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Fermenting too quickly? Is this normal?

So I would have to assume that I am being the paranoid first time brewer, but the fermentation on both of my one gallon brew kits has seemed quite off from the estimated times shown on the recipe. These have been my experiences on both an American Wheat kit and a Caribou Slobber kit:

  1. Following the directions, I am cooling the wort to about 65 degrees F, Fermometer on the one gallon jug is showing about 68, either way I am between the suggested 60-70 degree mark.
  2. I pitch about half of the yeast packet as per directions.
  3. Sanitize properly and add the air lock, then put in a closet where the air temp is around 65-67 degrees.
  4. I start to get airlock activity within about 4-5 hours.
  5. Krausen is full formed within about 9-10 hours, airlock is very active.
  6. By about hour number 24 airlock activity has fallen off drastically and the krausen is diminishing.
  7. Hour number 48 and I am seeing no activity in the airlock (which reading the other forums isn’t necessarily cause for concern) and the krausen is pretty much gone.

Is this normal for one gallon batches? Am I doing something wrong? The recipe says fermentation will take about a day to start, and finish 1-2 weeks later. Seems like mine is whipping by very fast. I am planning on leaving the beer in the fermentor for about 10 days, even though there seems to be no activity. Thanks for all your responses in advance, This forum is awesome!

We are currently experiencing the same conditions. I am a first time brewer as well, therefore will be highly prone to paranoia.

The difference, which will eliminate a variable, is that I am using the deluxe 5 gallon glass carboy kit. My slobber pretty much followed the same time-table as described, and temps are exactly the same. I placed the darkening box around the carboy to keep light out as well. Our conditions are fairly similar.

After following the directions to the best of my abilities, without cutting corners, I had activity within a few hours. The Krausen fully developed, and activity was fairly high (from my limited knowledge). Within 48 hours the cap has settle, and the activity has diminished to almost non-existent.

Unfortunately, I did not read enough material in the Palmer text and was worried. In a misguided moment of confusion I disturbed the carboy with a gentle rocking motion, to get some of the residual “gunk” back into the wort. I now understand that was a mistake and can result in harsh aftertastes.

I would like to know what our course of action should be. Are we really through primary stage so quickly? The kit says 1-2 weeks, while Plamer says a few days. I’m not so worried about the current state as I am about where to go from here.

Rasuchomel probably has a single stage kit. How long should this remain for conditioning. Alternately, I have a double stage… how long should I leave it in the primary, and when should I transfer to secondary? Also, what should I be looking for to indicate it’s time to bottle?

Sorry for the novel, but so many questions… Thanks for any advice!

I am having a similar issue. I brewed two days ago, and a day into the fermentation the yeast seemed very active. Now there is little, if any activity in the fermentation vessel (the standard 1-gal glass vessel supplied by Northern Brewer).

I followed the directions precisely as I didn’t want to ruin my first batch of homebrew.

There are a lot of solids stuck to the top of the glass vessel above the liquid line. These solids were caused by the yeast’s quick growth, it seems.

Would really appreciate knowing if this is normal or not!

The Krausen layer on the top is just proteins and yeast that builds up you will want to just leave this alone it will add a bitter taste to the beer and risk oxidation if you try to mess with the container to knock it back in. when you rack the beer off you will leave it in and then clean the container right away as if you let it dry it is hard to clean. The beer still ferments for some time after the Krausen falls give it 2 weeks to finish up. The hardest part is learning to leave the beer alone while it does its thing even though it looks done leaving it for three to four weeks helps take out the green flavors and clear up. Cheer

Everything you guys are discussing is normal. I thing the reason you are getting such intense, rapid fermentation is because you are, I think, pitching enough yeast for 2.5 gallons in a one gallon batch. It should be fine. Keep in primary at least 2 weeks, three if you can wait before bottling.

Right, it’s like making a starter. It’s usually done in 24-48 hours. Because you’re over-pitching and it’s a small amount to ferment compared to 5 gallons.
My 4 gallon batches ferment vigorously for a few days then rapidly settles down. Usually it’s about 12-24 hours of lag, then 3 days of vigorous fermentation, then leave it sit for a week or two, then keg.

Right, it’s like making a starter. It’s usually done in 24-48 hours. Because you’re over-pitching and it’s a small amount to ferment compared to 5 gallons.
My 4 gallon batches ferment vigorously for a few days then rapidly settles down. Usually it’s about 12-24 hours of lag, then 3 days of vigorous fermentation, then leave it sit for a week or two, then keg.[/quote]
Don’t forget that you’re also fermenting in the 70’s if the ambient temp is 67. The warmer temperature speeds up fermentation but can lead to alcohol bite and fruitiness, depending on the yeast.

