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Old 08-29-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
Prunella
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Default Where'd my krausen go?

So I just brewed my first all grain batch (solo, that is) and now every little thing is freaking me out.
I made a brown ale on Saturday night, put it in the primary (using a bucket) and pitched the yeast. The temperature read around 80.
I checked it in the middle of the night and there was a bunch of activity and lots of foam, but when I checked again in the morning almost all the foam had disappeared! Just a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. Our apartment has been super warm and humid due to the hurricane, so now I'm worried the yeast died off.
Is it possible? Also, if the wort had been too hot to pitch the yeast to begin with would there have been that flurry of activity?
Any advice would help, thanks.

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Old 08-29-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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its to warm, but not enough to kill it. it probably had a quick ferment, which can happen anyway, but especially if its a little warm. you really want to keep it at the recomended temps so you don't get off flavors, but your beer will still be beer. let it be for now and continue as planned, take your gravity readings etc. etc...
welcome to the forum, and congrats on your first all grain!

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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Can't believe its done already. You have to take a reading tho or else all we can do is guess. My last batch fermented in 3 days and I was shocked by that. Half a day doesn't seem right to me. Who knows.

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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80F is really warm, can lead to some weird yeast activity (flavors, smells). 80F is the wort temperature or the ambient temperature? Try to keep the brew cool, lots of info on the forum how to do that.

Take a hydrometer sample, see how it is doing. That is the easiest answer, everything else is just guess-work.

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:18 PM   #5
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Yeah, I guess a reading would help. To be honest, we've never used a hydrometer in my house, we usually just rack once the krausen dies down and things have never messed up.
Then again, up until now I was using festabrew so there's not much margin for error....

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Most ales will be best fermented at around 65 give or take. Fermenting at 80 will allow the yeast to REALLY do their thing. They will finish much quicker and usually produce some undesirable flavors in the process.

I highly recommend working towards getting the temps down to less than 70 if you can.

I've seen ferments go that quickly, but I prefer to ferment low and slow. The yeast take more time, but make a cleaner beer.

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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well, it seems to be fine.
Took a reading this morning, then racked it to a secondary and I've got activity in the airlock. Stoked!

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prunella View Post
well, it seems to be fine.
Took a reading this morning, then racked it to a secondary and I've got activity in the airlock. Stoked!
Glad to hear!

Why did you rack to secondary? If you are going to do that, you should only do that after fermentation is complete. Otherwise, you run into the potential issue of a stuck fermentation due to having racked off of the yeast.

Let the hydrometer be your gauge. When fermentation is complete (not airlock, hydrometer) then go ahead and rack to a secondary if you so desire. Going to a secondary is a debated topic here, and seems to hinge mainly on the style of beer and the preferences of the brewer.
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