Author Topic: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen  (Read 1434 times)

Offline dmtaylor

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Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« on: September 14, 2010, 05:30:17 AM »
When I make a yeast starter, I am used to seeing a big foamy krausen on top, complete with "braun hefe".  But my last starter for my saison, made with WLP570, had absolutely zero foam, and now, after 24 hours, my fermenting beer (2.5 gallon batch) appears likewise -- it is obviously fermenting strongly, but there is no krausen.  How could this be?  I wonder if I screwed up the starter wort somehow, but I don't know how.  I know the starter was fermenting strongly as indicated by the tiny bubbles rising that broke when they hit the surface, and I ended up with much more yeast on the bottom than I started with.  And of course, all the spicy fruitiness in the aroma and flavor to go with it.  But what gives?  Is this normal perhaps for WLP570?  Are there sufficient fusels being produced to entirely kill head retention?  Is my final beer also going to have zero head retention, or will it be much different after fermentation is complete?  In both the starter and in the fermenter, it is going at about 73 F, which I figure is fine for a saison.  Finally, is there anything I can do after fermentation has started to perhaps improve head retention in my final beer?  A saison with zero head just seems so wrong to me.
Dave

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010, 06:40:44 AM »
I have seen very thin to almost no krausen before in some of my beers.  I think it really depends on the temp and the yeast.  If you are concerned with head retention I would add a small quantity of wheat malt to your saison. With the addition of wheat, Munich and Vienna to compliment the Pilsner your head retention should be adequate.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 09:44:20 AM »
Aren't saison strains notorious for fermenting without much visible activity? I kind of doubt it's fusels, or any other problem.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 10:13:16 AM »
You can add that FoamTrol stuff to your fermenter to reduce/elimante krausen without affecting head retention, so krausen and head retention aren't necessarily tied together.

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Offline bluedog

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Re: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 09:31:11 AM »
I brewed my first saison this summer and had the exact same thing happen - activity in the airlock but no krausen in the carboy. I fermented with the Wyeast French saison strain. I usually transfer to a secondary when the krausen falls but in this case I just kept an eye on the airlock and checked the gravity a couple of extra times. The beer finished dry and tastes great. It was kegged so I can't speak for head retention if you plan on bottling. Mine turned out fine.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 10:01:43 AM »
Thanks for the feedback guys.  Sounds like I just need to RDWHAHB.  Even folks who have brewed for 11 years need to do that on occasion.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)