Thank you for taking the time to read

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

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

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
Moderators, if this is the wrong place please feel free to move it.

I have moved on from Extract to BIAB method and this is my second attempt. The first one, while missed the gravity numbers I was looking for, came out really good. My second attempt is a bit more perplexing. It is a loose Ale style with a recipe that I kinda had the ingredients for and kinda experimented with. Long story short, the OG into the fermenter was about 1.050. Using Bry 97, I pitched it on 5-28-22. It took about 12 hours to get started and bubbled like crazy for about 2 days. It slowed way down, so I was going to bottle about a week or so after pitching. I moved the bucket to the counter and took a gravity reading. 1.016. Hmmm, a bit high, but ok. Then I noticed the airlock was bubbling away, so I thought, well, if the yeast is still moving along, no need to bottle yet. So off into the closet it went. I checked it again last week, Wednesday I believe and it was down to 1.012. Now, about 18 days later, it is still bubbling away, and yesterday's gravity reading was about 1.009 or so. I just looked and it is still actively bubbling, so I am going to leave it be.

After all this babbling, my question is actually simple. Is this normal for a yeast to go this long and still be active? I am going on 18 days now, and never have had anything go past 5 or 6 days tops. I want to get it into bottles, but don't want to be too early and mess it up.

Any input would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance for reading my babbling first message. LOL

Dino AKA RR
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
I had a beer bubble off and on for almost six weeks in the fermenter. When it finally did look dead an very clean where I could see the entire surface of the trub and yeast cake from one side to the other side of the FV I bottled it. I still consider it one of the best beers I've had

I don't know what yeast it was as this was a all grain kit with a packet simply labeled with the word yeast in big letters.

Your yeast says 15°C(59°F) to 22°C(72°F) for it's optimal range and 68°F(20°C)as what they find ideal for the way they tested it. What are you keeping it at. Any large temperature swings?

Give it time. Take a hydrometer reading again when you think it's died and cleared up some.

Might turn out to be one of your better beers!
 
OP
OP
R

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
I had a beer bubble off and on for almost six weeks in the fermenter. When it finally did look dead an very clean where I could see the entire surface of the trub and yeast cake from one side to the other side of the FV I bottled it. I still consider it one of the best beers I've had

I don't know what yeast it was as this was a all grain kit with a packet simply labeled with the word yeast in big letters.

Your yeast says 15°C(59°F) to 22°C(72°F) for it's optimal range and 68°F(20°C)as what they find ideal for the way they tested it. What are you keeping it at. Any large temperature swings?

Give it time. Take a hydrometer reading again when you think it's died and cleared up some.

Might turn out to be one of your better beers!
Thank you for the reply. It is in a closet that has been anywhere between 68 to 73. No direct sunlight nor any draft, so I think I am ok there. The top of the beer when I open the bucket is pretty clear of anything, maybe some around the edges and "floaties" as I call it. LOL The bucket is not clear, so I cannot see what may or may not be going on in there. I was thinking of switching to a clear carboy, but I like the bucket as it has a handle and a nice spigot to either put it in the keg or bottle. I did taste it the last hydrometer reading I took a few days ago, and it tasted ok. Had a citrus taste that I like, so I am hopeful. This is only my second BIAB and my 7th or 8th all together, so I am really still learning.

Gonna grab another hydrometer reading today or tomorrow and see where I am. But I can say the FG has dropped so I am still ok I think.

Once again, thank you for the reply. I appreciate it.
 

day_trippr

Structural Duct Tape Sales Engineer
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
38,665
Reaction score
21,862
Location
Stow, MA
There's a really good chance what you're seeing is "normal", and repeatedly opening your bucket fermenter is not in the best interests of...anyone or anything :)

BRY-97 is POF negative, so you don't have to be concerned with over-attenuation - based on the yeast, anyway. Without a grain bill and mash temperature profile there isn't enough info to pronostigate much further, so perhaps RDWHAHB is applicable :)

Cheers!
 
