Nottingham High Performance Yeast - nothing after initial burst of activity

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zinn

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This is my second attempt at all-grain brewing. I used Nottingham High Performance Yeast for my all-grain porter. I pitched it at about 68 degrees and it's sitting in a carboy at about 64 degrees. Fermentation kicked off within roughly 24 hours. Good, solid krausen.

However, when I checked the carboy the next morning, the krausen was gone. With the exception of a couple of tiny bubbles at the top that appear every so often, there's no activity. About an inch of sludge has formed at the bottom of the carboy.

My first attempt at all-grain brewing was a pumpkin ale using Safale-05. With that batch, I had a solid krausen and bubbling for several days in the carboy.

Given the disparity between these two batches, I'm a little worried the Nottingham isn't working properly. Is there any way to know for sure?

I attached a couple of admittedly awful pictures.
 

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camonick

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Is there any way to know for sure?

Check your gravity. Nottingham is a beast. You might be close to or at your FG. The fact that it’s an all-grain brew doesn’t have anything to do with the yeast performance. What was your OG? If it was on the low side it could very well be done.
 
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zinn

zinn

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Check your gravity. Nottingham is a beast. You might be close to or at your FG. The fact that it’s an all-grain brew doesn’t have anything to do with the yeast performance. What was your OG? If it was on the low side it could very well be done.

Thanks for the reply!

My original gravity was 1.070. That being said, I'm not 100% sure I took the reading correctly. According to my grain bill, my original gravity should be 1.058 and my final gravity should be 1.016.

In the event that I'm at my final gravity, should I continue to let it sit in the fermenter? It's been in there for 5 days and I planned on letting it sit for 14 days.

Thanks again for the help.
 

camonick

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There are several issues that jump at me. It’s unusual to be 12 points higher than the estimated OG if the rest of your processes were good and you didn’t add any extra base malt or other sugars to your batch. Were all your volume measurements accurate? Did you end up with the estimated batch size after the boil, or did you have to add top up water to your fermenter? When was the OG reading taken and was it at the same temperature your measuring device is calibrated to? It sounds like a lot of questions, but there is some key information missing that will help me or others diagnose your problem. If you really did start with a 1.070 wort, a day or two of fermentation probably isn’t enough. We really need another gravity reading to see where you’re at before going forward. If you are indeed at FG, I’d still suggest letting the beer do it’s thing for another week or so. Others might have different suggestions.
 

seatazzz

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What @camonick said. Nottingham can be a beast of a yeast, especially at a higher temperature like 68-70. It also ferments very clean. It's my go-to for all my ales except for a couple I do on kveik.

Another question about your starting gravity; did you stir the wort thoroughly before taking your sample? Wort has a tendency to stratify; i.e., different sugar concentrations in different levels of the kettle. That could explain your higher-than-expected SG. Also the method you used to test it; hydrometer or refractometer? Hydrometers are calibrated to work at 60°; if the temperature was too high, that can skew your reading. If you used a refractometer, was it calibrated?

One last question: how are you controlling the fermentation temperature? Fermenting beer creates its own heat source, so the ambient temperature of the space your carboy is in may have nothing to do with the actual temperature of the beer, which could be several degrees higher. That would explain the fast disappearance of the krausen. Fortunately Nottingham has a pretty broad fermentation temperature range and is usually a forgiving yeast.

I would also leave it alone for a few more days; maybe not the 14, but at least 10 before you take another sample, then another one on the following day. If they are the same, you are done and can safely package, if you desire. Won't hurt it to stay in there for the 14 days, though.
 

Coastalbrew

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This is my second attempt at all-grain brewing. I used Nottingham High Performance Yeast for my all-grain porter. I pitched it at about 68 degrees and it's sitting in a carboy at about 64 degrees. Fermentation kicked off within roughly 24 hours. Good, solid krausen.
You mentioned that you pitched the year at 68* and now it's at about 64*. Temperature drops can also explain slowed fermentation. If, when you check your gravity, the reading is still higher than it should be let the fermenter warm up to 68*-70* again. I generally try to start my fermentations around 64* - 65* and let them warm up to 68* -70* over the length of the fermentation.

Cheers!
 

Kharnynb

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notty is a fast and clean yeast, just let it clean up and do the usual 2-day inbetween fg test to check if it's done.

it's still my favourite yeast, it works fast, clean and it leaves very little junk in suspension.
 
