Author Topic: Newbie question - krausen  (Read 2403 times)

Offline M-O-O-N That spells beer!

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Newbie question - krausen
« on: April 18, 2015, 12:42:43 PM »
Brewing my first batch, a NB Irish Red. Brew day was 6 days ago, pitched Safale US-05. Temps have been around 68 degrees. Healthy fermentation started the next morning. This is a 2 stage kit, I know that that the airlock is not how you tell if primary is completely done. There's still a thin amount of krausen on the top and the airlock does bubble about once a minute.

Should I wait to take the hydrometer reading or take it now? OG 1.042
Beer Smith software recommends 4 days in primary (seems too early to me) and 10 days in secondary.

Here is the pic:

imgupload
Your thoughts?
Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 01:25:53 PM by M-O-O-N That spells beer! »
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 12:52:52 PM »
I've had beers where the krausen just wouldn't drop until I cold crashed and gave it a little gentle stir. After 6 days I would check gravity and wait another few days to check again.

I'm assuming 2 stage means they want you to transfer to another fermenter? If so, don't bother.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 12:55:53 PM »
Don't bother with transferring to a secondary - it's dated thinking that just isn't necessary for most beers, including this one. Transferring a beer too soon can cause fermentation to not finish properly and cause off flavors/aromas. Take a gravity reading now to see where you're at. The way to verify that fermentation is done is to get identical gravity readings over consecutive days. 3 identical readings would be good. Good luck !
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Offline inbituinthebrew

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 07:51:15 PM »
Don't bother with transferring to a secondary - it's dated thinking that just isn't necessary for most beers, including this one. Transferring a beer too soon can cause fermentation to not finish properly and cause off flavors/aromas. Take a gravity reading now to see where you're at. The way to verify that fermentation is done is to get identical gravity readings over consecutive days. 3 identical readings would be good. Good luck !

+1. I usually leave mine in there for about 7-10 days. Sometimes a little more if I'm lazy and I want to call it purposeful conditioning.  ;D

Maybe I missed it... what exactly were you doing in the secondary?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 08:49:33 PM »
The best reasons to rack the beer off of the yeast are 1. Its all done fermenting and cleaning up fermentation byproducts; 2. To prevent the yeast from dying of old age and leaking their inards into the beer. Number 1 can happen in 7 days, but number 2 won't normally happen for a couple of months or more. There are other reasons, but these two apply to every beer.

The most frequent problem with new brewers is patience, or following outdated instructions. The flow usually goes like this. Rack off of yeast too soon when the beer is not fully fermented and still has a few points to go, and still has some diacetyl. Then open the bottle too soon and wonder why there's no carbonation. Also notice a buttery slickness and wonder if more time in the bottle will clear that up. Then at about 2 weeks the carbonation is right but the diacetyl is still there. Then after a month every bottle is a gusher because they bottled when the beer still had several points to go before it was done. End result is that the lack of patients netted them one bottle of properly carbonated beer with an off flavor. The rest gets dumped.

I suggest waiting until there is no activity for a few days, then take a gravity reading. Write down the number and taste the sample. Is it slick or buttery butterscotch? After about 3-7 more days take another reading. You're looking for two identical readings and no off flavors. It may take another few days and a third reading.

Offline M-O-O-N That spells beer!

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 11:47:22 AM »
The best reasons to rack the beer off of the yeast are 1. Its all done fermenting and cleaning up fermentation byproducts; 2. To prevent the yeast from dying of old age and leaking their inards into the beer. Number 1 can happen in 7 days, but number 2 won't normally happen for a couple of months or more. There are other reasons, but these two apply to every beer.

Thanks for all of the responses. I was following instructions on using a secondary fermentation so that the yeast will finish off the beer and clean up any byproducts from the fermentation. My main concern was that after 6 days, there was still a thin layer on top of the beer (or is it still wort?)

My original first batch early this year didn't go so well, the 5 gallon boil pot wouldn't work on a flat electric stove, I used a solution too strong of sanitizer (1 ounce of Saniclean to 1 gallon of water) since I was using Mark's II Kegwasher to sanitize, and it was fermenting in a basement too cool for an Ale (~56 degrees).

To rectify my problems from the above, I bought a Blichmann burner for outside, Starsan to sanitize, waited for warmer weather and brought the carboy in the kitchen, where fermentation is now a steady 68 degrees.

I can wait for the finished product but it really has me twitching for the finished product, since this all originally started in January/February  :-[



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Offline inbituinthebrew

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 02:51:16 PM »

Thanks for all of the responses. I was following instructions on using a secondary fermentation so that the yeast will finish off the beer and clean up any byproducts from the fermentation. My main concern was that after 6 days, there was still a thin layer on top of the beer (or is it still wort?)


