Hey guys, long time listener first time caller. I'm a big fan of the show and respect the dedication everyone puts in, I've read some killer posts and learned a lot from everyone's successes and failures.
I have a Beer Makers 30L kit that has been an absolute Godsend. It's a plastic primary fermentation tank with drain spout, screw on sealed top with airlock, you know the usual basic stuff. I've made some pretty decent kit beers in it without the need for a secondary fermentation tank, so I've always been able to do without one. I just let it it ride until two days with straight readings, then bottle straight from the tank. I can't really screw it up. But something happened with a new kit beer I tried yesterday that only happened to me one other time a few years ago, and it's got me concerned: primary fermentation stopping after 1 day.
I read some threads that addressed the same concern, and I'm no longer worried that there's anything wrong with my batch. But I'm still curious why it sometimes happens. The yeast will go into binge drinking party mode and then quietly mope about rather than the usual constant moderate feasting over the course of 4-5 days. I don't really mind, other than the fact it makes me strain my eyes to read the slightest of changes to the gravity. I don't want to let my beer sit on the yeast too long (and I'm not getting a secondary fermenter until I ruin a batch!)
This is the brew in my tank now:
Munton's Gold Highland Heavy Ale kit (40 pt.)
500g dry dark malt extract (band dried non-diastatic)
Total 40 pt. (22.7 L)
kit yeast was rehydrated from tank-drawn vigorously aerated wort at 28C then pitched at same temperature
tank at constant 23C for past 24 hours
O.G. was 1.045
I came back from work today and saw the airlock level shifted, there was clear activity. I double-checked every seal was tight but alas it's dead quiet. I smelled plenty of alcohol. If I was any less experienced I would easily attribute this to just plain inconsistency. Different temps, different methods, etc. But the only difference is the kit. Based on one bad experience in the past with dated kit yeast (I will never sprinkle it again) I always rehydrate it in the wort before I pitch to ensure it's healthy. So my question is:
Is it the kit yeast?
This was the first "connoisseur" kit I've tried, bought from a specialist shop rather than the supermarket. Could it be that the yeast was of a much better quality with a higher cell count, and the way I rehydrate the yeast is essential for the basic kit yeasts (Coopers, Toohey's, Brigalow) but going overboard with the healthy yeast that came with Munton's?
(Note: I am not a fan of paying an extra $6-7 a brew on quality yeast as I've been brewing for years with kit yeast just fine. I'm a tightarse. I cringed when I splurged nearly $50 on this heavy ale kit when I'm used to making pretty good stuff consistently for under $20!