First All Grain: a lot of sediment in fermenter?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by jcj99be, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. jcj99be

    jcj99be New Member

    Dec 25, 2018
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    I just completed my first all grain brew!
    I observed a few things during the fermentation process that I'm not sure about.

    1) A lot sediment!
    I've done several extract brews and at by the end of the fermentation process there is a layer of sediment in the fermenter bucket which is certainly old yeast (hops filtered when going into fementor), so no issue there.
    But in my all grain brew, there was a huge amount of sediment... probably 3 or 4 cm in the bottom of the bucket. Looks like sediment from the milled grains? Is this normal?
    (I noticed that the wort was very cloudy when I transferred to the fermenter bucket (not the case when doing extract brewing).
    Is this cloudiness normal? Do I need to filter more when transfering to the fermentation bucket?

    2) Bubbling after reaching final gravity
    I tracked the gravity during the fermentation process. As usual, a lot of bubbling at the beginning and progressively slowed down. Reached the FG in about 4 days, but slow bubbling continued. Even after 10 days, there was still some activity even though there was little or no change in gravity points. I thought that maybe the yeast was still munching on something in all that sediment so I racked for a 2nd fermentation without all that sediment. The bubbling immediately stopped after it was racked. I left is there for about 5 days then packaged.
    What can cause this extended fermentation period and is it normal?

    3) No after taste?
    After conditioning for about 3 weeks, first taste... It is carbonated ok, first taste in the mouth is actually pretty good. But there is "no" after taste... I expect the taste to linger a little. There is no off taste. First moments in the mouth are good, but after than kind of bland,
    I read somewhere that this could be related to that extended period of active fermentation? That the yeast is processing something in the wort that can cause this blandness?
    Any advice on what could cause this?

    Ifit helps, here is the recipe:
    Brew Method: All Grain
    Style Name: Belgian Pale Ale
    Boil Time: 60 min
    Batch Size: 17 liters (ending kettle volume)
    Boil Size: 23 liters
    Boil Gravity: 1.037
    Efficiency: 60% (ending kettle)

    Hop Utilization Multiplier: 1

    Original Gravity: 1.050
    Final Gravity: 1.005
    ABV (standard): 5.93%
    IBU (tinseth): 27.67
    SRM (morey): 10.88
    Mash pH: 5.72

    2.5 kg - Pale Ale (55.7%)
    0.9 kg - Vienna Malt (20%)
    400 g - Munich (8.9%)
    400 g - CaraRed (8.9%)
    190 g - Biscuit (4.2%)
    100 g - Special-B (2.2%)

    20 g - Goldings, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 3.6, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 11
    25 g - Aramis, Type: Pellet, AA: 8, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 16.67

    1) Strike, Temp: 67 C, Time: 60 min, Amount: 11.2 L
    2) Sparge, Temp: 67 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 11.8 L
    Starting Mash Thickness: 2.5 L/kg

    3 g - Irish Moss, Time: 15 min, Type: Other, Use: Boil

    Fermentis / Safale - Belgian Saison Ale Yeast BE-134
  2. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2012
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    1st....CONGRATS! on your first all-grain! You'll never go back...;)
    1) ...yeah, something went wrong with the filtering. Even with all-grain, you should still just have yeast and maybe some hop sediment. Are you doing BIAB or do you have a screen, braided hose or similar in the bottom of you mash tun?
    2) least for me, yes, this is normal. In the past decade (100+ brews), I have maybe bottled 1-2 brews where there was no airlock activity at all. It seemed worse with top fermenting yeasts, but I have almost never had a brew that stopped activity after 3-4 weeks. Even with bottom fermenting, I wait 3 weeks before bottling. That being said, I don't secondary...!
    3)...sorry, no clue! That's a new one for me...:confused:
  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2017
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    IT Manager
    I wouldn't worry about the sediment, I get lots in mine all the time.
  4. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2017
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    Milwaukee, WI
    Also, congrats on your first All Grain brewday!

    3-4 cm is a little more trub than I get but, not enough to cause any concern. The only reason to care is if it is leaving you too little head room and causing overflows out the airlock. If it is then let the the boil kettle sit after chilling before draining. Try to leave most of the trub in the kettle.

    Without knowing your process some guesses would be...
    1) Too fine a crush: A lot of grain crushed to sand/flour texture and not enough grain husks to act as a filter.
    2) Stirring mash shortly before lautering. Therefore no grain bed to filter. Probably does not apply to Brew In A Bag
    3) Not vourlaufing long enough or slow enough or dumping rapidly back into the mash tun and disturbing the grain bed. Note this does not apply to BIAB.

    Bubbles through the airlock in the beginning are a good sign of an active fermentation. Near the end of fermentation bubbles, or the lack thereof, don't mean much. Stable gravity readings will tell you whether fermentation is complete.

    After three weeks of bottle conditioning you should have full flavor. Obviously this is the first time you brewed this recipe so it could be your expectations and this recipe just didn't line up. I'm not a big fan on Belgians (I am referring to the beer :p) so I don't brew them. Maybe other brewers could comment on the recipe.
    Craigerrr likes this.
  5. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2018
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    Fallon, Nevada
    You likely transferred a bunch of hop debris and break material from your kettle. Not a bad thing and, given time, it will settle out and compact with the yeast. Cooling the beer down after fermentation is complete will speed the process.

    As for the slow bubbling after active fermentation was done, It's just CO2 coming out of solution and perfectly normal. Stable gravity is a much better indication that fermentation is complete.
    BarbarianBrewer and Craigerrr like this.

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