Yeah that does sound like a headache.. sorry to hear your first batch went like that. Sounds like you have everything under control now.

As far as the fermentation, the yeast will still be able to finish off the beer and clean up any byproducts in the primary fermenter so you shouldn't have any issues leaving it there. As klickitat jim mentioned, it will take a while before autolysis becomes a factor. It's also argued that transferring to a secondary fermenter may also introduce unnecessary/undesirable oxygen. Just something to think about.
Conrad B.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 03:56:58 PM »
+1 to above comments.  Let it sit for two weeks in primary before taking a gravity reading and most likely packaging (bottling or kegging).  That will give the yeast ample time to clean up any by-products of fermentation that are not so clean (acetaldehyde, diacetyl, etc) and make for a better finished product. 

The fermentation does appear to be done but be patient and you will be rewarded with a delicious Irish Red. 
Congrats on sticking to it after your first troubled batch.  Just think of how much you learned from batch 1 to batch 2.  Now get brewing on another batch to keep up the pipeline! 

Cheers -
Brewinhard

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 06:22:05 PM »
I also recommend letting the beer sit in the primary for at least a week, better for two and even three if you're busy.
The temperature you had for your first batch is probably better for brewing ales.  You have to remember that the fermentation creates heat, so the wort may be six to ten degrees warmer than ambient.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2015, 02:28:04 AM »
+1 for keeping it in primary for at least 2 weeks.
Give the yeast time and you will be rewarded.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 03:26:18 AM »
My current batches, a dunkel and a helles, brewed with Munich 2308, pitched 4/1 and has been at final gravity for a week. They both still have yeast floaties. No off flavors, its not mold or brett or toe jam. Just the way it worked out. Now my temp is set to 30º so I can jell fine them for a week. Keg them up next weekend and brew up some saisons.

Offline brulosopher

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 04:32:11 AM »
You've been told numerous times already not to rack to a secondary, which I'd like to echo. I've also done an exBEERiment on the topic, perhaps you'll find it interesting:

http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/12/primary-only-vs-transfer-to-secondary-exbeeriment-results/

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2015, 06:15:36 AM »
Yeast autolysis is not a problem if one is pitching a starter that is propagated from lab grown yeast every time one brews.  However, the time delta between pitching and autolysis shortens as a culture is repitched due the high percentage of old yeast cells going into the ferment.  All yeast cells lyse at the end of their life span, and old cells are closer to that point going into a ferment.

Has anyone ever heard of the double-drop system?  Double-drop is a bi-level fermentation system where beer is allowed to ferment for around 12 to 18 hours in an upper fermentation vessel before being dropped into one or more fermentation vessels known as pontos.  The process achieves two important things.  The old dead cells and the break are left behind in the upper fermentation vessel, and the beer is further aerated.  Oxidation while yeast cells are still in suspension is little more than a home brewing myth.  If you do not believe me, check out the video linked below.  The beer shown in the video is actively fermenting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w&t=12

« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 03:30:19 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2015, 10:23:23 AM »
Yeast autolysis is not a problem if one is pitching a starter that is propagated from lab grown yeast every time one brews.  However, the time delta between pitching and autolysis shortens as a culture is repitched due the high percentage of old yeast cells going into the ferment.  All yeast cells lyse at the end of their life span, and old cells are closer to that point going into a ferment.

What about properly rehydrated dry yeast? How "safe" is that from autolysis? I don't typically use dry yeast, but I've got a US-05 beer that's been in primary waiting for life to calm down.
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Re: Newbie question - krausen
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2015, 12:09:24 PM »
Yeast autolysis is not a problem if one is pitching a starter that is propagated from lab grown yeast every time one brews.  However, the time delta between pitching and autolysis shortens as a culture is repitched due the high percentage of old yeast cells going into the ferment.  All yeast cells lyse at the end of their life span, and old cells are closer to that point going into a ferment.

Has anyone ever heard of the double-drop system?  Double-drop is a bi-level fermentation system where beer is allowed to ferment for around 12 to 18 hours in an upper fermentation vessel before being dropped into one of more fermentation vessels known as pontos.  The process achieves two important things.  The old dead cells and the break are left behind in the upper fermentation vessel, and the beer is further aerated.  Oxidation while yeast cells are still in suspension is little more than a home brewing myth.  If you do not believe me, check out the video linked below.  The beer shown in the video is actively fermenting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w&t=12
If you tour the Fuller's brewery they have one set of the double drop system as a display piece, everything is in conicals now.

Breakspear beers are still made using the double drop.
http://www.brakspear-beers.co.uk/history

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