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Old 04-13-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Can a Big Beer Finish in 3 Days?

Howdy,

I know, I know, 3 days of hydrometer readings. I just wanted to know if it's possible or usual.

I pitched 5.5 gallons of 1.085 barleywine onto a WPL001 yeast cake. It fermented furiously from hour 2 to about hour 48. The next 24 hours it slowed to a crawl. By day 4 the beer was clear and still: no airlock activity at all.

I'm used to 6-8 days for my lower-gravity beers.

Thanks

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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You answered your own question in the first line of your post. Anything is possible but if you want this to be a good beer.......well, I'm sure you can answer that question as well

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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I plan 3 weeks in the primary, 4-6 months batch-aging in the secondary. I don't have a thief, so hydrometer readings from a 6.5 gallon carboy would be tough. I guess I'm just hoping to hear, "happens all the time" rather than "sounds like a stuck fermentation".

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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You pitched onto a yeast cake so you overpitched the amount of yeast, meaning your yeast didn't have to go through the reproduction stage prior to the active fermentation. It's definitely possible.

What temperature did you ferment at?

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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I fermented at 67 +/-. Mr Malty called for a 5L starter and 2 vials. (I missed OG of 1.101). Rather than do that I went with the cake. Got another batch of beer out of it, too. I'm not sure that that's overpitching, but I'm not sure where overpitching starts.

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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I pitch onto yeast cakes for almost all of my beers north of 1.090 or so, minus Belgians. I've had ones that had furious blow off for 3 or 4 days and then fall completely silent. I don't know if the yeast is still working on fermenting or cleaning up after itself at that point, but I don't bother taking hydro readings until about 4 weeks when I transfer to secondary so I can't really speculate either way. I do know that I've never had a stuck fermentation with my method, so I'm not complaining.

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove
Howdy,

I know, I know, 3 days of hydrometer readings. I just wanted to know if it's possible or usual.

I pitched 5.5 gallons of 1.085 barleywine onto a WPL001 yeast cake. It fermented furiously from hour 2 to about hour 48. The next 24 hours it slowed to a crawl. By day 4 the beer was clear and still: no airlock activity at all.

I'm used to 6-8 days for my lower-gravity beers.

Thanks
Definitely possible that it fermented out completely. Give it a gentle swirl and bring to 70f just in case.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
I fermented at 67 +/-. Mr Malty called for a 5L starter and 2 vials. (I missed OG of 1.101). Rather than do that I went with the cake. Got another batch of beer out of it, too. I'm not sure that that's overpitching, but I'm not sure where overpitching starts.
Well, if Mr malty called for a 5 liter starter, and you did a batch it is like doing a ~20 liter starter right? That is definitely over pitching.

I have pitched slurry in a big RIS, and over pitched (like two pints of slurry) and it ran through 1.094 down to the mid 20s in 4 days. Unfortunately It was pretty boring. The yeast need all stages of growth to get a good "beery" flavor profile, and that is the growth/reproduction phase too. I know tons of people will post up now saying... "that is crap, I do it all the time and make great beer..." etc. Just my 2 cents
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edecambra View Post
Well, if Mr malty called for a 5 liter starter, and you did a batch it is like doing a ~20 liter starter right? That is definitely over pitching.

I have pitched slurry in a big RIS, and over pitched (like two pints of slurry) and it ran through 1.094 down to the mid 20s in 4 days. Unfortunately It was pretty boring. The yeast need all stages of growth to get a good "beery" flavor profile, and that is the growth/reproduction phase too. I know tons of people will post up now saying... "that is crap, I do it all the time and make great beer..." etc. Just my 2 cents
The yeast viability is going to go downhill while sitting in primary, so while it is still overpitching, it's not to the extent of doing a starter 4x too big. I figure if I'm withing 1.5x of how many cells Mr. Malty calls for I'm safe. Still, a lot is based on assumptions so I may be throwing 3x the cell count that's needed. Who knows. I still try to fiddle around with pitching rates from batch to batch to see what works the best, but so far I haven't been able to tell much difference in my experience.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:37 PM   #10
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Active fermentation can complete this fast with enough yeast... but yeah, still needs to sit for a while (a long while, I'd wager).

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