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Old 10-15-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
May 2010
Northeast Florida, Florida
Posts: 8

Background - I've been lurking on here awhile and just did my first all grain last Friday, a Belgian Witt.
On to my story. My Belgian Witt went into the fermenter last Friday with a one quart starter made with WLP400. I had a wet towel wrapped around the fermenter to keep the temps down, I'm in Florida, at around 68 degrees. I have had, what I thought was good fermentation, a bubble every second or two, going since Friday night. Fermentation was starting to slow to about a bubble every 20 sec by Wednesday and I figured I'd be racking to the secondary today. Well here is where I am seeking some opinion. Yesterday morning I took the wet towel off, starting to smell funny, and forgot to replace it. When I got home last night the temperature on the fermenter had risen to around 72 and my airlock/bubbler was full of yeast. Fermentation was back to a bubble a second and is still going strong this morning.
So, what are your opinions on the affects of the, what I assume has been, a slow fermentation up until yesterday evening? I know I can just wait it out and see, but I am a paranoid sort and am looking for thoughts or maybe someone who has experienced the same thing.

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Old 10-15-2010, 12:23 PM   #2
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Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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First, it's spelled Belgian Wit (1 t).

Second, you are doing good. Wit yeast can be funny, and fermenting at 68 is fine. It was probably slowing down. But when you took the towel off, you raised the temp, causing the yeast to kick in again, which raised the krausen high enough to push into the airlock.

Yeast really like fermenting at higher temps, but it's not as good for the beer (usually). For a wit, I would not worry to much about it being 72 after a few days of 68. It's probably on it's last hurrah, and IMO wit can be fermented a bit higher than a clean ale yeast.

My fermentation schedule for wit is very much the same for most of my lighter beers: 3 weeks in primary. Rack to keg.

The 3 weeks gives the yeast time to complete their job, clean up a bit (not so much using Belgian yeast, but I usually use American Ale yeast like Notty to make my wit taste closer to Blue Moon or Oberon) and to settle a bit in the fermenter.

Note that wit is supposed to be cloudy, so no real reason to let it clear up too much.

Summary: RDWHAHB!! It's going good. Clean up and sanitize the airlock and replace it. It might fill up again so watch it. I think it's probably too late for a blow-off tube, since it's been fermenting for a few days. I suspect it will settle down again soon.

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