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Old 10-02-2007, 04:55 AM   #1
andyp
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Default Overpitched? Primary done in 24hrs?

Hi.

So this is my second batch, and is another kit. Here are the the details, but first the question if you want to skip the story:

How unusual/bad is it for a primary to finish within the first 24hrs? Will the off flavours be noticeable?


I got a new pail to use as a primary, and not realising that he pail and recipe were both for 23L I decided to just hook up a blow off tube (expecting lots of foam).

OG: 1.056 (The Brew House Red Ale Kit)

I pitched the yeast cake from my first kit, since they used the same yeast, but I awakened it for 24hr with some delicious sugar water to get it going, so I had about 500ml of yeast starter that was active. This was late yesterday afternoon.

Very soon after pitching I started to get a good amount of foaming out the sides of the lid. I realised then that this particular lid style doesn't seal tightly all the way around, and very little pressue was coming out the blow off tube but rather escaping around the edges.

This morning there was no activity in the tube and it looked like the escaping foam was done. After work, the same...but then I noticed a pretty good amount of wort had escaped into the plastic bag I had wrapped around the pail (maybe 300ml-ish?). I switched the tube to an airlock, but no movement there either. Now I come home from after hockey, about 30hr after pitching, and see no activity in the airlock still. I thought I had either got the fermentation stuck or the gas was escaping out the lid unseen. I thought I might mix up the wort a bit, and decided to take a reading at the same time, just for the heck of it and the SG= 1.013. Wow, that was fast.

Now that I disturbed it, of course, it's bubbling away like mad. So, if it's not done already it will be pretty darn soon. Have I pitched too much yeast, over oxygenated it (I was very vigorous), and will the flavour be way off because of the quick fermentation? Honestly, as my second batch I'm shooting for drinkable...so I'm sure this will be that...but I just want to learn the ropes!

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Old 10-02-2007, 06:28 AM   #2
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Nice fermentation!
It's not terribly unusual for wort to ferment in 24 hours. The yeast worked fast, but at the same time it might have been sloppy, now you might have to condition it for a couple of weeks. This is why I ferment cool, because I feel the flavor is smoother and more balanced. What was your fermentation temperature? If it was higher than 68F, it might have more esters than you would want. Try to get more control over the fermentation temperatures of your future batches, this will ensure a consistency of good beer. Don't rack the beer yet, let it sit for at least a week so the yeast can get rid of any diacetyl and other by products, even some off flavors (if there are any). You probably didn't overpitch or over oxygenate, so don't worry. I'd say taste the beer and decide whether it's ready to be racked to the secondary or bottled/kegged. I'm sure it will turn out great!

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Old 10-02-2007, 12:14 PM   #3
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Next time, don't "wake up" the starter with sugar water. There is no need, and actually can get the yeast accustomed to simple sugar (sucrose) instead of malt sugar (maltose). Depending on how much sugar water you used, you could get a bit of an off flavor from that, but not likely. And don't aerate/stir up after fermentation gets going!

You are seeing co2 coming out of solution since it was disturbed. I'd leave it alone for a week and then rack it if you're using a secondary (clearing tank).

I've had quite a few ferments that are done in 24-36 hours or so. How fast it goes really doesn't relate to tastes or off-flavors at all. Temperature is a much bigger consideration.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:37 PM   #4
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as yooper mentions....how warm was fermentation? that's your biggest indicator that you might have esters/off flavors.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:38 PM   #5
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Yes, it was warmer in the room than I thought it would be (about 74F in the room, a little warmer on the bucket)...I thought it would be cooler, but I used another room for my first batch and it was a bit cooler.

So, as I thought, just be patient and let it do it's work I guess. That really is the hardest thing about brewing, I think.

"The first thing you must learn is patience"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Patience. How long will that take?"

If I could ask for one more piece of advice....I'm going to try and boost the hops a bit in the secondary. Maybe some Northern Brewer or Cascade. How many oz should I dry hop with for a 5 gallon batch? The answer is probably "it depends", but is 1 oz too little 2 oz too much?

