Author Topic: All Grain Irish Red from Northern Brewer - Stopped bubbling after 2 days.  (Read 3909 times)

Offline BinaryBrew

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Visible fermentation has stopped after two days.  I ferment in a bucket so there is no blow off, there is plenty of head space in the bucket for the crausen.  This is kinda normal for all the beers I have brewed so far, but this one worries me.  It fermented very aggressively for the first two days, now nothing. I checked it and there is still a layer of foam on the top and no odd smells. I use Wyeast list in my ingredients below and grew it up for two days before I pitched it into the wort. I plan on checking the gravity tonight to see how far it has dropped.  Any thoughts from the experts on why the fermentation was so short?  Or is it still fermenting, but its just slowed to the point that I dont notice the bubbling anymore? I keep it in a storage room that stays at ~ 68 to 70 degrees.  :-[

thanks for the help.

7.5 lbs Rahr 2-row Pale
.75 lbs Belgian Caramel Pils
.25 lbs Briess Special Roast
.125 lbs Belgian Biscuit Malt
.125 lbs Simpsons Chocolate

Wyeast #1272 American Ale Yeast II
Grown for 2 days with 3/4 cup of maltodextrin and 650 ml of water.

1 oz. Willamette Hops - 60 minutes (start of boil)
1 oz. US Goldings - 30 minutes (mid boil)

Mash 157 degrees for 60 minutes.

Gravity after sparge: 1.035
Volume of wort after sparge: 7 gallons 

Boiled for 60 minutes

Gravity after boil: 1.047 (OG)
Volume after boil: 4.9 gallons
Added about 1 quart of water to top off to 5 gallons.
After stirring - gravity was 1.045 (set this as my OG)

Yeast pitched at 73 degrees at 730pm on 3/20/2011



Offline chezteth

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With a proper pitch rate, the O.G. of the wort and the ferment temp. it is possible to ferment that quickly.  Have you taken a gravity measurement recently?  I brewed an ordinary bitter with O.G. 1.040 and used a proper starter.  It finished fermenting within 3 days.  I had it bottled within the week.

Happy Brewing,
Brandon

Offline Hokerer

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Wyeast #1272 American Ale Yeast II
Grown for 2 days with 3/4 cup of maltodextrin and 650 ml of water.

You didn't really make your starter using maltodextrin, did you?  You do know that maltodextrin is mostly unfermentable, right?  The point of a starter is to grow your yeast and the yeast can't digest maltodextrin so the starter didn't really accomplish anything.
Joe

Offline Mark G

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Considering the high mash temp, grain bill, low starting gravity, fermentation temp, etc., I'd guess that you're fine and the most active part of the ferment is over. It will still need some time to completely finish. Check the gravity now and again in about a week and see where you're at.
Mark Gres

Offline Mark G

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Wyeast #1272 American Ale Yeast II
Grown for 2 days with 3/4 cup of maltodextrin and 650 ml of water.

You didn't really make your starter using maltodextrin, did you?  You do know that maltodextrin is mostly unfermentable, right?  The point of a starter is to grow your yeast and the yeast can't digest maltodextrin so the starter didn't really accomplish anything.
Good point. Didn't notice that. I'm hoping he meant DME.
Mark Gres

Offline denny

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Was it the room temp or the beer temp you posted?  If it's the room, the beer was likely much warmer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BinaryBrew

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Wyeast #1272 American Ale Yeast II
Grown for 2 days with 3/4 cup of maltodextrin and 650 ml of water.

You didn't really make your starter using maltodextrin, did you?  You do know that maltodextrin is mostly unfermentable, right?  The point of a starter is to grow your yeast and the yeast can't digest maltodextrin so the starter didn't really accomplish anything.

Sorry, bad cut and paste in my Evernote.  Yes, used DME.  Not maltodextrin, thanks for the catch.

Offline BinaryBrew

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Thanks for the quick responses, so, things should be ok then.  I will take a reading tonight and see where it is.  And yes, the room temp was what I reported, not the temp on the bucket.

So, it should hit the 4-5 % ABV I was shooting for in this batch. If its stopped, I'll go ahead and rack to my keg this weekend and let it finish off in there before I put some CO2 on it.

