Author Topic: Fermentation stopped after 1 day  (Read 36741 times)

Offline top_jimmy44

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Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« on: January 02, 2014, 08:26:15 AM »
So I got a Beginner brew kit for Christmas and brewed Caribou Slobber recipe on New Year's Eve.  Pitched yeast at 6:30 pm and when I woke in the morning, the airlock was bubbling like crazy.  No foam coming into it or anything but was moving fast.  About mid day yesterday, the bubbling had slowed to one every 4 seconds and when I went to bed around 11pm, it was bubbling about once every 12 seconds.  When I woke this morning, I did not watch for long because I had to leave for work, but I didn't see any bubbles. 

It is tough to tell my exact temp when I pitched the yeast because my stupid thermometer was bouncing back and forth between 65-75 (electronic type).  It was at least in range, maybe a tad high.  The directions with the kit said to just dump the yeast in the fermenter but the back of the package said the rehydrate so I mixed it with warm water and let it sit for 15 minutes then added a 1/4 cup of water and some malt extract.  After a half hour, there was a good bit of bubbles on top, but it didn't look like I had put in enough extract so I added another 1/4 cup water and more extract (LME this time).  It was definitely working when I pitched it. 

So did I get a vigorous fermentation since I did the rehydrate/proof part?  I wish my kit came with a hydrometer but I'm going to get one, hopefully this weekend.  How long should I wait to test gravity though?  I was thinking of letting it sit for at least 10 days and then test. 

ugh, there are so many different ways to do this that I wonder who to listen to.  I am one to follow directions, but when they are confusing, I don't know what to think.  For example, I followed John Palmer's directions in "How to Brew" to proof the yeast.  The kit directions did not explain this.  Also, I followed the directions to steep the grains until the water reached 170 deg, but the directions did not say to rinse the grains.  I got that from somewhere else and rinsed them in a colander with 170 deg water.

Also, I was reading The joy of Homebrewing and they mentioned using a strainer and pitcher to strain out the hops when pouring into the fermenter.  I had already added two gallons of cold water, per the instructions, but I also shook up the gallon jugs of cold water to help aerate.  Then, the straining of the hops actually helped aerate more.  The top of the wort was foamy when I pitched the yeast.  I did not close and shake the bucket before I pitched the yeast because I aerate already.  Should I have done more to aerate or did I do enough? 

The brew was fun though...looking forward to doing it again.  I was actually kicking myself yesterday for not buying another extract kit that was on sale on Black Friday. 

Thanks in advance.
Jim

Offline durrettd

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 12:08:17 PM »
So I got a Beginner brew kit for Christmas and brewed Caribou Slobber recipe on New Year's Eve.  Pitched yeast at 6:30 pm and when I woke in the morning, the airlock was bubbling like crazy.  No foam coming into it or anything but was moving fast.  About mid day yesterday, the bubbling had slowed to one every 4 seconds and when I went to bed around 11pm, it was bubbling about once every 12 seconds.  When I woke this morning, I did not watch for long because I had to leave for work, but I didn't see any bubbles. 

Sounds like most of the fermentation is done. That implies a higher-than-optimum temperature.

It is tough to tell my exact temp when I pitched the yeast because my stupid thermometer was bouncing back and forth between 65-75 (electronic type).  It was at least in range, maybe a tad high.  The directions with the kit said to just dump the yeast in the fermenter but the back of the package said the rehydrate so I mixed it with warm water and let it sit for 15 minutes then added a 1/4 cup of water and some malt extract.  After a half hour, there was a good bit of bubbles on top, but it didn't look like I had put in enough extract so I added another 1/4 cup water and more extract (LME this time).  It was definitely working when I pitched it. 

You won't go wrong following John Palmer's advice. There are other ways to prepare your yeast, but the way you did it obviously worked.  The temperature of wort will vary while you chill it depending on where you put the thermometer. That's probably why your thermometer jumped around. Vigorous stirring will help stabilize/average out the temp. The fermentation is probably finished. That implies your wort was warmer than ideal.


