Author Topic: what to do if fermentation finishes early.  (Read 7432 times)

Offline davidrgreen

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what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« on: August 29, 2014, 05:59:47 AM »
I have a question regarding early finishing.
I recently brewed a beer using Windsor ale yeast (wish I had stuck to my usual Nottingham now) and the airlock stopped blipping after 3 days, I know that this isn't a sign that the beer has finished so I thought I would leave it for another 11 days before checking the final gravity, unfortunately when I went to check it I noticed that the airlock was blipping away again so I left it for another week until it finished. I just measured it and it has finished at 1.010 but now has a strange Belgian yeast sort of taste to it which I wasn't expecting.
I have another batch on the go using Windsor yeast and the airlock has stopped bubbling after just 3 days. I'm worried that perhaps the previous one either got contaminated or the yeast somehow started a secondary fermentation. My question is should I check the final gravity in just a few days and if it has finished what should I do? I cant see it being particularly clear in just a week and I want to dry hop it... should I transfer it to a secondary and add the hops and wait for it to clear at room temp, or should I somehow cold crash it before transferring and dry hopping. Should I just add the hops to the primary while cold crashing? I'm a little lost and don't want to waste another batch.

any advice (other than "don't ever use Windsor yeast again) would be much appreciated.

 

Offline all grain

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 07:14:05 AM »
I have not used that yeast before but like you, use notty quite often. if the fermentation temps were not high then just let the Windsor yeast clean up for a week after FG is hit. cold crash before bottling is IMHO always a good thing. If the quick fermentation was caused by too high of temps during active fermentation then there is a good chance you are stuck with the off flavors and go ahead and bottle it. then see what happens. you may be surprised what 30 days in the bottle can do.
 There are a lot of variables here when dealing with off flavors and fermentation so take good notes. oh and it would help a lot if you would say what the temps were. (pitching and max temp during fermentation).
 Ps 3 days for active fermentation is not unheard of and the airlock starting up again happens a lot too so do not think that it is an infection. a lot of times the air lock will be giving off c02 from the beer itself and not the yeast, other times its the yeast cleaning up. my general rule is to ferment 15 days minimum for ale then cold crash 2-3 days and bottle. and never pitch ale yeast above 68  degrees.       
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Offline davidrgreen

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 09:14:27 AM »
I pitched the yeast at 20c (68f) and have had it fermenting at 20.5c (well tbh it fluctuates between 20 and 21c)... I only presumed it was an infection because it has that Belgian yeast flavour which was not expected at all.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 09:16:12 AM by davidrgreen »

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 04:18:54 PM »
I've had ales finish in three days. The yeast doesn't follow your schedule. You follow the yeast's schedule.
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Offline all grain

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 07:15:52 PM »
I pitched the yeast at 20c (68f) and have had it fermenting at 20.5c (well tbh it fluctuates between 20 and 21c)... I only presumed it was an infection because it has that Belgian yeast flavour which was not expected at all.
I have had yeast act differently for no particular reason and then make good beer in the end, but you may have some funk in your fermenter or some crossing from other beers you have made. or its just what the yeast wanted to do. either way I would let it go in primary up to 15 days or so then dhop it and bottle. those yeast have a mind of there own.  got to love it.   
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Offline Freak

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 10:33:31 PM »
Yeast doesn't go into secondary fermentation. It just ferments. You secondary the beer. It doesn't secondary your beer. A good rockin' fermentation could end in 3 days. Don't worry. It's fine.
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Offline davidrgreen

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 05:56:57 AM »
So I added a load of dry hops to both batches and they have both started bubbling again!!! That's now 6 weeks of fermentation for the first batch! I just hope the second batch finishes soon so I can bottle it.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 03:54:56 PM »
Quote
So I added a load of dry hops to both batches and they have both started bubbling again!!!

That happens to me as well. Not exactly sure why. But it usually stops after a few days to a week.
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Offline durrettd

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 11:02:26 AM »
Your fermented beer contains some amount of dissolved CO2. If you sprinkle particles into it - including hops - some of the CO2 will form bubbles around the particles and rise to the surface. The beer will release CO2 and that can make the air lock bubble as if the beer were still fermenting. The bubbling you're seeing is PROBABLY not fermentation... unless there's something going on I don't understand. And that only happens a few times a day, except when it happens lots of times.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: what to do if fermentation finishes early.
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2014, 11:27:49 AM »
I was thinking it was nucleation points, but wasn't sure. So it's the same idea as Mentos in Diet Coke, only not as messy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX4_OrRZa1g
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