Fermenting stops after only a few days

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Fermenting stops after only a few days

Postby jimcraig » Tue May 13, 2008 8:56 pm

ok need some thoughts here folks.

I brewed a mini mash of a Traditional Welsh Ale (Brains) on Sat 5/10. The OG was 1.047. It was bubbling away within 12 hours, really go good. I could see stuff turning and moving really swiftly in the carboy on Sunday.

I come home today and the fermenting has slowed to a crawl. I havent timed it yet but maybe 1 bubble every 10 seconds or so.

The Krausen was thick and bubbly before but has all but disappeared. Now its a thin almost transparent Krausen.

I pitched at 70deg and that night we had a cool night and I was able to put it in front of a open window and get it down to 60deg. I had been doing that every night and got it down to about 58deg at night and about 68deg during the day. I would move the carboy away from the window in the early AM and close the window up and turn on the AC.

any ideas as to why after 3 days the fermenting stopped so fast?

There was more than normal amount of dregs transferred. I used this "siphontap" wort aerator to transfer and didnt get to run it through a strainer and a mesh bag like I normally like to. I ended up with about a good solid inch of dregs on the bottom of my carboy, when I looked at it today.

If anyone wants to know my ingredents I can post them.

off the top of my head it was 3# of grain and 2.25# DME, pitched London 1028 Wyest.

thoughts are really appreciated.
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Re: Fermenting stops after only a few days

Postby jeff » Tue May 13, 2008 9:00 pm

jimcraig wrote:ok need some thoughts here folks.

I brewed a mini mash of a Traditional Welsh Ale (Brains) on Sat 5/10. The OG was 1.047. It was bubbling away within 12 hours, really go good. I could see stuff turning and moving really swiftly in the carboy on Sunday.

I come home today and the fermenting has slowed to a crawl. I havent timed it yet but maybe 1 bubble every 10 seconds or so.

The Krausen was thick and bubbly before but has all but disappeared. Now its a thin almost transparent Krausen.

I pitched at 70deg and that night we had a cool night and I was able to put it in front of a open window and get it down to 60deg. I had been doing that every night and got it down to about 58deg at night and about 68deg during the day. I would move the carboy away from the window in the early AM and close the window up and turn on the AC.

any ideas as to why after 3 days the fermenting stopped so fast?

There was more than normal amount of dregs transferred. I used this "siphontap" wort aerator to transfer and didnt get to run it through a strainer and a mesh bag like I normally like to. I ended up with about a good solid inch of dregs on the bottom of my carboy, when I looked at it today.

If anyone wants to know my ingredents I can post them.

off the top of my head it was 3# of grain and 2.25# DME, pitched London 1028 Wyest.

thoughts are really appreciated.


What's the gravity now?
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Postby jimcraig » Tue May 13, 2008 9:26 pm

just checked it. Its now 1.016 and bubbles every 5 seconds. tasted the gravity sample, didnt taste like too much.
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Postby jeff » Tue May 13, 2008 9:41 pm

jimcraig wrote:just checked it. Its now 1.016 and bubbles every 5 seconds. tasted the gravity sample, didnt taste like too much.


Your apparent attenuation is around 66% so the fermentation is reaching completion. If you are transferring to a secondary, now is probably a good time to do it. If not, then give it a few more days and check gravity again. Over the next few days it will continue to settle and clarify. Bottle when you feel the fermentation activity is minimal and the gravity has remained the same for several days. You don't want to bottle too soon otherwise you will end up with an explosive situation :shock:
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Postby jimcraig » Tue May 13, 2008 11:37 pm

wow, so is it out of the ordinary for it to be done fermenting so quickly?

also how did you come to this conclusion:

"our apparent attenuation is around 66% so the fermentation is reaching completion."

the % is my main curiosity. I want to learn as much as I can.

& big thanks for chiming in here man.
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RE:Fermenting stops after only a few days

Postby Legman » Wed May 14, 2008 6:16 am

You shouldn't really worry about a quick fermentation. Just check the gravity if your concerned.

There are a few factors that effect fermentation times, like temperature and type of yeast. Some yeasts seem to be more aggressive than others. I've had several batches do just as you described and the beer came out fine.
As fermentation begins, the actual temperature of the wort can go up to. For instance. I pitched my yeast at 70F and leave it in a room that stays 64-68F. After fermentation starts, the temp of the wort (and this varies with yeasts) is fermenting around 74-75F.
I noticed you used Wyeast London ale. I use the White Labs London and it does exactly as you've described, fast fermentation. So don't worry, you'll be fine.
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Postby jeff » Wed May 14, 2008 7:25 am

jimcraig wrote:also how did you come to this conclusion:

"our apparent attenuation is around 66% so the fermentation is reaching completion."


I entered the original and terminal gravities in the Window->Calculators->%Atten. tool in BeerTools Pro. You can also do something similar using the Final Analysis tool here on the BeerTools.com site.
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attenuation

Postby slothrob » Wed May 14, 2008 2:22 pm

To understand where the %attenuation number comes from:

(OG-FG) ÷ OG = attenuation (ignore the 1 of the 1.0xx)

or, (47 - 16) ÷ 47 = 0.66 or 66%.

In other words, it's the percentage change in gravity due to fermentation.

By the way, I often have rapid fermentations of a few days or so, but I generally give the yeast another week or more or so to clean up some of the fermentation byproducts and give me a final beer with fewer off-flavors. A couple additional days are probably sufficient, but you also want about 3 days at a consistent gravity to avoid bottle bombs. I've consistently had problems of one sort or another with beers I've rushed out of primary.
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Postby jimcraig » Wed May 14, 2008 9:06 pm

guys, super thanks for the thoughts and advice here really. I am totally new to the board and you guys have been awesome.

