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Fermentation too vigorous for krausen?

I’ve never seen nor read about this phenomenon before:

  • Brewing a NB Belgian Tripel from a Patersbier yeast cake.

  • Krausen started forming less than 4 hours after pitching (moved patersbier to 2ndary, swirled boiled/cooled water to loosen yeast cake, dumped into fresh carboy of tripel).

  • at least an inch of Krausen the next morning (about 16 hours after pitching)

  • 9 hours after that, krausen completely gone, but vigorous churning still going on. Lots of gas. Some large bubbles floating on top; lots of effervescence - like from a freshly poured soda.

  • about 36 hours later, krausen formed again.

  • chest freezer fermentation temp low 70’s (wyeast trappist 3787 supposed to be fine up to 78 F)

  • gravity when pitching - 1.075 (1.076 target)

First time I’ve brewed anything over 1.050.
Is this typical? Just curious.

[quote=“skipbittman2”]I’ve never seen nor read about this phenomenon before:

  • Brewing a NB Belgian Tripel from a Patersbier yeast cake.

  • Krausen started forming less than 4 hours after pitching (moved patersbier to 2ndary, swirled boiled/cooled water to loosen yeast cake, dumped into fresh carboy of tripel).

  • at least an inch of Krausen the next morning (about 16 hours after pitching)

  • 9 hours after that, krausen completely gone, but vigorous churning still going on. Lots of gas. Some large bubbles floating on top; lots of effervescence - like from a freshly poured soda.

  • about 36 hours later, krausen formed again.

  • chest freezer fermentation temp low 70’s (wyeast trappist 3787 supposed to be fine up to 78 F)

  • gravity when pitching - 1.075 (1.076 target)

First time I’ve brewed anything over 1.050.
Is this typical? Just curious.[/quote]

My guess is that your fermentation is finished. Just because a yeast co. says it’s “OK up to 78” doesn’t mean you’ll make good beer at those temps. If your freezer was set to low 70s, the beer was likely fermenting in the high 70s. I use that yeast a lot and I’d never want to ferment it that warm. Not to mention, usually for Belgian styles you want to start them in the 60s and them let the temp rise after a few days to a week. Lack or presence of krausen doesn’t really tell you a whole lot. My guess is that you had a fast fermentation. That put a lot of dissolved CO2 into the beer, which are the bubbles you saw. Then the CO2 started coming out of solution again, creating the foam (not really krausen).

Thanks Denny!

Darn, I forgot about the starting out in the 60’s and gradually increasing the temp…

Hmmm. Still using blowoff tube and bubbling close to once a second since this morning.

Tried to attach a picture of the “foam”, but the file was too big, and it was hard to see through the condensation at the top of the carboy at that resolution anyway.

Anyway, I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens. I’ve probably made less than 20 batches, and still have plenty to learn (and remember).
First time I made patersbier, the temp was pretty high, and must’ve made a lot of fusel alcohol. Tasted amazing, but gave nasty headaches, until it mellowed out after a month or two. Second time, temps were in the mid 60s, but then dropped down to low 60s, and took forever for s.g. to drop down to a decent level. It tasted good, but not as good as the first batch. Based on that, I thought I’d try low 70s this time (aware that actual temp of beer would be higher because of fermentation). As I said, I forgot that I read (probably here) to start out in 60s and gradually increase the temp. Looking forward to trying that next time!

You mention that when you fermented in the low 60s it took forever. I don’t know how long “forever” is, but as Stan pointed out in BLAM, the last 10% of attenuation can take longer than the first 90%. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed…the beer makes the schedule.

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