Author Topic: newbie american wheat fermentation question  (Read 804 times)

Offline xdknjx

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newbie american wheat fermentation question
« on: July 11, 2011, 09:21:56 PM »
First time brewer and I started with an American Wheat kit from northern brewery. Fermentation began in 10 hours and was light. It's been that way for 24 hours and the temperature based on the adhesive thermometer read 76 degrees F so I decided to turn the AC in my apt lower plus a fan blowing onto the fermenter carboy. That brought the temp down to 72, but fermentation seems weaker based on bubbling from the fermentation lock. It's still consistent, but now only 1 bubble per 2 seconds as opposed to 1 per 1 second. The yeast that I used was Safale US-05. Is this fermentation pattern common for this yeast/american wheats, or do I need to add more yeast? Thanks so much for helping out this noobie  ::)

Offline dbeechum

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Re: newbie american wheat fermentation question
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 09:27:09 PM »
Howdy, congrats on getting the batch going.

Fermentation speed is dependent on many factors, but a big one is temperature. So, just by cooling it off some, you're going to slow it down and that's fine.

Ideally, you actually rather have the beer fermenting around 68, but good luck getting that with a/c. One quick trick to try is put the bucket/carboy in a shallow water bath, place a tshirt over the fermenter and drapped into the water. Now point your fan at it. The fan will blow cause the water to evaporate from the shirt, cooling the whole thing down further and the water from the pain, will wick up the shirt.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: newbie american wheat fermentation question
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 06:00:52 AM »
Fermentation can be quite variable with different ingredients, yeasts, and equipment - but what you have doesn't sound that bad. Adding more yeast at this point won't do anything to help, so there's not much to do but wait and see how it turns out. Airlock bubbing is also an imperfect indicator of activity.

You know what they say - Relax, don't worry, ...
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Offline xdknjx

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Re: newbie american wheat fermentation question
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 05:02:14 PM »
Thanks for the replies! I was picturing a vigorous fermentation process and I guess I freaked out when it wasn't what I expected..

Offline milesnoobie

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Re: newbie american wheat fermentation question
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 12:29:53 PM »
x-

I am fermenting a Witbeir and did almost the same thing you did concerning temperatures...I haven't seen much activity since I am using a bucket instead of a carboy...some folks have said that the yeast strains used can be sluggish and can take up to a week to begin fermenting vigirously and to be ready with a blowoff tube...heading the warning I went ahead and did so...it has been 5 days and I have yet to see the crazy fermenting that you I have seen with the pale ales that I have done.  Like others have said in your thread I guess its all about the waiting...

Cheers!

Offline richardt

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Re: newbie american wheat fermentation question
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 12:40:10 PM »
"ice, ice, baby".   ::)

In warmer climes, you may want to take a four (or more) empty 2 liter bottles, partially fill them (3/4ths) with water, leave the top a little loose, and freeze them, then twist the tops tight.  Rotate a couple of frozen 2-liter bottles every 12 hours or so from the swamp bucket you're using to keep the fermenter cool.  Also, try to make a "micro-climate" that is more fermentation friendly (ales love 64 F, for example) by creating a "son-of-fermation" type of chamber.

Offline xdknjx

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Re: newbie american wheat fermentation question
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 06:47:43 PM »
So the bubbling is at an even slower rate, but the krausen disappeared so I decided to check the gravity. It was 1.055 before fermentation and now it's 1.012 so I fermentation was taking place. Looking at the conversion chart, I think it comes out to 5.5% etoh?