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Old 01-31-2007, 05:28 PM   #1
Adam's Apples
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Default Slow start?

Just started my second batch of homebrew last night.

Everything went 100% this time and I did several things that should improve the brew, including adding more malt and lots less sugar, cooling the wort down a lot quicker (thanks to an ice bath and our fridge) and purchasing a proper boiling pot (which is huge so no spills!).

I also aerated the mixture llike a madman, before recording a O.G. of 1.045, which beats my previous attempt of 1.028! (probably mis-recorded).

The only variable that probably isn't better this time around is the heat in my computer room, which is now hovering around 68f, compared to a 75f when I brewed before xmas. This is what I am posting about really. I remember airlock activity after about 7/8 hours first time around, but I have no activity yet and I pitched at 2am last night/this morning (yes, 2am! - decided I couldn't wait until the weekend to brew). Shoudl I worry yet? (I can hear the screams of no, but I am worried!)

Also, I'm using nearly double the malt this time around, but less sugar so the overall fermentables are only slighlty higher. The chap in the homebrew shop said the yeast might struggle if I use too much malt, so I added 2 packets just to be sure. I rehydrated it and it was frothing like a good 'un before I pitched. The yeast is Muntons Ale yeast (green packet). What are people thoughts on this? Should I add another packet as I have a spare?

Cheers

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Old 01-31-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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I'd be terribly worried. IN fact, you may need to quarantine your neighborhood.

J/K. Yeast can take up to 48 hours before you notice them working. Just because you don't see a krausen doesn't mean that there's not activity.

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Old 01-31-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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Ha, ok I get it.

I have a fermenting bin as a primary, with an airlock inserted in the lid. I'm pretty sure I can see some residue on the top of the wort and the lid is pushed out as if gas is being released, but I haven't heard any of that lovely bubbling yet.

Anyoe have any opinions on the temp range or the yeast brand/type?

I'm hoping that the yest doesn't struggle with the malt content (only 3lb of DME) like the HBS guy said...

Cheers

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Old 01-31-2007, 06:42 PM   #4
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Haha!! I just heard activity!

I'm sure hearing that first fermentation bubbling must be my favourite part of the whole brewing process.

Bubbles are quite far apart, but that may be cos of the temp..? Hopefully my yeast is good enough to deal with that DME.

Cheers

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Old 01-31-2007, 07:00 PM   #5
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I had a batch last night go from 2 bubbles per minute to 1 per second in less than two hours! When the yeasties take hold they REALLY take hold!

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Old 02-01-2007, 04:07 AM   #6
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If you are worried about temp stuff wrap a blanket around your fermenter. I am using a fleece blanket to help keep my yeast warmer. once it gets going the temp rises a bit more. I am currently brewing a porter and it took a bit to get going, but then *BANG* off it went and it hasn't looked back. Good luck and enjoy

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Old 02-01-2007, 12:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam's Apples
Also, I'm using nearly double the malt this time around, but less sugar so the overall fermentables are only slighlty higher. The chap in the homebrew shop said the yeast might struggle if I use too much malt, so I added 2 packets just to be sure.
Strange, I've never heard that. I have never used sugar in my beer at all, and have only ever used malt extract and grain. To me, that's the only way to do it. Malt extract *is* a type of sugar, and highly fermentable.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:13 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry too much about a temp of 68. I'm on my 2nd batch of ale, fermented in my basement at around 65F and rapid fermentation started up within 24-36 hours in both cases.

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Old 02-01-2007, 01:39 PM   #9
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I have my beer in a room that is 63 degrees, and it's happily fermenting. The temperature of the beer is 66 degrees! I know it seems better if it's warmer because it goes faster, but that isn't the case at all! You want to be COOLER rather than warmer in most cases. Try to be near the bottom of the yeast's fermenting range, and your beer will be much better! 75 degrees is rather warm, and the fermentation itself raises the temperature, so your beer might have been fermenting at 80 degrees! I don't know the fermentation range of Muttons ale yeast- but most ale yeasts are 60-72 degrees.

As far as the LHBS telling you the sugar thing- that is the most ridiculous thing he could say! I've NEVER use sugar in my beer. We've talked about this before on this forum, and some people have done that in certain circumstances (a really big beer for example). But the whole point of beer making is that the yeast eats the sugars in the malt to produce alcohol and CO2.

So, I'm sure the beer is fine!

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Old 02-01-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reassuring words all.

My beer is definately fermenting, but it's going a lot slower than the first batch (has never been more than 1 bubble every 5 mins since start). The only differences between batches are 1.) slight temp difference as stated, 2.) higher malt content and 3.) two packets of yeast in there, both of which are rehydrated!

To be honest the pace of the ferment doesn't bother me - as long as it all ferments eventually and I get a decent F.G.

This is only my second brew and I must say I am dying to get a really agressive ferment like people report, where blow off tubes are needed etc. Maybe when I try different kits and recipes/ yeasts etc I will experience this. I just want to make sure that it's not something I'm doing wrong to give things a slow start.

Cheers

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