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Old 11-26-2007, 02:40 PM   #1
PastorJasonHarris
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Default Quick starting ferment

I brewed up my double chocolate stout last night. See http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=45539

Everything went smoothly and according to directions.

From what I have read, active fermentation should be noticable within 12-36 hours. However, less than 8 hours later, it is bubbling like crazy (about 4 bubbles per second)

Does this just mean I had good hungry yeast, pitched perfectly with great oxygenation?

Or does it possibly mean something else in there is hungrier or the temp is too high?

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Old 11-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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How much yeast did you pitch? What yeast was it? What's your fermentation temperature, if you have a Fermometer stuck to the side of the bucket or carboy, or ambient temperature if you don't?

Eight hours is not unusual at all. I get some form of airlock activity within 4-5 hours, but I usually pitch a 2L starter. However, even a simple pack of rehydrated Nottingham took off within 6 hours.

If you pitched a good quantity of healthy yeast and are keeping your fermentation between, say, 66° and 72°F, you're fine. Too much warmer than that and you might want to put your bucket or carboy in a container of water to act as a heat brake. I use a restaurant bus tub, which is also handy for catching any inadvertent blow-off. Speaking of which, if your fermentation is particularly active you'll want to change out your airlock for a blowoff tube.

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Old 11-26-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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Eight hours is great! It means you have healthy yeast and a good environment for them. Just make sure you keep your temps in the optimum range for your yeast strain; fermentation causes heat so your fermenter may be a few degrees higher than the ambient air temp - too hot and you might develop off flavors.

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Old 11-26-2007, 04:13 PM   #4
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>How much yeast did you pitch? What yeast was it?

2 packets of Munton's dry ale yeast from AHS, soaked for fifteen minutes in one cup 80 degree water, stirred vigorously, then pitched into 80 degree wort and stirred again.

>What's your fermentation temperature?

Currently about 75 degree, 12 hours after pitching. I have it in a spare bedroom with the window cracked open a bit to the winter air, hoping to keep room about 65 degrees or so.

>Speaking of which, if your fermentation is particularly active you'll want to change
>out your airlock for a blowoff tube.

What is the reason for this?

Thanks,
Jason

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Old 11-26-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
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I've had a pack of unhydrated dried yeast start a batch in <3hrs with no oxygen or mechanical aeration.

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Old 11-26-2007, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastorJasonHarris
>How much yeast did you pitch? What yeast was it?

2 packets of Munton's dry ale yeast from AHS, soaked for fifteen minutes in one cup 80 degree water, stirred vigorously, then pitched into 80 degree wort and stirred again.
Sounds about the right amount of yeast. Munton's comes in 6g packets, doesn't it? Your temperature was a little high, so you may get some fruity ester flavors and aromas in your beer. If you find them objectionable, they should age out over time. Probably not a huge deal.

Quote:
>What's your fermentation temperature?

Currently about 75 degree, 12 hours after pitching. I have it in a spare bedroom with the window cracked open a bit to the winter air, hoping to keep room about 65 degrees or so.
Fermentation produces heat, so expect your wort to be 5° to 10° warmer than ambient. You might want to open that window a little further. Again, nothing bad will happen, you'll just get more esters at warmer temps. Appropriate for some styles, not so much for others. Depends on what you like.

Quote:
>Speaking of which, if your fermentation is particularly active you'll want to change
>out your airlock for a blowoff tube.

What is the reason for this?
Sometimes a vigorous fermentation can create enough krausen that it clogs the airlock. When that happens, the CO2 can't escape and builds up in your bucket or carboy. In the worst case scenario, the unattended bucket builds up enough pressure to blow the lid and you'll end up mopping your walls. Most of the time you will have enough headspace that your airlock is safe from gunk, but it's good to know how to deal with the situation before it becomes a problem. Sometimes simply removing and cleaning the airlock once or twice is sufficient to get past the worst of it. If it keeps happening, however, switching to a blowoff tube will keep beer from spraying all over your spare bedroom . I've switched to using a blowoff tube every time. I had a koelsch yeast that was way too happy and kept clogging the airlock. I came home to an ominously bulging lid. When I pulled the airlock to clean it I was rewarded with a face full of beer goo. I'm not eager to repeat the experience.

If your airlock is in a drilled stopper you can take the airlock out of the stopper and replace it with a length of the 3/8" tubing that probably came with your kit. It's not easy to get the tubing in there, but it'll go with a little force. Run the free end of the tubing into a container of sanitizing solution. That gives the krausen somewhere to go.

Hope this helps,
Chad
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