi arronj,well i have used the 34/70 yeast for a lager not long ago,1 it does have a hint of sulphur out of the airlock when it is really bubbling,after being bottled for a couple of weeks i thought it had gone off,so i tried it for a few weeks and then decided it was infected,it sat in my brew fridge for about 8 weeks before i thought i would tip it out,i stuck one in the fridge indoors first just to give it a final try and to my surprise it had turned around to be a very nice lager,dont know what was going on in the middle stages but sure turned out nice after a rest and conditioning in the fridge.so give it plenty of time in the bottle.the other thing is your temp was probably a few degrees high,i fermented my lager at around 10/12 deg
cheers
fergi
 

BRAD T

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AaronJ,
I have experienced the same chemical taste/smell using 34/70 in a lager that has now been in the bottle for about 5 weeks. After 2 weeks I tried a couple, I was afraid that it had gone off because there were a couple of hot days while fermenting and the temp. crept up to about 20/22 deg. I decided to just let it sit for a while (couple of months over winter) before trying it again and see if it improved. From Fergi's comments I guess this was the right choice. If your not sure just leave it for a while and sample it again, who knows it may turn out to be nectar.
I may even crack one this weekend for a comparison.

Cheers
Brad :party:
 

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