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Old 09-09-2008, 05:51 PM   #1
GIusedtoBe
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Default Very Noob fermentation?? for Noob AG'r

Hey guys I've done two AG batches so far and everything seemed to go well but I have noticed a couple of things that are much different from all of my extract batches when it comes to the primary fermentation.

My first batch has been fermenting for 15 days and still has a thin layer of krausen on top. OG was 1.053 and it was fermented on the cold side of the range. I pitched a quart starter from a fresh pack of Wyeast 1056. This is also the first brew I have aerated. All others have been aerated by shaking the carboy. This one took off fast but the yeast is still in suspension and the krausen has not fallen back yet so I'm just wondering not worrying.

Any idea why the difference?

2nd Batch, I pitched a quart starter of WL 1084 to an Oatmeal stout and 40 hours later and no sign of fermentation. I know the noob rules on RDWHAHB but I was wondering if anybody else has had problems w/ slow ferments/starts w/ WL? The only other time i used WL I had a very slow start as well but on that occasion, I pitched the yeast straight from the vial instead of a starter.

I know patience will probably answer my questions but i was wondering if anybody else has noticed any differences in fermentation from extract to AG or from manually aerated (shaken) to mechanically aerated wort? I have not tested my conversion in the mash so of course I'm wondering about that as well.

Regards
Al

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Old 09-09-2008, 06:59 PM   #2
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Check this out. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/aera...g-radio-75573/

And ALWAYS make a starter with White Labs and WYeast.

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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The most notable difference between an all-grain and extract fermentation is that with extract you know exactly what you are getting in the way of fermentables.

The 1053 OG reading appears to confirm that you have a good OG and the fact that it is still going after a couple weeks is just fine. Especially considering you are fermenting on the low end of the temperature range. This will lengthen what you may be used to for fermentation times. If you havent already, you could take a gravity reading, but it really isnt necessary at this point. I would wait until that 27-28 day mark. Get a reading, then take another one at the 30th day. If it hasnt changed. Keg it or bottle it..whatever you do.

As far as the 2nd batch, the 40 hours isnt too alarming. Give it 3 days at least and see if it kicks off. If your starter and wort are very disparate in temperature this can sometimes cause a lag as it may shock the yeast temporarily. Or if your starter yeast had completed their reproduction and are dormant.

People have varying opinions on what is the bast way to utilize a starter. I have a tried a few different options. I have created the starter the morning of brew day and end up pitching it 6-8 hours later. I have also created them 3 days prior, put in the fridge the night before, then decant the beer, and just pitch the slurry. I mention this only because on occasion I forget to take it out of the fridge an hour or so prior to pitching and I end up pitching 38-40 degree yeast into a 68 degree wort and it doesnt kick off as fast.

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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Don't think extract vs AG has any effect except on FG which is determined by mash thickness and mash temp, and to some degree, mash length.

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Originally Posted by GIusedtoBe View Post
My first batch has been fermenting for 15 days and still has a thin layer of krausen on top. OG was 1.053 and it was fermented on the cold side of the range. I pitched a quart starter from a fresh pack of Wyeast 1056. This is also the first brew I have aerated. All others have been aerated by shaking the carboy. This one took off fast but the yeast is still in suspension and the krausen has not fallen back yet so I'm just wondering not worrying.
1056 is a medium-flocculant strain. If you ferment on the cool end of the range it will take longer to finish and flocculate out. I like to allow three weeks in the primary for this one, at which point it is clear enough to carefully rack to keg without a secondary.

Quote:
2nd Batch, I pitched a quart starter of WL 1084 to an Oatmeal stout and 40 hours later and no sign of fermentation. I know the noob rules on RDWHAHB but I was wondering if anybody else has had problems w/ slow ferments/starts w/ WL? The only other time i used WL I had a very slow start as well but on that occasion, I pitched the yeast straight from the vial instead of a starter.
Your 1084 was probably fairly old so you would have benefited from a bigger starter to build up the population. I like to use a growler for starters. For really big beers I cool, decant, and add fresh wort to get the equivalent of a gallon starter in a 2L vessel. Starters of <2L I only use when I want plenty of yeast growth for ester and phenol production, e.g. Belgians. Since the yeast went through a long growth phase be sure to allow for a long rest in the primary after the fermentation is complete for the yeast to clean up after themselves.
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