Author Topic: Yeast calculation ?  (Read 5258 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Yeast calculation ?
« on: January 11, 2009, 11:28:02 PM »
I know most dry yeasts and liquids (readily pitchable) are sold in packs to inoculate 5 gallons of wort. My first batch (alaskan amber) came out great using a single packet of Danstar Windsor yeast - and it had a vigorous fermentation. My second batch (recipe for brew shop) was a dark brown English Ale - much more malt grains and extract than the amber ---- I was still given a single packet (this case a SafeAle brand) which also fermented vigorously.

Issue is the brew really tastes pretty bad and the TG was a bit high at 1.020. Agreed its only been in the bottle 2 weeks but its bad - tastes like bad beer.

Its possible I racked too soon --- is it also possible I should have doubled up on the yeast ??  As you go for darker - thicker beers should you consider more yeast ?  Is it bad to have too much yeast ?

And as my title suggests --- can or should BeerSmith post a warning based on the amount of fermentables compared to the amount of yeast ?

Thanks --- as to the brew in question --- we'll give it 2 months in the bottle
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Yeast calculation ?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 07:58:07 AM »
My second batch (recipe for brew shop) was a dark brown English Ale - much more malt grains and extract than the amber ---- I was still given a single packet (this case a SafeAle brand) which also fermented vigorously.
Issue is the brew really tastes pretty bad and the TG was a bit high at 1.020. Agreed its only been in the bottle 2 weeks but its bad - tastes like bad beer.

With higher gravity and higher proporation of dark/crystal grains, 1.020 is acceptable for the FG.  This link goes to a handy yeast calculator, which indicates that one 11gram package should handle 5 gallons up to ~1.060 OG. 
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

It sounds as though it fermented OK; if it had not, then it might taste a little sweet, but not necessarily bad.  How exactly does it taste bad? 

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Yeast calculation ?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 08:54:51 AM »
"Bad" taste could come from many different things: Infections, cleanliness, and bad processes to name a few. Can you post your recipe/processes, and maybe we can help.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Yeast calculation ?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 07:17:10 PM »
I'm pretty much a fanatic about keeping things sanitary (Idofor) --- and no obvious goofy things in my notes. The wort smelled good like a local dark micro-brew. On bottling day the brew was dark and clean - smelled like a porter --- taking a sip my wife said it had a little bitter after taste and a lemony taste on the front. So it was already a bit screwy before we even added the priming sugar (corn - 1 cup to 1 pint of water).

Using a very simple process
- 3 gal cold water in pot and add sock with grains
- let steep while bringing up to 175deg (about 30min) and remove
- bring to rolling boil in goes the malt (stir like crazy) then toss in first round hops
- add remaining hops on schedule
- sanitize primary and strainer and airlock
- I have 2 gallons of filtered spring water (store bought) one is frozen - one is refrigerated
- cut frozen gallon free and drop it in bucket
- strain hot wort into primary + top off with other cold gallon to 5gal
- cover loosely with lid and let cool to 75deg
- sprinkle dry yeast on top of wort - seal lid and add airlock

fermentation began 2 hrs after adding yeast and built to a strong fermentation for 3 days (70deg) then tapered off and we racked to a carboy. Stayed in carboy for 2 weeks - very modest yeast activity.

Here is the one strange thing -- we mixed the priming sugar and transferred from carboy to primary -- the tubing was stiff from the cold sanitizing water so we did get some some splashing into the primary -- added the priming sugar as the bucket got about 1/4 full. As we began to bottle we were getting a lot of bubbles and foam in the bottles (only our second time bottling) so this was strange and it did get better but it still seemed foamy as we bottled.


I'll attach a beersmith file ---- any feed back is appreciated. With batch one (an Amber Ale) coming out stellar and batch 2 looking dicey I'm a little spooked :)


Brown Ale
7lb  Pale Malt Ext

.63lb  brown malt
.38lb  amber malt
.38lb  special roast
.25lb  caramel/crystal 120L
.25lb  chocolate malt
.13lb  carafa II

1oz  Goldings   60min
.5oz Goldings   20min
.5oz Goldings   10min

SafAle  S-04
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Yeast calculation ?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 08:24:25 AM »
Couple questions.
What was your (OG) Origional Gravity?
What was the gravity when you transferred to Secondary?
What was the (FG) Final Gravity?
How many "total" days in primary?

My thoughts:
It sounds like you pulled it off the primary yeast to soon. The yeast needs time to clean up after its self. In the beginning you should follow the 1,2,3 process. 1 week in primary, 2 Weeks in Secondary, and 3 weeks in bottle.
You may still have an an infection, but  don't give up on it, time can do wonders. Open one up after about 3 weeks in the bottle and taste it. It may be just fine. If the carbonation is right and it is still a little off, Put it in the fridge for a few weeks and try it again. It should continue to get better as it ages.

My suggestions:
As Charlie Papazian says Cleanliness is godliness! There is a difference between Clean and Sanitary.
For Cleaning, I fill my bathtub with HOT watter, add a scoop of OxyClean and then the bottles. Let it sit over night and lables wipe right off and the glue is easily removed with a scotch pad. Rinse well inside, and then I stick them in the dish washer on the sanitize wash "Without Soap" and heated dry. Idofor is great stuff but it can stain and leave off flavors if not rinsed well. I switched to StarSan. No rinse (You can rack right on top of the bubbles), and it will not impart any off flavors.

Hope this helps!

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Yeast calculation ?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 08:56:41 AM »
....wife said it had a little bitter after taste and a lemony taste on the front.

- I have 2 gallons of filtered spring water (store bought) one is frozen - one is refrigerated
- cut frozen gallon free and drop it in bucket
- sprinkle dry yeast on top of wort - seal lid and add airlock

...built to a strong fermentation for 3 days (70deg) then tapered off and we racked to a carboy.

Nice recipe.  +1 on time-in-primary comments from UselessBrewing.  Never any harm in 7-10 days primary for yeast to clean up after itself. 
Read thread on wort cooling for peoples' opinion on adding "unboiled" water to the wort.  If you got a bug, my money is on that water.  Filtered spring water does not necessarily mean bacteria free.  Freezing a jug will work, but you may want to boil it in advance, sanitize the jugs and re-fill before freezing the water. 

Sounds like your yeast did fine, but I'd recommend proofing the yeast per mfr guidelines to get the most out of it every time.  Dropping dry yeast straight into high-sugar worts is less than optimal.  Proofing in warm water re-hydrates the cells, prepares them to eat, makes them happy, etc.  The drying process is tough on yeast (that's why there are so few strains available in dry form) and proofing yeast revives them properly.  Imagine if you had not eaten or had water in weeks, and tried to eat four Snickers bars without water.   :)

How long did it take to cool to 75F?  A long slow cooling period is ripe for airborne infections as well as continued DMS production.  All else equal, assuming extract brews and dry yeast, I would recommend a wort chiller as your next gadget.  Fast cooling prevents many problems, shortens the brew day, and vastly improves the quality of brews. 

 

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