OP
OP
R

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
There's a really good chance what you're seeing is "normal", and repeatedly opening your bucket fermenter is not in the best interests of...anyone or anything :) BRY-97 is POF negative, so you don't have to be concerned with over-attenuation - based on the yeast, anyway. Without a grain bill and mash temperature profile there isn't enough info to pronostigate much further, so perhaps RDWHAHB is applicable :) Cheers!
First off, let me say thank you for the reply. I appreciate your input and the time you took to type it out. Thanks.

As far as opening the bucket, I did it twice since I added the yeast. Once to add the dry hop bag, and then about 6 days later again to remove the bag. When I removed it, I was very careful not to cause any splashing or turbulence to the beer, so I think I am ok there.

As far as the grain bill, here is the recipe I used (It is basically a bunch of stuff I had left over from previous brews):

10lbs of Xtra Pale Malt
1lb of Wheat Malt
10oz Crystal 40l
10oz Crystal 20l

Hops I am still not sure of. But here is what I am thinking:

.5 oz Chinook at 60 mins
1oz Cascade at 15
1oz Columbus at 15
1oz Cascade at 0
1oz Columbus at 0
2oz Cascade Dry hop after fermentation has slowed for about 5 days

Yeast is going to be BRY 97 (cause that is what I have on hand). I might try the starter idea again, but since this is dry yeast I don't think I have to, right?

Mash at 152 for 60 mins then sparge at 170 with remainder to make up about 6.25 or so gallons
60 mins boil
 
Last edited:

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,614
Reaction score
9,910
Location
Pasadena, MD
There's a really good chance what you're seeing is "normal", and repeatedly opening your bucket fermenter is not in the best interests of...anyone or anything :)
Let me hook onto that notion with a possibly better alternative to opening the bucket each time to take a sample for merely a gravity reading.

Do a suck-siphon through the airlock hole in the lid, using a 2' piece of skinny 5/16" OD vinyl tubing. To prevent potential infections, don't let any beer flow back. Train with a bucket of water first.

Another method is leaving the beer alone for 2-3 weeks without taking any gravity readings. The yeast knows what to do, just raise the temps a few degrees when the airlock slows down after a few days to a week, to keep her engaged.
 
OP
OP
R

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
Let me hook onto that notion with a possibly better alternative to opening the bucket each time to take a sample for merely a gravity reading.

Do a suck-siphon through the airlock hole in the lid, using a 2' piece of skinny 5/16" OD vinyl tubing. To prevent potential infections, don't let any beer flow back. Train with a bucket of water first.

Another method is leaving the beer alone for 2-3 weeks without taking any gravity readings. The yeast knows what to do, just raise the temps a few degrees when the airlock slows down after a few days to a week, to keep her engaged.
Thank you for the reply. My bucket has a spigot at the bottom of it that I use to drain the beer into the hydrometer tube for gravity readings. The only time I have opened the lid was to add the dry hops and take the dry hop bag out about a week after. So really the only time I open or introduce any possible O2 into the beer is then.

I usually do pretty much what you said. I dump the yeast in, give it a little stir before I shut the lid, add the airlock to the bung hole and then in the closet it goes. I don't even think about it, except to open the closet door once or twice a day to check the airlock and see what is happening. Usually in a week or so the final gravity has been reached and I then get either my dry hops in or get it ready to keg. This time, the gravity at a week was a bit high, and when I moved the bucket to the counter it really started bubbling again, so I decided to put it back in the closet for a week. Checked the reading after that, again, opening the spigot on the bucket not the lid, and it have come down from 1.016 to 1.001. That was about a week ago. My plan is to check it today, and withstanding any drastic changes, will be bottling it. Let it sit in the bottles in the closet for a week or two, then in the fridge. This is my first attempt at bottling, so this should be interesting.

Once again, thank you the input, it is all very helpful for me being a new brewer and kinda impatient. LOL.

Stay safe,
RR
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
The bucket is not clear, so I cannot see what may or may not be going on in there. I was thinking of switching to a clear carboy,
If you are talking about switching to a clear carboy for some future brews, then that's your choice.

If you are thinking of moving the current brew, then that is fraught with lots of things that will potentially make your possibly great brew a bad brew if you mess up in any of your transfer procedures. I'd recommend as some others have, just leave it alone, quit peeking and maybe every 5 to 7 days check in it to have a quick assessment and maybe confirm with samples that the SG isn't still changing.
 
