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Rapid fermentation?

So I brewed a sweet stout on Saturday with Safale-04 (first time brewing with dry yeast). OG was 1.072 but I used a lb of lactose. I had rapid airlock activity after about 30 minutes of pitching but nothing after a couple of hours. Worried about the fermentation, I took a sample today and it was down to 1.028. The sample was really great. In fact I drank it :smiley: Anyway, I guess this beer will be finished very soon, if it’s not already. Is it normal for this type of beer (~6%) to be ready this quickly? I did have some problems on brew day (chiller fitting loose, spraying hose water into the cooling wort. And no I didn’t notice right away…)

That is pretty quick, what temperature is it where you are keeping your fermenter?

I initially had the temp at 64 but when airlock activity stopped so quickly I raised the temp to 70.

Well SA-04 is a fast fermenting yeast and that is a reasonable temp. The last time I brewer with it, I used it in an imperial chocolate stout and it literally blew the airlock out of my carboy and stained my ceiling with the fermenting wort. Keep an eye on your hydrometer to see when it has finished up, I think that yeast attenuates between 70-75%.

Yeah I’m impressed with 04 so far.

With a pound of lactose, you may be done, if this is a 5 gallon batch…but I would test gravities for a little while longer to be safe.

Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. I’m going to take a reading on Saturday and if it’s still 1.028 I’m going to rack to a keg. I just don’t know if I should be concerned about finishing in 3 days. I’ve never heard of that.

I’ve never had a dry yeast take off in 30min. They usually take at least twelve hours and sometimes closer to 48. S04 is quick but sheesh a two hour ferment is crazy fast.

So what might have happened? Wild yeast? There was definitely airlock activity within 30 minutes and it had definitely stopped in a few hours. Gravity sample 3 days later didn’t taste spoiled, infected, or otherwise dumpable. In fact, just the opposite.

Did you re-hydrate, pitch a starter or just sprinkle it into the wort? If it tastes normal that is a really good sign. Yeast typically has a lag period of a few hours after you pitch it and during that time little CO2 or alcohol it produced; so it is a little strange that yours took off so quickly.

Yes I did rehydrate the yeast but I agree that it’s still very strange. I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into 5 gallons of rancid filth :lol: …

Well I’m drinking a pint right now. 7 days from kettle to glass, that’s a record for me.

How is it?

It’s not bad. I added a vanilla bean/bourbon mixture that has been sitting for 3 days to the keg and the vanilla is quite a bit more pronounced than I expected. I think the flavors might meld into a fine brew with a week or so at cold temps. All in all I’m very satisfied just not sure about the longevity :lol:

That is great! Congratulations on the brew. I have had mixed luck with vanilla beans in the past. Did you cut yours into small pieces?

No, I just sliced them down the middle and threw them in a mason jar with about 10 ounces of Jack Daniels.

Here’s a picture of the pint. I think it turned out quite good.

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