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Old 02-22-2006, 04:26 AM   #1
MarkUsBrew
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Default Problem with first brew?

I just brewed my first batch last week (2/14), a Belgian Tripel style using a Wyeast 1214 smack pack, and used a Minibrew plastic conical fermenter. I left it mostly alone, although I did lift the lid for a quick peek after a couple days as there was no airlock activity due to the ungasketed lid (but there was at least 1/2” krausen present on Friday).

I didn’t start to dump any trub until Saturday, and it was a much more liquid mixture than I expected. I tried the tapping trick yesterday after reading about it here, but am still not getting a very thick trub coming out the bottom. Tried straining a liquidy glassfull I took out about a half hour ago, and there is clearly yeast present, but no settled mass or cake as I had expected.

What should I do? I’m concerned that I may be wasting too much beer out of the batch when trying to dump trub. Is it too early for the yeast to have settled out of the beer? There is no significant krausen as of today.

Any thoughts/advice will be greatly appreciated!

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Old 02-22-2006, 04:51 AM   #2
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Chill man, have a home brew! I've never used conicles before but I would assume that not having a thick yeast cake simply means the yeast are working a bit slow. what temps are you fermenting at? It seems the yeast are still working and haven't fallen yet. The last thing you want is your yeat to fall too quickly. Just leave it alone and let it do it's thing. What else are you going to do? Dump it and start over? I think not.

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Old 02-22-2006, 05:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadKarmaa
Chill man, have a home brew!
Man, wish I had one to chill with! I'll just have to settle for this Golden Monkey at hand!

But seriously, I am worried about the temp being a factor as my fermenter is in ambient conditions of about 64F - 66F (my wife won't let me turn up the heat!). Also hoping that my fermentation didn't stall due to lack of yeast - I made a starter, but the OG is relatively high (about 1.080) and only did one pitching of the starter as opposed to the multiple wort additions recommended in Palmer's book.

So you think the yeast is still working (though almost no krausen) and that's why nothing major is coming out the bottom? I guess I'll have to learn patience!
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:11 AM   #4
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Wow...a Belgian Trippel for your first batch. Why don't you try something challenging?

Cheers

PS - Don't worry about the temp...

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Old 02-22-2006, 06:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Wow...a Belgian Trippel for your first batch. Why don't you try something challenging?
That's exactly what I was thinking. That and the fact that he has a conical fermenter.

Quite a running start you've taken there, MarkUsBrew!

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Old 02-22-2006, 12:44 PM   #6
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I'm not really familiar with the equipment you're using, but it sounds like the temp. being as low as it is could cause the fermentation process to take a longer. Be patient, hope for the best, and try to bump the temp. up a degree or two when your wife isn't looking

Good luck!
Sean

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Old 02-22-2006, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
That's exactly what I was thinking. That and the fact that he has a conical fermenter.

Quite a running start you've taken there, MarkUsBrew!

-walker
Well, that's a result of more confidence than common sense!

So, if I understand what everyone is saying, the reason I'm not getting much trub is that the yeast is still suspended in the remainder of the wort/beer? Even without any krausen in my fermenter?
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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So, if I understand what everyone is saying, the reason I'm not getting much trub is that the yeast is still suspended in the remainder of the wort/beer? Even without any krausen in my fermenter?
Correct.

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Old 02-22-2006, 06:15 PM   #9
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Yeast takes a while to settle out after the fermentation ceases. Even so, I don't think you're going to get a solid mass of yeast out. You'll waste some beer doing it for sure.

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Old 02-22-2006, 06:23 PM   #10
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Thanks all!

My second batch, a Belgian strong ale, seems to be going better - its sitting in a plastic bucket and there's still airlock activity after four days. Man, this hobby is addictive!!

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