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Old 09-16-2008, 09:34 PM   #1
Blackhawkbrew
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I know that I'm still a noob, but the two BB Holiday Ale kits I recently brewed have given me fits! The first kit started fermentation real slow. On the third day I was just about to pitch a starter and the airlock was bubbling. I added a pound of honey after about three days of fermentation and it continued for the next several days. For the second kit, which I brewed a two weeks later, I used the original starter and added a second starter, to assure good yeast production. I thought I would have vigerous fermentation. It started rather quickly, later that night, but was never what I was anticipating (I was all ready for a blow off tube ). After about two days of fermentation (2 or 3 bubbles every 10-15 seconds) I added the pound of honey. There was high krausen when I added the honey, so I know fermentation took place, but I was anticipating SOME activity after adding the honey, but so far nothing.

I know I'm being paranoid. I've been reading quite a bit about fermenation temperatures and have been trying to keep the temps stable (72-70 degrees) with water bath. Tell me everything will be ok?

Talk me down!!

By the way, I used White Labs California Ale yeast for both batches.

 
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:16 AM   #2
Choguy03
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Always use a starter especially when you do high gravity beers. (Above 1.045). Airlock activity, or lack there of, doesn't indicate fermentation. Give your beer 10 days in the primary and then take a SG reading. That will tell you what has been going on during that time. Just relax. I don't have any experience with adding honey so I can't help you there but you are fine. Let the yeasties do their thing.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:32 AM   #3
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Okay, 1) just because you don't have a lot of airlock activity, that does not mean you don't have fermentation, airlocks are imperfect indications at best; 2) honey ferments very very slowly, so I wouldn't expect fermentation to kick up just because you added honey.

Brewing takes a lot of patience, just let things be and I am sure they will turn out just fine.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:00 AM   #4
Jaeger48
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#1- What were your hydrometer readings?

 
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:54 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I know I just need to be patient!!

Jaeger48, my first batch's starting gravity was 1.067, and at last check (2 days ago) it was sitting at 1.022. The second batch's starting gravity was 1.070, and I haven't checked it since my initial brew day, which was last Saturday.

I've been reading a lot about proper airation (sp?). I use an ale pale to ferment, could I use one of the airation attachments and a drill to get more
O2 into the wort? I imagin I'd have to be careful of scratching the side of the pale?.

 
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:07 PM   #6
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Scratched plastic is a great place for little nasties to hide.

From 1.067 down to 1.022 isn't anything to panic about, and you don't know your second batch yet. Thse aren't going to make it down to 1.010 given there starting gravities.

 
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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If you put the lid on and cover the gromet with your finger and shake the crap out of it you will get very good results. I don't remember who posted it, but someone did an experiment using different type of aeration techniques and there is little to no difference it you give it a real good shaking....I think it was Bobby M by the way.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
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well they found that shaking was more effective than an aquarium pump running for 30 minutes.

no tests were done comparing injecting pure O2 through a fine airstone for 60 seconds.

either way, aeration and optimal (or near optimal) pitching quantities and temperatures are key to a good fermentation.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:23 PM   #9
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McGarnigle, the directions sheet for this kit indicates that final gravity should be between 1.010 and 1.016. Are these off? How much should I expect the gravity to drop?

 
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:19 AM   #10
illnastyimpreza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
well they found that shaking was more effective than an aquarium pump running for 30 minutes.

no tests were done comparing injecting pure O2 through a fine airstone for 60 seconds.

either way, aeration and optimal (or near optimal) pitching quantities and temperatures are key to a good fermentation.
this is good to know !

I usualy fill my primary with about 20 liters of cold water, then poor my hot wort into the primary from like 6 feet up in order to stir up some oxygen....then just stir the **** out of it for about 10 seconds. Then pop the top on and shake the crap out of if a few times... it sounds crewd...but I'm glad its been proven to work better :lol:

what do the AG guys do with HUGE 20+ gallon batches and **** ?

 
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