Fermentation question

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

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Fermentation question

Postby mickeymac » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:01 pm

I brewed a batch of robust porter recently and achieved an OG of 1.058 with an intended FG of app. 1.012. After over 48 hours in the primary, it was showing no signs of life. I pitched a new vial of yeast, and fermentation took off within about 5 hours. It fermented pretty vigorously for about 24 hours and then seemed to stop again. I checked the gravity and it was about 1.036. I decided to rack it to a carboy about a day later and the gravity was only down to 1.034. However, after I put it into the secondary last night, fermentation seemed to take off again. The airlock has been bubbling regularly for the past 24 hours. Did getting the beer off the "bad" first batch of yeast help the fermentation to re-start? Is this a normal occurrence? Can I expect any off-flavors based on this description? Thanks, Mike
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Maybe.....

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Jul 17, 2002 8:43 pm

Mike,

I had posted a reply to Andy about a month ago reguarding off flavors and underpitching of yeast.
As Eric (Mesa) stated recently the amount is not as critical as the viability of the yeast that is pitched. Almost without exception liquid yeast needs to be grown to pitching quantity and viability for any batch of wort over 1.036 OG. If you had built up the starter your primary would have gone to a reasonable FG. I always start or restart slurry in a mild (1.020 to 1.026) quart of wort and try to pitch while 'at high krausen'. I have also started to use oxygen to airate the wort before pitching the yeast. This shortens the lag time and gives the yeast a better start.

You might get some off flavors, but they may also be interesting. Taste this batch at different stages and make clear notes. Some of this you may want to recreate and some you may want to avoid. This batch may require a long period of maturation.

Good luck...Good brewing.

Tom
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A couple of things???

Postby Fraoch » Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:52 am

Was the first batch of yeast in a starter prior to use????I f not it may well have taken 48hrs or so to show signs of fermentation, When you racked into 2ndary, did you also inadvertantly reairate???This would explain the lack of/sudden appearance of fermentation once transfered. I once panicked after 36hrs on my first use of liquid yeast and repitched with Safale,the liquid then sprang into life and then the safale pushed it out of solution!!!! I had yeast everywhere!!!!
As for off flavours, well, you have to do alot wrong to produce a beer that is undrinkable due to off flavours. It may not be as 'clean' tasting as you would have liked but then again it may give the characteristic that you might appreciate. Chances are that with a robust porter it will taste just fine, if not then chill it further. Personally, i can never get my robust porters to brew out past 1014 with an SG of 1048, so dont worry if you dont achieve your intended 1012, you could well end up around 1020. Still sounds like a fine full malty brew to me - plenty of character.
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Thanks, gentlemen

Postby mickeymac » Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:08 pm

I didn't use a starter, but will use one for my next batch. I didn't aerate the batch when racking it to the secondary. The gravity was only down to 1.032 today. I'm starting to feel like I'll be lucky to get it down to 1.025 or so. Live and learn. Thanks to both of you for the help.
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