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Old 01-05-2011, 05:07 AM   #1
RippinLt
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Default fermentation starting in 1 hour vs 36 hours

1/3 of the threads on here are related to fermentation and how afraid everyone is that their wort isn't fermenting. Some show signs of fermentation within hours, others take days. Just because you dont have bubbles doesn't mean that your wort isn't fermenting. But a hydro test does. and sometimes it does take days for a hydro test to show results.
Here are my questions:

A bucket of wort is under extreme danger if it takes 2 to 3 days to start kicking, no? It has a 4 inch layer of dirty air from my kitchen laying on top of it.

Some brews show signs after only hours past yeast pitch. Aren't these brews much safer and much more likely to be a success?


Why is it accepted that it takes that long to start fermenting? From what I have gathered, I would imagine that everyone's 1st goal once the beer is in the fermentor is to be sure that fermentation has started. It just seems like everyone is so content with their wort sitting at room temp with air sitting on it.

Anyone have an extra .02 to spend on some knowledge?

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Old 01-05-2011, 05:36 AM   #2
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If your sanitation practices are sound and you have a closed fermentation a little time is not going to be that big of a deal.

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:00 AM   #3
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Mine always seems to be rockin' by the next morning. hmmm.

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On Deck: Irish Red, Vagabond Ale (ala Charlie Papazian)
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:12 AM   #4
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here's my knowledge... For the best results:

For liquid yeast, make a starter. See the Pitching Rate Calculator at:
http://www.mrmalty.com/

For dry yeast, rehydrate it (and proof it if possible) according to manufacturer direction. Look it up on the googles. "Rehydrate dry yeast for homebrewing"

EDIT: and for god's sake, pitch at fermentation temperature, not at 80 or 90F.

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Old 01-05-2011, 09:33 AM   #5
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No question - the sooner fermentation starts, the better for the yeast's sake... BUT, just because krausen hasn't formed yet does not mean fermentation has not begun. Provided that the yeast pitched is viable, fermentation begins faster than most newer brewers think - they are just waiting for visible signs of confirmation, i.e. krausen and a bubbling air lock.

Keep in mind that while ale yeast is top fermenting, many of us suspend the yeast in a starter slurry, pour that into the carboy, and then shake the hell out of the carboy to get the yeast deep into the wort. All that yeast then begins chewing on sugars, eventually making it to the top where krausen forms. At the same time, the off-gassing of the CO2 from the yeast has to make it to the roof of the wort, where it then begins to fill the O2 blanket, which is eventually forced out...remember, CO2 is denser than air.

Again, and in summary, just because the visible signs aren't there, doesn't mean fermentation isn't taking place. Ditto for fermentation after krausen has fallen and the air lock stops bubbling - which is why everyone says you cannot use either visible detail to signal the end of a fermentation.

But while we're on the topic - I LOVE yeast nutrient. When I was doing only partial extracts I was having difficulty with attenuation - until I fell in love with yeast nutrients and never looked back. I haven't had a stalled fermentation since...

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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Since going to a yeast starter (1000L) and adding Yeast Nutrient, my 5 gallon extracts have achieved 80% eff using White labs Cal Ale yeast... and, my airlock is bubbling within 4 hours

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bschoenb View Post
Since going to a yeast starter (1000L) and adding Yeast Nutrient, my 5 gallon extracts have achieved 80% eff using White labs Cal Ale yeast... and, my airlock is bubbling within 4 hours
wow that's a big starter
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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hence the great effeciency! :-0

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Old 01-05-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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I've thought a few times about dropping some Co2 in the bucket just to push the "kitchen air" off the top then sealing the bucket. Is this an option?

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Old 01-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Dont worry so much about your kitchen air. where sanitation is important, even if a few bacterial/wild yeast cells were to get into the bucket, by the time the yeast you dumped in get to work (or probably just their presence in the bucket) the bacteria/wild yeast will have no chance.
also remember, some of us do this in our back yard. i'm sure there are a lot more nasty things in the air there, and our beer still turns out great!

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