I have a strange situation going on with a beer I was hoping to enter into competition. I am brewing an IIPA that is based on a recipe of one of my favorite commercial examples and using the WY1968 London ESB yeast. I pitched a good size starter (4 liter) into this 5.5 gallon batch about two weeks ago at 64 f. After day three, I started to ramp up the fermentation by 2 degrees every 2 days until day 7, when I added my dry hops at 70 f. The fermentation has been at 70 degrees for 6 days now and I am still getting a bubble in the airlock every 20 to 30 seconds…I can see CO2 creeping out of the cake on the bottom. I have never had a beer attenuate this long, but I also have never been able to control temps this accurately. I am beginning to be afraid that I have somehow picked up a wild yeast…perhaps I am just freaking out too much because this is my first competition beer attempt. I honestly consider myself to be pretty anal about cleaning and sanitizing…although things happen to everyone from time to time. I have never had airlock activity this late in the game…that I can remember anyway. Anyone out there have any thoughts? I realize that I may have slightly over pitched because I missed my OG by 4 points…but even that shouldn’t really matter too much…anyone? Thanks in advance for any responses.
Pellet hops will give a off a bunch of Co2 when dry hopping. With a IIPA I imagined you used a lot so there is going to be an excess amount of of Co2. I don’t think you have to be worried. In the end the best way to tell is tasting the brew.
Take a gravity reading. Otherwise you’re just freaking out over nothing.
Yeah, perhaps I shouldn’t really freak too much, but wouldn’t you all think that I wouldn’t have airlock activity at this point? Especially with such a flocculant yeast like 1968? What if I dropped the temp to like 60f…would wild yeast still keep chugging at that temp? I wouldn’t think the 1968 would still be going with a 10 degree drop.
I find a sure-fire way to make a less-than-great beer is to decide to enter it in a comp before I even brew it! :cheers:
Honeslty, I am guessing it is the dry hop, not yeast activity. Taste it and take a gravity reading to set your mind at ease.
Airlock activity is not necessarily an indicator of fermentation activity. You need to take gravity readings. The beer is probably offgasing, especially if your temperature is changing. It’s the same concept as beer or soda going flat when uncapped.
I’ve had big ales continue to ferment for two weeks. Once the ABV gets up there it slows the yeast. Even a cake will keep working sometimes. A quick gravity check will tell you where its at.
I did take a gravity today and it is down to 1020, which is what this recipe calls for (english yeast). It tasted better than anything that I have ever brewed…and I have brewed a lot of beer. Let’s just say that I do have a wild yeast in there…would cold crashing drop it out enough to make it last for a couple of weeks?
Cold crashing and keeping the beer cold will slow down all processes.
I think your better bet is to pretend that you don’t have a wild yeast infection, keep calm, and carry on.
Your chances of infection are very low IMO. I would wait a couple of days, take another reading, and if it’s the same, bottle or keg, wait, drink.
Not sure why you are so certain that you have “wild yeast”…
*Your gravity is only at 1.020, In my experience, contamination results in gravity well under 1.010.
*It tastes great . . . contamination almost NEVER results in great tasting beer.
*You dry hopped . . .this WILL cause more bubbling activity in the airlock…every one of my dry hopped beers shows more “bubbling.”
You say you started to increase temp up to 70 degrees at day 7??? Does this mean you added dry hops at day 7 of the ferment? How long has it been since the day you brewed this beer? From what you said, it sounds like 13 total days or so?? That is not that long. Generally, I let my beers sit for 14-16 days, then add dry hops for about 5 days. All in primary - no secondary. Then, around Day 21 I bottle/keg.
To me, it sounds like your beer is perfectly fine. There is nothing that you said that leads me to believe you have beer infected with wild yeast. However, if you keep messing with it, I think you are increasing the odds that you will prove yourself correct.
Let it go for one or two days longer, the check the gravity again. Worst case you can kill the yeast off with something like metabisulfite. But why worry at this point? It sounds like it is a big beer finishing out normally