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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Fast fermentation!
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:08 PM   #1
Bioguy1975
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Default Fast fermentation!

Hi gang - n00b question.

At the 19 hour mark after putting into my primary, my belgian ale showed a nice thick 1 inch kreusen, creamy white color.

About 24 hours since then, the kreusen has now settled down into about a 1/8 inch thick layer, very dark. I continue to bubble out of my fermentation lock about every 4-5 seconds.

Yes, being a noob, I forgot to take my gravity sample, so I can't do a hydrometer check to see if I am stable.

The fermenter is at 73degF right now

I used a Wyeast slap-pack Belgian Abbey II.

I'd relax and have a homebrew, but this is my first batch and don't have any yet.

Should I be concerned? Should I syphon into my 5 gal secondary carboy soon?

-Pete

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Reason: Updated to add temp and 'forgot to take sample' mea culpa.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
eppo
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i'd leave it in there for at least 10 days to 2 weeks before taking any gravity readings. at 10 days you can try and then take another for the next two days and see if you get the same gravity. then you can move it to the secondary.

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Old 10-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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You're off to a good start, but don't touch it yet!

I'm not sure if your temp is good, but I think it's okay. Somebody will come and correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure.

About a week after you pitched the yeast, you can start checking the gravity. Don't even bother until then, though. If you post the recipe, we can help you figure out your OG, but most recipes and kits will tell you the target OG and FG.

As far as being concerned goes, no you shouldn't be. You made a nice house for the yeast to live in and have babies that eat sugar and crap out alcohol, don't go knocking on their door too much. And the airlock activity (or lack of, for that matter) doesn't neccesarily mean anything. It's nice that it's bubbling but don't rely on it. It's just a piece of plastic that keeps air from getting in to your beer, not a calibrated instrument.

Just sit back and let the yeast do what it does, pull a sample a week after you pitched to check the gravity and then a day or two after that. If they're the same for a few days, then you can go to secondary.

While you're waiting, read some of the stickies and check out some of the other threads (particularly the ones about stuck/slow fermentations and 'ruined batches', they'll answer every question you'll feel silly for asking after you get your answer). John Palmer's "How To Brew" is an excellent free e-book as well. http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html Read that, then maybe read it again later.

And, welcome to the addiction!

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Old 10-13-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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Yeah, I agree. Everything is going fine. I'd leave it for 7-10 days, rack to a secondary for awhile and then check it after a couple weeks. Once it's come down below 1.015, then it's probably went as far as it's going to go and you can bottle or keg it.

cheers

~r~

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Old 10-13-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
Bioguy1975
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Thanks everyone for the advice! Based on what I am reading, I'll take my gravity readings at the times specified, otherwise, I am going with the 1-2-3 approach for now.

To Grizly, I do indeed have Palmer's book, spine is cracked several places! It proved invaluable to me as I was brewing.

The other book I had with me was a lab notebook... overkill some would say, but not only did it give me a chance to write down and understand the procedure in advance, but it also allowed me to jot down thoughts/suggestions/screwups/upgrades to think about in the future. Because I have multiple secondary fermentors, it will also allow me to keep track of multiple batches I make as a move forward.

Thanks again everyone!

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Old 10-13-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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A notebook is one of the most important tools a brewer can have. You may think that you're going to remember everything, but after several years you want to come back and brew that "insert beer type here" and you don't have the recipe with notes on what you did right and what you did wrong ... you'll have to start all over at square one.

cheers

~r~

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Old 10-13-2009, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bioguy1975 View Post
To Grizly, I do indeed have Palmer's book, spine is cracked several places! It proved invaluable to me as I was brewing.

The other book I had with me was a lab notebook... overkill some would say, but not only did it give me a chance to write down and understand the procedure in advance, but it also allowed me to jot down thoughts/suggestions/screwups/upgrades to think about in the future. Because I have multiple secondary fermentors, it will also allow me to keep track of multiple batches I make as a move forward.

Thanks again everyone!
Notes aren't overkill, they're necessary! I even keep track of how long all the different steps take me, like cleaning/sanitizing bottles so I can make a good guess of how long things are going to take me on brew day so I can plan other things to do that day. Fishing is also extremely important, ya know...
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
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Ok, update!

Since I last left everyone, the kreusen got about a half an inch thick, and then settled down.

Then after a day, the kreusen got thick again. Two fermentations? Ah, who knows. Yeasts are interesting creatures.

I am thinking of throwing the contents of the primary into a secondary tomorrow. But.... I really should take a gravity reading. I'm going to be the stupid n00b and ask... what's the most convenient way to take a gravity reading at this point? I'm really concerned about contaminating and/or oxygenating the beer, but I'd like to double check to make sure that my gravity has stabilized over the course of today and tomorrow.

The temperature of the primary has been consistant for the past 3 days at 68 degrees F. My airlock bubbles maybe once every 5-10 minutes.

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6.5 gal Glass Primary: Air, waiting to be thoroughly cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 1: Air, waiting to be thoroughly cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 2: Air, cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 3: Air, cleaned
On Deck: Fat Tire Clone

Bottled, waiting: Nada
Bottled, ready: Black Forest Stout, Vanilla Porter
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bioguy1975 View Post
what's the most convenient way to take a gravity reading at this point? I'm really concerned about contaminating and/or oxygenating the beer, but I'd like to double check to make sure that my gravity has stabilized over the course of today and tomorrow.
I really like the Fermtech wine/beer thief. Remember to properly sanitize the thief and hydrometer before dipping it into your fermenter.

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Old 10-18-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
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Thanks! I am going to stop by the LHBS today to pick up one!

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6.5 gal Glass Primary: Air, waiting to be thoroughly cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 1: Air, waiting to be thoroughly cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 2: Air, cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 3: Air, cleaned
On Deck: Fat Tire Clone

Bottled, waiting: Nada
Bottled, ready: Black Forest Stout, Vanilla Porter
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