Wheat Beer Woes

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Wheat Beer Woes

Post by Framnk » Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:26 pm

Hi all... I am still waiting on a batch of wheat beer that I started back at the beginning of December. This is my first batch using Wheat DME, so I don't know what to expect. The brew is still bubbling in the secondary about every 30 seconds or so. I have taken hydrometer readings, but it doesn't seem to be dropping, at least not significantly so. The beer is not at what I would expect the final gravity to be, at least according to recipe. The final recipe called for a final gravity of about 1.017 and mine is currently about 1.028.

Any advice?? The beer tastes GREAT when I take readings, but I am worried that if I let it go too much longer it will get spoiled.

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Wheats, DME

Post by Freon12 » Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:51 pm

I think that if the reading is stable, go ahead and bottle it. There are a few reasons that the gravity(Hee, he said gravity) is reading high.

I like wheat beer at 1.010 to 1.020 which is very close to what you have. Check to make sure your instrument is for 60f readings and is acurate(check it in water at the proper tempreture). This may be the difference.
There is a chart to compensate for tempreture as you may know.
The type of yeast your using my finish high when using DME only at that tempreture.

Since you have some alchohol content by now, spoiling is unlikely, but what are we waiting for? If the beer tastes the way you want, then you have bested many a brewer.


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Post by HomeBrew » Tue Jan 28, 2003 1:32 am

I agree (not that that matters :)) with all your points, Steve -- first thing I thought was miscalibrated hydrometer (or incorrect temperature correction) with regards to the gravity part of the question...

The other part -- bubbling every thirty seconds in a secondary after close to two months -- is a little more troubling. My first thought was wild yeast contamination, but the strain would have to have a pretty high alcohol tolerence... And, where are the fermentables coming from to support fermentation at that rate (a bubble every 30 seconds is kinda a lot of gas evolution)? This again points to a contaminating yeast, one able to ferment sugars usually considered unfermentable...

What yeast did you use, Framnk?

The contaminating yeast concern is, of course, minimized by the comment that Framnk made about the beer tasting great. But, I'm a little concerned with bottling it with it still bubbling at that rate -- with the addition of some priming fermentables, you may get either too much carbonation or exploding bottles.

There's unlikely to be any harm done by waiting to bottle; perhaps that's the way to go?

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Stuck Ferment?

Post by BillyBock » Sun Feb 02, 2003 6:52 pm

It sounds like a stuck ferment to me, probably due to lack of aeration or low pitching volume. I'd try pitching some rehydrated dry yeast in there to get it to finish fermenting before trying to bottle it. The bubble every 30 seconds is more than likely CO2 coming out of solution. Let us know what you decide and how it turned out.


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