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Old 11-02-2011, 10:58 PM   #1
chris997
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Default Insanely active yeast?

Hi all,

I'm a new brewer, on my second batch, and went with a Belgian Dubbel with a White Labs WLP001 yeast. I bought the ingredients from a local store and used them the same day.

To my great surprise, the yeast went hyper-active. There was foam literally rolling out of the top of my carboy, and I could actually feel a breeze coming out of the airlock. Overnight, it went so far as to plug the airlock with sediment that was bubbling up, which caused the plug to explode out -- I have yeast sediment on my ceiling and walls

I brewed on Sunday, and as of this morning (<72 hours) the airlock is bubbling once every 10 seconds or so.

Did I do something wrong? Did the fermentation process really go that quickly?

Kinda fun to watch :-)


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Old 11-02-2011, 11:22 PM   #2
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Sounds totally normal. Some yeasts are crazier than others. One thing that springs to mind is what are your fermentation temperatures? Ales like to ferment below 70F, above that temperature the yeasts can produce all manner of odd flavors.

Remember that the temperature in your beer can be as much as 5-10F higher than your ambient temperature, particularly during peak fermentation (which seems to be where you are now). If your beer temp (not ambient!) is 70F or higher, cool that sucker down with some wet towels or a water/ice bath.

The most vigorous part of fermentation is when it's most important to maintain low, stable temps.


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Old 11-02-2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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Ah. It was mid-high 60s in the fermentation room, so its totally possible that it was a bit warmer during the peak. I've read that you don't want to open the carboy during fermentation - what's a good way to check the beer temperature during fermentation?

Thanks for the help!

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Originally Posted by daksin View Post
Sounds totally normal. Some yeasts are crazier than others. One thing that springs to mind is what are your fermentation temperatures? Ales like to ferment below 70F, above that temperature the yeasts can produce all manner of odd flavors.

Remember that the temperature in your beer can be as much as 5-10F higher than your ambient temperature, particularly during peak fermentation (which seems to be where you are now). If your beer temp (not ambient!) is 70F or higher, cool that sucker down with some wet towels or a water/ice bath.

The most vigorous part of fermentation is when it's most important to maintain low, stable temps.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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You should be OK where it is, but tossing on some wet towels can cool it off a bit but won't be too much to put the yeast to sleep, even if you can't measure it exactly.

In the future, I've had great luck with the stick-on thermometers you can get at any LHBS. They look like aquarium thermometers but with more temperatures in the range we ferment at. Northern Brewer sells it as the Fermometer.

It's a pretty good average of ambient and beer temperatures (in most cases), I think. mine has never read more than 2F off of the temp I was measuring in the beer with a sanitized probe.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:17 AM   #5
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I use one of those digital thermometers that have a wired sticky remote sensor (for measuring home inside and outside temps). Stick the remote sensor under some tape and a paper towel that's been folded over a bunch (for insulation). Should be within a degree or so of whats going on inside.

As to the fermentations, some yeasts just go crazy. I use WY 3787 for Belgians and it goes nuts even using Fermcap S to control the foam. No experience with WLP 001, California ale. I wouldn't worry about having to open it up every once in awhile, but do try to minimize outside exposure.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:43 AM   #6
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I recently brewed an oatmeal stout and used the same yeast strain. When I went and checked on it in my basement the next morning, I had a little bit of krausen like stuff that had pushed out between the grommet and airlock and a bit in a couple of spots where the lid seals to the bucket. I made sure everything was tight, and this is one of the Brewer's Best 6.5 or 7 gallon buckets or whatever (only had 5 gallons in it). That had never happened to me before, and I was pretty surprised.

Long story short, I'm sure everything is fine
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:48 AM   #7
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Surprised no one has mentioned it yet! Installing a blow off tube at the start of fermentation will keep you from having to wash the ceiling.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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+1 to the blowoff, esp for wlp001. it'll go crazy at that temp. i think most of us learned about blowoff tubes the hard way
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:07 AM   #9
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned that it's not a Belgian Dubbel if he's using 001.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:14 AM   #10
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I am doing a belgian clone with some WLP550, and w/in 24 hours of pitching, I found the stopper and airlock 6 feet away from the fermenter (which was being held at 68 deg)...crazy yeast! now am using blowoff tube, but this launch was really unexpected...


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