Author Topic: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?  (Read 1156 times)

Offline Tristan

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Brewed an Oktoberfest (11 gallons) with my buddy Nathan Explosion on Friday.  Everything was status quo.  Ran the first half into my carboy and the second into his.  He tilted the keggle and got lots of the break material.  I oxygenated with 90 seconds of pure o2 like normal and pitched the yeast on Saturday afternoon @ 46 degrees.  Each half had roughly the same amount of yeast added and same oxygen.  Set the controller for 49 degrees.  

On Sunday afternoon, his was blowing off c02 and mine wasn't.  On Monday morning his had low krausen while mine was just beginning to blow of c02.  What the hell?  I've never seen this before.  It seems like his half (with the break material) is 24 hours ahead of my half.  I plan to check the worts later tonight.

Could it be that more break material has somehow reduced the lag phase for half the wort?  I just can't wrap my head around this one!

The recipe is out of brewing classic styles, added a decoction for mash out and got 87% efficiency.  OG = 1.059.  The yeast is Wyeast Hellabock.



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Offline a10t2

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 06:44:46 PM »
How did you split up the yeast? If you were just eyeballing it I'd chalk it up to that.

Are the fermenters at the same temperature (verified with a calibrated thermometer)?

I've heard that some break material in the fermenter can help with yeast growth, but I doubt the effect would be that dramatic.
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Offline Tristan

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 06:46:46 PM »
How did you split up the yeast? If you were just eyeballing it I'd chalk it up to that.

Are the fermenters at the same temperature (verified with a calibrated thermometer)?

I've heard that some break material in the fermenter can help with yeast growth, but I doubt the effect would be that dramatic.

You might be right.  I was pouring out of a 4L flask, 1500ML of slurry inside total, trying to put half in each.  I've got the temp probe in between the two carboys.  I'm going to try not to worry and just wait and see what happens!
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 06:49:52 PM »
Also, how well mixed was the wort when you divided it up.  If it'd been still for a while while being chilled, maybe the gravities between the top and bottom were enough different that it could affect lag too.
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Offline Tristan

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 06:09:52 AM »
The yeast seem to be happily going about their business.  When I open the lid of the fermentation fridge heinous sulfur fumes woft out.  Splendid!  If I get a big "pee-yoo"  from the wife I know its a Lager!

On the subject of the wort densities being different, I usually wait 10-20 minutes after the whirlpool to transfer so the break can settle.  Is it generally thought this will result in vastly different gravities in the first and second half of the wort?
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Offline denny

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 07:46:18 AM »
I don't think there could be stratification in the situation you describe.  I'd go with unequal yeast theory.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 07:53:07 AM »
On the subject of the wort densities being different, I usually wait 10-20 minutes after the whirlpool to transfer so the break can settle.  Is it generally thought this will result in vastly different gravities in the first and second half of the wort?

I'm with Denny on this one. I don't know exactly how long you'd have to boil to homogenize the wort, but I don't think it could be more than a few minutes. Once that happens you just have a uniform sugar solution, well below the saturation point. It shouldn't be possible for anything to precipitate out, so the entire wort column will have a uniform density.
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 07:59:45 AM »
This is kind of the reason I modified how I drain the BK for my 10g batches. I used to run the first 5g into a carboy, then the next 5 into the second. I normally brew hoppy beers and wondered if the 2nd 5g would be more bitter or have more hop character than the 1st due to longer contact with the hops(probably negligible, PC chills 10g in 10 mins). I hadn't noticed a difference but being somewhat of a perfectionist, I put a tee in the drain line and now fill both carboys simultaneously. Could be the solution you're looking for.
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Offline Tristan

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 05:47:27 AM »
I put a tee in the drain line and now fill both carboys simultaneously. Could be the solution you're looking for.

Very cool!
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Offline anthony

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 11:35:14 PM »
I usually just take care of these situations by blending at the kegging part of the process, assuming all other things were equal and that it wasnt an intentional split batch.

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Re: Oktoberfest Fermentation - Break Material reducing lag phase?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 12:38:25 AM »
Check back when it's drinking time.  He who has the tastiest beer wins.

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