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Old 03-25-2010, 04:45 PM   #1
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Default Strange multiple fermentations?

I'm brewing my first AG (so I may have screwed something up somewhere in the mashing process that contributed to this). It's a brown ale, and I'm using a slurry of Wyeast 1338 European Ale. I made a starter -- that fermented as expected.

I pitched the yeast after aerating the wort at roughly 73F. Wort was 1.046. It quickly cooled down to 65F. Three days after pitching, krausen starts to appear. Oddly enough, it's very foamy, like bubble bath foam, rather than the usual krausen. Smells ok, just looks unusual.

Foam starts to dissipate after 4 days. The next day, the weather changes, the swamp cooler gets down to 55. I warm the water back up to 65 and give the fermenter a gentle stir to rise the yeasts, in the event they got too cold and went to sleep.

Two days later, I take another peek, expecting to see no activity, and instead I have full on krausen the way it looks in every other batch I've ever made. Now it's been a week and a half since pitching, and fermentation is still going on.

I haven't tasted it or taken a hydrometer reading yet, because I assume krausen means activity is still going on. I'm 99% sure everything is a-ok, I'm more just curious what happened here.

Any idea what happened here, and should I have any reason to be concerned this will turn out weird?

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Old 03-25-2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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Don't sweat it! Your fine.

If this is a new yeast that you have never used before then it could act differently that you've seen in the past.

I started keeping a log of fermentation to better learn what is happening in my fermenter. Record the temps and conditions twice a day for about 2 weeks. This will help you get a feel for how the yeast works. You only need to do this for a few batches until you understand what to expect with your yeast.

I've notices the following steps are pretty typical...
1. small bubbles begin to collect at the outer edge of the carboy on top of the liquid 12-24 hours after pitch.
2. A spotty white foam covers top of liquid.
3. White foam now covers entire top of liquid
4. Foam builds in air space
5. Carboy liquid starts to churn
6. Trub starts to work its way to air-lock
7. Blow off occurs.
8. Sometimes I see thing settle down for a day, then it becomes as violent if not more violent than before
9. Things calm down, foam subsides and leaves gunk in airspace
10. I then replace the blow-off tube with an air-lock and monitor that for bubbles.
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