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-   -   Fermentation Crawling to a start (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/fermentation-crawling-start-110732/)

Beer_Pirate 03-26-2009 03:06 PM

Fermentation Crawling to a start
Last night I brewed the Tongue Splitter extract kit from Northern Brewer.com, and this morning before I left for work, I checked the carboy. We were bubbling through the blowoff tube, but it was more what I would expect to see at the end of a vigorous fermentation, and the kraeusen is only around a 1/4 inch thick... it doesn't even completely cover the surface of the wort. yeast was pitched ~6 hrs prior. Am I needlessly worried, or is there something I can do when I get home tonight to help fix this if it hasn't gotten any better by then?

I followed my typical brewing procedures with the exception of the wort chiller and aerator:

bring 2 gallons to mash temp (~150-165 F or so), steep specialty grains for ~30min, sparge with ~1 gallon hot tap water (~130F), turn heat back on and at first sign of boil, turn heat back off, add extract, bring back to a boil. Once boiling begin hop schedule.

This is the second brew where i've employed a copper coil immersion chiller, and an aquarium pump aerator. Last brew these things helped immensely. by the time I woke up next morning the fermentation was flying! next morning there was kraeusen already coming out of the blow off.

After we aerated this time, I let it set in the aeration bucket for ~30min (watched a family guy episode on hulu.com) to allow more of the hops and break to settle. Then, when transferring to the carboy, I did what I could to keep the siphon only pulling the clearest wort, but some break did get in.

At the end, in an effort to get as much usable wort out as possible, we cleaned and sanitized my French Press and squeezed probably another beer's worth wort from the hops in the bottom. I then took a grav reading, which was a little high, so I dropped in about another half gallon or so of water to bring the OG more in line with the target.

The yeast pitched was a Wyeast smack pack, that I smacked the night before. It was all the way puffed out, but wasn't drum tight. seemed pretty viable. The OG of the wort was 1.045, so its not like I should have needed a starter.

I know i'm probably needlessly worried, but when you brew on saturday and get one kind of result, then brew on wednesday and get another, and you did damn close the same thing on both you tend to get a little worried... atleast I do :/

BierMuncher 03-26-2009 03:07 PM

Dude, you have active fermentation in less than 12 hours.

You're golden.

Beer_Pirate 03-26-2009 03:42 PM

yeah... i've cooled down a little more since i wrote the thread... i'm an idiot.

thanks for the reassurance though.

I come from a long line of worry warts on my mother's side. I should expect this.

BrewDey 03-26-2009 04:36 PM

Should be fine. I usually see a yeast cake form very quickly-then within 12 hours I'll have tiny bubbles at the top, bubbling up from the cake...within 24 hours, it's usually a swirling carboy of chaos as the yeast take off from the bottom. But it seems like any action within the 1st day is a good sign.

Beer_Pirate 03-28-2009 11:58 PM

well, now that it's been a couple of days, I'm actually kinda worried. Fermentation is definitely going. My blow off is bubbling at about a 2 bubble/second rate, but to look at the ferementer, it just looks sickly. The kraeusen is only about an inch and a half thick (first time i've fermented in a carboy and could have used an airlock), and just below the level of the krauesen there seems to be stuff kinda floating. there's just something about it that doesn't make it look like a healthy fermentation to me. I guess I won't know for sure until i transfer to secondary and taste it. does this sound like anything i should be worried about... i've never seen a fermentation like this (this is only my sixth batch, and its sitting next to my 5th.)

Yooper 03-29-2009 12:36 AM

I think the only fix to this problem is for you to stop looking at it!

It's fermenting. It's fine. Walk away, and come back to it next week.

Maybe next time, use a bucket for a primary, so you can't see it and worry so much. ;)

KingBrianI 03-29-2009 12:52 AM

Dude, maybe you should find a new hobby, like collecting bottlecaps. Brewing seems to be too stressful for you!

GunnerMan 03-29-2009 03:46 AM

Yeast are living organisms not some machine some perfect scientist made, each one will be different. I just threw a beer in primary 24 hours ago and it only has about 1/4" kraeusen the one before that had huge kraseusen...

If it is fermenting it has a 99.9% chance of being fine, RDWHAHB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cuinrearview 03-29-2009 01:04 PM

Nasty looking cream colored foam with patches of slimy brown on top? A thick layer under that sticking to the side of the carboy? A maelstrom of swirling bits throughout? Sounds like active fermentation to me. Step away from the fermenter. Step away.

Beer_Pirate 03-29-2009 08:25 PM


Originally Posted by KingBrianI (Post 1225849)
Dude, maybe you should find a new hobby, like collecting bottlecaps. Brewing seems to be too stressful for you!

Actually, I love this stuff.

ok... I'll quit bugging you guys about this :o :D

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