Another thought. I thought I had mixed up the wort alright, but I did top the bucket off with the extra water/mineral pack....so maybe I just happened to take a light reading by accident. As of this morning the airlock is still fairly vigorous, so maybe I really did spark it up again and it's not just out gassing.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyp
If I could ask for one more piece of advice....I'm going to try and boost the hops a bit in the secondary. Maybe some Northern Brewer or Cascade. How many oz should I dry hop with for a 5 gallon batch? The answer is probably "it depends", but is 1 oz too little 2 oz too much?

Another thought. I thought I had mixed up the wort alright, but I did top the bucket off with the extra water/mineral pack....so maybe I just happened to take a light reading by accident. As of this morning the airlock is still fairly vigorous, so maybe I really did spark it up again and it's not just out gassing.
I'd recommend dryhopping with cascade. Northern Brewer gives off a harshness that wouldn't be pleasant for dryhopping. I'd add an ounce, taste after a week and see how it is. If it's good, that's fine. If you want more, put in some more! You're right, though, the answer most definitely is "it depends". It depends on the style of beer, the amount of bitterness you have, and your own personal tastes.

It's possible that your og is off, that happens all the time. I don't know what you mean by mineral pack, though. What is that? The only way to know if fermentation is done is to check the sg. Airlock activity also changes with the temperature and barometric changes.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper Chick
I don't know what you mean by mineral pack, though. What is that?
Oh. These kits (http://www.thebrewhouse.com/types/index.htm) come with a pH/mineral "correction" package...at least mine did. Now, how they know what your water chemistry is to start with...? I guess they're assuming the average water condition. Anyway, you're supposed to add the mineral pouch to about 2 gallons of water, and mix that in with the 4 gallons of presterilized wort that comes in the kit (it's not a concentrated extract).

It's an interesting kit, and I'm hoping it will produce some more natural flavours. Certainly, my next batch will be a recipe-based one. Actually, I'm thinking about doing your Extract English Brown Ale. What's it like? I'm at a middle of the road stage right now. Some mild porters or midlands mild beers are great, but others (like say Fuller's London Porter) are too much for my taste right now.

Thanks for the guidance!
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyp
Oh. These kits (http://www.thebrewhouse.com/types/index.htm) come with a pH/mineral "correction" package...at least mine did. Now, how they know what your water chemistry is to start with...? I guess they're assuming the average water condition. Anyway, you're supposed to add the mineral pouch to about 2 gallons of water, and mix that in with the 4 gallons of presterilized wort that comes in the kit (it's not a concentrated extract).

It's an interesting kit, and I'm hoping it will produce some more natural flavours. Certainly, my next batch will be a recipe-based one. Actually, I'm thinking about doing your Extract English Brown Ale. What's it like? I'm at a middle of the road stage right now. Some mild porters or midlands mild beers are great, but others (like say Fuller's London Porter) are too much for my taste right now.

Thanks for the guidance!
Ahh, gotcha. I would think that for extract brewing, you might be better off with your own tap water if it's good, or just bottled spring water and to forget the adjustments for right now. Unless your water is bad tasting or full of chloramines, I'd just use that.

The English Brown was my first beer and I liked it so much that I made it again about 3 or 4 months later. It's pretty mild and middle of the road, so it's definitely drinkable for most people. It's like a Newcastle (it's not a Newcastle clone recipe, but that's the closest commercial beer I can liken it to). The Willamette hops are very mild and a good introduction to homebrew. Using a dry yeast like Nottingham gives it a clean taste and makes it easy. I would suggest trying to keep it around 68 degrees while fermenting if you possible can.

I haven't made that recipe again in well over a year, since I've turned into a hophead!
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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thebrewhouse lowers the ph of their kits to prevent spoilage (using phosphoric acid)...the "mineral pack" you are adding is baking soda to correct the ph back to the normal level. it has nothing to do with water chemistry...go to their site and they have a wealth of information on their kits and some of the things u can do with them.

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