So did I get a vigorous fermentation since I did the rehydrate/proof part?  I wish my kit came with a hydrometer but I'm going to get one, hopefully this weekend.  How long should I wait to test gravity though?  I was thinking of letting it sit for at least 10 days and then test. 

Yeah, the yeast preparation probably contributed to the vigorous fermentation, along with a slightly warm fermentation. Hydrometers are important. Since this was a kit, if you used all the extract and diluted to the specified volume, you hit the specified original gravity. Waiting 10 days sounds good to hit the final gravity. Extract will not ferment to as low a gravity as all grain, but you'l almost certainly complete fermentation (to the extent possible with extract) in ten days. If you get a hydrometer, test gravity at ten days and again two or three days later. If the readings are the same declare fermentation complete and move to your next step - secondary or bottling.

ugh, there are so many different ways to do this that I wonder who to listen to.  I am one to follow directions, but when they are confusing, I don't know what to think.  For example, I followed John Palmer's directions in "How to Brew" to proof the yeast.  The kit directions did not explain this.  Also, I followed the directions to steep the grains until the water reached 170 deg, but the directions did not say to rinse the grains.  I got that from somewhere else and rinsed them in a colander with 170 deg water.

It sounds like you've made good choices. With lots of reading, you'll find whose advice to follow. With practice you'll find your own way to brew.

Also, I was reading The joy of Homebrewing and they mentioned using a strainer and pitcher to strain out the hops when pouring into the fermenter.  I had already added two gallons of cold water, per the instructions, but I also shook up the gallon jugs of cold water to help aerate.  Then, the straining of the hops actually helped aerate more.  The top of the wort was foamy when I pitched the yeast.  I did not close and shake the bucket before I pitched the yeast because I aerate already.  Should I have done more to aerate or did I do enough? 

You wouldn't have hurt the beer by aerating more, but dry yeast manufacturers say you don't need to areate at all because you are pitching enough cells that they don't need to reproduce - they only need oxygen to reproduce; when the oxygen is used up they change over to anaerobic metabolism and start producing alcohol. If you let the wort sit, the hops and trub will settle and you can siphon the wort with minimal hops or trub into the fermenter. You can also just pour everything into the fermenter. There's lots of debate about the effect of hops and trub in the fermenter. You get to decide whether it's worth the effort to keep trub and hops out of the fermenter.

The brew was fun though...looking forward to doing it again.  I was actually kicking myself yesterday for not buying another extract kit that was on sale on Black Friday. 

Thanks in advance.
Jim

It sounds like you did well. You will not go wrong following John Palmer's directions, and yes kit instructions are the bare minimum required to produce beer, but not adequate to produce really good beer. The only change I'd recommend is fermentation temperature control.


Offline top_jimmy44

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 09:38:14 PM »
Thanks durrettd.  I plan on going to get a glass carboy for secondary ferm. tomorrow and see if our local, but very limited brew shop had hydrometers.  If not I'll just order one somewhere.  I checked Northern today and they have numerous to select from.  I think I need a better thermometer too, and something to grab some beer out to test gravity. 

I was doing more research tonight, getting mentally prepared for bottling and ran into another situations where I had questions.  One site I looked at discussed soaking bottles to prepare for bottling in bleach water overnight.  Of course these need to be rinsed and I saw some nice bottle washer attachments for the sink, but if I get one of those to rinse the bottles, I'll be using hot tap water to rinse.  Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the bleach and ruin the sanitize procedure I just did?  Can't I just soak in Star San and then hang up on a bottle tree?  Again, I got a lot of info from the books I have read, but nothing spells this out. 

I'm hoping this brew works though...Also hoping I can dig into making my own recipe with extract and grain.  This summer, we had 4 butternut squash plants grow from seed and in the end had about 30-35 squash.  Still have over 20 in the root cellar and want to make a butternut squash beer with extract and maybe some steeping grains. 

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 11:49:43 PM »
Don't get a glass carboy. And really there is no need for a secondary at all. I've written several posts on this. It doesn't do anything for your beer. Leave it in the primary until it is clear then bottle.