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zinn

zinn

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What @camonick said. Nottingham can be a beast of a yeast, especially at a higher temperature like 68-70. It also ferments very clean. It's my go-to for all my ales except for a couple I do on kveik.

Another question about your starting gravity; did you stir the wort thoroughly before taking your sample? Wort has a tendency to stratify; i.e., different sugar concentrations in different levels of the kettle. That could explain your higher-than-expected SG. Also the method you used to test it; hydrometer or refractometer? Hydrometers are calibrated to work at 60°; if the temperature was too high, that can skew your reading. If you used a refractometer, was it calibrated?

One last question: how are you controlling the fermentation temperature? Fermenting beer creates its own heat source, so the ambient temperature of the space your carboy is in may have nothing to do with the actual temperature of the beer, which could be several degrees higher. That would explain the fast disappearance of the krausen. Fortunately Nottingham has a pretty broad fermentation temperature range and is usually a forgiving yeast.

I would also leave it alone for a few more days; maybe not the 14, but at least 10 before you take another sample, then another one on the following day. If they are the same, you are done and can safely package, if you desire. Won't hurt it to stay in there for the 14 days, though.

Super helpful - along with all the other responses in this threat. Thanks for the response.

I definitely didn't calibrate my hydrometer or stir my wort. Nor did I "spin" the hydrometer. I decided last second to test the OG and didn't really know what I was doing. I'll be better prepared next time. In the meantime, I'll let it sit for a bit and then take a proper reading.

Thanks again for all the info. I suppose you don't learn anything unless you make a few mistakes along the way. :)
 

hotbeer

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Just because it's reached it FG doesn't mean you have to bottle it right then and there. You certainly can, but then unless you like cloudy beers you'll need to take some steps to clarify it. Though if you are willing to wait for a week or so later you might get a somewhat clean beer that will flocculate out to a very clean beer when primed for bottling or kegging.

Also letting it stay longer beyond attaining FG might let flavors mature, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. You just have to try and see. My or any other's results with longer and shorter times in the fermenter aren't a guaranty for your results.
 

camonick

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How many grams was the pack? "High performance" makes me think it's like some sorta turbo yeast?

Nothing special about it. I just think that’s how Lallemand markets it. I use it for almost all my ales. One 11g package is perfect for standard beers.
9A06B34F-67CB-404C-9BC3-CB1956463168.png
It’s super clean, neutral, flocculates like a brick, and it’s fairly fast
 

PCABrewing

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There are several issues that jump at me. It’s unusual to be 12 points higher than the estimated OG if the rest of your processes were good and you didn’t add any extra base malt or other sugars to your batch. Were all your volume measurements accurate? Did you end up with the estimated batch size after the boil, or did you have to add top up water to your fermenter? When was the OG reading taken and was it at the same temperature your measuring device is calibrated to? It sounds like a lot of questions, but there is some key information missing that will help me or others diagnose your problem. If you really did start with a 1.070 wort, a day or two of fermentation probably isn’t enough. We really need another gravity reading to see where you’re at before going forward. If you are indeed at FG, I’d still suggest letting the beer do it’s thing for another week or so. Others might have different suggestions.
I'd confirm your measurement of OG as well. Refractometer or Hydrometer? Tempreature of the measured sample.
I agree with letting it sit a bit longer too. Did the temp drop a lot post-pitching?
 

GoodTruble

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Fermentations can vary wildly. Some peak within 1-2 days and recede quickly. Some churn for a week or more. What you described above does not seem concerning. Especially with Nottingham, which usually ferments quickly and drops clear (good choice of yeast).
 

seatazzz

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@zinn
Check "your" hydro documentation. My hydro calibrates @ 68* F, not 60* YMMV
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
Most of the stuff I've read it's about 60°. From google:


59°F

Hydrometers are built to provide an accurate reading when your wort is 59°F (15°C). This tool corrects for temperature when measuring specific gravity at a different temperature.


I lost the paper that came with mine a long time ago...
 

Steveruch

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Whether it's calibrated at 60 or 68 the wort temperature has to be way off to make more of a difference than a point or two.
 

kartracer2

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Instructions for the hydro I have:


From an article on Morebeer web site:

*The international temperature standard for calibrating specific gravity (and those measured in units of Plato, Brix, and Balling) is now 68 °F (20 °C), although many older hydrometers as well as some instruments manufactured currently are calibrated at 60 °F (16 °C) and a few are calibrated at 58 °F (15.56 °C).

Just striving for accuracy in information.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 
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