Author Topic: fermention process  (Read 5957 times)

Jack Batch

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fermention process
« on: December 30, 2009, 10:11:20 AM »
Hello, I just made a batch of Brown ale on Sunday. It is now Wednesday and I have not seen it starting to bubble or ferment. Is there something I should do? Does these mean something did not go right?

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2009, 10:29:14 AM »
Bucket or carboy?  Sometimes a ferm can happen in a bucket and enough gas escapes around the edge to keep the airlock silent. 

If bucket, crack lid and look for signs of krausen around edge of wort/beer.  If nothing, then more details on yeast, temps, volume, aeration, and gravity may yield clues for people to comment on and try to help.  Some yeast are slow to start, but I'd think you'd have something by now. 

A really slow or degraded ferm could occur from multiple small problems all adding up:  old package, didn't rehydrate dry yeast, too cold, temps fluctuating at night, poor aeration, too-high gravity, etc. 


Jack Batch

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2009, 12:14:20 PM »
Thanks for the reply. it is in a bucket. I cracked the bucket, and a light foam or bubbles on top. and there is krausen along the edge above the wort level. This is my second batch the first batch of IPA bubbled and was noticed. this one may be fermenting but not noticeable bubbles. the temp is between 70 to 74 degrees. it is on cement floor with wood stove about 12 feet away so I am sure the temp will fluctuate. Sounds like I will just ride it out and see. This was a ingredients kit form True Brew.

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2009, 03:56:47 PM »
Good.  Sounds like it may have fully fermented quickly.  That's a tad warm, so I would recommend you let it rest for >10 days so it can clean up any additional diacetyl or other off-elements from the warm ferm. 

Offline stevemwazup

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 12:27:36 AM »
     Hi Jack, what type of yeast did you use for you brown ale and and also your IPA ale?
One thing I have noticed, (depending on the type of yeast you are using),  is that the instructions printed on the vile or package of yeast, state  to ferment between 70 to 75 degrees, (California Ale Yeast)
I have found that if I can get the temperature down around 63 to 67 degrees, especially in the first three or four days of active fermentation, this will really help in the overall taste in your beers.
I use a fridge to help with temperature controll, My other brewbuddys use a water bath to help controll the temp of the wort.

I hope the other guys can chime in and share their thoughts on this.
stevemwazup

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2009, 01:18:23 AM »
As several have indicated - your brew is probably fermented. You most likely had a bad seal on the bucket - rubber stopper - or air-lock. The temperature was a tad high - but should be fine -- let it rest at cooler temps (around 68deg) for a while. One of my early brews also was fermented a tad warm and I put it into a glass carboy (secondary) for 2 weeks and it was a very good ale. So rack it or let it rest - use a bathtub with cool water - buy a big plastic tote to hold the cool water - etc.

There a a ton of variables and superstitions around fermentation etc. ....  Temperature control is a big one - I also believe in following the yeasts general directions around temperature(s).  In general I tend to pitch and keep the wort at the middle upper range of the yeasts range for the first 24hrs (or so) to ensure the yeast get busy. I then let the temp slide down to the mid (maybe lower) range for the rest of the fermentation.

Good luck - keep brewing
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Jack Batch

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2010, 06:29:20 AM »
Want to thank everyone for your comments. Everything makes sense. I believe I had my first on other side of cellar where it is cooler. I may try to transfer it to a carboy and let it sit for a little longer then first thought. Being a new brewer and not much of a local shop to help out, I have downloaded the trial of beersmith and think I will be falling in love with it. Thanks Again!

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2010, 10:37:48 AM »
Additional conditioning time in secondary seldom hurts, but if the yeast did indeed throw off any excess diacetyl, the yeast will clean it up faster if you let the full yeast cell count tackle the issue in primary.  I bet the #1 cause for diacetyl is racking off the primary before the yeast has the chance to clean up these normal by-products of the ferm.  If the yeast has settled, it may help to gently rotate the bucket to get some yeast back up into suspension.

Jack Batch

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2010, 11:33:09 AM »
Maltlicker, Being new I am learning as I go. I hear some people say to rack the wort in 2nd bucket/carboy. what is the advantage or disadvantage of that? Would you let sit in primary bucket for 2 weeks or more, then move to 2nd bucket? Just trying to understand the best way of doing things. Of course I am anxious and want to do everything as soon as possible. but at same time want it to age properly. Any hints and tricks you know or share would be great.  Thanks again for help! 8)

Offline stevemwazup

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2010, 12:47:30 PM »
     Fun hobby uh Jack, ;D
You'll find that some people use a secondary and some don't, (neither way is wrong). Sometimes it comes down to what is working for your system, as you learn to tweak things, or pick up new ideas.
If you choose to do a secondary, I think you would be correct to leave it in the primary for a couple more weeks to let more yeast tackle the job of the clean up like was mentioned by Maltlicker.
stevemwazup

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: fermention process
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2010, 01:54:41 PM »
True enough, you'll get many varied opinions on the value (even necessity) of transferring to secondary.  The trade-offs include an extra step, another vessel to clean, slight risk of infection, versus better clarity, allowing bigger flavors to meld together, etc.  Many people think simple/smaller beers can be left in primary 2-3 weeks and put straight into keg/bottles from there.  I just transferred a dubbel today after 4 weeks.  To each his own to experiment....

But to your original question on this one batch, since it fermed a tad warm, you want the full yeast cell count to work thru any incremental by-products such as diacetyl or acetylaldehyde before taking the beer off the large primary yeast cake.  If you transferred early and there were still off-flavors for the yeast to resolve, it would take the much smaller yeast cell count in secondary longer to do the job.