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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: theoman on October 29, 2012, 12:55:23 PM

Title: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: theoman on October 29, 2012, 12:55:23 PM
I brewed a batch of 1.050 OG beer a week ago, pitched with S-04 then proceeded to break my hydrometer during clean-up. I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to bottle after a week. There was no airlock activity for at least a couple days, but of course I couldn’t take any gravity readings. Did I make a mistake? I’ve never used 04 before, but I thought I read somewhere that fermentation goes quick, like only a few days.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: mainebrewer on October 29, 2012, 01:08:44 PM
I don't know if it was a mistake or not but you did hurry the process.
S-04 does run through the active fermentation phase pretty quickly but generally speaking most yeast needs a few days after the active phase to finish the process.
Did you taste the beer while you were bottling?
If it wasn't doen fermenting, the beer will be over-carbed and you'll have gushers.
Anyway, at this point you won't know how the beer turned out until you open the first bottle.
 

Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: jaydubya on October 29, 2012, 01:11:36 PM
I use S-04 a lot and it is a very fast yeast. Don't know what style you are making or how much you pitched but generally at 1.050 OG your beer should come out fine at a week though the flavor might be effected with a shorted time. Did you taste it before bottling? How did it taste?
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: a10t2 on October 29, 2012, 02:17:06 PM
It should be fine. Assuming you pitched enough yeast, an average-gravity ale will reach FG in 3-5 days.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: theoman on October 29, 2012, 02:17:49 PM
Yeah, I tasted it. It seemed a little sweet (malty, really), but I kind of expected that considering my mash temps and malts used. It actually tasted surprisingly finished.

There's not much I can do now. It'll be fine. It always is. I did prime it fairly weak, so that might help.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: nateo on October 29, 2012, 10:27:54 PM
I've had S-04 hit terminal gravity within 48 hours. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 31, 2012, 05:05:13 PM
Brew up another batch and match the conditions, if you really want to know.  You can then actually measure it.  My guess is that it will be fine, as I agree that S-04 is a quick muncher and settler at reasonable temperatures.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: theoman on December 05, 2012, 08:56:22 AM
Update: RDWHAHB wins again. The beer is excellent! It's a bit more bitter than I expected after my first FWH attempt, but not in a bad way.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: euge on December 05, 2012, 02:48:32 PM
For an average strength beer the attenuative phase is over in 72 hours or less once it gets going. I've had krausen hang around for weeks though. I usually won't mess with the beer until it drops.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on December 05, 2012, 04:09:26 PM
Update: RDWHAHB wins again. The beer is excellent! It's a bit more bitter than I expected after my first FWH attempt, but not in a bad way.

Thanks for the update! OP's don't do this enough, but it really helps close the loop on the learning process for everyone.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 05, 2012, 05:11:53 PM
Goes to show despite what some people pound around as gospel (pun not intended) you do not need weeks or months in primary before fermentation and clean up is over.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: denny on December 05, 2012, 05:24:01 PM
Goes to show despite what some people pound around as gospel (pun not intended) you do not need weeks or months in primary before fermentation and clean up is over.

I'd say "You don't always need weeks in primary".  Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: yso191 on December 05, 2012, 05:49:09 PM
Goes to show despite what some people pound around as gospel (pun not intended) you do not need weeks or months in primary before fermentation and clean up is over.

I'd say "You don't always need weeks in primary".  Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.

Denny, would you please expand on this?  Is it a function of the krausen dropping like Euge said above?  IOW, how do I know it is OK to keg and cold condition?

Steve
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: morticaixavier on December 05, 2012, 06:37:37 PM
Goes to show despite what some people pound around as gospel (pun not intended) you do not need weeks or months in primary before fermentation and clean up is over.

I'd say "You don't always need weeks in primary".  Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.

Denny, would you please expand on this?  Is it a function of the krausen dropping like Euge said above?  IOW, how do I know it is OK to keg and cold condition?

Steve

once the gravity has stabilized it's all about taste and style. Some styles like to be young some like a little more time and some like weeks or months. I occasionally do a ordinary bitter from grain to glass in 8 days but with stout I just kegged it wasn't really ready even to be cold crashed for 3 or 4 weeks.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: denny on December 05, 2012, 07:20:10 PM
once the gravity has stabilized it's all about taste and style. Some styles like to be young some like a little more time and some like weeks or months. I occasionally do a ordinary bitter from grain to glass in 8 days but with stout I just kegged it wasn't really ready even to be cold crashed for 3 or 4 weeks.

This^^^^

Once FG has been reached, I wait for the krausen to drop, the beer to clear, and for it to taste "done".  Sometimes the yeast works faster than other times.  While I shoot for consistency in these things, it's a hobby and I don't have a set schedule.  I let the beer make the schedule.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: yso191 on December 05, 2012, 07:43:21 PM
Thanks to both of you.  I think this is the biggest hole in my understanding about brewing.  By taste, do you mean the abscence of diacetyl, etc.?  Or is it more that it doesn't taste like fermenting wort anymore and more like beer?

Steve
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: denny on December 05, 2012, 08:07:36 PM
What I mean is that it tastes like something you'd want to drink.  Yeah, it's pretty subjective.  Start with that criterion, then take into account things that you know will age out or be removed, like diacetyl.  You'll learn as you brew more.
Title: Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
Post by: euge on December 05, 2012, 09:48:00 PM
It takes practice. A lot of practice and a few stinkers here and there to "educate" oneself. Despite other's advice I've, uh... tried various approaches and experiments and pretty much have figured out what works and what doesn't. Had to learn the hard way.

It does help to have a Carbonator cap. That way one can carb up a sample to see what it will actually taste like carbonated. I may be in a minority in this but have spigots installed in all my fermenters. This gives me the ability to draw off samples whenever I like, which is particularly useful when trying new yeast, temperatures and recipes. Again, once I've establish how things will behave I won't fiddle with the beer and leave it to do it's thang.

And quite certainly the brewer can have their beer ready to be drunk in less than a week. Just takes skill, knowledge and the right approach and criteria.