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Old 12-19-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Default slow to no fermentation

I made a pumpkin ale on wed night. It was my first mini mash kit but eveything went well with that. However it was also my first time using whirlfloc, which i forgot to add to boil but threw it in right as i put pot on ice.

now i'm having very weak if any fermentation. i used wyeast and the pack really bulged out so i know yeast was good. I opened the top and there is very weak krausen ring and i see a few lil bubbles coming up but airlock is not moving. if i shake the bucket around it will start the bubble for like an hour and goes away and few hours the airlock water levels are even like there is no co2 pressure anymore. bucket has good seal cause when i push on lid moves airlock.

only new thing here is whirlfloc, could that be causing this since i put in at flame out?

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Old 12-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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The vigorous part of the fermentation may be done as there WAS a sign of a krausen ring. It has probably already receded back into the liquid. Just take a hydrometer reading and see where you're at. That's the only way to know if there was fermentation or not. Bubbles in the airlock just mean there was excess gas so that means nothing really.

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Old 12-19-2011, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1919 View Post
I made a pumpkin ale on wed night. It was my first mini mash kit but eveything went well with that. However it was also my first time using whirlfloc, which i forgot to add to boil but threw it in right as i put pot on ice.

now i'm having very weak if any fermentation. i used wyeast and the pack really bulged out so i know yeast was good. I opened the top and there is very weak krausen ring and i see a few lil bubbles coming up but airlock is not moving. if i shake the bucket around it will start the bubble for like an hour and goes away and few hours the airlock water levels are even like there is no co2 pressure anymore. bucket has good seal cause when i push on lid moves airlock.

only new thing here is whirlfloc, could that be causing this since i put in at flame out?
I doubt Whirlfloc could cause fermentation to slow. It's a protein coagulant.

what was the yeast strain and the temp? The beer could be nearly or completely fermented at this point.

Also, did the airlock ever show signs of vigorous fermentation?
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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It was wyeast london ale yeast. i smashed the pack about 4hrs before pitching and it was very hard i was getting worried it might pop. pitched on the beer 74. and its been at pretty 72-75 the whole time. it never showed a vigorous fermentation. about 36hrs after pitching there was like a very faint airlock action that went away i showed the bucket around and it resumed and died down. sat night i did same and it resume and now its back to no action.

I will let it sit some more and move to 2ndary this friday. My hydrometer broke several batches ago, but since i just buy kits that premeasured for me i just figured wouldn't need one.. go figure.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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72 is pretty warm for that strain. 72F is the highest recommended temp. Higher temps will cause the beer to ferment quicker but will also produce some "off flavors" (fusel alcohol, phenols to name a couple)

Really, you should pick up a hydrometer and use it before you do anything else.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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That temp is a bit too warm considering inside the fermenter can be much warmer. However, not speaking to issues fermenting too warm, being that it was in fact a warm fermentation, you're probably past the vigorous part. Get a hydrometer though...that is the only way to really know if you have fermentation or not.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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an ale fermented at 72-75 may be almost undrinkable or at least not enjoyable as an ale fermented at 60-65.

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Old 12-19-2011, 05:54 PM   #8
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Yea, that high of a temperature probably means you had a super fast vigorous fermentation. Next time try controlling your temps. The temperature range on the pack is a guideline- you really want to be as close to the bottom of it as you can. Also, that indicates BEER temperature, not the temperature of the room. You need to be actively cooling your beer as fermentation itself generates heat and can rise way above the temperature of the room.

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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crap.. looks like i will have move my operation in colder temps. i thought about keep fermenter near patio glass door there is draft there so i can easily keep it at like 65-68there. but i guess i worried about the light ruining beer since my fermenter is transparent.

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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crap.. looks like i will have move my operation in colder temps. i thought about keep fermenter near patio glass door there is draft there so i can easily keep it at like 65-68there. but i guess i worried about the light ruining beer since my fermenter is transparent.
Just throw a towel or blanket around it. Wetting a towel might net you another degree or two, also.
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