Lazy Yeast? Please Help!

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Lazy Yeast? Please Help!

Postby Bryon » Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:19 am

I brewed a batch of English Pale Ale (From a Brewer's Best Kit) last Sunday. My airlock stopped bubbling on Wed. Or so I thought. Yesterday, Sat, Upon closer look, I was getting 1 or 2 bubbles subtly in about a minute.

But here's the deal, there's very little foam on top of the beer in the glass carboy. Shouldn't there be a ton of foam?

The funnel I got from my brew supply store that I used to dump the wort into the carboy on brew day had a strainer, so most of the "clumpy stuff" did not make it into the carboy, was that my mistake? Did I short change the beer on some yeast or other important ingredient for the fermentation process?

Should I add more yeast or something? Desperately waiting for some help right here... Please let me know, THANKS!
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Probably done

Postby slothrob » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:40 pm

I'm guessing that the yeast is probably finished fermenting, but you should just leave it alone for another week, anyway.

Common causes of the yeast starting and stopping (or appearing to) are sudden drops in temperature that make the yeast slow down or even nearly stop (for some yeast this is as high as the low 60
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Thanks for the response...

Postby Bryon » Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:16 pm

Thanks for the advice. WE had some unexpected high temps this week. This may have caused the yeast to slow down as you indicated below. And I think part of my problem is I added the yeast before straining the wort. I'll take your advice and add the yeast directly to the fermenter next time around.

Bottom line, you recommend letting is sit for an additional week???

Thanks again!!!
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Re: Thanks for the response...

Postby slothrob » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:35 pm

Bryon wrote:Thanks for the advice. WE had some unexpected high temps this week. This may have caused the yeast to slow down as you indicated below. And I think part of my problem is I added the yeast before straining the wort. I'll take your advice and add the yeast directly to the fermenter next time around.

Bottom line, you recommend letting is sit for an additional week???

Well, I always let my primary go 2 weeks, sometimes 3 if I'm not doing a secondary, but especially when there has been some disturbance in the fermentation.

The visible fermentation and the drop in sugar is only part of the yeast's job in making good beer. There is an additional process, once the sugar is used up, during which the yeast consumes waste products of the first phase of fermentation which would cause off-flavors, otherwise. Giving the beer an additional week or 2 on the yeast virtually guarantees that both phases will be completed.
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Postby Bryon » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:23 pm

Thanks again!

So there's absolutely no danger in letting the beer sit in the carboy for an extra week? I'm only doing primary fermentation...
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Postby slothrob » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:42 pm

Bryon wrote:So there's absolutely no danger in letting the beer sit in the carboy for an extra week? I'm only doing primary fermentation...

Absolutely no danger. It can only help.
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THANKS!

Postby Bryon » Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:48 pm

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Great!

Postby slothrob » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:35 am

Glad to hear the beer came out good!

I thought that kit and the BB Microbrewery Ale were both decent extract kits, when I made them early on. That one has Nottingham yeast, right?

As far as clarity, the beer is still pretty young, I wouldn't be surprised if there is still a little priming sugar being finished off in the bottles. A little more time and a week in the fridge could solve that. If it ends up being chill haze, meaning it gets clear when the beer warms up, try rehydrating your Irish Moss for a few hours next time and see if that helps.
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Postby Bryon » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:19 pm

The haze never went away, but it still taste pretty good. I'll give your pointer a try. My next brew will be a holiday ale...
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haze

Postby slothrob » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:16 pm

There are a number of factors that affect chill haze.
An alternative to Irish Moss are Whirlflock tablets. Same thing, basically, but you add 1/2 to 1 of them to the last 5 minutes of a boil, without the rehydration. I've had good luck with them.

Tannins are another factor, so avoid steeping or sparging above 170
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