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Old 01-22-2007, 11:13 PM   #11
Torchiest
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Haha, well you didn't have to go crazy on it. Just enough action to get the yeast back up in there. I'm sure a lot of that bubbling was carbon dioxide that was in the beer and was released through the jostling you gave it. Now you can just leave it alone for another week.

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Old 01-22-2007, 11:36 PM   #12
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I find that to roust yeat, just spinning the carboy a few times does a great job, no need to shake. I have mine sitting on towels though, makes life easier.

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Old 01-23-2007, 12:19 AM   #13
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Well we're back to regular bubbling action!

It's steady and consistant, and I feel much better about the whole thing now. It really seemed too early for this beer to be done bubbling. I'll probably give a shake or two when it dies down again, and see what happens.

Thanks for the shaking tip!

Don't shake a baby. Do shake a primary.

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Old 01-23-2007, 01:01 AM   #14
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Shaking or swirling the beer in order to get yeasts back in suspension simply does not work. The guys at the yeast labs (white labs/wyeast) say that this is not a good practice. Think about it logically - if a particular cell has decided to flocc out, what is swirling it going to do. Do you think that it takes a few laps around the beer and changes its mind? This flocced yeast will swirl a bit and head right back to the bottom of the fermenter.

The bubbling action that occurs when you do this is CO2 being whipped out of solution and bubbling through the airlock. All you did was oxygenate your beer.

By the way - I just did a Belgian Strong that was 1.080 in the kettle. I pitched Safale T-58, a German Wheat Beer yeast that works up to 11%. Anyway, after about 7 days, I noticed a slow down in fermentation activity (SG = 1.020). I decided to pitch 10 grams of additional yeast - same strain - and move the fermenter to a warmer room. Fermentation has picked up considerably. I am doing a hydro reading tonight. As long as I can get it around 1.015, I will be happy.

My problem is aeration, I think. I do not use a stone/O2. I simply strain the wort through a colander on the way from kettle to fermenter. This has been fine for all of my beers up to 1.060ish . . . this is the biggest beer I have done. I suspect that if I had done a 1.100 Barley Wine, I would never get the attenuation I want w/out some better aeration.

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Old 01-23-2007, 02:54 AM   #15
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I don't know, Sonvolt...

What about suppressed yeast cells; cells that may have gone dormant because they couldn't get to the food? Just throwing ideas out there.

As for the oxygenation thing, I thought the same thing, but Torchiest has a point... the majority of the gas that's in the fermentor at this point is CO2, not air, so shaking couldn't really 'oxygenate' the beer, as the fermentor was never opened, and exposed to air.

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Old 01-24-2007, 05:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
Shaking or swirling the beer in order to get yeasts back in suspension simply does not work. The guys at the yeast labs (white labs/wyeast) say that this is not a good practice. Think about it logically - if a particular cell has decided to flocc out, what is swirling it going to do. Do you think that it takes a few laps around the beer and changes its mind? This flocced yeast will swirl a bit and head right back to the bottom of the fermenter.

The bubbling action that occurs when you do this is CO2 being whipped out of solution and bubbling through the airlock. All you did was oxygenate your beer.
Actually, I went to the White Labs website to do some research on a strain I'm using, Burton Ale yeast, and I found this interesting advice given to someone who had a stuck fermentation on an OG 1.078 ale (emphasis added):

Did beer/yeast come out of the blow off tube? Burton Ale yeast is so top cropping that a good portion of the yeast could have been lost that way. Even so, the best way to speed it up now would be to transfer it into another container. That helps mix it around and break out CO2 that could be repressing the yeast. But make sure you transfer over the yeast cake as well, it is easy to leave behind and this transfer is to spurn the yeast forward, not to separate it out. If you can’t transfer, at least shake the carboy for 2 minutes to rouse the yeast and break out gas.
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Old 01-25-2007, 03:08 PM   #17
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Good find, Torchiest. I thought i'd update the situation some more as its been a few days.

The high grav. beer is still bubbling away since I shook things up 3 days ago. At this point I can only assume that the shaking did in some way 'rouse' the yeast to begin working harder, or more likely, got more yeast in the game, especially if my yeast (a top fermentor) was being caught up on the sides of the fermentor, above the brew.

As soon as things seem to calm down again, I'm planning on giving it another good shaking, and see what happens then. I was anticipating this beer bubbling away for at least 2 weeks given the gravity, and yeast amounts used, and now it seems to be back on schedule.

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Old 01-25-2007, 03:38 PM   #18
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Cool, glad to hear it's moving along. One question: have you taken a gravity reading since shaking it? You originally said 1.040; was that an actual reading, or just an estimate?

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Old 01-25-2007, 09:35 PM   #19
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It was a hypothetical number I was going to take a gravity reading that day, but decided it would be much easier to shake the primary 1st, because I knew the beer couldn't be done that soon. Considering the way it's still bubbling away now, i would imagine the gravity then was somewhere between 1.040 and 1.050

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