Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: gcam333 on March 29, 2010, 02:16:45 PM

Title: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: gcam333 on March 29, 2010, 02:16:45 PM
I started my first batch on Saturday. Things went pretty smooth for the most part. Just the typical rookie mistakes I guess.
Sealed up the fermenter, took 2 steps away and remebered the yeast. Opened it back up and added the yeast, dry sprinkled on top. Then I knocked over my cylinder of wort before I could check the OG. Decided not to open it again. Just moved on .This was at 3:30 Sat afternoon. Placed the fermenter in a container of water with a T-Shirt over it for cooling like suggested by MAJORVICES. This worked very well keeping the wort in the low 60's. By Sunday AM 7:00 had active fermentation. Continuous bubbling in he airlock. 11:00pm Sunday night still very active. This morning (Mon AM) the bubbling had slowed to one gurgle every 20 sec.  Is this normal? Or am I just paranoid? It just seems like it should not have slowed down so dramatically.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: tygo on March 29, 2010, 02:33:39 PM
That does seem a little quick but without knowing your OG it's tough to say.  What OG were you shooting for?  Which yeast did you use?
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: gcam333 on March 29, 2010, 02:48:59 PM
I spilled my cylinder of wort before I got to check the OG. This was MW-Autumn Amber, target was 1.042-1.046. I used the Muntons 6g dry yest that came with the kit. The cooling suggestion from MAJORVICES really worked. To the point of maybe getting too low. the wort has stayed between 62-68F.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: tygo on March 29, 2010, 03:50:58 PM
62-68 should be fine.  If this is a five gallon batch you underpitched a bit but that doesn't sound like the problem.  Actually you may not have a problem at all.  The gravity on that isn't all that high so if you had an active fermentation it might already be done.  It's only been two days so just let it go for another few days and then take a gravity reading.  If it's considerably higher than what you expected let us know and we'll go from there.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: beerrat on March 29, 2010, 04:00:09 PM
I think you be fine - you still have activity after 2 days.  I used this yeast a few times when I started brewing 2 years ago and I've seen a similar pattern - slowing at the end of the second day and no activity by the forth.  My temps were about 65F.  I took gravities readings on day 5 and 7 to see if it was done, then let it sit a couple more until I had time to bottle.

I no longer use this yeast.  It did make good beer, but other yeasts enabled me to make better beer. (That and a lot of experience learned from sites like this).
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: The Professor on March 29, 2010, 04:05:25 PM
I've had brew in this gravity range completely  finish in 3 days (not typical since I prefer a slower ferment, but it has happened).
 If you want to play it safe, give the fermenter a swirl to resuspend some yeast and leave it for a day or two more or even a bit longer.   Even if it is finished, a couple extra days on the yeast won't hurt.

It's not a strong beer you're making (considering your estimated OG) so you're probably be fine.   

It's situations like this that command us to call up the old "...relax, don't worry..." mantra.   Once you get a bunch more batches under your belt (a belt which, by the way, will probably eventually need a few extra holes as a result  ::)) and once you settle into the process, have confidence in your sanitation,  and learn to just trust nature to do the job of fermentation, the worry aspect will disappear almost entirely. 
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: gcam333 on March 29, 2010, 06:13:08 PM
I did give it a little of a swirl this morning before I left for work. I started to pick up some safale-05 like I was advised to do but did'nt do it ??? I'll check it again this evening and let you know. As much as it has slowed down do you think it will be OK to bottle after 14 days in the primary? That was the original plan. Going on Vacation next week.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: tygo on March 29, 2010, 06:54:05 PM
As much as it has slowed down do you think it will be OK to bottle after 14 days in the primary? That was the original plan. Going on Vacation next week.

Probably.  But take hydrometer readings to confirm it's done.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: gcam333 on March 29, 2010, 10:13:31 PM
If the possibilty that I underpitched the yeast is true will this affect the carbonation when I prime for bottling? Could I re-pitch?

By the way I just got home it gurgles once every 25 seconds.  I appreciate all of the help.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: lostralph on March 29, 2010, 10:22:47 PM
I actually used munton's dry yeast for my first 5 or so extract batches, what you are seeing is normal in my experience.  You won't need to repitch, for any yeast you'll still have plenty in suspension to bottle even a month after start of fermentation, again speaking from experience.  It doesn't take alot of yeast to carbonate your beer.
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: gcam333 on April 03, 2010, 12:59:01 PM
I checked the gravity today after 8 days. It was 1.018  target was 1.010-1.012.  There has been Zero activity on the airlock for 4 days now. The beer was cloudier than I expected, however it has a nice aroma and actually tasted pretty good except for being flat. There was evidence that the krausen rose to the top of the bucket during fermentation, as it should. Did I just get low attenuation or is it still working even though not bubbling? Should I leave it for another week (leaving on vacation tomorrow) or go ahead and bottle tonite?
Thanks in advance for your help.

Gcam
Title: Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
Post by: beerrat on April 03, 2010, 03:32:09 PM
I'd let 'em go and check the gravity after you return.  I usually have my ales in the primary 14-21 days as I bottle/keg when I have the right time.  Assuming that when you are on vacation the temp of the beer can be kept in right temp range an you have a filled air lock.
When you come back and if gravity has not changed, then you know you are good to bottle.