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Old 04-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default Can a beer be under fermented without any audible or visual signs of active fermentin

With all of that excellent information being put out there, what is the by-product of not fermenting long enough? What I have read so far is that beer bottled to soon before fermenting has completed will continue to do so in the bottles causing bottle bombs. All of the grain recipes that I have put together so far have used a yeast called Nottingham Dried Ale Yeast and have all taken a routine 2 weeks to complete active fermentation. At this point, there was no visual or audible evidence of the yeast doing anything. The beer had also settled out well and created a nice sediment at the bottom of the fermenter. The only exception to this was the Oatmeal and Double Oatmeal Stouts which had a more active fermentation for about the first three days in the fermenter. I just bottled an Old Peculiar which used Windsor Dried Ale Yeast. This recipe became active in the fermenter within an hour and was so vigorous after three hours that the bubbling sounded more like a steady stream of Co2. The fermenting even caused the wort to circulate within the fermenter. It remained lively like that for about 24hrs and between the second and third day there was no more evidence of active fermentation and nothing audible. It has sat for about 7 days in silence making it an eight day ferment. I bottled the Old Peculiar today. It smelled great and had a nice thick sediment layer on the bottom of the fermenter. While I was syphoning the beer from my fermenter to the brew pot for batch priming, I noticed that the beer still had a good amount of sediment in it. Will this continue to settle out even in the bottles? Is there a certain amount of head space required in the bottles when bottling? I filled to about 1.5 inches from the mouth of the bottle.

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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Fermentation can take many shapes and forms. It can be very vigorous, or take up to a week or more to complete. A lot of factors come into play with it. Ambient temp of the room the primary is in, style of yeast, amount of fermentable sugars in the beer, etc. So while you can see very vigorous ferments, (if that is even a word) you can also see very slow ones. What you are noticing still in suspension is yeast. Yes, they will continue to fall out of suspension as their food source continues to diminish. As far as bottling, I am assuming you are using the bottling wand that comes with pretty much every beginners kit? If so, fill it right to the top. When you pull the wand out, it leaves the perfect amount of head room. Then cap and let it sit in a cool, dark, and preferably easy place to clean for 2-3 weeks. I like to use those rubbermaid totes in the basement. They are dark, cool, and if I do have a bottle bomb, they are plastic which is easy to clean up, and I am out of danger short of one blowing as I am opening the tote. I hope I answered all of your questions. Cheers. :-)

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Are you using a hydrometer to be sure they're finished fermenting? That's the only sure way to know. If they're still cloudy,they may not be done yet. Or at least not given 3-7 days after FG is reached to settle out clear or slightly misty. The yeast clean up after themselves during this same time.
Usually,when bubbling stops or slows down,only active fermentation is done. It'll slowly,uneventfully ferment down to FG from there.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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Fermentation can take many shapes and forms. It can be very vigorous, or take up to a week or more to complete. A lot of factors come into play with it. Ambient temp of the room the primary is in, style of yeast, amount of fermentable sugars in the beer, etc. So while you can see very vigorous ferments, (if that is even a word) you can also see very slow ones. What you are noticing still in suspension is yeast. Yes, they will continue to fall out of suspension as their food source continues to diminish. As far as bottling, I am assuming you are using the bottling wand that comes with pretty much every beginners kit? If so, fill it right to the top. When you pull the wand out, it leaves the perfect amount of head room. Then cap and let it sit in a cool, dark, and preferably easy place to clean for 2-3 weeks. I like to use those rubbermaid totes in the basement. They are dark, cool, and if I do have a bottle bomb, they are plastic which is easy to clean up, and I am out of danger short of one blowing as I am opening the tote. I hope I answered all of your questions. Cheers. :-)
I was using a bottling wand for while but found it to be too slow. I now use the tube of the bottling wand on a rubber hose with a hose clamp. I find it works a lot faster than the wand which frustrated me. I noticed the sediment which like you said looks like yeast. I never noticed it before in my other beers but they were black stouts, and porters. They were probably present only not seen through the very dark beer. I had originally filled the bottles to the top of the taper of the neck with the wand still in making it about half way up the neck without the wand. I ended up with enough beer in the pot to not want to dump it and yet not enough for another bottle (I found with my last batch that a third bottle of beer does not carbonate). So, I ended up topping up the necks to about 1.5 inches from the top of the bottles. I read in a few places to leave between 1.5-2 inches space. Does that make sense? Did I understand you correctly to mean that once bottled the beers should be in a dark and cool place? I currently have them in a dark, dry, and room temp state. What is the difference between storing in a cool or room temp place once bottled?

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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By cool, I mean 65-68. I keep mine in the basement so they are closer to the 65 range. I also mean that they should not be at 80 degrees. The only thing I have a question about with your filling method is if you are oxygenating your beer? I am hoping what ever you use, that it is not "pouring" into the bottle?

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
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By cool, I mean 65-68. I keep mine in the basement so they are closer to the 65 range. I also mean that they should not be at 80 degrees. The only thing I have a question about with your filling method is if you are oxygenating your beer? I am hoping what ever you use, that it is not "pouring" into the bottle?
I use the bottling wand without the spring loaded valve on the bottom of the wand. All it is is a clear hose on an auto syphon with the the wand tube not he end and a hose clamp to stop the flow between bottles. The wand sits on the bottom of the bottle, with a syphon started using the auto syphon, and is gravity fed from the bottom up. I do not our the beer down the sides of the bottles except for the remnants at the bottom of the pot which I topped up the necks with. The temp that the beers are at now is at 18-20 degrees celsius which is about 64.4-68 degrees F. It is more steady at the 18 C but will rise to 20 on hot days.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:33 PM   #7
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68-72 is better for carb/conditioning temp. Too cool,& they either don't carbonate till they're warmed up,or won't even carbonate when warmed. My last batch of APA did that. They never fully recoverd even after stirred up & warmed.
It's my current theory that if the yeast eat the priming sugar at too low a temp,they produce far less co2 than at proper carbonating temps.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #8
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68-72 is better for carb/conditioning temp. Too cool,& they either don't carbonate till they're warmed up,or won't even carbonate when warmed. My last batch of APA did that. They never fully recoverd even after stirred up & warmed.
It's my current theory that if the yeast eat the priming sugar at too low a temp,they produce far less co2 than at proper carbonating temps.
The instructions given to me with my ingredients only suggest keeping the bottles at room temp for 7-10 days then moving them to a cooler location and start enjoying. That to met seems quite vague. That closet is not necessarily the warmest part of the house throughout the day but the warmest at a steady temp. During the day, my upstairs gets quite warm 22-25 C when the sun shines but, drops off again once the sun sets to 18 degrees. That closet holds its temp at 18-20 depending on the heat of the day. I had wanted a steady temp if at all possible. Would you allow the beer to fluctuate in temp like my upstairs does?
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:46 PM   #9
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You want as little temp fluctuation as pssible. The yeast can still quit on you,trust me. And 7-10 days at room temp is def not long enough. More like 3-5 weeks for an average gravity ale. Then 1-2 weeks fridge time. I've found that 2 weeks fridge time gives thicker head,& longer lasting carbonation.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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I think it is tough to say but i try to follow the directions so if it says 1 - 2 weeks in the primary then I watch and after it krausen has collapsed and there are no more bubbles I wait 2 days and move over to my secondary, which I let sit for 4 weeks (its tough to do after the 2 week mark) then once its bottled, I let it sit 2 weeks to let the proper carbonation to take place, and then move to the refrigerator. I find the longer the beer ages the flavor/complexity of the beer becomes stronger.

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