I prefer to use White Labs cause I had a bunk Wyest 1st time out, but wanted to give it another shot. It seemed to work really good.

my concern about the quick ferment is 1, only 3 days and it slowed down really quickly, and 2 the OG was .047 and its now .016 no concern? It was mixed pretty good. I put the stand water in the carboy and transferrred the nearly 3.5 gallons of wort into the carboy and pitched the yeast while I was transferring the wort.

is there a concern about the dregs that hitched a ride with the wort during transfer, there was alot of hop pellet tiny bits that made its way in that wouldnt have if I had transferred like I normally do.

I got a wort chiller before this batch so I didnt transfer to a bucket and fill to 5 gallons in the bucket, aerate then transfer while strainging through a wire mesh collinder and a large nylon steep bag underneath that. the bag catches tons of the hops dregs and I gat a really clear beer because of it.

so to sum up, could this have been caused by the dregs that came along with my wort?

how did the OG drop so much? Now I have a really low alcohol beer again. (3rd time this has happened)

should I just leave it in the carboy till I am ready to bottle? or rack it and then transfer when bottling?

you guys rock, really.
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Postby Legman » Thu May 15, 2008 6:48 am

Relax and drink a brew man. You're like a nervous cat! :lol:

Your beer's gonna be just fine. Leave it in the fermenter for awhile. The yeast is still doing it's thing. I've been leaving mine in the fermenter for 3 weeks before I transfer to a bottling bucket. I don't use a secondary and that extra time on the yeast cake really gets rid of any off flavors faster than in the bottle and it comes out clear as a bell.

If you want higher ABV% you gotta get you OG up higher than 1.047. Chances are, your FG is going to drop more. .016 seems a little high or you've made a pretty sweet beer. But even still as it is, your ABV% is probably going to be in the mid 4.0 range depending on where you FG stops at.

[quote="jimcraig"off the top of my head it was 3# of grain and 2.25# DME, pitched London 1028 Wyest.[/quote]

3# grain and 2.25# DME isn't going to make a high ABV%. Just adjust your recipe next time if you want more than that.

Are you using a brewing calculator or are you just throwing stuff together? Your calculator will tell you approximately what your OG,FG, ABV% is and so on.
Last edited by Legman on Thu May 15, 2008 6:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: OG

Postby jeff » Thu May 15, 2008 6:56 am

jimcraig wrote:how did the OG drop so much? Now I have a really low alcohol beer again. (3rd time this has happened)


OG is a measurement of density (D = M / V). When yeast does its work, sugars are converted to CO2, alcohol and other products. As the CO2 escapes the airlock, the wort is actually getting lighter (weighs less). In other words, the mass is falling while the volume is staying roughly the same; resulting in a lower density. Since the change in density is a reflection of the heavy sugars converting to alcohol and CO2, a lower density is what you want. The lower it goes, the higher your alcohol is.

Your beer (starting at 1.047, ending at 1.016) has 4.06% ABV. That's good IMO. Sounds to me like it's going to be a good beer.
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Postby jimcraig » Thu May 15, 2008 5:12 pm

legman,
not so much nervous as curious.

It isnt a high alc beer. its a clone of Brains Welsh Ale, its a "session" beer and has a abv of 4.5% so I guess I am right in that ballpark.

I am brewing a monster IPA today, got off work early.

3# Pale 2 row English
3/4# Munich
1#Crystal 20
1/4# Crystal 40
3# Briess DME

1oz Organice Pacific Gem - bittering
1oz Cascade - 10mins
1oz Simcoe - 5mins
1oz Amarillo - boil off

dry hop 1oz Organic Crystal

almost done with the mash now.

I didnt realize till today the the alc level was the diff between OG & FG, that is why I was a little "nervous". I was thinking 1.016 is really low alc 2something %.

I am brewing a Old Speckled Hen on Sat and am going to pitch my wort right on top of the yeast cake for this beer that is finishing up now. Never done that before but the guy at my brewshop is a brewer here at Yazoo Brewing and said it should work out really good.

again guys, preciate it.
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Postby Legman » Thu May 15, 2008 6:53 pm

Jimcraig,
I was just razzing you a bit about being nervous. :P

I'm fairly new at brewing myself, and also get wound up about stuff too. There's a lot I still don't fully understand, but I'm learning as I go. This is a good place to learn and share information. I've picked up quite a bit from this forum. Good guys on here.

Sounds like you beer should be pretty close to the ABV your looking for. Let us know how it turns out.
I've never heard of Brains Welsh Ale before. What style is that or what's it similar to? I really like English style brews the best. That may be something I'd be interested in. :D Right now I'm sampling a nice Irish Red that just got done bottle conditioning. Mmmmmm. Not to shabby for the first try on this recipe!

Good luck on the using the yeast cake from the previous beer. I haven't tried that yet, but I've read that can be done.
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Postby jimcraig » Thu May 15, 2008 11:00 pm

I figured you were just bustin balls, its all good. I got thick skin and am extremely difficult to offend.

http://www.sabrain.com/index.cfm?alias=ourbeers here is a link to Brains Brewing website. Its supposed to be the oldest brewery in Wales. Its known as a session beer, the beer I brewed. A traditional Welsh Ale.

got done with my "monster IPA" I ended up adding 3/4oz of Columbus at the end with the Amarillo. The color is a nice caramel color and OG came in at .057. pitched the CA Ale yeast at 69deg.
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Brains

Postby Legman » Fri May 16, 2008 6:08 am

I checked out that website. Where have you had that beer before?
I'd be interested in trying some of that.

Did you formulate your clone recipe, or get it from somewhere?
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