Right, it’s like making a starter. It’s usually done in 24-48 hours. Because you’re over-pitching and it’s a small amount to ferment compared to 5 gallons.
My 4 gallon batches ferment vigorously for a few days then rapidly settles down. Usually it’s about 12-24 hours of lag, then 3 days of vigorous fermentation, then leave it sit for a week or two, then keg.[/quote]
Don’t forget that you’re also fermenting in the 70’s if the ambient temp is 67. The warmer temperature speeds up fermentation but can lead to alcohol bite and fruitiness, depending on the yeast.[/quote]
Right. If we’re talking about US-05, I’m finding that I like it fermented at 65 or 66F as opposed to the low 60’s; beer temperature. But yes, the higher temp you ferment at, the quicker it’ll go. That’s why lagers tend to ferment actively for a week or more.

Just to give other paranoid first-timers some comfort, I’m in the middle of the exact same experience - 12 hours until fermentation started, 24 hours of fairly violent action (didn’t blow off the airlock, but definitely got in there), followed by 24 hours (and counting) of a bubble every 15-20 minutes.

FYI I’m doing the White House Honey Porter small batch, and the ambient temp varies between 67 and 72 in here (although I have it in the guest bathtub, which radiates a little cool air). I guess for my next batch I’ll find a better way to keep it in the low 60s.

So I was just reading the info on the two yeast packets from my kits:

American Wheat used half of the 11.5 gram package of Safale US-05. On the package it has a recommended dosage of 11.5 grams in 20 to 30 liters.

Caribou Slobber used half of the 11 gram package of Lallemand Windsor. On the package it has a recommended dosage of 1 gram per liter.

1 Gallons (US) = 3.78541178 Liters

So for both kits to me the recipe has you way over pitching the yeast. My question now would be do I continue to follow NB kit directions, or should I consider only pitching only about a quarter of the yeast packet instead of half?

My OPINION is that 1/4 pack of dry yeast for one gallon is plenty.

Back to this question. Does fermentation time depend on the size of the carboy? Or is it constant? For those of us with one-gallon kits, are we looking more at 1-week fermentation times rather than 2 or 3?

[quote=“LemonParade4”][quote=“Keplin”]

I would like to know what our course of action should be. Are we really through primary stage so quickly? The kit says 1-2 weeks, while Plamer says a few days. I’m not so worried about the current state as I am about where to go from here.

[/quote]

Back to this question. Does fermentation time depend on the size of the carboy? Or is it constant? For those of us with one-gallon kits, are we looking more at 1-week fermentation times rather than 2 or 3?[/quote]
Fermentation time is a relationship between yeast and sugar (let’s leave temp out of this). If you keep the sugar constant and vary the amount of yeast you use, the fermentation time will change proportionally, for the most part. Keep yeast constant and change the amount of sugar and the same holds true. So if you pitch a proportionally equal amount of yeast into a 1 gallon batch as you would in a 5 gallon batch with the same amount of sugar, fermentation time should remain constant. I hope I explained that right. :wink:

:cheers:

[quote=“mvsawyer”][quote=“LemonParade4”][quote=“Keplin”]

I would like to know what our course of action should be. Are we really through primary stage so quickly? The kit says 1-2 weeks, while Plamer says a few days. I’m not so worried about the current state as I am about where to go from here.

[/quote]

Back to this question. Does fermentation time depend on the size of the carboy? Or is it constant? For those of us with one-gallon kits, are we looking more at 1-week fermentation times rather than 2 or 3?[/quote]
Fermentation time is a relationship between yeast and sugar (let’s leave temp out of this). If you keep the sugar constant and vary the amount of yeast you use, the fermentation time will change proportionally, for the most part. Keep yeast constant and change the amount of sugar and the same holds true. So if you pitch a proportionally equal amount of yeast into a 1 gallon batch as you would in a 5 gallon batch with the same amount of sugar, fermentation time should remain constant. I hope I explained that right. :wink:

:cheers: [/quote]

Which also seems to point to: if you pitch enough yeast for 2.5 gallons into a gallon fermentor, as the NB instructions seem to suggest, there are more yeast than needed and it they will consume the sugars very fast. But I would still leave for at least 2 weeks and hopefully 3 before bottling.

[quote=“560sdl”]

Which also seems to point to: if you pitch enough yeast for 2.5 gallons into a gallon fermentor, as the NB instructions seem to suggest, there are more yeast than needed and it they will consume the sugars very fast. But I would still leave for at least 2 weeks and hopefully 3 before bottling.[/quote]

I’ll take your word for it - I’m just getting antsy. I brewed on Monday, so I’ll do my best to let it sit undisturbed until next Wednesday or so. Does it matter that the layer of gunk has already settled at the bottom of the carboy? Will it adversely affect the taste if I let it sit too long?

