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First BIAB Irish Red using the Nottingham Dry yeast

I did my first BIAB last Sunday . 3 gallon Irish red kit. Everything went well, very easy process, hit my OG (1.048) and mash PH target.

what has me worried is the Danstar Nottingham Ale yeast (dry) I used. I did hydrate before using but maybe my water was cooler than recommended for that process (about 68 deg). I pitched it into the wort with wort temp right about the same (68 maybe 67 F). I got activity in the airlock about 12 hours in, a little krausen but not very much at all. After researching I slowly dropped the temp down a bit (64 deg). Still a little activity in the airlock but nothing what I would expect. But then again I have never used this yeast. At 6pm today it will be 72 hours from original pitch. It is a smaller batch (maybe 3.5 gallon in the primary) but I cant believe I missed the main activity already.

Is it safe to wait a couple more days and them measure the gravity and if not much progress pitch another packet? Or maybe this yeast just acts a little different and is doing the work slowly ?. I had just received the kit from NB along with the yeast the day before brewing, but I did not check the date on the packet. figured pitching the whole packet into a smaller batch would be ok and help insure against a low cell count at the start if it were a bit old.

Thanks for any insight.

Tom

It’s probably all done already. Check the gravity. I bet it finishes at exactly 1.011. If so, you missed it, it’s done. I seriously doubt you will need to add any more yeast.

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Thanks! I must admit the beer looks good, looks like the typical finished 5 gal Irish red batches I have done. I will take a wine thief sample tomorrow and measure it. I have just never seen anything go that quickly but it is my first 3 gal batch.

Carboy or bucket?

It’s a 5 gal glass carboy. I did have good activity in the airlock just no big krausen layer like I have with other yeasts. From the look on the glass it seems there may have been a quarter inch or so of krausen that left a ring on the glass.

At those temps your fermentation and krausen will be a little more restrained.

3gals of 1.048 wort and a full package of yeast can ferment very quickly.

Thanks, I will take a reading tomorrow. Just went down and looked at it again, there is no krausen but some small but regular bubbles coming up and the airlock has some activity, maybe a bubble every 15 sec or so. Reminds me of the Oktoberfest lager I just brewed.

Well…its unfortunately not finished. My finishing hydrometer reads over 1.020.

I guess all I can do now is grab another packet of Nottingham and see if I can salvage the beer. I assume I should not change yeasts at this point ?

Seriously, just leave it alone. It’s fine. Just be patient and it will turn out fine. Probably only needs 2 more days, then it’s done. Probably.

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ive found Nottingham to be very slow anyway. IMO 64 deg is on the cool side for English yeast ferment british yeast in the high 60 s to get that English ale yeast flavorr. what was your mash temp? id let it sit like @dmtaylo2 says youl get a few more points adding more yeast is not going to do anything. how long has it been fermenting? you said sunday that’s only 4 days? 3 weeks minimum for that ale IMO

Taking the fermentor into a warmer area and giving the yeast more time may help finish the fermentation. Room temp of 68° to 70°F would be okay since the flavor profile from the initial fermentation has already been set.

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Thanks. I will give it a while then. My mash temp was pretty much on target (BIAB) , around 152-154. I mashed out for 10 min at about 170. Pre-boil gravity was on target.

I just expected to see way more activity with this yeast based on some older threads I have read (but this is my first experience with it). The top of the beer looked good regarding color, but when I use the wine thief to take a sample from a bit deeper it honestly looked like the day I put it in the primary.

we will see I guess.

I’ve never done anything with Nottingham than sprinkle it in and ignore it. Even with a gravity higher than yours. A little warmer and wait should do it.

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I am going to wait. There is activity in the airlock but zero krausen. I have raised the temp to 70 and will leave it there for a couple of days. Next Saturday I have to leave for Germany for a week, so I guess I can just let it sit in the primary till I get back for a total of 3 weeks, then check the gravity and see if I keep it or dump it.

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I always try to get a brew in before I go away for a couple weeks. It’s perfect. Brew pitch and forget about. Get home and keg or bottle.

well its been about two weeks (tomorrow) now, still looks to be about 1.018 for SG (although Beersmih estimated a finish of 1.014 so maybe its not all that bad). And I did add another packet of the same nottingham yeast last week which may be why it looks murky in the middle. The top color looking down from the top of the carboy looks normal for Irish red. It was dead still when I took the sample to be sure I did not disturb the bottom.

The wine thief sample I took just looks super murky… maybe too much suspended yeast (?).

I leave for Germany tomorrow so I am going to let it sit another week. It smells fine, just looks like sh%t and the sg is a bit high.

When I get back home I will cold crash it for a couple of days and then take another gravity reading. It was my first BIAB but all my OG and Mash PH seemed to be close to the beersmith targets. Since I am not too far off the brewsmith FG estimate maybe it will finish over the next week and I can get it cleared through a good cold crash.

My Post Boil SG was 1.048

That’s very odd. I wonder if something isn’t calibrated correctly – either your mash thermometer, or your hydrometer. If you were using a refractometer then that would definitely explain the issue, as final gravity will always read very high with refractometer.

I only use a refractometer for OG before adding yeast. I have two hydrometers and use a newer glass "finish " scale hydrometer to measure FG. Its all the same stuff I use for my all grain batches and actually did a 5 gallon grapefruit Pulpin the week or two prior and it is doing well, finished well and I just put it in a keg today to start carbing. I always use two thermometers, one pocket digital plus a dial type that is in the kitchen. At least in the beginning to make sure they both agree.

Maybe I screwed something up in the BIAB process but I don’t think so as I was really careful being my first time with that method.

Definitely strange, but I really want to do more of the BIAB 3 gallon batches as its not too big of a bottling job to give to some friends.

If it still looks like crap next week I will prob just dump it and try again, maybe with different yeast.

If it’s done fermenting, cold crash it before leaving. That way, when you get home, it will have cold crashed the entire time and if you want to hit it with gelatin you can and only need to wait a few days.

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Adding more yeast could add to the cloudiness not sure Biab has anything to do with it. Probably more to do with your grain bill or boil. It will clear I don’t think you should worry. Is this your first all grain brew?

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