If you insist on a carboy secondary get a better bottle.   Just as good, but not a glass grenade waiting to shatter.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 12:52:17 AM »
I'd like to address the chlorine.  I advise against using chlorine.  When you're at the homebrew store, pick up some StarSan.  Mix it per the instructions.  You can use it to sanitize your fermentors (carboys and buckets) and your bottles.  I have this little hand pumping thing I picked up at the homebrew shop.  It holds about a pint of sanitizing solutions.  I just turn the bottle upside down on the stem on the top and push it down three times.  It flushes the inside of the bottles with sanitizer.  I then put the bottles top down in what is called a fast rack that I picked up at the homebrew store, to let the sanitizer drain out.  Star San is no rinse, so don't rinse the bottles out after sanitizing them.  Stay away from chlorine.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 04:04:44 PM »
I've seen ales ferment that fast. You didn't do anything wrong from what I can tell. Give it a week or two and bottle it. It will be fine.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 01:10:22 PM »
I've seen ales ferment that fast. You didn't do anything wrong from what I can tell. Give it a week or two and bottle it. It will be fine.

+1
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 02:06:24 PM »
Don't get a glass carboy. And really there is no need for a secondary at all. I've written several posts on this. It doesn't do anything for your beer. Leave it in the primary until it is clear then bottle.

If you insist on a carboy secondary get a better bottle.   Just as good, but not a glass grenade waiting to shatter.

+1

I agree.  I've recently stopped using a secondary whenever possible.  My beer comes out just as clear now as it did before.  I just bottled a Pumpkin Ale and it was crystal clear going into the bottle.  Beautiful orange color from the pumpkin and grain bill.

I've never broken a carboy yet, but I'm sure I will someday.  I've got 4 glass carboys from 20 years ago, that I am still using.  If I purchase another it will be a better bottle!
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Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
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 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

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Offline playalinda

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 06:38:17 PM »
I am also new to brewing and I am on to my third kit from Northern Brewer.  My first was Caribou Slobber and it bubbled for about 4 days and then stopped.  According to the instructions it would take between 24 & 48 hours for it to start the fermenting and bubbling.  Mine started this in about 4 hours.  I left it in the carboy for about another week and transferred it to a second carboy as per the instructions.

It was in the second carboy and immediately began to bubble and did so for over two weeks with a fresh batch of foam on the top.  And yes the only way to tell if fermentation has stopped is with a hydrometer over several days.  I suspect the fresh air from the transfer caused the yeast to be more active.

I have one more kit to brew and then I plan to move on to full grain brewing.  I'm starting to get bored with the kits and looking forward to the challenge. 

Bryan

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 06:46:10 PM »
Quote
According to the instructions it would take between 24 & 48 hours for it to start the fermenting and bubbling.

Yeast doesn't follow instructions.

Quote
It was in the second carboy and immediately began to bubble and did so for over two weeks with a fresh batch of foam on the top.

Like I said, yeast doesn't follow instructions.

Many here will tell you that the secondary is not needed, and they're not wrong. I use one, but that's because of how my brewery is setup. I've got one huge glass carboy that I use as a primary, and several five gallon ones that I use as secondaries.

At the moment I've got a pilsner downstairs that I started two Saturdays ago.  It's still got crusty krausen on top, so it's not going anywhere. Only when the krausen falls and it starts to clear will I transfer it. 

The yeast doesn't follow instructions. It gives them.

Quote
I have one more kit to brew and then I plan to move on to full grain brewing.  I'm starting to get bored with the kits and looking forward to the challenge. 

You won't look back. I've been dinged for saying this, but I don't care. To me the difference between extract and all grain is the difference between instant coffee and grinding your beans.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 06:49:09 PM by Maine Homebrewer »
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Offline philm63

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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 06:11:50 AM »
You won't look back. I've been dinged for saying this, but I don't care. To me the difference between extract and all grain is the difference between instant coffee and grinding your beans.

+1

Instant is for when you just don't have the time or resources to grind your own beans. (there actually IS an analogy in there somewhere...)
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Re: Fermentation stopped after 1 day
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 06:49:26 AM »
Agreed as well. I just make a batch of extract IPA thinking the equipment changes over time would make it better.  Its still good beer.  But its still different.

 

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