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Old 01-21-2006, 03:19 AM   #1
mezman
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Default Bubbly fermenty gunk question

Last Wednesday was brew-day for my first extract recipe, a Bavarian style dunkle weissbier.

So it's been bubbling away for the past week and a half. Now that the fermentation is slowing, there's a lot of gunk left at the top of the fermenter. Some of it looks like it could be yeast. Should I swirl the wort around to mix that back in? Or leave it there?

I'm also wondering how long I should expect it to bubble before I panic? I know that 10 days is not unreasonable, but would 20 days be? What about 14? Especially since I'm not racking to a secondary fermenter? Thanks!

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Old 01-21-2006, 03:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mezman
Should I swirl the wort around to mix that back in? Or leave it there?
Leave it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mezman
I'm also wondering how long I should expect it to bubble before I panic? I know that 10 days is not unreasonable, but would 20 days be? What about 14? Especially since I'm not racking to a secondary fermenter? Thanks!
This'll make you feel better:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...t+fermentation
Don't Panic.
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:38 AM   #3
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First, don't swirl it back in. That's the krausen you're talking about. It eventually falls back in on its own and settles at the bottom. It's mostly hop residue, but there is a lot of yeast in it as well. The yeast is supposed to work from the top in ales.
As far as how long you have to wait, don't panic at all. No matter how long it takes, if it's still going, it's fine. It's when your beer peters out after two days and the gravity is still really high that you worry. Even then, there are things you can do. If your gravity was high to begin with, you're fermenting at the low end of your yeasts ideal temperature range, or your yeast wasn't top quality, you'll have a longer ferment time. If it's your yeast, or a high gravity, there's not much you can do but wait or pitch new yeast, which I wouldn't recomend. The temperature is the easiest to fix, and the most likely culprit. In any case, a longer fermentation process sometimes results in a clearer, more mellow, better tasting beer. Don't worry.

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Old 01-21-2006, 05:32 PM   #4
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Very well then, I shall let it sit, on both accounts.

Thanks catfish for pointing me to that thread. Though I think I'd have a hard time being patient for a month!

I looked up the optimum range for the White Labs Hefeweizen yeast (WLP300) and its 68-72 and my fermenter is at 68. It gets colder too probably when the furnace doesn't run at night or while I'm at work.

Thanks!

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Old 01-21-2006, 05:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I looked up the optimum range for the White Labs Hefeweizen yeast (WLP300) and its 68-72 and my fermenter is at 68. It gets colder too probably when the furnace doesn't run at night or while I'm at work.
You'll be glad you're at the lower end of the temp range...that yeast is banana extreme at the higher temps.
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