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Old 10-25-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
smokjunkee
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Default Not sure if I have a problem?

I brewed a Pumpkin Ale on saturday(yeah, a little late I know). I pitched with a yeast I've never used before(WL568-Belgian Saison). Went in at 76 degrees
& fermentation has kept in the 74-76 range. It got off to a great start but, this
morning(36 hrs.) it has slowed quite a bit. The onlt thing I did differently was instead of transfering the wort from kettle to fermenter with a pitcher & funnel, I used an auto-syphon. I did aerate the wort in the kettle by agitation as I always do but I'm wondering if I lost alot of my normal aeration by not dumping
through a funnel. any thoughts? and is it too late to get some O2 into my fermenter? Thanks,
MB

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Old 10-25-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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Sounds fine, DO NOT try to aerate at this point, check the gravity.

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Old 10-25-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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Yes it's too late to add extra 02...Unless you like cardboard beer.

AND there's NOTHING WRONG. You fermentation is simply winding down. That's normal.

the airlock has slowed down because the largest amount of fermentation is over and there's not a lot of excess co2 that NEEDS to be vented out.....That is ALL your airlock is a valve, a vent to release EXCESS co2, it's not a magic fermentation gauge. Whether it blips or not, whether it stops or starts or not really bears little resemblance to how fermentation is going, just how much co2 is being released or not. That's it.

You don't know that your fermentation is slow, or fast for that matter, all you know is that your airlock isn't bubbling in a way you THINK it should.

The fact that bubbling has slowed down doesn't mean your fermentation has stalled, it just means that there isn't enough excess co2 for the airlock or the blowoff to need to vent. All either of those are are vents, valves to release excess co2, but it is not a direct gauge of what's happening in your fermenter. Sometimes airlocks never bubble, but they ferment just fine.

It's perfectly normal for fermentation to slow down as the most sugar is consumed initially, but that doesn't mean fermentation is done nor that fermentation is stalled.

There is still more than likely a ton of work that the yeast are still doing behind the scenes, it's just not dynamic.



Just leave your beer alone. Everything fines....and don't rely on airlock activity or even krausen formation to give you accurate info on what you beer is doing.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

But in your case there is nothing for you to bother diagnosing, since nothing is wrong.

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Old 10-25-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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New brewers tend to think they need to hover over their fermenters and "do something" every minute of the day, and the minute something seems amiss, or different, they instantly think the yeast has stopped. But that is almost NEVER the case.

One thing to realize, unless you are brewing a high gravity beer, stopped fermentation rarely ever happens. Unless you have a major drop in temperature. The yeast doesn't just arbitrarily decide to stop what it's doing and take a vacation, that's an unfounded newbie fear, usually based on their idea that airlocks HAVE to bubble.

99% of the time the yeast will do it's job, and attenuate the beer fully if you let it. The rest of the time, especially with extract, it may stop at 1.020 or 1.030. But that's still not the yeast going gang busters on day one, and not, to a nervous new brewer's eyes, not behaving as it should be, the next day and therefore has stopped.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligantly away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

Or like many of us do simply relax, and trust the yeast to do their job. If you've given the yeast a good foundation, aerated and santitized properly, given the yeast the right nutrients, and pitched plenty of yeast to do the job, Then the yeast WILL do it's job, 99% of the time.

We really don't need to be all "figity wigity" and hover over everything, doing that we stress out too much, and we're tempted to try to fix something that more than likely doesn't need fixing at all.

You want to know how to ruin you beer? Mess with it.

I pitch my yeast, and come back 1 month later and bottle. And I've never had a beer not ferment for me....it really is that simple. And I have a few medals and good contest scores to prove it.

Just let the beer be!

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Old 10-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, you rock! I feel much better.
I love the learning process.
MB

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