Author Topic: Strange Fermentation  (Read 861 times)

Offline chuckc1

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Strange Fermentation
« on: September 04, 2014, 05:06:29 PM »
Hey all, did my first all grain pumpkin ale over the weekend. Checked the pre-boil gravity at 1.036 and recipe called for 1.041. My temps may have been off at the test. Continued with the 90-minute boil, cooled to about 75-80F and post boil gravity was dead on at 1.056. Continued working to get temps down to under 70F. Checked gravity into the primary and was still around the 1.056 mark. Checked temps and they were 67-69-degrees. Pitched the yeast fasten the airlock and left it in the back room in the swamp cooler in the corner. Next morn a  Krausen foam was beginning. Got home from work that afternoon and the airlock was bubbling away. Large krausen foam. Next morn the airlock was clogged. Quickly changed the airlock, I had one sitting in sanitizer waiting just in case. Got home that afternoon, foam was gone and no bubbling from airlock. If I use a light and look through the cracks of the krausen ring, there are small patches of foam on the surface. You might see a few bubbles in the beer, but nothing like the day before. My first all grain and all the numbers looked right, just curious if this is what is known as stuck fermentation. I forgot, I pitched with dry yeast SafAle-04.

Offline pete b

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 05:37:53 PM »
Sounds like it just took off fast, especially if it clogged the airlock. 67-69 is still on the warm side especially if talking about ambient temperature. If there is quite a bit of headspace I'm not surprised that there is no airlock activity. When you replaced the airlock a lot of CO2 likely escaped so it would need to build up quite a bit in the headspace before the airlock would bubble. If it were me I would wait a couple days and take a gravity reading then take another two days later.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 06:02:54 PM »
+1, no way to tell without measuring.
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Offline mattybrass

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 06:13:20 PM »
If the yeast took off quick enough its certainly feasible that most of the fermentation is complete in only a few days. but like the other guys +1 to now knowing until you check the gravity.

Offline dcb

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 06:50:24 PM »
Also, a 1.036 will finish faster than one with a higher OG.  You might also have some tiny leak after changing the airlock, maybe where the airlock shaft goes in.   I wouldn't sweat it-- airlock bubbles are a pretty gross indication of what's going on.

Offline denny

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 07:02:54 PM »
Also, a 1.036 will finish faster than one with a higher OG.  You might also have some tiny leak after changing the airlock, maybe where the airlock shaft goes in.   I wouldn't sweat it-- airlock bubbles are a pretty gross indication of what's going on.

Boy, that's the truth!  I'm just entering the world of low gravity fermentation.  For other beers, it takes 2-3 weeks for me.  For my American milds, 3 days seems to do it!  That's at a controlled 63F using WY1450.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2014, 07:14:57 PM »
Also, a 1.036 will finish faster than one with a higher OG.  You might also have some tiny leak after changing the airlock, maybe where the airlock shaft goes in.   I wouldn't sweat it-- airlock bubbles are a pretty gross indication of what's going on.

Boy, that's the truth!  I'm just entering the world of low gravity fermentation.  For other beers, it takes 2-3 weeks for me.  For my American milds, 3 days seems to do it!  That's at a controlled 63F using WY1450.

yup, low gravity fermentations are quick. generally I expect to have a <1.040 beer fully carbed and serving in 2 weeks. Heck, in two weeks it'll be half gone.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2014, 07:31:07 PM »
Unless I read it wrong, 1.036 was his pre-boil gravity.  His OG was 1.056 which still isn't overly high but can cause a pretty vigorous blowoff.  It could still be mostly done in a couple, 3 days though.

Paul
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2014, 07:34:12 PM »
Unless I read it wrong, 1.036 was his pre-boil gravity.  His OG was 1.056 which still isn't overly high but can cause a pretty vigorous blowoff. 

Paul

Good catch !
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Offline dcb

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 09:22:15 PM »
Unless I read it wrong, 1.036 was his pre-boil gravity.  His OG was 1.056 which still isn't overly high but can cause a pretty vigorous blowoff.  It could still be mostly done in a couple, 3 days though.

Your eyes (and maybe comprehension, attention to detail, and overall intelligence) are better than mine.  I stand corrected!

Offline chuckc1

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 09:56:51 PM »
Thanks everyone for responding. I definitely feel better now. This was my first all grain and I studied John Palmer and Brad Smith for two weeks. I was afraid I had over studied and screwed the batch.
I belong to several forums covering different hobbies and professions. I am still just overwhelmed at the responses and the willingness to help that you find with any of the home brew forums. You folks are the best!!!!

Offline pete b

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2014, 12:16:33 AM »
We just can't believe that there are people out there who will listen to us ramble on about fermentation temperature and sanitation.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Strange Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2014, 10:14:33 AM »
Also, a 1.036 will finish faster than one with a higher OG.  You might also have some tiny leak after changing the airlock, maybe where the airlock shaft goes in.   I wouldn't sweat it-- airlock bubbles are a pretty gross indication of what's going on.

Boy, that's the truth!  I'm just entering the world of low gravity fermentation.  For other beers, it takes 2-3 weeks for me.  For my American milds, 3 days seems to do it!  That's at a controlled 63F using WY1450.

yup, low gravity fermentations are quick. generally I expect to have a <1.040 beer fully carbed and serving in 2 weeks. Heck, in two weeks it'll be half gone.

I have a neighbor that says he won't waste the propane on a low gravity beer, but he loves to drink mine!   

Hey, Denny - that Cigar City Mild - El Lector - is in that book "Craft Beers for the Homebrewer".  I will be racking it to keg this weekend.  I brewed it 8-24-14.  Samples were great. 
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