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Old 11-13-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
Ben_Persitz
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Default Yet Another Fermentation/Yeast question

I realize I've already asked this but I want to ask it in a different way.

I've got a partial mash batch of a clone recipe I wrote for Rogues Dead Guy Ale.

It's been in primary between 62-66 degrees for 12 days now.

I really want to start a crash cool for 2 days tonight (to help drop out the yeast since I won't be using a secondary before I keg) but I'm worried that the yeast might not be done cleaning up. I haven't taken a grav reading (doing that tonight) but I suspect that the beer is done since my fermentation was pretty vigorous for 3-5 days and continued semi steadily till about 7 days and there is no krausen left.

I'm under the impression that yeast do a better job of cleaning up around 60-70 degrees...so if I crash cool and they fall out of suspension they won't be there to clean up the byproducts. However, I am also under the impression that Pac man is a pretty clean fermenting yeast with little to no diacetyl and not much to clean up after fermentation.

So--do you really think 2 extra days at 60 degrees are going to benefit my beer much or can I start a crash cool so that I can keg it on Sunday night/Monday?

I just want to take a growler with me on a family vacation by Friday (even though it wont be fully carbed yet).

It will also work a lot better for me to keg on Monday (my day off) because if I don't then I'll be stuck doing it sometime next week after work (bleh).

Opinions?

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:48 AM   #2
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Okay--so I just took a hydro reading and it's reading about 1.021 I was expecting it to finish up around 1.016-1.017. O.G. was about 1.071

It's been 12 days so I don't think it'll keep dropping (3-4 days with no airlock activity). I think it's because I just didn't pitch enough yeast. (only 1 pack of 125 ml wyeast)

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Old 11-15-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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Hey Ben,

Airlock activity is a poor indicator of fermentation activity near the end, so it may still be fermenting fine. The only way to really tell is to wait 3 days or so and check the specific gravity again to see if it's is dropping. You may be just fine, so if you aren't in a huge hurry I'd wait it out. If you're in a hurry and kegging (bottling risks bottle bombs, been there done that), you can go ahead. The beer may just be a bit sweeter than you were targeting. (You can also keg a gallon or two and keep fermenting the rest.)

In addition to pitching adequate healthy yeast (use Mr. Malty's pitching calculator) as you've noted, I've had good luck with increasing the temperature to 70-72F for 3-5 days once the airlock slows to a dribble. With the bulk of fermentation done you don't get off flavors, and the warmer temps help the yeast finish up. You can also roust the yeast by swirling the fermenter once a day as well. If it truly sticks and you really want it to finish, you may have to rack it to a yeast cake from another batch (been there, done that too).

Good luck,

John (Tristinn's Dad)

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Old 11-16-2010, 02:34 PM   #4
Ben_Persitz
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Thanks for the response!

I've decided to let it sit on the cake for about two more weeks until I cold crash and rack to my keg. We'll see how it turns out.

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