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Old 05-11-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
sasabs
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Default Fast Fermentation

I started fermenting a 5 gal. pale ale using double pitching and a yeast energizer. Overnight the fermentation became very violent coating the top of the carboy with large amount of kreuzen. If I had any less headspace I would of had a spectacular geyser. It was bubbling constantly and the wort looked as if their was a snowstorm sending particles to the bottom. Don't know why. Never had this happen before. This lasted for one day then all activity ceased. Tried all the recommended technique for restarting fermentation. Didn't work. I measured the ABV at 4%. I expected at least 5%e. I couldn't confirm my first FG reading as I broke my hydrometer. I guess all that excitement. I racked into another bucket to get rid of the massive amount of crud but still no action through the debubbler.

My question is this - Is it possible that the entire fermentation was completed in one day?

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Old 05-11-2011, 12:14 AM   #2
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No in general ales take 2-6 for the majority of the fermentation...in some yeast (particularly dry yeast) you will have violent fermentation and then it looks like nothing is happening...but it is...this is where the hydrometer readings would help, had it not broke.
Since you racked to a secondary you could try to repitch yeast or pitch it all!
Hope it works out.

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Old 05-12-2011, 01:28 AM   #3
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Buckets can leak, which will mean not much activity in the airlock. Sometimes most of the activity does occur in the first day or 2, I find that happens with 3711, and WLP550. But it is still working (much slower) for up to 2 more weeks.

If most activity is done, yeast activity will slow down, and any leaks will prevent any airlock activity.

Leave it alone for at least a week (preferably 2 or even 3), buy a new hydrometer, and then check the gravity. I suspect it was still working when you transferred, so there should be plenty of yeast in suspension.

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:47 AM   #4
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For goodness sake people stop racking beer off your yeast!! It's like searing a piece of chicken on the grill for about 30 seconds a side and because it looked cooked on the outside you took it off the heat.

With a really huge yeast population it's possible for a majority of the fermentation to take place in really short period of time, but we're talking a few days not a single day here. Even without any visible signs of fermentation it might still be fermenting. You simply can't tell for sure w/o using your hydrometer.

Like Calder said there is probably enough yeast in suspension to finish out, you're just going to have to wait longer since you racked if off of the bulk of your healthy yeast.

Secondary is NOT a fermentation stage, it's a clarification stage

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Old 05-12-2011, 03:03 AM   #5
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Fermentation finished or not, the cleanup that the yeast does takes time, and it should stay there for a few days (weeks) before anything else.

I'm a bit confused because OP states 'started in 5 gal ale pale' then says that the fermetation ended up "coating the top of the carboy with large amount of kreuzen"

so it was so powerful that it RACKED ITSELF.. now what yeast was that again? I need some self racking yeast But seriously bucket or carboy? not that it matters I suppose.

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:23 AM   #6
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OP, next time leave the brew alone for 2 weeks.

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACbrewer View Post
I'm a bit confused because OP states 'started in 5 gal ale pale' then says that the fermetation ended up "coating the top of the carboy with large amount of kreuzen"
It says "started a 5 gallon pale ale"... but I too would like some self-racking yeast.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
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I pitch decanted starters per mrmalty's recommendation and started defusing pure O2 before pitching. Most beers finish the violent fermentation in less than 48 hours. I leave it in primary for 3 weeks for it the finish up and let the yeast clean up.

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Old 05-14-2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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Default Fast Fermentation

Thanks to all of you for your guidance. The education I get from the forum members is phenomenal. My books cover all aspects of home brewing but not unusual effects. I will do better next time. I would not recommend self racking unless you like mount Vesuvius. If I didn't have a good tight stopper I would have had beer all over my kitchen. The yeast I used was Muntons double pitched and a dose of yeast enhancer. I probably overdid for a light beer.

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Old 05-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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How warm was it when you pitched?

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