Secondary fermenting state?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ChilliMayne, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. ChilliMayne

    ChilliMayne New Member

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    I have a strong Belgium ale on the go at the moment. Now in its secondary ferment.
    Brewed on Sept 27th and in its secondary since october 6th.
    Ive used WLP550 and made a starter 48hrs prior to brew day.
    The temps in my shed vary from 9-12C which I know is not ideal for this strain.

    My question is should I still be seeing my secondary ferment looking like this?
    See attached
    Should all that Krausen still be there?
    I know ale yeasts are top fermenting but Ive never seen it remain like this for so long.
    Is it that I have a much slower ferment due to temp and as a result Ill have a better flavoured beer?
     

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  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    There have been times when I racked pre-maturely and had a lot of krausen in the secondary for a week or so. 3 weeks sounds like a pretty long time to still be seeing krausen.

    That yeast is an Ale, and has an optimum temp: range of 20.0 - 25.6 C. At 9C, it doesn't have a chance to take off. Move it inside so it has a chance to warm up. When fermenting outside the temperature range, all bets are off. They say when fermenting towards the high end of the range, more esters and fruity flavors are generated. Cooler temperatures indicate cleaner, crisper flavors. You may be in a situation where the yeast has been stressed, and thus, some very off flavors could happen.

    It looks like the yeast (or something) is still working. A good way to check if you have an infection is to smell and taste it. The OG, gravity when racking, and current gravity would shed more light on the subject.

    Great job on doing a starter!
     
  3. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    + 1. Get that carboy into the warm or stick a heat mat under it and wrap a blanket over it.

    It's been an OK temperature for some ale strains over here in England for the last few weeks (about 14C) but I heard today that the temperature is going to drop sharply down to what you'd normally expect for Autumn.

    Outside temps might be good for lagers in the next few months!
     
  4. ChilliMayne

    ChilliMayne New Member

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    Yes taking gravity readings is the way to go
    to answer my query as to whether I have anything
    to worry about yeast wise/ activity wise.
    Never did this but I would have been quite happy
    to allow it to ferment away slowly for better flavours.
    I stead however I have wrapped it in bubble wrap
    and within the hour the airlock showed quite a lot
    of activity!! Phew! :D
    Really looking forward to drinking this at Xmas and of
    course sharing a little of it too!
    Pics of the Carboy to follow in the coming days
     
  5. ChilliMayne

    ChilliMayne New Member

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    Great job on doing a starter!

    Thanks!

    I used 1/2 cup of Dark DME with 2 pints of filter water. boiled it for 10mins. Cooled it to 20C and added the vial and the cooled wort to a sterilised 1 liter bottle.Capped with tin foil and left in the kitchen until brew day. gave it a whirl every so often in the meantime. Never fails. :)
     
  6. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Cooler temps do prolong a ferment, but one thing to consider. If your temperature is fluctuating, for instance warmer at daytime and cooler at night, what you may be seeing is just CO2 coming out of solution, and not fermentation activity. Colder fluids can hold a higher level of CO2 in solution, that later comes out of solution when the temperature rises. It also gives up CO2 after racking, or if the carboy is jostled or moved. Also, I have had krausen remain after fermentation is finished, only to have it drop out when the carboy is elevated for racking and was handled a bit rough.

    As far as the flavor, cooler temperature will produce fewer esters, but the fluctuation, will stress the yeast, and if too cool, the yeast will just drop out producing a incomplete ferment. While rising temperatures excite the yeast, cooling will cause the yeast to go dormant. Fermentation temperature control is one of the most important aspects of brewing good beer. More important than shiny kettles, brew sculptures, or kegging systems. Think about what you could do to control this better. Perhaps a spot in a closet, or a basement that has even temperatures in an optimal range. Or better yet, Make a dedicated fermentation chamber out of an old refrigerator, or build a simple chamber out of foam board.

    http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/38DD-Mother-of-a-Fermentation-Chiller.
     

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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Starters = happy yeast. I've started doing quart starters for my 5.5 gallon batches. Fermentation is visible within hours of pitch. As to the krauesen on your beer in secondary, don't get in a hurry. Yeast is patient, you should be, too! Your beer will only get better if you wait a day or two longer than the minimum (or a week, for that matter).
     

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