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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through November 29, 2005 * Is my primary done? < Previous Next >

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Tim Pratt
Intermediate Member
Username: Timca

Post Number: 294
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 65.219.22.191
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As you may remember about twom months ago I had a thred about getting my FG down. Well now my FG is about 1.028 after 14 days. My question is this. If there is still a layer of stuff / fome on top of thebeer in the primary is it still fermenting?

thanks
Tim
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.225.248.227
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some yeast leave some foam on top after they're done fermenting. If the airlock doesn't show any activity, and the beer is starting to clear, I'd say you're done. That doesn't mean all your fermentables are gone, it just means the yeast is pooped.
 

q-ceps
Member
Username: Qceps

Post Number: 143
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 209.50.91.70
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

(in answer to original question)

Not necessarily. How much stuff there is on top depends on many things, most of all, what the "stuff" is. Assuming no infections, it is still quite possible to have a mixture of proteins, hops and inactive yeast trapping bubbles of CO2 in a stable cake on top for a very long time.

Fermentation makes gravity diminish over time. Successive daily gravity readings will answer your question.

In the case of high FG, or (may as well call it) stuck fermentation, the yeast usually does not stop working entirely, but rather slows down so much it seems it did.

As an interesting test, you could take a small sample and throw a pack of Coopers into it, then see if it goes lower. Yes means it is time to fire your yeast and add some new; no means you are full of unfermentables and that needs to be addressed at the wort level.

If you do have a stuck fermentation, look for reasons in the origin and handling of your yeast. Failing that, look for yeast inhibitors you might have inadvertantly introduced (preservatives, bleach, etc.).

(Message edited by q-ceps on November 23, 2005)
 

Tim Pratt
Intermediate Member
Username: Timca

Post Number: 297
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 65.219.22.191
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 04:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would residual San starr act as a yeast inhibitor? I tipp them over (carboys) at the begining of the boil. When I rack there is still some foam in there...

Thanks
Tim
 

q-ceps
Member
Username: Qceps

Post Number: 144
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 209.50.91.70
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would not think so, unless you are pitching into that and adding wort.

Tell me about your yeast's childhood ... was it a happy one?
 

Tim Pratt
Intermediate Member
Username: Timca

Post Number: 298
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 65.219.22.191
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 05:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fappy till in got into the wort!! I start with a 2 pint starter, it seamed good. I just took a gravity...1.032, no bubbles... Ithink Ill just throw a tube of WL in an see what happens. Other wise I toss the batch. I allready have 5 G of 1.030 keged an use it for cooking.
This is geting frustrating... Anw other ideas?
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 1678
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 141.232.1.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 06:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim,
Are you and all grainer or an extract brewer? 1.028 at 14 days tells us almost nothing about whether your primary is done. What is the gravity at day 15 and 16 and 17? With that information we can determine if it is done.

The best way to make sure you end up with a high FG is to rack it before it is done fermenting simply because the sun as set 14 times since you pitched the yeast. The yeast have no concept of time and days.

-Doug
 

Tim Pratt
Intermediate Member
Username: Timca

Post Number: 299
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 65.219.22.191
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 08:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It was an all extract kit. The OG was 1.064 and I pitched 2 pint starter. I Airated with 100% o2 before pitching. Fermentation went ok but not the normal "blow off " im use to. The FG has been 1.032 for three days with no bubling in the air lock for about 6 days. The actual brew day was Nov. 10th. It has been in primary all that time. I had the same problem with the same kit last time, but the time before it went fine... with out a starter... Any how I hope to be all grain soon, just frustrated that my last 2 Extract beers have had this problem.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 1679
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 141.232.1.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 08:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim,
Sounds like your kits (of recent) are not as fermentable as they should be. I recomend staying away from Liquid Malt Extract (LME) and go to Dry Malt Extract(DME). I'm not sure there are DME kits, but you can buy the DME and hops and make your own recipes. Sort of the natural progression from kits to DME/LME plus hops to DME/LME plus hops plus steeps specialty grains to all grain. I stayed at the steeped grains stage for a good year.

-Doug
 

q-ceps
Member
Username: Qceps

Post Number: 145
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 209.50.91.70
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 09:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is your hydrometer showing 1.025 in pure water?

Unless this one was on the strong side, both OG and FG sound a bit high.
 

Connie
Advanced Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 571
Registered: 10-2000
Posted From: 24.30.0.91
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think q-ceps may have something there. Have you checked your hydrometer in plain water..should be 1.000 at 60 degrees f
 

Tim Pratt
Intermediate Member
Username: Timca

Post Number: 300
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 65.219.22.191
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 12:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ya all three hydrometers are the same...
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 2754
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.114.44.244
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 04:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim I remember your last post, and you used some kits from williams brewing right? The same kit still?

If so, in the old thread the kits said OG 1.068 / EtOH6.2vol%? Is it the same kit? or is it a new one?

If this is correct, and the wort is the same your 1.064 are predicted to finish at 1.020 assuming you use williams original strain.

The last time we never found out the relative attenuation of williams strain, but assuming it's high attenuatating, then it means the fermentability of that extract is comparatively low to start with and unless you achieve full attenuation your beer is predicted to finish maybe as high as 1.027 or so.

Unless you somehow poison your yeast I think like th last time, either your attenuation is bad, or that kit is bad.

Did you use a XL bag? or WL? Depending on the source I'd prefer more than 2 pints. How is the yeast prepared before aerating? What's your lag? when does peak activity occur? On what day has it slowed to more or less 0 bpm?

/Fredrik
 

Tim Pratt
Intermediate Member
Username: Timca

Post Number: 302
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 199.88.72.17
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 05:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ya same kit, secound time. I bought it at the same time as the first. I have made it in the past with the 1.064 OG and it got down to 1.020 a least... I having a hard time with a FG just shy of some beers OG.... Oh well.... I used a XL bag. smacked it then steped it to a 2 pint starter. The first time I made the kit (the 1.020 FG) I did not use a starter or o2 at that time... oh well.
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 2756
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 213.114.44.244
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 06:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What strain did you use? Is there a pattern such that the times you got 1.020 you used an attenuative strain?

1.020 are head on williams specs. The only fuzzy part is that we don't know the properties of that strain. If that is indeed a high attenuator, then that can be the explanation here. That means either stick to a high attenuator or if using a moderate attenuator you might hae to really beef of your pitching rates to compensate.

Anyway, if this is the case it sounds like a weird kit to me.

/Fredrik