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This is yeast, right? Why is my uncarbonated beer so bubbly?

I’m guessing that this is a little yeast clump that floated to the top on some bubbles. It hasn’t gotten any bigger in the past day, and it doesn’t look particularly gross.

But why is this beer bubbling so much?

It’s the Keeler’s Reverse Burster Altbier kit (O.G> 1.053,

), made with 3rd generation Saf-Ale 05, most recently from Lakefront Organic ESB (O.G. 1.055). I know you’re supposed to pitch up when you reuse yeast, but I figured that the two were so close, it wouldn’t be a big deal (and they’re under 1.060 anyway, so it’s not like they’ve been worked too hard).

It’s been in secondary since mid-August (two months). I racked it after 13 days, in the primary, but my basement was colder than I would have liked at first, and so I think it got off to a slow start, because there was a little more action in the secondary.

It sat in secondary for about a month, at a slightly high temperature (74-ish), but was otherwise quiet for the most part. Then, after ignoring it in my brew closet, I checked on it at the end of September and noticed that the airlock had gone dry, and that there were a bunch of little bubbles continuously rising to the top (like a carbonated beer slowly going flat).

At that point, I figured it was probably something I just haven’t noticed yet (I tend to brew 7 or 8 batches in a month, then ignore them until a keg runs dry).

Unless you guys tell me that it’s actually a toxic death mold, my plan is to continue ignoring this beer until I need it to move to a keg, then drink it. It’s on deck, anyway, so it’ll probably be in a glass in about two or three weeks.

I had two batches fermenting at the same time about a year ago that looked like that. One was a Rye IPA and the other was a stout. Both kept minor foaming for many weeks but the gravity never changed. Both turned out great.

[quote=“NinjaBob”]I know you’re supposed to pitch up when you reuse yeast…[/quote]You can pitch either up or down, just adjust the amount of yeast cake you use. As long as you’re in the “standard” OG band, say 1.035 to 1.075, the yeast don’t care, it’s all just sugar.

That’s always been my philosophy, as well. I used to just rack the fresh wort on top of the entire yeast cake of a beer I just transferred to secondary, but now I divide it up into three or four pint mason jars and pitch that straight out of the fridge. I’ve never had any problems.

My experience has been that yeast is a remarkably robust and tolerant organism, so long they only have to cope with one thing at a time. I usually don’t even bother to make a starter unless the yeast is older than 6 months, the batch is bigger than 5 gallons, or the O.G. is higher than 1.065. Or it’s a lager yeast; those guys need all the help they can get.

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