Fermentation stopped too soon.

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

SAM Brewer

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Hi. I made a 2 1/2 gallon batch of Irish Red Ale. I used a yeast starter (Wyeast 1098 British Ale Yeast) and used extract ME with a partial mash. It started fermenting quickly but stoped after 3 days. I transferred to my carboy for secondary fermentation but it really didn't do much. I usually get good fermentation in the secondary on 5 gallon batches but this time almost nothing! The beer seemed fine with about a 5% ABV. I figure I got all the fermentation done in the primary but wanted to know if this is normal when doing a small brew. Thanks.
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,511
Reaction score
1,151
Location
VA, USA
How much yeast did you pitch? What fermentation temp? If you pitched a full pack of yeast that was propped up with a starter, I would expect fermentation to start quick and finish fast. I have not used that specific strain myself lately, but many of the English yeasts are pretty aggressive fermenters, especially at temps above 68F. So a 3 day fermentation does not seem out of line.

Most people (myself included) do not recommend transferring a beer to a secondary (unless in some rare cases like extended aging or maybe when adding items like fruit).
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,452
Reaction score
4,616
Location
Whitehouse Station
The way that you said you used a yeast starter, I think you mean you just pitched a pack of liquid yeast. The age or "package date" is very important in determining whether you had enough yeast there. Under 2 months old probably. If older, probably not.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,068
Reaction score
1,265
Location
Living free in the 603
First mistake was the transfer after 3 days into a "secondary". I put that in quotes since you didn't ADD any sugars to the batch so there was no second fermentation going on. All you did was open your batch up to contamination/infection risk and remove it from whatever yeast had gone to the bottom (probably not much due to 1098 being a medium flocculation rated yeast).

I don't do anything (temperature or transfer) of a brew before two weeks has gone past. I've started getting SG readings after 7-10 days when I see evidence that fermentation is either slowed, or finished. There have been batches (more than a few) that have most of their activity done after about three days of fermentation starting. I still give the batches two weeks for the yeast to both finish AND cleanup after itself. After two weeks I continue with the process for the recipe in the SAME FERMENTER. I only transfer, post carbonation, out of fermenter into serving keg and can/bottle. Which means my lower ABV batches (sub 6%) are ready to drink at about three weeks. Bigger beers, or ones being dry hopped are 4-8 weeks from grain to glass.

IMO/IME you see a LOT of posts like the OP's when you try to rush things through without having process in place that actually make that possible. Temperature control, proper oxygenation of the wort, pitching enough yeast to get the batch going fast, and then giving it TIME to become the best possible. I've lost count of how many "batch problem" threads include "moved to secondary" in them. You would think that recipes (created in the past 5-10 years) would either remove doing that or make sure it's a 100% OPTIONAL step along with the risks introduced by doing so.
 
OP
S

SAM Brewer

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
How much yeast did you pitch? What fermentation temp? If you pitched a full pack of yeast that was propped up with a starter, I would expect fermentation to start quick and finish fast. I have not used that specific strain myself lately, but many of the English yeasts are pretty aggressive fermenters, especially at temps above 68F. So a 3 day fermentation does not seem out of line.

Most people (myself included) do not recommend transferring a beer to a secondary (unless in some rare cases like extended aging or maybe when adding items like fruit).
How much yeast did you pitch? What fermentation temp? If you pitched a full pack of yeast that was propped up with a starter, I would expect fermentation to start quick and finish fast. I have not used that specific strain myself lately, but many of the English yeasts are pretty aggressive fermenters, especially at temps above 68F. So a 3 day fermentation does not seem out of line.

Most people (myself included) do not recommend transferring a beer to a secondary (unless in some rare cases like extended aging or maybe when adding items like fruit).
I used one packet of yeast in 1000 ml of water with 100 grams of DME. Unfortunately I pitched at about 78 degrees. I didn't have a way to get it colder
The way that you said you used a yeast starter, I think you mean you just pitched a pack of liquid yeast. The age or "package date" is very important in determining whether you had enough yeast there. Under 2 months old probably. If older, probably not.
Hi Bobby. I made the yeast starter with1000ml of water, 100 grams of DME and the yeast.The yeast was package date of April 2021.
I transferred to the secondary after 5 days.
 

BrewZer

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
594
Reaction score
810
Location
SW Ohio
Well, assuming you left your starter for at least 24 hours before pitching, you put a lot of yeasties in 2.5 gallons of wort. I'd expect them to chew thru your sugars pretty darn quick.
 
OP
S

SAM Brewer

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
That sounds very logical. This was the first time I did a 2 1/2 gallon batch. Usually I do 5 gallons so I am used to the fermentation to take longer, Thanks for your comments,
 
Top