Weird batch, need answers

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Zak2428, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Zak2428

    Zak2428 New Member

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    I've been brewing for about 6 months now, pretty actively, and since I've started my process has always been to Primary for 7-10 days, then split the primary into 2 secondary's so that I can experiment with 1 with different additives. Pretty much experiment and always be able to test my experimental batch with a control. It's gone well thus far. However, I just brewed a 2 gallon Peanut Butter stout. I wanted to have a fairly high OG (1.087) because my theory was that ending it at a Final Gravity of 1.040 would help produce a sweeter beer (which I've since read is not the case). These OG and FG numbers are exact.

    Anyway, I fermented at 68-70 in the primary for 8 days prior to splitting into 2 1gallon carboys, which then sat for another week. Here are the two issues I ran into:

    First - the original 1 gallon carboy that wasn't experimented on, tasted good, but had almost zero carbonation. I've had the most success doing 1TSP of sugar added direct to each bottle prior to adding beer. Not sure why it didn't work this time?

    Second - the other 1 gallon carboy, the PB stout batch had ALOT of carbonation (same amount of sugar), where I'd open a bottle and it would volcano out for a good minute or so. In addition to that, there's almost zero peanut butter flavor, even though I added 6.5 oz PB2 Powder to a 1 gallon carboy of beer. This batch tastes like alcohol. Not a bad alcohol flavor, but like an Imperial Stout. What's the cause for the lack of PB flavor, alcohol flavor, and the fact that these bottles were over-carbonated on the same amount of sugar?

    If I had to guess, I believe I stressed the yeast which caused the alcohol flavor. The Carbonation part i'm confused on. Figured I should get some insight from others...

    The next time I try this recipe, I think i'm going to either do 2 11.5g yeast packets (instead of one) to help the yeast get the beer down to a lower final gravity, and/or reduce the grains used to reduce the OG down to 1.060 or so. Also add more time to the secondary. Curious if there's anything else I should change?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    At 1087 OG, you stressed the yeast. Bigger beers often need some more time to mellow, so first, I'd give it that. They're slower to carbonate because of the stressed yeast so it's a good idea to pitch some alcohol tolerant yeast at packaging. Now to the peanut butter gushers, one of two three things: peanut butter powder has sugar, so you may just have overcarbonated. It also has little crystals of sugar and peanut butter stuff, nucleation sites, think dropping Mentos in a soda. Third, it may not have been sanitary and infected your beer. Now someone can come up with the correct answer...
     
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  3. Zak2428

    Zak2428 New Member

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    Thanks! This is super helpful. A few questions though - I haven't read much about pitching more yeast before bottling - it sounds like a beer bomb waiting to happen... If I use dry yeast, 11.5g pack, would I use an entire packet before bottling on a 2 gallon batch? Is it necessary then to cut back on the amount of priming sugar used? Or do you add the bottling yeast a few days prior to bottling to allow the yeast to produce the bulk of it's CO2?

    Makes sense for the PB2 Powder. For this batch I froze the powder overnight, figured that would sanitize it - do you know of better ways to do it?
     
  4. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    1. You wouldn't need the whole packet of yeast for bottling. - Adding all of it wouldn't over-carbonate (that is directly related to amount of sugar) However, you may end up with more sediment than you want. I've never had a need to do this myself so others here would be better able to advise on the amount to add.

    2. For the PB2 powder - I'd probably boil it in water similar to what you'd do for priming sugar - more than likely there is sugar in the powder and that is what caused the gushers. I'd seek an alternative way of adding peanut butter flavor... OR - add it at a different point like in the secondary (or same fermenter but after primary fermentation) before you bottle and give it time to consume the sugar within before bottling.
     
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  5. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    What they said plus, freezing doesn’t kill germs and bacteria. It puts them into a state of hibernation until they warm up and start their devilish deeds.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't think peanut butter flavor is volatile.... I'd try one of two things, either make a solution of it in water thin enough to bring to a boil, boil it for a few minutes to sanitize it or put it on a baking sheet, put it in a 170 degree oven for about an hour then use. As mentioned already, freezing won't sanitize it. You'd only need a gram or so of yeast in the bottling bucket for 2 gallons, just enough to make sure you have enough viable yeast to carbonate - it doesn't take much. The amount of yeast isn't what makes bottle bombs, it's the amount of sugar.
     
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  7. Zak2428

    Zak2428 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input - very helpful. I'm a bit embarrassed that I thought freezing killed bacteria....I guess I've been lucky in my previous recipes lol. I think I'm going to try this recipe again, but up the packs of yeast to 2 for my primary, ferment it for a couple weeks longer, adjust my sugar a bit at bottling and see how it turns out this time. Not sure what I'll do about the PB2 Powder yet - I like the oven idea. I was hesitant to try boiling because at first thought I feel like it would dilute the flavor or even change it's flavor? But I might experiment with that too and see how it turns out. If things go wrong again, i'll be back!!
     
  8. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I brewed a Scottish Wee Heavy a few years ago. O.G. was something like 1.089. I too was worried about bottle bombs so I did not re-yeast when bottling. Most of the bottles never carbonated or were minimally carbonated. Every once in a while I crack one open and if it is carbonated, I feel like I've won the lottery! Now I add a pack of Lallemand CBC-1 for a 6 gallon batch. As @Blackmuse said it wouldn't hurt to add the whole packet (as long as you didn't add too much sugar) but, there is no need. I think a 1/4 packet would be sufficient.
     
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