OP
OP
R

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
If you are talking about switching to a clear carboy for some future brews, then that's your choice.

If you are thinking of moving the current brew, then that is fraught with lots of things that will potentially make your possibly great brew a bad brew if you mess up in any of your transfer procedures. I'd recommend as some others have, just leave it alone, quit peeking and maybe every 5 to 7 days check in it to have a quick assessment and maybe confirm with samples that the SG isn't still changing.
Thank you for the reply. I was thinking of switching future brews into a glass carboy just so I could see what was going on during the fermentation. I like the idea of the spigot on the bucket though, as it makes the final transfer so much easier. I was able to rig up a closed transfer setup into my keg using the current bucket, so I hate to move to something else when this part of the process has been ok. I waste about a half a bottle each time I do a gravity check, so in the future I will de exactly as you stated and leave it for at least a week before doing anything other than checking to make sure I have not gotten any sort of blow out. Once the week has past, and maybe a few days more, we start checking gravity. My other thought is to get a refractometer instead. I have done some looking and most beer websites, like this one, will allow adjustments to fermenting beer so that I can get a brix and then an a gravity reading with less wasted beer. My son gave me a 60 dollar gift card to Austin Home Brew, and there basic Brix refractometer is about 40 bucks. I might give that a try and see what I like better.

Either way, I appreciate all input as I am still very new and trying to get this all worked out. The beer I have in the keg now, is by far my best effort, so that one I am going to try and duplicate next brew session I think.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,614
Reaction score
9,910
Location
Pasadena, MD
I was thinking of switching future brews into a glass carboy
Please, don't use large glass carboys, especially for routine brewing. They can break and often unexpectedly, potentially causing damage and serious injury. Imagine 5 gallons of beer on the floor and large sharp shards of glass.

A better choice would be plastic carboys or one of those modern plastic (PET) fermenters such as a Fermonster, Fermzilla (there are a few design options), and others. The ones you can pressurize can work to your advantage with pre-carbonating during fermentation, oxygen free transfers, etc.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,614
Reaction score
9,910
Location
Pasadena, MD
My other thought is to get a refractometer instead.
They're most handy for quickly checking wort gravity while brewing.

Once fermenting (and alcohol is present), a refractometer reading is skewed, so a correction formula needs to be used. But yeah, it only takes one drop, still you need access to your beer to pull a small sample. With the fermenters that can be (slightly) pressurized, you could push out a sample, without opening them, but dry hopping still requires removing the lid for a short time.

You can get refractometers online for about $20-25, shipped.

When you brew more, you'll learn to let the beer be. There's not much you can do to change it anyway, except for temp control. Keeping the actual fermentation temps of the beer inside your fermenter toward the lower end of your yeast's range, is probably the most important variable you can control to make better beer, reducing fermentation byproducts. Then raising it a few degrees when things slow down, to make sure she finished out and giving her a week (or longer) to condition out.
Taking gravity readings along the route are really not needed. Just confirm she's indeed done, after all activity has stopped, before bottling.

There are $$ electronic gadgets that measure gravity inside the fermenter while its fermenting, but they don't make better beer. You do!
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
My other thought is to get a refractometer instead. I have done some looking and most beer websites, like this one, will allow adjustments to fermenting beer so that I can get a brix and then an a gravity reading with less wasted beer. My son gave me a 60 dollar gift card to Austin Home Brew, and there basic Brix refractometer is about 40 bucks. I might give that a try and see what I like better.
I'd use the gift card for something else.

For not much more than 60 bucks you can get a Rapt Pill from the Brew Ware Store on AliExpress.

 
Last edited:
OP
OP
R

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
I'd use the gift card for something else.

For not much more than 60 bucks you can get a Rapt Pill from the Brew Ware Store on AliExpress.


Wow, that thing is pretty cool. And you are right, for 60 bucks it will do a few things at once and I can hook into my phone and get the data.

