Crazy Fermentation...Thoughts?

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KMOX

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So I brewed one of my regulars recently (recipe below) - about 10 days ago (July 15). I was in a hurry - started brewing the day that UPS showed up. I made a 1500 ml starter for my WLP001, and was only able to give it about six hours.

So I pitched at about 80/85 F and stuck it into my fermentation fridge, set at 68.

And then nothing - not a bubble or a gurgle for about 60 hours (two and a half days). I was about to pull out my emergency dry yeast--then kablooey! I was fermenting 5.25 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy and had foam blow through the airlock. Fermentation settled down, and now it's still going on...one bubble every two seconds, seven days after the visible start of fermentation and ten days after I pitched.

I haven't taken a hydrometer reading - honestly, I'm afraid to touch it!

Anybody ever have an experience like this? I don't know what to expect. One more bit of data - the yeast arrived quite hot. I live 90 miles from AHS, but UPS takes my orders to San Antonio first, then to me - an overnight trip. With the plus 100 F temps here in Texas, the ice pack didn't help matters much.

Recipe: Brown Ryed Girl
(American Brown Ale)

11 lbs. 2-Row Pale Malt
12 oz. Chocolate Rye
8 oz. Crystal 20
3 oz. Black Roasted Barley

1.00 oz. Brewers Gold (60)
0.50 oz. Challenger (15)
0.50 oz. Challenger (2)

CalAle - WLP001

Mash @153 for 45 minutes
 

Orfy

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You probably know yeast goes through multiple phases when brewing.
This time because of thermal shock they probably took longer to get going and spent longer multiplying so that when they did get going you probably had a massive cell count.

That's one possible explanation.
 

themanster

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I had this happen to a brew when i pitched the yeast at a little higher temp then i would have liked to. It took about 2 days before i ever saw a bubble and then it started fermenting like mad.
 

nitrousjunkie

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I had the same problem just last week. Was a kit from Austin Homebrew. pitched the yeast (wyeast) after giving it a full 24 hours after bursting the inner bag. Well two days after pitching nothing, so i gave it a light swirl. Starting fermenting like crazy. Not to worried about it now.... :ban:
 

korndog

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I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but I am definitely hearing more of this happening during the last month or so than in cooler months. I had some problems with a couple of packs too. Could it be that we just don't get as much viability during the summer due to shipping temperatures?

After my last experience with this, I don't feel comfortable with being spontaneous and pitching multiple packs in place of a starter. If I am not pitching dry yeast, I make sure there is enough time to verify good production. In the case of 001 or 1056, I would try US-05 and see how you like it.
 
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KMOX

KMOX

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Yes - actually, over the summer, I've been pitching dry yeast (US04 and US56) and having no problems. I thought I'd give liquid another shot. Back in the spring (still 85+F temps here in central TX), I had an Urquell yeast pack that didn't inflate, so I pitched it in a starter, which didn't take off either. So I pitched a Fermentis lager (dry) pack. It worked, but the beer certainly didn't taste like a Bohemian Pils (too estery).

I realize now that I should have just pitched and waited it out...
 

korndog

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Yes - actually, over the summer, I've been pitching dry yeast (US04 and US56) and having no problems. I thought I'd give liquid another shot. Back in the spring (still 85+F temps here in central TX), I had an Urquell yeast pack that didn't inflate, so I pitched it in a starter, which didn't take off either. So I pitched a Fermentis lager (dry) pack. It worked, but the beer certainly didn't taste like a Bohemian Pils (too estery).

I realize now that I should have just pitched and waited it out...
I had the same experience with Urquell strain, but pitched verified fresh pack and it took off.
 
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KMOX

KMOX

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So the krausen finally died down a few days ago, and although it was hard to see through the scum that had gathered on the sides of the carboy, I could make out my worst fear: white soapy bubbles.

I had been trying to ignore the funky odors that had been wafting out of my fermenting fridge every time I opened it up...

I decided to rack it to a secondary, hoping maybe that it was only a layer of mold floating on top. It smelled of rotting...well, just rot.

And for the love of god, I don't know why, but I tasted it...and I shall never in my life be able to forget that taste. Imagine iced tea left to sour for weeks in the sun, with lemon and rotten cabbage. Plus a heavy dose of spicy phenols and esters, just enough to make the thought of any Belgian beer a disgusting prospect.

Yayyy! So I should have just pitched the emergency dry pack at 12 hours.

Thanks for the input, y'all. I just hope it doesn't kill my grass.
 
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