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Old 09-25-2013, 05:29 AM   #1
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Default Yeast cake looking weird to me... (with pictures!)

Hello everyone. Long-time forum lurker, first time poster.

I'm currently looking at a situation I'm unfamiliar with.

Simple Oatmeal stout, third attempt after some earlier setbacks (which we'll not discuss, hehe)

First 24h after pitching, I came home to check on my ale and found that yeast (or something else, but likely yeast) was clumping into small grain-like bits at the top the mixture. Like coarse sand or something. (see photos below) As you'll notice, there's that initial layer of coarse cake-thing, and then the usual foam that you'll find on a fermenting batch.

I'm kind of freaking out, because I haven't seen this before and I'm wondering if it's the sign of a total-failure-start-over-you-noob OR if it's perfectly normal. Halp?


Recipe for reference:
12 Liter (3-gallon) recipe
1 kg (2.2 lbs) Marris Otter Pale
250 g (0.55 lbs) Victory malt (28L)
125 g (0.27 lbs) Roasted barley (500-600L)
125 g (0.27 lbs) Carafa Special I (300-375L)
125 g (0.27 lbs) Crystal 70-80L
125 g (0.27 lbs) Oat flakes

1/2 oz Challenger Hops (bittering 60min)
1/2 oz Challenger Hops (flavouring 30min)
1/2 oz Challenger Hops (aroma 15min)
Irish moss to clear the wort a bit

Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale yeast smack pack. Created a starter from its content + some 10 P (1.040) wort and lots of oxygen, shaken every half hour or so in an Erlenmeyer flask while I was working on the mash and boil. Looked healthy to my untrained eyes.

Ended up with a 1.052 wort, cooled it down to 21C (69 F), aerated like crazy, pitched my starter.

Images :

Exhibit A : the top-cake looking like crumpled graham crackers floating about


Exhibit B : the same floating bits at the bottom of the carboy -after- I (likely unwisely) gave a bit of a shake to the mixture.


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Old 09-25-2013, 05:32 AM   #2
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It's similar to what I would expect from the Irish moss. RDWHAHB


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Old 09-25-2013, 05:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPT_Merica View Post
It's similar to what I would expect from the Irish moss. RDWHAHB
And that would set my mind at ease if I didn't know that I filtered my trub out, hops sludge, lipid film from boil, irish moss and all.

Could there have been some leftover that went through the filter and that's what I'm seeing?

Thanks for the quick answer, though
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:50 AM   #4
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Cold Break?
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:36 AM   #5
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Have you ever used the Irish yeast? I've found some of these fermentations to look rather different depending on the yeast. I wouldn't worry about it. If it's funkiness you'll know soon enough and either sour it for laughs or give it to some high schoolers.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerandloathinginaustin View Post
Have you ever used the Irish yeast?
Wyeast 1084? I have on several occasions. Produced the same stout recipe at least once before (with some degree or success, meh) and a "two-penny" version of it (built from the spent grain of the first. A bit like low-ABV, watered-down cold coffee. Quaint but not exactly a success either.) So neither of those two batches would be references, though, except for the fact they didn't catch 'carboy flu' like this one. :P

I've actually seen cold break before while cooling my wort, but I've never seen this happen directly in the fermenter, which is part of why I'm currently worrying.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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it looks like coagulated proteins & flocculation to me. how did you filter your wort prior to fermentation?
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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how did you filter your wort prior to fermentation?
Sad to say, all I had on hand was my siphon and the straight racking tube attachment with the little plug at the end. Pretty sure it let fine particles in.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvianSavara View Post
And that would set my mind at ease if I didn't know that I filtered my trub out, hops sludge, lipid film from boil, irish moss and all.

Could there have been some leftover that went through the filter and that's what I'm seeing?

Thanks for the quick answer, though
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvianSavara View Post
Sad to say, all I had on hand was my siphon and the straight racking tube attachment with the little plug at the end. Pretty sure it let fine particles in.
So confused. You either filtered or you didn't. Either way there doesn't seem to be anything in your pictures that is concerning. It looks like coagulated proteins and yeast doing a happy dance
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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I recommend you name it Simon and begin a college fund, just in case


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