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Old 01-18-2009, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Can a vigorous fermentation be a sign that something went wrong?

This was my first AG and it is a relatively low gravity brew. The OG came in at 1.055.

I mashed 10lbs of Vienna in at 158 with 14 quarts for 1 hour. Then I sparged with 14 quarts at 170.

I boiled 1 oz of Fuggel for 60 minutes, got a nice cold break (kind of cool seeing everything form like that) cooling to 80 in less than five minutes.

I strained everything into the primary and then pitched that starter.

However, I did something, I thought would be OK. At the beginning of the boil when the hot break let up, I stole about a cup of wort from the pot and cooled it to 80 degrees. Then I pitched my yeast into that and ended up with this about 15 minutes later.



Now, after 18 hours I am about to have a mess on my hands.



I left plenty of head space?

I was wondering if something could have happened during the mash to result in such high fermentability. I targeted 158 to add more body to the beer. When I started the sparge the temp had only dropped 2 degrees to 156. The only thing I could think of is that the thermometer was off and I was below 153.

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:04 AM   #2
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What is your fermentation temp?

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:14 AM   #3
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What is your fermentation temp?

66 degrees and the yeast was Nottingham.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:30 AM   #4
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You pitched a bit warm at 80 degrees however; remember, fermentation is an exothermic reaction.

Vigorous fermentation is quite normal with many strains (including Nottingham), but it's just something to be mindful of.

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:37 AM   #5
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You pitched a bit warm at 80 degrees however; remember, fermentation is an exothermic reaction.

Vigorous fermentation is quite normal with many strains (including Nottingham), but it's just something to be mindful of.
Do you think my thermometer was off during the mash and I will end up with a watery beer?

How do I check to make sure my thermometer is right?
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:49 AM   #6
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Do you think my thermometer was off during the mash and I will end up with a watery beer?

How do I check to make sure my thermometer is right?
Why do you think your thermometer is off? According to Beer Alchemy, 10 lbs of Victory should lend a post-boil gravity of 1.048 (assuming 8 gallons pre-boil down to 6 gallons at flame-out).
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:57 AM   #7
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Why do you think your thermometer is off? According to Beer Alchemy, 10 lbs of Victory should lend a post-boil gravity of 1.048 (assuming 8 gallons pre-boil down to 6 gallons at flame-out).
I picked 158 as my mash target to increase unfermentables. I am hoping that the vigorous fermentation is not a sign that everything got converted, meaning my mash temp was off, resulting in a watery beer.

I just have to wait and see what happens.

I heard people talk of calibrating there thermometers, I was just wondering if I needed to check mine.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
You pitched a bit warm at 80 degrees however; remember, fermentation is an exothermic reaction.

Vigorous fermentation is quite normal with many strains (including Nottingham), but it's just something to be mindful of.

Are you saying I should have brought the wort down to 66 before pitching. I guess this would make sense. I bet the wort is still higher than the basement tempurature since fermentation produces some heat. I doubt it could maintain 80 degrees thought, or, I certainly hope not. I don't like bananaas.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:09 AM   #9
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Diacetyl is a bigger issue from a high fermentation temp. It's pretty nasty, although I found I liked it until I was able to recognize it as an off flavor...now it turns my stomach. Weird.

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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I heard people talk of calibrating there thermometers, I was just wondering if I needed to check mine.
Calibrating a thermometer is easy. You just need to check the reading against known values-- 212° for boiling and 32° in ice water; adjust accordingly. The dial style thermometers usually have an adjustment nut where you can fine tune.
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