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Old 06-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
ajbroadway22
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Default Did I botch this batch...?

Hey all...

I boiled a 5gal batch of Belgian Dark Strong (using WhiteLabs WLP530 Liquid Yeast and having an OG of 1.070). 24-hours in, the airlock was bubbling like crazy at 73 degrees! 30-hours in, it was bubbling out at 71 degrees, and now 40-hours in... It popped its top! I threw it in an emergency Ice Bath to bring the temp into the 60s, and when replacing the AirLock... The rubber seal fell into the wort! FML! So, I replaced it with a spare... And now there is ZERO activity! Am I hosed on this batch? And if not... What do I need to do to make sure fermentation completes? Thank you all, in advance!

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:26 PM   #2
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The high temperature is not good. Was the 73 degrees wort or air temperature. If it was the wort temperature that is high but not drastically so. If it was ambient your actual wort temperature would have been quite a bit higher and not so good. The blow off is not unexpected and can even happen at temperatures in the sixties.

Keep the temperature controlled - under 70 and give it 3 weeks in primary then bottle.

Dropping the rubber grommet into the beer can lead to infection but most likely you are good.

I suggest starting EVERY fermentation with a blow off tube installed.

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Have you taken any gravity readings? The only way to know whether it's stalled or not is to find out what gravity it's at.

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kh54s10 View Post
The high temperature is not good. Was the 73 degrees wort or air temperature. If it was the wort temperature that is high but not drastically so. If it was ambient your actual wort temperature would have been quite a bit higher and not so good. The blow off is not unexpected and can even happen at temperatures in the sixties.

Keep the temperature controlled - under 70 and give it 3 weeks in primary then bottle.

Dropping the rubber grommet into the beer can lead to infection but most likely you are good.

I suggest starting EVERY fermentation with a blow off tube installed.
You typically want some ester production with a belgian strong, so I don't think the temp is bad, whether or not it's ambient or wort temp. Also, you shouldn't bottle without taking a gravity reading, not matter how long you let it sit.

I do agree with the last two points, though. If you followed proper sanitization procedures, you ought to be ok, and blow off tubes are very helpful. I give every batch a blow off tube until fermentation slows.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
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WLP530 is a tricky yeast. It really reacts to quick temperature fluctuations. I'm not surprised it dropped out a bit.

My suggestion is to slowly warm it back up a bit. Belgians are supposed to have phenols and I've seen folks raise temps to the 80's with Belgian yeast strains.

As far as your blow off tube, don't sweat it If your concern was an infection. Your fermenter was likely blowing off so much CO2 that it didn't have enough time for a bug to crawl in.

RDWHAHB

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Old 06-26-2013, 01:35 AM   #6
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I've used 3787 (supposedly the same as 530) plenty, and it can handle ambient temps of 73 or so just fine, but it does not react well to big temp drops. Based off my experience, the thing to do was to get a blow off on there and let it do its thing. Since we're past that point, I would allow it to rise back into the low 70s and resuspend the yeast if necessary. It might start back up, but you might have to add more yeast, too.

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Old 06-27-2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the advice. I slapped a blow-off tube on the primary after getting the mass of replies, and it is still producing CO2... So I'm hoping I caught it in time. Either way... A learning experience for sure! Thanks again!

Cheers!!

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