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Fermented too fast

Hello. I am completely new to brewing and this is my first post here. I apologize if this is a question already addressed but I don’t have a feel for the site yet so I will ask.

I started my first ever batch on Jan 5. I was careful to be very sanitary and follow directions as well as I could. After my wort was complete I added it to mt 6 gallon carboy which had the 2 gallons of sterile water in it. Since the reading I did directed me to make sure to aerate the wort I picked up the carboy (with the stopper on it) and shook it vigorously. I then added the yeast which I followed the instructions to re-hydrate. The pitching temp was probably around 80 degrees and the recommended fermenting temperature is 68 degrees (streets of london porter). I was expecting to have to wait a couple days before I saw any action but to my surprise I saw bubbling in the airlock after only 4 hours. When I got up the next morning (about 15 hours after pitching) the activity was vigorous. The airlock was bubbling like crazy and there was a thick layer of foam on top. The ambient temperature in the room was 68 degrees. I went to work and when I came home that night the activity had dramatically decreased.

Over the past few days the activity continues but very slowly. Maybe 1 bubble every 2 minutes or so. Not much in the way of foam on top, but there is a noticeable layer of sludge on the carboy bottom.

So my questions are, did my high pitching temperature cause the immediate activity? Is the high temp during that activity going to cause off flavors? Should I have aerated so much and would that have caused the immediate activity? Have I completely destroyed my first ever batch?

I will continue to read through the posts in the forum to see if there is any info. Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide. By the way I will likely not ever pick up the carboy and shake again. For the two days afterwards my back let me know that was a poor choice of action.

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=120337

RDWHAHB!

:cheers:

Well thanks for that info. I feel better now but won’t feel completely at ease until I get to try my first bottle. I know, I know…patience.

No worries and congrats… you made beer!

Long story short, for most ale yeast, you want to keep the ambient temp in the low 60’s if at all possible. Get a minifridge to ferment in or search for swamp cooler for cheaper alternative.

The best piece of advice is BREW ANOTHER BATCH ASAP!!! Always have something working and in the pipeline. This way you wont be overly anxious to drink your fermented beer that isn’t quite ready yet. Give it 2-3 weeks minimum and then bottle. Give the bottles at least 2-3 weeks to carb properly. And the longer they sit, the better they’ll taste. When you get to the last bottle, you’ll wish you waited longer. It will taste better than the first.

Welcome to the obsession of home brewing.

:cheers:

  1. So my questions are, did my high pitching temperature cause the immediate activity? Yes. Your yeast pack said 68. That was your guidance to not pitch at 69 or greater. :wink: Best to pitch in the low range because the fermentation process will generate heat and raise the temp of the wort during fermentation. If you start at 80, it will only go above 80.

  2. Is the high temp during that activity going to cause off flavors? Probably.

  3. Should I have aerated so much and would that have caused the immediate activity? That shaking would not have over-aerated and would not have caused the immediate activity. See #1.

  4. Have I completely destroyed my first ever batch? No. You’re making beer, but it will not be you best batch. Learn from 1 and 2 above and batch #2 will be great.

cheers.

Thank’s stormy. I was just feeling better about myself and you gave me the return to reality that was needed. For some reason I thought that the pitching temp needed to be higher to help the yeast get started. I guess attention to detail is the key here, but yes I am brewing beer and that is the main focus. And I will drink what I brew! And I will like it! And i will do better the next time! So if fermenting temp is 68 are you saying I should keep ambient in the room at maybe 66?

65*-66* is a great starting point for ambient temps. Personally I would shoot for 62*. Try to get your beer in the low 60*s before pitching and letting it come up to temp. The first few days are the most important for off flavors to form. Dobe gave you some solid ideas for temp control. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You haven’t done anything that we as first time brewers didn’t do.

I think almost every yeast pack has a temperature range. If it’s not on the pack, you can usually find the range for that yeast at our hosts website or the yeast’s website. For example, the SAF3470 I used for my recent bock says 48-59. I try to shoot for the low end ( or just below) of the range for every yeast I pitch. I pitched at 52F.

Best practice as suggested by most brewers is to pitch at the low end or below to allow the yeast and wort some intro and foreplay-time before they start getting busy. Equally important, control their temp after pitching cuz after the intros and foreplay, things start getting hot and heavy as you’ve seen with your first batch. :shock:

cheers.

I am very excited. My local brew shop is having brew school tomorrow and I am going. It’s a class for the newbies like me. They take you through the brew day process. I was supposed to go last Saturday but we had a blizzard here in New York and the weather caused some scheduling problems. I was unaware that the class had been cancelled so I went to the place. They said the class is cancelled and they are sorry they could not contact me so please sit down in the tasting room and have a few pints on us. In a way, I hope the class is cancelled again.

I do have to say that as a newbie to brewing I enjoy the task of having to accumulate bottles that will be filled with my home creations. I will need to work hard to build up a good supply of empty bottles. But no, don’t worry about me. I will be fine. I don’t need help with this task. I can take it on.

[quote=“StormyBrew”]
Best practice as suggested by most brewers is to pitch at the low end or below to allow the yeast and wort some intro and foreplay-time before they start getting busy[/quote]
So, by that analogy, would racking to secondary would be like “cuddle time”?

No wonder there’s such debate about whether or not it’s really necessary…
:cheers:

I guess that would depend on whether it was a nice rack or just an average rack.

[quote=“in_the_basement”]

So my questions are, did my high pitching temperature cause the immediate activity? Is the high temp during that activity going to cause off flavors? Should I have aerated so much and would that have caused the immediate activity? Have I completely destroyed my first ever batch?

By the way I will likely not ever pick up the carboy and shake again. For the two days afterwards my back let me know that was a poor choice of action.[/quote]
Yes, Yes, Yes/No, No.
As others have pointed out: Fermentation temp means you want the beer in that range during fermentation. During peak fermentation (usually the first few days) your yeast will be trying to take control and spike the temperature. Research fermentation temperature control for some ways to chill those suckers out. Too low and they’ll quit and go to sleep. Too high and you’ll get off flavors.
I have shaken 6 gallons of wort in the method you described and it certainly provides ample aeration but it ain’t fun, not to mention it is dangerous. A safer idea is to put in the stopper, set the carboy on a pad of some sort and rock it for a few minutes. Also I should mention, be careful handling the necks of carboys, I’ve read some horror stories about them snapping.
You haven’t destroyed your beer, but you’ve introduced some flavors that you probably won’t want there next time. Drink it and take note of those flavors so you can tell your friends what they did to their homebrew when they brew their first batch. We’ve all been there! :cheers:

:lol:
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you’ll do well in this hobby. Get the second brew going as soon as you can so you can apply what you are learning.

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