Offline denny

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the room temp was what I reported, not the temp on the bucket.

That's much too warm to make the best beer you can make.  You should be shooting for keeping the beer temp no more than upper 60s.  I prefer mid to low 60s.  Remember that fermentation will add heat.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Mark G

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Thanks for the quick responses, so, things should be ok then.  I will take a reading tonight and see where it is.  And yes, the room temp was what I reported, not the temp on the bucket.

So, it should hit the 4-5 % ABV I was shooting for in this batch. If its stopped, I'll go ahead and rack to my keg this weekend and let it finish off in there before I put some CO2 on it.

Unless you're in a hurry, I'd suggest at least a few more days, if not a week, in primary. Give the yeast a chance to reduce the by-products of fermentation.
Mark Gres

Offline BinaryBrew

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I'll leave it in for the full week.  I am still not sure who is right.  I keep reading conflicting posts on if I should leave it in the primary for two weeks before I bottle/keg, or if I should rack to a secondary.  I have normally racked to a secondary carboy after the first week, but I think for this batch, I'll let it sit for a full 2 weeks in the primary and see how things turn out.  I usually prime with sugar for the third week and rack it into the keg, clear the air with some CO2 and let it self carbonate a bit before I put it in the fridge and tap it.

Offline denny

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I'll leave it in for the full week.  I am still not sure who is right.  I keep reading conflicting posts on if I should leave it in the primary for two weeks before I bottle/keg, or if I should rack to a secondary.  I have normally racked to a secondary carboy after the first week, but I think for this batch, I'll let it sit for a full 2 weeks in the primary and see how things turn out.  I usually prime with sugar for the third week and rack it into the keg, clear the air with some CO2 and let it self carbonate a bit before I put it in the fridge and tap it.

Would you believe John Palmer, from his answer in the Ask the Experts section?

Twenty years ago, a homebrewed beer typically had better flavor, or perhaps less risk of off-flavors, if it was racked off the trub and clarified before bottling. Today that is not the case.

The risk inherent to any beer transfer, whether it is fermenter-to-fermenter or fermenter-to-bottles, is oxidation and staling. Any oxygen exposure after fermentation will lead to staling, and the more exposure, and the warmer the storage temperature, the faster the beer will go stale.

Racking to a secondary fermenter used to be recommended because staling was simply a fact of life – like death and taxes. But the risk of autolysis was real and worth avoiding – like cholera. In other words, you know you are going to die eventually, but death by cholera is worth avoiding.

But then modern medicine appeared, or in our case, better yeast and better yeast-handling information. Suddenly, death by autolysis is rare for a beer because of two factors: the freshness and health of the yeast being pitched has drastically improved, and proper pitching rates are better understood. The yeast no longer drop dead and burst like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life when fermentation is complete – they are able to hibernate and wait for the next fermentation to come around. The beer has time to clarify in the primary fermenter without generating off-flavors. With autolysis no longer a concern, staling becomes the main problem. The shelf life of a beer can be greatly enhanced by avoiding oxygen exposure and storing the beer cold (after it has had time to carbonate).

Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering. With the right pitching rate, using fresh healthy yeast, and proper aeration of the wort prior to pitching, the fermentation of the beer will be complete within 3-8 days (bigger = longer). This time period includes the secondary or conditioning phase of fermentation when the yeast clean up acetaldehyde and diacetyl. The real purpose of lagering a beer is to use the colder temperatures to encourage the yeast to flocculate and promote the precipitation and sedimentation of microparticles and haze.

So, the new rule of thumb: don’t rack a beer to a secondary, ever, unless you are going to conduct a secondary fermentation.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline brewandski

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What is interesting is that in Chris and Jamil's ask the experts section, they said that dry hopping is a good reason to transfer if you can't get the yeast to drop.

Offline Hokerer

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Would you believe John Palmer, from his answer in the Ask the Experts section?


Oh man, there he goes giving away our "members only" secrets :)
Joe

Offline Mark G

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Would you believe John Palmer, from his answer in the Ask the Experts section?


Oh man, there he goes giving away our "members only" secrets :)
Especially the all important fact that Monty Python was a homebrewer!  :D
Mark Gres