Hello, first time brewer. Bought a kit with the caribou slobber extract kit. I made the first batch Monday night, and it seemed to go pretty well. The beer color was very dark at this time, almost like the color of a porter. Anyway, the next day my Krausen was huge and the carboy was bubbling like crazy! The color had lightened up a bit as well. My temps were on the high side of normal (72-74), so I did try and cool it with a wet towel. Now, at 48 hrs, the Krausen is completely gone, and the color is darker again. Airlock is hardly bubbling. Is this normal? I believe the caribou slobber kit comes with S-04 ale yeast, which I have heard can be quick to ferment.
If everything is okay, and it was just a quick ferment, should I wait a few days and then transfer to 2ndary fermentor? I was planning on having to wait almost 2 weeks! How do I know when to transfer. Let me know.
Sounds like you had a quick ferment due to your high temps. Relax and be patient and it should be fine. Leave it in primary at least 10 days- two weeks. Even if you don’t see any bubbles, the yeast are still working- cleaning things up.
If your temps were that high then yes, you had a fast and furious fermentation.
If you choose to use a secondary (not necessary for this beer in my opinion), I still wouldn’t move the beer for at least a week. Don’t want to transfer before at least 75-80% of final gravity goal.
You can just leave the beer in primary for three or four weeks, then bottle or keg. Lots of discussion here on the forum about secondaries–research a little then you can decide what to do.
Caribou Slobber was my first brew also. I fermented at way too high temps, but the beer still turned out good. This beer ages well. If you bottle, let it carb for at least 3 weeks. At 3 months it will be miles better.
Edit:+1 to what Helvetica said.
S04 works fast anyway, at warm temps especially. It also drops quick and completely. I’d let this sit on the yeast cake for several more days, yeast still does a little work after it drops. Then its time to bottle. Next time, put the bucket in a larger plastic tote with some water in it to help prevent the beer from warming too much over ambient temp (swamp cooler). Works better than a towel and fan.
As fas as color, beer looks darker in bulk. When you bottle/pour it’ll most likely have the brown color of a brown ale.
I just brewed my first batch on 01/14, the NB Irish Red Ale with the essentials kit. Everything went decent (i guess), pitched the yeast at a little (5ish degrees) over 78, and sealed it up. OG was around where it should be. The next day the airlock was burbling away nicely.
Yesterday it had slowed significantly and today has almost stopped. Couldn’t help myself and took a peak today (70 hrs after yeast pitch), and the krausen was GONE. I may have passed out for a moment then. There was a gunk ring where it had been, but none the less I was concerned. After a semi-frantic search of various forums, NB included, I’m not worrying anymore, much. Gonna let it sit for a week or more and check the gravity.
I just brewed my first batch on 01/14, the NB Irish Red Ale with the essentials kit. Everything went decent (i guess), pitched the yeast at a little (5ish degrees) over 78, and sealed it up.
That temp. is to high for most ale yeasts. If you fermented this high it will produce too much Fusel Alcohols and can be Estery. Higher temps = faster fermentations. Faster is not better.
Try to pitch your yeast in the mid to low 60’s and keep it there. Low and slow will win the race.
I too just brewed the nb Irish red (my 3rd brew). I had the same issue. I rehydrated my yeast at roughly 70 degrees. Pitched it to a wort of 73 degrees. Fermentation localtion was 69 degrees, but due to rapid fermentation internal temp got to 73 (yikes) so I lowered the temp a few degrees, and I’m at 69. My krausen was looking great after the first 24 hrs. Lagging time was around 8-10 hrs. After I got home from work and checked the krausen was gone (48 hrs). Most of what I hear and read I’m ok, just let it ride like normal. But wanna get some feed back. Hope I gave enough specifics for an answer.
Thanks for any advice
Forgot to mention that the air lock is still bubbling like crazy, which I presume is a good sign that fermentation is still on their way. Anyway thanks
Pitching at 73° is to warm. It causes the yeast to start quick but can result in increased esters and off flavors. 69° ambient is a little to high, as you found, because fermentation is exothermic (produces heat). This is likely why your beer has completed fermenting. BUT it hasn’t. The yeast will clean byproducts produced during fermentation so leave it alone.
The time it takes your Krausen to fall is based on a few things. Pitch rate (ferments quicker so CO2 production ends quicker), temps, and the biggest… The yeast itself. Some yeast will drop sooner and others seem to never drop.
Couple things for next time:
- pitch cooler, for ales around 63°
- try to keep the fermenter cooler, no more than 68°
As others have said, your beer is fine (and more than likely will be great!). I’ll reiterate/substantiate what others have said in that S-04 doesn’t mess around when it brings it’s lunch pail and hard hat and gets to work. It’s slower where I usually ferment (64-68 degrees) but usually final gravity is reached by 5 days. My advice would be to keep your beer in primary for the entire time. Perhaps 4 weeks… Homebrewers don’t really need to secondary unless it’s a high gravity beer or you are doing a second round of dry hopping and want to get it off the first round of dry hops. Higher gravity beers need more time so after a month get it off the yeast cake and secondary it. Early in my homebrewing career I used to feel like I needed to be “doing something with the beer” all the time and I would secondary after 10 days or so. There’s no need and you just risk oxidization and infection. These are simply my opinions and are generated from empirical evidence/experience. Relax, have a homebrew and let your S-04 buddies do their work.
I am not sure if a high pitch temp will make a Krausen disappear sooner or not. I personally think that is a function of happy yeast. Example, I use Wyeast 3724 saison and watch it blow off violently for 8 hours then 24 hours later there’s only a thin layer of junk on the top of the beer. The airlock is barely moving but it’s still going gangbusters as my gravity steadily heads south. The only way to determine fermentation activity (IMHO) is to check the gravity. With 3724 (notoriously slow finisher) I don’t see any airlock activity… nada… zero… but ten days in I’ll check my gravity two days in a row. One day it’s at 1.023 and the next day it’s at 1.018 which means we are still moving. My point is… the airlock can lie to you… don’t trust it! I’ve also watched a 3 week old beer still have airlock activity so I left it for another full week… still bubbling. Took three gravity readings and the dang thing had probably been done for a week (zero movement in gravity for three days straight but still bubbling!).