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Old 03-31-2010, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default Is dry Notty just a really low-key yeast?

I pitched a rehydrated packet of dry Nottingham into five gallons of BM's Centennial Blonde. If my hydrometer reading was correct, it was at 1.048. At first, I placed the glass carboy under the stairs, where the temp had been around 60 degrees F (but the thermometer I'd been using broke, so I haven't been able to accurately read for a few days). Before pitching, I shook the bejeebus out of the carboy and there was a lot of froth.

Over the course of two days, the froth subsided and I didn't see any visible fermentation signs. I'm using a 3/4inch hose clamped to a carboy cap with the end stuck in a jar of StarSan, so hard to see bubbles that build up.

I eventually moved the carboy into my bathroom, which has an AC service vent. I keep the door closed and it gets pretty comfy in there. Heat is currently set to 67 at night and 69 in the daytime. I expect the bathroom holds around 66 or 67.

This morning, most of the aeration froth had subsided and I still didn't see anything really, maybe a slight "scum" of bubbles. When I got home from work, I could see they were growing; a good sign? I decided to try to take a hydrometer reading, but my wine thief couldn't draw enough in to float the hydrometer. I didn't want to muck around in it too much, though I am sure I sprayed the heck out of everything with StarSan.

About two hours later, there entire top of the surface has about a quarter inch of frothy foam. I wouldn't call it gunky like some krausens look. I guess I kicked up the yeast just enough to get it moving in the new, higher temp.

We'll see what it's doing in the morning, and I'll have to improvise to get a better hydrometer reading, maybe draw with the thief, release into a glass, then draw a second amount and add the first. But then I don't think I'd be comfortable returning it.

Just wondering if this is typical behavior for Notty. Or if I'm off to a bad start with this one. I'd get some pics, but it's bed time.

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Old 03-31-2010, 02:42 AM   #2
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I've only done one batch with Notty. It was my first blowoff, but I had a ton of "extras" in the fermenter. Alot of break material, alot of hop sediment, and some extra proteins and starch froom some quick oats. It could be you're just getting a really low key fermentation because of a lack of things in your wort to create the foam. Foam isn't all about the yeast, it has to do with the properties of the wort as well. As long as the SG is dropping and you hit your target FG i'd say you have nothing to worry about.

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Old 03-31-2010, 02:52 AM   #3
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I wouldn't worry. Just leave it an let it do its thing. When I pitch Nottingham in temperatures below 65 f it takes a while before fermentation is apparent. I have not had a problem the last 5 or so batches.

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Old 03-31-2010, 04:01 AM   #4
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First, a gravity reading is the best way to tell... see if you can get enough in the test jar and check.

My latest batches of Notty are a vast improvement over the older, bad batches. I have fermentations just like you speak of - 24 hours of violence, followed by a week of slow activity. I tested the gravity, and it drops fast and hard, then slowly approaches FG as expected.

I think you are just fine.

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Old 03-31-2010, 11:42 AM   #5
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Excellent. That all sounds like what's happening here. Little to no kettle trub, though I am pretty sure I had some decent hot break material. It looked like Goldschlager flakes in the boil. I used hop pellets in a bag, so very little got into the fermenter, which would account for there not being too much "stuff" to gunk up the froth.

When I looked this morning, there was a definite 3/4 inch of krausen on top. But it's very "fine", if that make sense. When I was doing extract brewing 14 years ago, the krausen was NASTY, dark, and chunky. Just didn't expect this.

Tonight will be a full four days in the fermenter. I'll try to get a good sample and check the gravity. I need to get a refractometer, to reduce the size of samples I need to pull, I guess. ;P Yet another thing to put on the list for the next batch.

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Old 03-31-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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I use notty almost exclusively. Depending on pitching temps, the lag on it is anywhere from 12-36 hours.

Depending on the make up of the wort, there is generally only a 0.5-2.0" krausen, and it generally looks pretty clean (fine bubbles like you said).

I always get rapid fermentation till near terminal in under 3 days, and two weeks later, on a <1.070 beer, my final gravity is between 1.012-014.

Leave the beer on the yeast for two weeks, and then bottle/keg if it's a standard ale. They're always crystal clear for me with some whirfloc added.

Also, it's a great yeast to use if you're going for a clean flavor in the beer at low temps (<65F). I stopped using US-05 a while ago after their price hike.

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:27 PM   #7
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I to have used Notty almost every batch and always had gotten the 2-3 day explosion then the quick tail off,,

But I'd say my last 3 batches now have been different. Just barely a thin krausen and little churning visable. But according to the numbers everything is fine.

I didnt change anything in equipment or recipe either, but there has been a difference.

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Old 04-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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Well, the Notty has definitely taken off. From the scum line in the carboy, I must have had a three or four inch krausen at some point. It looks like it's slowing down now. The krausen is sort of "falling" on one edge and still developing on another. It's kind of "rolling" over itself, I guess.

I pulled a sample last night and the reading was 1.022, I'd say. There was a lot of Co2 in solution, because the sample fizzed up like crazy. Tasted pretty good. I was concerned that it would be too bitter because I got two gallons less than I planned and thought the hops might be too strong. Not bad, though.

It's been in there for five days (as of last night's reading), so I'd say it's half-fermented.

I plan on moving it under the stairs again, probably mid-week. Can't bottle it next weekend because I'll be out of town, so it'll potentially sit for another week in the primary. That would be three weeks in the primary.

I'm supposed to be picking up some corny kegs on my trip next weekend. Though I don't have a Co2 setup yet or a fridge to hold them, I'm tempted to secondary it in a carboy until I do.

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Old 04-07-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
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Well, I've been checking the SG every other night or so (and loving the taste!) and it's been around 1.013. The recipe called for a FG of 1.008. So we're getting there. I have been ever so gently swirling the beer with my wine thief when I take the samples, to try to keep the yeast roused. Not too worried about oxidation because I'm doing it gently and not creating any sivible turbulence.

The carboy has been in my basement bathroom and I estimate the temp has been a steady 68-70 at this point. We just turned the air on for the first time yesterday as the middle floor thermostat read 74.

My wife and I are going out of town for four days and the weather here is getting a little warm. I expect we'll turn the air off while we're out. It's going to hit 90 today. I don't know what the house temp would hit while we're out.

Since I'm getting close to the end of fermentation (and maybe even hit it if my mash created more unfermentables), can I move it to the space under the stairs? It's in the center of the house, sits on a concerte floor, and there's no air circulation from the central heating and cooling. I expect it's more like 60-65 there.

That's still within the yeast's operating temp, but I read that you generally warm up a beer as it reaches the end of fermentation to help the yeast clean up esters and off-flavors. Will I be doing any harm?

I will be picking up some corny kegs on my trip and plan on racking to one for a secondary. i don't thae a fridge or Co2 system yet, but want to free up the carboy for another batch.

Summary:
Beer has been in the primary for 11 days at 65-68°F and is at a SG of 1.014 from ~1.048. Plan on letting it sit for another three days (or more) at 60-65°F. Then secondary for a week before bottling.

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Old 04-07-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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Nottinham is a beast, even at 60 degrees or a hair lower it will fully attenuate your beer. It will just take longer. The number one thing with nottingham ale yeast is DO NOT LET THE FERMENTER GET OVER 70 DEGREES for the first few days of violent fermentation, you will get huge esters and off flavors. I like to ferment my nottingham at 62-64 degrees for 2-3 weeks. Clean, crisp, clear and fully attenuated beer is your result.

Nottingham WAS my favorite clean profiled yeast, now it is number two...oh how I love thee Rogue Pacman Yeast.

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