[quote=“LemonParade4”][quote=“560sdl”]

Which also seems to point to: if you pitch enough yeast for 2.5 gallons into a gallon fermentor, as the NB instructions seem to suggest, there are more yeast than needed and it they will consume the sugars very fast. But I would still leave for at least 2 weeks and hopefully 3 before bottling.[/quote]

I’ll take your word for it - I’m just getting antsy. I brewed on Monday, so I’ll do my best to let it sit undisturbed until next Wednesday or so. Does it matter that the layer of gunk has already settled at the bottom of the carboy? Will it adversely affect the taste if I let it sit too long?[/quote]
That’s normal. Once the yeast slow down, the crust on the top falls to the bottom. It’s mostly clumped up yeast, hop particles, and bonded proteins. It won’t impact the flavor.

So my question for my 2 stage fermentation.

I am currently brewing the Irish Ale kit. The instructions were for 1-2 weeks for stage 1 and 1-2 weeks for secondary.

I’m at 6 days right now and fermentation appears to be almost done at this point. Would most people recommend leaving in there for another full week before transferring? If it finishes early, should a transfer it and then leave it in stage 2 until it os 4 weeks combined?

My fermentation worked really fast and subsided after 3 days and the airlock has really slowed down since. I suspect it might truly be done in about 1-2 more days.

No, keep in primary for at least two weeks. More will happen there than in the aging vessel.

First time brewer, having the same issue. I brewed late Friday night, when I woke up early Saturday morning the airlock was bubbling pretty well and I was surprised. This morning (Sunday) it appears to be done bubbling and the foam has dropped. I did move it last night, it was in our closet right above my wife’s wedding dress. Whoops. I was careful not to disturb it much if at all, but I thought this maybe had something to do with it. Thanks for all your posts as I see this is pretty normal with the 1 gal batches. I will just let it sit for awhile. Here’s another thing though: Has anyone else with a small batch kit, noticed that what started as 1.25 water only fills the jug 1/2 to 2/3 full? I’m pretty sure I boiled off a lot of the water (not using a lid because I heard leaving the lid on contributes to a bad flavor). That in addition to pitching 1/2 the yeast packet, which from earlier posts may be more than needed for 1 gal, I think has totaled much more yeast than should be required, and a super fast fermenting process. I actually pitched very slightly more than 1/2 also. I’ll still let it sit, no sense in wasting any if I haven’t already messed it up. Thanks again. Another thing, and this is concerning the airlock, they say add 1 tablespoon, but I did 2 because 1 tbsp was not much and on the video it looks more like 2. Any thoughts?

[quote=“freshwater_drum”]First time brewer, having the same issue.

I brewed late Friday night, when I woke up early Saturday morning the airlock was bubbling pretty well and I was surprised. This morning (Sunday) it appears to be done bubbling and the foam has dropped. I did move it last night, it was in our closet right above my wife’s wedding dress. Whoops. I was careful not to disturb it much if at all, but I thought this maybe had something to do with it. Thanks for all your posts as I see this is pretty normal with the 1 gal batches. I will just let it sit for awhile.

Here’s another thing though: Has anyone else with a small batch kit, noticed that what started as 1.25 water only fills the jug 1/2 to 2/3 full? I’m pretty sure I boiled off a lot of the water (not using a lid because I heard leaving the lid on contributes to a bad flavor).

That in addition to pitching 1/2 the yeast packet, which from earlier posts may be more than needed for 1 gal, I think has totaled much more yeast than should be required, and a super fast fermenting process. I actually pitched very slightly more than 1/2 also. I’ll still let it sit, no sense in wasting any if I haven’t already messed it up. Thanks again.

Another thing, and this is concerning the airlock, they say add 1 tablespoon, but I did 2 because 1 tbsp was not much and on the video it looks more like 2.

Any thoughts?[/quote]

Paragraph breaks are a great thing. :wink:

“S” style air lock. Fill so the bubbles are about 1/2 fill.

3 piece. 1/4-1/2 full. Enough so that the center piece can move up and down with out hitting the lid. If you have to much in there you can just leave the lid off.

As for the volume question. If you are only filling the 1g jug 1/2- 2/3 full after the boil, you are not ending with 1 gallon. Boil off amounts vary by the diameter of the pot, vigor of the boil, humidity, air temp…

You can increase the liquid in the boil pot. Or add some water to the jug. Ideally you would also boil this water to sanitize it. But many people use the water straight from the tap with out issues.

If you want to stay married, don’t do anything near your wife’s wedding dress. :oops:

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