first batch problems

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pucstpn86

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I have a fermentation question. I just brewed my first batch this past Sunday. I did the brewer's best Belgian tripel kit. I put the fermenter in the basement. Fermentation started out really quick and by Monday morning the was good action in the airlock , which continued through Monday night. with the temp reading on the sticker thermometer reading about 72 and a banana smell in the air. When I checked Tuesday morning the temp had dropped to about 64 and the airlock activity was at all gone. Tuesday night I tried to heat it up a little but still nothing. So this morning I brought it upstairs where the ambient temp is closer to about 70. I haven't been home to check anything yet. But it's there something I can do to get it fermenting again? I'm going to take a hydrometer reading tonight to see what the SG is at. Is it possible all the fermentation was done in a day? The kit uses safbrew s-33 yeast. My og was 1.080 and I think the target is around 1.016. I'm sorry for the rant I am just lost and scared I ruined my first batch :-\. What do I do next?
TL;DR Belgian tripel kit with safbrew s-33 fermentation stalled after 1.5 days
 

DJDBrew

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REEELAAAAX. It's gonna be alright.

It's certainly possible for fermentation to end fairly quickly especially if you pitched and fermented a little warm. According to the S-33 spec sheet, the yeast can ferment anywhere in the range of 54-77 degrees but its optimal range is 59-68. So since it was a little on the high end, it could kick it into high gear and finish much more quickly than expected.

Also it is not correct to assume that since there are no bubbles that fermentation is not occurring. It certainly could be continuing to ferment but since the temp dropped it could have slowed down.

What I would do is let it sit about another week before taking a reading. Then you will have a better idea if fermentation has stalled or not. It is most likely just slowed down a bit and it will get there.
 

solbes

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I don't think you ruined your first batch, so drink a beer when you get home :)

Airlocks are not a consistent measure of fermentation, you could have a small leak in your bucket lid seal and fermentation is still going on. So first thing is to carefully take a gravity sample (sanitize your thief!) and see where its at. I have not used S-33 in the past, but with Belgian yeast in general they can sometimes go to sleep if the temps drop. Not to say they can't be brought back to action. A gentle stir of the beer with a sanitized spoon (don't introduce oxygen into beer) and some warmer temps is usually all that is needed to get them back to work. The other thing with Belgian yeast strains is that they often take quite awhile to kerchunk through the last 3-5 points (as in 2+ weeks time). I'm not 100% positive S-33 is a Belgian strain, but I thought it was.

Hope it goes well :mug:
 

mrdail87

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Agreed with everyone above, the beer should be just fine. The temp isn't low enough to drop the yeast out, just slow it down.

Quick tip to prevent the sudden tenp loss down the road: wrap a towel or two around the fermenter. Monitor the temp over the first few days though, active fermentation can actually raise the temp by a couple degrees, if it starts going too high, just take the towel off until it drops back to a better range.
 
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