Do you use it? And how happy are you with the readings? Anybody else have any input on it?
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
I just got one right before I left to go visit my son several states over from me. But I did pair it to my wifi before I left home and left it in my bedroom. I can see from Colorado that my bedroom back home is maintaining 72 - 73°F during the day and about 70°F at night. :D

So it seems like it'll do the job well. Tilts are a similar product, but they only do Bluetooth AFAIK. The wifi and Bluetooth ability of the pill made it real attractive to me.
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
Oh, there are also threads about it. Here is one.....
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
432
Location
Home, where the beer is
Please, don't use large glass carboys, especially for routine brewing. They can break and often unexpectedly, potentially causing damage and serious injury. Imagine 5 gallons of beer on the floor and large sharp shards of glass.
I'll second that. I broke one in 2009. I still don't have feeling in almost half my right hand.

Here's my post.
 
OP
OP
R

redrocker652002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
171
Reaction score
63
Location
South San Francisco CA
I just got one right before I left to go visit my son several states over from me. But I did pair it to my wifi before I left home and left it in my bedroom. I can see from Colorado that my bedroom back home is maintaining 72 - 73°F during the day and about 70°F at night. :D

So it seems like it'll do the job well. Tilts are a similar product, but they only do Bluetooth AFAIK. The wifi and Bluetooth ability of the pill made it real attractive to me.
Cool. Thanks. I am looking at their website and it made mention of only working in metal fermenters. Does anyone know if it will work in plastic?
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
Cool. Thanks. I am looking at their website and it made mention of only working in metal fermenters. Does anyone know if it will work in plastic?
You sort of misunderstood them I think. There is an issue with metal fermenters shielding the signals. Bluetooth being a weaker power signal requires your receiving device to be closer to the fermenter. Wifi is stronger power signal so the receiving device, usually your wifi router, can be further from the FV regardless of what it is made of.

How far? That depends on a lot of other stuff. But even with Bluetooth, most people that I've read with a metal FV can get a signal from their Tilt, Rapt Pill or other when a few feet from the FV. If plastic or other material I'd expect the signal will go further.

I did put my Pill in my plastic FV and with my Wifi AP 20 feet away I was still getting a good decibel reading for reception on the Pill. Didn't try for distance though to see what my limit is. Nor have I tried Bt as I'm not desiring that at the moment.

If I remember correctly, it only does 2.5 gHz wifi. So your wifi router or AP has to be set for that. Though most are as 2.5 is the older standard and also it's signal travels further through walls and such than does the 5 gHz wifi.
 
Last edited:

Bad DNA

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2022
Messages
52
Reaction score
22
Please, don't use large glass carboys, especially for routine brewing. They can break and often unexpectedly, potentially causing damage and serious injury. Imagine 5 gallons of beer on the floor and large sharp shards of glass.

A better choice would be plastic carboys or one of those modern plastic (PET) fermenters such as a Fermonster, Fermzilla (there are a few design options), and others. The ones you can pressurize can work to your advantage with pre-carbonating during fermentation, oxygen free transfers, etc.
Been there, done that. Used a glass 6 gallon carboy for decades. Would pour hot wort into it via funnel directly from the brewpot many times (>80 batches). One time I was getting ready to pour with my pre-teen daughter holding the funnel for me. After most of the brewpot was in it (~3 gallons), the glass cracked and began to leak on the kitchen pergo floor. We were both barefoot. I put the pot down, grabbed the neck of the carboy to tilt it to put a drip pan beneath, and the glass let go.

Severe burns to both me and my daughter - no cuts, save for a parent's regret when they unintentionally hurt their child. Very bad Dad moment. Very bad brewer moment. Having worked in polymers/material science research for many years and teaching thermodynamics, very bad Scientist moment. Kinda sucked what I did to the kitchen floor, too. Pergo is not water-resistant to a flood -- its edges pucker and peal over time. That's my old carboy in my profile pict.

Don't use glass carboys.
 

hotbeer

Opinionated Newb
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1,449
Reaction score
1,034
Don't use glass carboys
Wear shoes too when doing any sort of work. Especially in a kitchen around hot liquids and oils. IMO!

I'm not so against glass though. But I grew up seeing the results of my mom and sister getting sliced on different occasions and it's been pretty ingrained in me never to go after a falling glass, stick a rag and hand into it to wash or attempt to save anything coming from a cracked or breaking glass.

But probably for those that haven't seen or experienced it, then I agree with don't use glass. But wear shoes too when doing work around things that might spill, break or fall.
 
Top