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Old 12-04-2007, 03:50 AM   #1
rohovie
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Default First Time Brewing - White Sediment on the Bottom

Hello all,

I am new to this form, I've been trying to read a lot of the fourms on the site to learn as much as I can. I started my first batch tonight, I went with the Barons - Canadian Pilsner.

I added the water to the premixed wort and the bentonite in the primary fermenter and mixed it up. I added the yeast and the hops then went upstairs to wash off some equipment. When I came back downstairs I noticed a white 'sediment' in the bottom of the primary. (As seen in the picture below). Is this normal? And what is it?



Thanks in advance,
MIke


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Old 12-04-2007, 04:19 AM   #2
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That's just yeast, silly!


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Old 12-04-2007, 04:27 AM   #3
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That thar is money in the bank. You just turned $5.00 worth of yeast into $20 worth of yeast.

Siphon that white gold off into a sanitized jar and use/reuse/reuse/reuse...

I haven't purchase yeast in nearly 7 months.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:54 AM   #4
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Yeast you say, I didnt think it would settle to the bottom so quickly. Will it grow from there? Or stay about the same ammount? How do I reuse it? After I transfer it to my secondary? Add the wort and water to that?

Also, my hops floated to the top, is that susposed to happen?

Thanks, and sorry for all of the stupid questions.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #5
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I have always used "ale pails" for fermentation, and I think that's a good thing since I can't see inside it! Leave it alone at a nice 65-68 degrees and it'll know what to do!

I've never heard of using bentonite before with beer- your kit must have had you do that, I assume. Bentonite is a clearing agent made from clay that I use occasionally with wine. I wonder if that's why you have so much trub right away, but I guess it really doesn't matter. The yeast should get going just fine.

Anyway, after the fermentation is done, you'll rack off the big yeast cake by siphoning the beer from above that sludge. You can either wash it and save it (search for "yeast washing") or dump your next batch right on top of it. You can do this a couple of times without worrying.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
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Hi rohovie -- welcome to HBT! Where in Alberta are you?

Given that this is your first batch of beer, I suggest you not worry about washing your yeast. If it was a Baron's kit, I guess you used the generic dry yeast in the kit, right? You don't want to reuse that yeast (in fact, I have brewed those Baron's kits and you don't really want to use that yeast at all!). If you are in Calgary or Edmonton, I can point you to some homebrew shops that will sell you a really good dry (or liquid) yeast that will improve those kits.

Regarding Yooper's question about the bentonite -- I believe it is included to raise the pH of the no-boil wort kit. They drop it to help prevent against infection, and then when you use it the bentonite raises it back up to the correct pH for fermentation.

Anyways, it *LOOKS* like your kit might be fermented out. But you need to use a hydrometer (did you get one with your beer equipment kit?) to be certain. Once you know it is done, you can either leave it for a week or two and then bottle it, or you can wait a few days and then rack it to a secondary vessel to clear it before bottling.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
Anyways, it *LOOKS* like your kit might be fermented out.
That is the fastest-fermenting yeast I have ever seen, if it did it whilst washing equipment upstairs. After all, OP said that he mixed it up, went upstairs, came back down, and saw it like pictured in the photo.

I'm wondering if the bentonite fell out of solution, maybe? Something is odd here.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:20 PM   #8
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Please take this good naturedly...but HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA.....*wipes tears away*
I never get tired of these questions. I know we have a newbie sticky, but could we get a "do NOT ask us what the white sh*t in your primary is" sticky? God knows I did it too, and the charm hasn't worn off, but we see one of these a day it seems like!
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriso
That is the fastest-fermenting yeast I have ever seen, if it did it whilst washing equipment upstairs. After all, OP said that he mixed it up, went upstairs, came back down, and saw it like pictured in the photo.

I'm wondering if the bentonite fell out of solution, maybe? Something is odd here.
That is most likely the bentonite. It just grabs onto particulate and whatnot while it's being stirred around and them immediately falls out as soon as you stop agitating it. It will also be yeast since it will fall to the bottom before it starts to work (in my experience anyway).

It's no big deal and nothing to worry about. Just rack off the beer carefully when you go into secondary and you won't have any problems.

Let it ferment for at least a week, I bet it's going to be fine.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriso
That is the fastest-fermenting yeast I have ever seen, if it did it whilst washing equipment upstairs. After all, OP said that he mixed it up, went upstairs, came back down, and saw it like pictured in the photo.

I'm wondering if the bentonite fell out of solution, maybe? Something is odd here.
I see what looks to be krausen residue stuck to the fermenter wall. I assumed he meant that a day or two later he came down to check it. But now that I read this again, I don't know. Hopefully he checks in again to let us know.

And those betonite packets are about the size of a dry yeast packet, so that doesn't explain the sediment. I have also never seen any cold break in those kits.

He must have come back after a couple of days to check the fermenter and snapped the photo.

And let's have a little patience with the new guys. His post was very humble and he was very clear that he had no idea what was going on given this was his first batch. If his LHBS is like nearly ALL of the ones I know if in Alberta, they wouldn't be much help. So he is on his own here. Remember, we were all n00bs at one time....


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