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Old 02-01-2012, 12:33 AM   #1
whitehause
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Default No Real Krausen but active fermentation?

I have an Ocktoberfest fermenting right now with WPL029, and it's cooking right along, but there is no real krausen.After 2 days the airlock is still bubbling away, and I have the star-san afro on top of the air lock, but there is only a small ring of bubbles at the sides of the carboy. I made a starter, and fermentation took off after only 2 hours, and no signs of anything goofy going on, but I've never had a beer with no real krausen before.
I only have a dozen or so AG's under my belt, so I don't know if this is a normal occurrence?

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Old 02-01-2012, 12:50 AM   #2
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all strains are different, the absent krausen is nothing to be alarmed about, your yeast is in its log phase, what is your Temp at? lower temps with lager yeasts produce little or no air lock activity, or little krausen. take a gravity reading within 4 days, and heck taste it!!!! your taste buds wont lie, and your numbers will confirm everything is alright

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:31 AM   #3
whitehause
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Temp is about 63, and the airlock is bubbling away. I know there is action going on, it just surprised me that there is no krausen. I've used WPL029 before, but that was in an ale pail so I couldn't see what was going on. I probably just need to RDWHAHB.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #4
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as long as there is positive pressure, in this case bubbling is evident, there is no sweat

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:01 AM   #5
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I'll say that bubbling or krausen don't actually mean much. Sure, if you get them it's all probably working just fine, if you don't it doesn't mean it's broken though! If you really want to know, just thief out some and take the gravity. If it's lower then your OG you know it's doing it's thing.

Sometimes in secondary people will be concerned because the air lock will be bubbling and it's week 3 or something. It's probably not fermenting, it's probably C02 trapped in the beer that is escaping. So bubbling and krausen are indicators they don't actually tell you fermenting.

It's also a good way to test if it's all done, if the gravity is the same for 3 or so days, it's probably done.

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Old 04-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #6
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I've had a similar problem with my first 2 all-grain brews, both of which were 1 gallon batches. The first was a blonde brew-in-a-bag, starting at 1.040 (missed OG because book's recipe didn't calculate efficiency when making the grain bill). Cooled, aerated, pitched Safale US-05 and constantly checked on it- the krausen was thin and watery, never building a nice foam on top. I kept the mash temp at 152 for the whole hour. Final gravity was 1.012.

The 2nd all-grain 1 gallon batch was a modified edwort's bee cave brewery haus pale ale in a 2 gallon MLT. Had bit of trouble with mash temp, tried to keep at 152 but it dropped down to 149-150 a few times. I cooled, aerated, and pitched the same yeast, US 05. Starting gravity was 1.062 and the same watery, thin krausen happened again. Bubbles would come up and form larger ones then disappear. I thought, maybe i mashed too low and have a super-fermentable wort with no protein. Haven't taken final gravity reading on this one yet, giving it a few more days. I kept checking on this one too so no way I missed a krausen.

Then I brewed yesterday, a 1 gallon extract batch with specialty grains- american wheat. I used the same water and same yeast, US 05. Only difference was an extract batch. I cooled, aerated, and pitched same yeast (since its 1 gallon batches it's even out the same package!) and today I have a normal-looking, thick krausen on the extract batch.

So Im thinking it could be my mash temperatures, something to do with pH, or the grain I'm using (Crisp UK 2 row malted barley from small brew section in a cooking store, havent been able to get to brew store recently). The thin, watery krausen had only occurred of these 2 all-grain batches. Next test is to buy Briess 2row from homebrew store and try again with higher mash temps.

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