Author Topic: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?  (Read 7595 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« on: October 04, 2009, 11:10:08 AM »
So as a back ground - last Winter and Spring I came to the conclusion that Safale 04 or 05 were just harder working yeasts than Danstar Windsor or Nottingham. On batches with OG around 1.050 to 1.055 I would have the Danstar yeasts leave me at around 1.020. And with both yeasts I was doing a simple sprinkle and go process. I also tend to pitch at (or near) the yeasts upper temperature range to ensure they get going and get busy. And with the Safale yeasts I consistently get FG's in the 1.011 - 1.018 range. Lastly, I do extract and specialty grain brewing. I do a 3.5g partial boil and top off to 5.5g.

So last week I brewed a new Porter recipe and decided I wanted to try Windsor again - and this time I would re-hydrate the yeast. BeerSmith predicted OG as 1.059 - I measured 1.059 and with temp correction of +1 it was 1.060. The yeast re-hydrated nicely and I added small wort samples every 5 minutes to bring it to pitching temp. I pitched and aerated at 70deg. at 8PM. Next morning it was bubbling rapidly - by end of first day I had almost 1.5" krausen and activity continued for another day and a half. It then petered out totally. So I figured 2.5 days of high activity it was probably done and let it sit a couple of days until the weekend. So I do a SG check  and crap --- I'm at 1.024. So I sprinkle on a pack of Safale 05 I had and we'll see what happens.

Any ideas here ? Should I have used 2 packs of Windsor ? Keep in mind with my current processes I've fermented batches up to 1.058 with Safale with no issues. And I know that above 1.060 you may need either more yeast or a 1 liter starter. Baffled
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: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 07:10:13 PM »
I just checked the spec sheets, and for whatever reason, the Danstar yeasts say to proof warmer (90+/-) than the Safale (80+/-), but I've used Nottingham and S-04 the most, and both have done great for me.   And I always pitch at the desired ferm temperature, usually 64-66F, and usually get down to 10 to 14 FG for a mid 55 OG. 

1.055 to 1.060 OG might tax a dry yeast that is just sprinkled, but re-hydrated should do fine.

Is the specialty grain portion really high in caramels, roasted, etc, that would be low on the fermentability scale?

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 01:10:20 AM »
Well this is a porter so it is malty - but doesn't seem low in fermentables - I've attached the recipe. The primary is now bubbling again hopefully I'll be down around 1.015 in a couple of days - but still want to figure out whats going on
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: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 08:42:51 AM »
When I opened the recipe, Extract was selected under "Type" and this prevented the partial-mashed grains from appearing.   As extract, the OG estimate was 1.058, but as partial mash it read 1.064.  If it was set to Extract on your system, you may have been underestimating the OG contribution of the partial mash.  And if you start higher, you usually end higher.  

But you measured 1.059 and entered that...............so I also looked up the partial-mashed grains, and the PPG ranged from 1.030 to 1.035, all lower than the 1.038 of the LME.  And your lower PPG grains equal 19% of the grist. 

Crystals and roasted grains are "converted" in the husk to sugars by their specific drying and heating regimen.  That's why we can steep them and not have to mash them.  That drying and heating regimen converts some of those sugars into types that do not ferment out as well, somewhat similar to how mashing at 158F creates more complex sugars that yeast have difficulty fermenting.   That is why many of those grains have "upper limits" like 10-15% so we don't get a cloying sweet caramelly beer that didn't ferment out dry enough.  At least that is my understanding of it.  

I'd recommend you check your prior recipes and see if you find some with Extract and some with partial mash, and that may explain the variance in the performance.  Then check to see if the yeast choice are correlated.  And I'd recommend always proofing dry yeast to maximize your cell count.  Danstar/Fermentis say proofing can triple the active viable yeast.  

They guarantee ~7 billion cells per gram, or 77 billion in a 11-gram package, because they assume brewers are just sprinkling on top.  Properly proofed, they say 20 per gram, or 220 billion per 11-gram package.  That's double a liquid yeast package of 100 billion cells. 
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 08:51:28 AM by MaltLicker »

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 11:14:26 PM »
MaltLicker - Thanks for looking this over - I'm still baffled by it. The recipe was set correctly (IMHO) to extract as the amount of non-malted grains is only 6oz out of almost 2lbs. I see many "extract recipes" including small amounts of non-malted grains and have brewed many. And BeerSmith was only 2 points shy of the OG reading ... I may have to get some of those SG meters for specific ranges that are more accurate. But it still leaves me wondering because for 2 plus days I had a pretty rousing fermentation and then poof nothing and I'm left at 1.024.

So I'm still suspecting the yeast ... and when I get this bugged I'll re-brew this same recipe in a few weeks and and drop in some Safale-04 and see what I get. But then thats the fun in all this - you get to drink your experiments (unless they totally f'ed-up). Meanwhile the porter I dumped the extra packet into keeps churning at a moderate pace - I'll check the SG on Wednesday and report back. 

On a different topic - how much non-malted grain should be in a extract recipe ? And to be clear I almost do a mini-mash as I steep in 1 gallon of water for 40min holding 150-155deg. The tea is then poured into the boil pot which has water sitting at 170deg. But BeerSmith was farther off the mark at 1.064 when it was set to Partial Mash --- of course there was no mash profile setup.

