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Old 09-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Does Fermentation really slow down on day 2?

I brewed a batch of a blonde ale on Tuesday afternoon. Got it cooled to about 78 pitched the yeast and started my wait. Yesterday the airlock was as busy as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest, today its bubbling about every four seconds....

Seems to show a lot more drop off on the fermentation than in past batches.....is this normal or am I just a crazy Packer Backer that needs to slow down and just learn to have some patience?

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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What yeast?
I've been using dry yeast lately and it will do most of the steady airlock bubbling within a couple days then it slows down, always ferments down to the target final gravity.
No worries, just let it go for at least 2 weeks.

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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It depends on the type of yeast and the temperature.

At 78 degrees, which is very warm if it is still that high, will lead to a fast fermentation.

Some of mine have peaked, usually on day 2 or 3, others have gone wild for 5 days or longer.

I keep the temperature at the low end of the recommend range for the yeast.

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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For most Ale yeasts, 78F is several degrees higher than upper limits of what's recommended. Is that the temp you're ferementing at, or just what you pitched at?

From my limited experience, a higher temp seems to result in a faster/more vigorous fermentation, but it also tends to produce undesirable flavors. You also have to consider that the process of fermentation causes an exothermic (Heat producing) reaction, durring the shorter period of robust fermentation, you might expect the temperature of the wort to rise above ambient by 2 to as much as 10F, depending on the yeast count in your pitch, and the air circulation around your fermenter.
I fermented my first APA at 78 and had very similar results to what you've reported. It is by no means a bad beer...everyone who's tried it (Admitedly Not Beer Geek people) loves it, but the my LHBS tasted it and said it came out good, but he could tell that it was fermented a bit too high. He knows the recipe I used well since he gave it to me!

You should be good though. You're gonna love it!

So, I say stay the course with this one, but next time look into methods of controlling fermentation temperature, research your yeasts optimal temp range, and try to hit it in the middle. As you become more consistent in your basic processes and learn about building recipes, you can tweak the flavors and characteristics of your beer by playing at different ends of the range. Or do as I did. If you can't put together a ferementation cooling chamber soon enough, research which yeasts do better at the ambient temps in your home right now. Saison yeast for instance is perfectly happy at 78F.

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Old 09-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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As you've heard, 78 degrees is quite warm for most ales. Warm fermentations finish faster than cooler ones, in general. Normal, yes. Desirable, probably not so much. Unless you're brewing something where a lot of esters are called for, you'll want to keep your temps below 70 F.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamsterbite View Post
For most Ale yeasts, 78F is several degrees higher than upper limits of what's recommended. Is that the temp your ferementing at, or just what you pitched at?

You should be good though. You're gonna love it!

So, I say stay the course with this one, but next time look into methods of controlling fermentation temperature, research your yeasts optimal temp range, and try to hit it in the middle. do as I did. If you can't put together a ferementation cooling chamber soon enough, research which yeasts do better at the ambient temps in your home right now. Saison yeast for instance is perfectly happy at 78F.
I agree with this gent:

My airlocks usually starts bubbling 12-16 hours and it "rages" for a day and a half and then slows..

You cast warm but it should be in range (we hope it was a Belgian) and so you should have had a pretty aggessive fermentation.

Stay the course and if it is a bit "funky"; try again same brew at a lower temp to see if that was the reason...

REMEMBER:

The yeast activity "growing and reproducing" is going to generate heat and though we have a little wiggle room brewing on this scale next time start at a lower TEMP or toss a wet towel over it.... because long durations at high TEMPs is bad.

So I am saying it is not just the High Temp but how long it was high and at what stage of fermentation it hit the highest temp.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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78 was pitching temp. The basement is holding about 72 can't get it much lower with the SWMBO messing with my A/C unit lol

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Old 09-06-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
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78 was pitching temp. The basement is holding about 72 can't get it much lower with the SWMBO messing with my A/C unit lol
72 ambient is still warm, assume at least a 3-5 degree increase inside the wort during active fermentation, and with only ambient air to maintain temp, maybe more than that. Regardless, the fermentation is/was quite warm, thus the speed of it.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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I guess I need to just move over to lagers and then I can put the carboy or fermentation bucket in the fridge.

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Old 09-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I guess I need to just move over to lagers and then I can put the carboy or fermentation bucket in the fridge.
You could do that.... you'd probably still have a tough time dialing in the proper temps without an added temp controller, maybe a heating pad too....

You could also use a swamp bucket-type cooler for ales. It's pretty simple; ~15 gal rubbermaid-type 'rope tote', water, some frozen water bottles, thermometer. A towel around the fermenter, draped into the water and a fan will make it really efficient. Aside from lagering the occasional brew in the kegerator, that's all I do for temp control, and I have no problem maintaining fermentation temps.... and that's with a wife who constantly meddles with the thermostat.
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Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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