Author Topic: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?  (Read 1990 times)

Offline my99thtry

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< 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« on: November 24, 2009, 05:05:08 PM »
Signs of fermentation have stopped after 48 hrs.

I pitched my yeast at 5pm on Sunday.  Signs of vigorous fermentation were visible through the airlock on Monday morning and still going strong on Tuesday morning.  However by 6pm Tuesday evening all activity in the airlock stopped.  No bubbling through the airlock.

What does this mean?


Here is some background info:
- Brown Ale
- Wyeast 1272
- Activated smack-pack on Saturday night before brewing (I believe I followed all directions from my homebrew store and packaging)
- Cooled Wort to ~ 75 F and pitched
- Original Gravity: 1051
- Aerated through stirring pitched wort
- Primary fermentor is 6.5 gallon plastic bucket (from standard brew kit)
- Fermentation temperature has been a steady 67 - 68 deg. F




Online Kaiser

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 07:01:15 PM »
What's the current gravity?

Kai

Offline a10t2

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 08:20:05 PM »
I think most people would agree that 75°F is too warm to pitch. How are you measuring the temperature during fermentation? If 67°F is the temperature of the air, the beer could be quite a bit warmer (in fact, it probably never got much below 75°F), which would explain the fast fermentation.
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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2009, 04:18:20 AM »
Agree, 75 is a bit warm. I would never advise pitching over 68-70 degrees, and preferably a few degrees cooler than this. Are you sure the fermentation temp, which will be 4-6+ degrees over ambient temp, was 67-68? If so that would mean your house (or fermentation control unit, whatever you use) was set around 62 degrees.

Regardless, let it sit another couple of days and then check the gravity.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 05:06:28 AM »
Agree, 75 is a bit warm. I would never advise pitching over 68-70 degrees, and preferably a few degrees cooler than this. Are you sure the fermentation temp, which will be 4-6+ degrees over ambient temp, was 67-68? If so that would mean your house (or fermentation control unit, whatever you use) was set around 62 degrees.

Regardless, let it sit another couple of days and then check the gravity.

+1

Eventhough the airlock activity has ceased the yeast has not necessarily finished it's job. I usually allow some extra time after I acheive my targeted attenuation to allow the residual yeast in suspension to fall.
Ron Price

Offline my99thtry

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 07:55:12 AM »
I got the 75F pitching temp from my local home brew store's directions.  They also helped arrange the recipe for me.  In hindsight I wish I had been more patient, chilled to a lower temp and followed some of the more standard pitching temperatures as some of you have suggested.

The 67 - 68 is the air temperature.  So yes the liquid temp is very likely higher.

I have not yet taken a second gravity reading.  I will do that in another couple of days.  I didn't want to start panicking a fiddling with it too much. 

Given that I have potentially pitched at too high a temperature, 1) what are my potential corrective actions at this point 2) what does this mean for the condition of my yeast and 3) what are the potential affects on the final product?

Thanks for all of your input.

Offline a10t2

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 08:17:12 AM »
Wait another 10 days or so. Even if you are at FG right now, extra contact time will allow the yeast to clean up some of the off-flavors they might have produced due to the high temperature. It can't hurt to rock the fermenter a few times a day during this period, to keep the yeast in suspension as much as possible.

Here's some advice on fermentation temperatures for next time: http://seanterrill.com/2009/05/20/regulating-fermentation-temperatures/
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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 08:24:48 AM »
I got the 75F pitching temp from my local home brew store's directions. 

I see that a lot and I don’t like it. Just last night I was asked to double check a HBS’ directions for making a lager which asked for pitching at 75 F (!!!!).

To understand this you have to keep in mind that a HBS’ primary objective is to make the process simple and avoid calls from angry customers when they don’t see fermentation within a day or so. They also look for a method that allows pitching a beer w/o the use of a yeast starter.

But many experienced brewers will tell you that your beer will be better if you ferment slightly on the cool side for the yeast (65-68F for ale and 48-50 for lager) and pitch a few degrees cooler than the fermentation temp. This allows the yeast to get up to speed more gently and they won’t produce as much esters and , which is most importantly, fusels. But to make this happen with a reasonable lag time and fermentation performance you need to pitch more yeast than there is in a vial or smack pack. This is in particular true for lagers. Here is where starters come into play. They are mini fermentations aimed at vitalizing and possibly multiplying the yeast.

You may also use dry yeast where you don’t have to make a starter.

Kai

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2009, 08:39:28 AM »
+ to Kai's comments. Most HBS guys are trying to make it convenient for you and figure that if the experience is easy you will come back and buy more kits even if the process doesn;t make the best beer possible. I wouldn't sweat it too much though. Let the beer sit for a few more days, then take a reading. You may not have made the best beer possible but it will still likely turn out very well.
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Offline denny

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 09:34:58 AM »
Given that I have potentially pitched at too high a temperature, 1) what are my potential corrective actions at this point

Not too much you can do at this point really

2) what does this mean for the condition of my yeast

It shouldn't have any effect on the health of your yeast.  You pitched at too high a temp in terms of beer quality, but not so high as to damage the yeast.

3) what are the potential affects on the final product?

With that strain of yeast, you could have anything from a beer with a lot of fruity esters to a beer high in fusel alcohols. 
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Offline bonjour

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2009, 10:28:17 AM »
Pitching cool and letting the fermenting wort come up to fermentation temp is the single most important thing MOST homebrewers can do to improve their beer.

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Offline my99thtry

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Re: < 48 Hr. Primary Fermentation?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 08:00:47 AM »
Quick follow up

Gravity reading after 7 days: 1011 - 1014

Racked into a secondary ferm. and I'll let it go a bit longer.


Thanks for all of your input.