Thanks Again !
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline bonjour

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Re: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2009, 06:47:26 AM »
On a different topic - how much non-malted grain should be in a extract recipe ?
It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the beer you intend to brew.
And to be clear I almost do a mini-mash as I steep in 1 gallon of water for 40min holding 150-155deg. The tea is then poured into the boil pot which has water sitting at 170deg. But BeerSmith was farther off the mark at 1.064 when it was set to Partial Mash --- of course there was no mash profile setup.
This IS a partial mash if you have some base grain!!!  I would prefer to see you hold for 60 min vs. 40.  Base grain, 2-row, 6-row, pale malt, Pilsener malt, even Munich and some others all contain enzymes that will reduce starches contained in the specialty malts to sugars.

Fred

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 09:10:05 AM »
First, a clarification for new readers.  All these grains are "malted" by Briess or Dingemanns, etc.  Their malting process is what puts the flavors and also some sugars in them for you.  Some we call steeping grains, because all you must do is steep them (~155F) to get those pre-made sugars out.  The base grains require "mashing" (by you the brewer), to convert tied-up starches into sugars, and that is another process altogether.  

The recipe was set correctly (IMHO) to extract as the amount of non-malted grains is only 6oz out of almost 2lbs. I see many "extract recipes" including small amounts of non-malted grains and have brewed many.

You are correct.  Only the Bisquit is a mash-required grain.  But the Extract as Type selection takes all the steeping grains out of the OG estimate as well.  I count 1.95 pounds of steeping grains, with PPG ranging from 1.030 to 1.035.  The total OG contribution of these grains, per BSmith, is only visible when you select Partial Mash as the Type, even if you're only steeping.  Toggle the Type and see what happens down in the OG estimate.  It changes from 1.058 to 1.064 when I toggle it.  If you're looking at the Ingredient list, then yes, only the Bisquit gets that exclamation point beside it, but all the OG is removed from the math.  Even if steeping only, then you must still select Partial Mash to get the accurate OG estimate.

And BeerSmith was only 2 points shy of the OG reading ... But it still leaves me wondering because for 2 plus days I had a pretty rousing fermentation and then poof nothing and I'm left at 1.024.

I suspect the difference between the better OG estimate of 1.064 and your achieved 1.060 is due to the difficulty of getting sugars out of the grains.  1.060 down to 1.024 is 36/60 = 60AA%, which is not great, true.  However, for a sprinkle-n-go that costs you up to 2/3 of the viable yeast count (per yeast mfr and JZ), AND such a high proportion of crystals, chocolate etc., that create less-fermentable sugars, it's probably OK.  (The 75% AA% quoted for Windsor is likely achieved when proofed and put into wort that is 85% base grain/extract or higher, or some law of averages like that.)    I imagine the active ferm was done in two days, and as it moved on to the more complex sugars, the yeast slowed and made less CO2.  The test there is taste; does it seem fully fermented out and not cloyingly unfinished?  

So I'm still suspecting the yeast ... and when I get this bugged I'll re-brew this same recipe in a few weeks and and drop in some Safale-04 and see what I get.

On paper, Windsor is 75% AA% and S-04 is 73%, so all else equal, you should get lower FGs with the Windsor.  Perhaps Lallemand yeast are more sensitive to the sprinkle-n-go, which makes sense because their spec sheets ask for a warmer proofing, so going straight to cooler wort may shock Lallemand more than Safales.  Pure speculation on my part.  (But when proofing, I regularly put Nottingham straight into 64F wort and reach 1.011 or 1.012 from upper 1.050s.)  

I think you're closer than you realize, and that it is a combination of the Type setting, sprinkle-n-go costing you some yeast cells, and on grists with high rates of dark crystals and roasted grains, fermentability will suffer no matter you do.  The MrMalty calculator says a 11.5g dry yeast should handle 5.5 gallons of up to 1.056 ale wort.  The main thing I'd recommend is to always proof the yeast.

On a different topic - how much non-malted grain should be in a extract recipe ? And to be clear I almost do a mini-mash as I steep in 1 gallon of water for 40min holding 150-155deg.

When I was mini-mashing, I started at four pounds in a bag, then switched to "free grain" and could use up to eight pounds, which was my lautering limit.  Then I tinkered in BSmith and realized if I reduced the batch size, I could do all-grain, full-mash, full-boil batches in the kitchen.  I just had to accept a batch size of 3.5 gallons.  I'd recommend mashing all you can handle, and adding DME/LME to reach the OG and volume you seek.  
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 11:58:50 AM by MaltLicker »

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: More dry yeast at OG 1.060 ?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 07:58:38 PM »
Again - Thanks for the replies and the thought put into it. The comments about the mix of lower fermentables in the recipe is valid - AND the comment about BSmith not taking grains into account on Extract is something I have to look at !! And may explain some of my failed brews which were all darker more malty brews with OGs above 55.

And while I really enjoy brewing and the whole process making beer ... I am a lazy brewer. Extract and grains can produce some really good beer if care is taken during the brewing process (late malt additions etc.). So with new thoughts in my head I plod forward hopefully smarter than I was yesterday.

As to the taste of the brew at 1.024 ... well it wasn't bad but it also wasn't quite right - a bit of a black-strap molasses after taste. I'd like to get it to 1.016ish.
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

 

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