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Old 01-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
matt71fisher
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Default Rapid Fermentation

On Sunday I did my first brew as a home brewer beginner. I used a White House Honey Ale kit with Danstar Dry yeast (spelling?) I rehydrated the yeast per the instructions. I poured the wort from the kettle into the bucket fermentor through a us plastics fine mesh bucket strainer that should have aerated the wort pretty well. Initial OG looked good per instructions.

I poured the yeast in and moved my fermentor to the basement. Slow bubbles in the three piece airlock began about 5-6 hours later. Monday and Tuesday morning, bubbles picked up pretty good then as ambient temps cooled on Tuesday things slowed to a crawl as of last night, just 2-3 bubbles a min. Initial temps on the sticker thermometer on Sunday night showed 76-78 range. I placed a fan on the fermentor and it was in the 68-70 range Monday night/ Tues morning. Tuesday night temp was down to 64.

1. Did I begin fermentation too warm?

2. Does the timeline seem reasonable based on conditions?

3. Is the fermentor too cold for Ale yeast at 64 and that's why things have slowed or am I just done.

4. Did I ferment to quickly due to the high temp? Can I fix this issue if so?

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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sounds like things went just fine. 64 degrees should be good for that beer. It might have some more ester related characters because of the temperature, but taste will tell if that is a good or bad thing. I put my ales in a water bath to keep them under control.

Like this:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...e-control.html

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Everything sounds normal given the paramters

Next time, get your wort just below desired fermentation temperature if you can. Mid 60s for an ale. Doing this makes a big difference, but i know we all get impatient to finish up a brew day.

Your beer will be fine, though. Age tends to help too-hot fermentations

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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1) Meh 76-78 is pretty high and the act of fermentation tends to raise temperatures even more. You might get a lot of esters and phenols but if you let it sit in primary for a few more weeks it should clean up just fine.

2) A fast fermentation isn't uncommon... with a lot of my beers the majority of fermentation takes place within 48 hours of the first signs of fermentation.

3) 64*F is an awesome temperature for most ale yeasts. But since fermentation is probably already done, you should let it warm back up so the yeast can clean up after themselves. Remember, temperature control is only paramount during the height of fermentation (i.e. probably no more than 5 days after pitching.)

4) It's possible it's due to the temperature but it's too late now. Like I said before, best bet is to let the yeast clean up for a couple weeks and it should be fine.

But the airlock is not an indicator of fermentation or the completion thereof. It is simply a tool that allows CO2 created during fermentation to be released while not allowing outside air to get in. Essentially, your airlock is a lying jerk that probably licks all of your silverware while you're not home.

But in all seriousness, fermentation can still be going on well after the airlock stops bubbling. Also, there are a lot of posts on here along the lines of "my beer started fermenting again because the airlock started bubbling again" when in actuality it's because the beer warmed up and some CO2 was released because of it (gases dissolve into solution much better at colder temperatures.)

I hope that helps

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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I used the thermometer that came with the turkey fryer pot so the bottom end on the dial was too tight. I pulled my wort chiller out too soon when it was just below 80 degrees. I should have ran it another few minutes to get down around 65-70 degrees which would have helped.

New thermometer in the works.

Thanks for the words of calm. The first brew and fear of failure adds some stress. With more brews and more confidence this promises to be an awesome hobby.

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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I've been reading Yeast by Jamil Z and Chris White. In the book it says that yeast ferment quicker at higher temps, but make more un-desired flavors. Your beer should end up fine, but probably not exactly how the kit producer planned when making the kit. Every yeast has a recommended temperature range, either on the package or online. The act of fermentation raises the temperature of the wort/beer a few degrees, so try and pitch your yeast a few degrees below the recommended temp, unless you don't mind the higher ester levels you produce. The only beers that I pitch yeast at that high of a temp are Belgians.

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
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And I'm not planning on transferring to a secondary. It sounds like 3-4 weeks left alone should clean up some of my mistakes.

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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The kit was designed as a partial boil that I did as a full without adjusting the hop volume. I was off the recipe to begin with through better hop utilization. Just trying to achieve a drinkable beer on my first try. No infections and no major screw ups with the fermentation cycle.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #9
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In my experience dry yeast begins fermenting earlier and more vigorously than liquid yeast so that part doesnt seem strange. The high temp could cause a problem with flavor so I agree that letting it sit will help. Let it sit in primary in a cooler area if you can for 3 weeks as I've read that any longer on the yeast cake is not good. Then keg or bottle it and let it sit another couple weeks before trying it. It will continue to get better as it ages.

I've been brewing for about a year and a half and I've learned yeast/ fermentation behavior can be frustrating to figure out and get exactly right, especially with inconsistent conditions you cant control. Pay as close attention to these yeast/fermentation factors and you'll make beer better than the kit builder would expect you to: contamination, temp, aeration, and cell count

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