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Wyeast 1007 fermenting on the bottom, again

This is the second batch in a row where 1007 ferments from the bottom up like a lager. The other 3 batches I did with this yeast formed a foamy head like a root beer float and blew off for 48 hours. The last 2 have behaved like lager yeast and formed all in the bottom of the fermenter. It gives off a slightly sulfur smell mixed with sweet pineapple and that’s the way it smelled on my other batches.
I ferment this stuff cold. I pitch in at 53 and let it rise on it’s own til it hits around 64 and I let it coast there til it’s done. My first 3 batches finished at 14 days and were ready to package after 17. This one is a week in and it only came down 8 points in gravity. A little slower than the last one but very odd indeed.

Anyone else see this happen with this yeast?

I use that yeast a lot…I’ve got a batch going right now at 54F. I’ve never seen what you describe.

I wonder if you don’t have a really weak fermentation on your hands. AFAIK lager yeast doesn’t ferment “from the bottom up” it just doesn’t clump enough to form the same kind of krausen that an ale yeast does. All the gunk on the bottom of the carboy is probably there because the fermentation isn’t vigorous enough to keep it in suspension. Dropping only 8 points in a week of primary is really not what you want. I think your problem may be with the way you are handling the yeast and your repitching practices.

Thanks for the replies. I think it might be a weak fermentation. I usually us just a smack pack on a 5 gal beer under 1.050. I guess I need to get a starter going on this yeast and see what happens. I haven’t repitched any yeast yet so I’m using the freshest smack pack from the LHBS. So far the beer is chugging along and is looking like it’s clearing up a little.

Oh when you wrote about your various batches I assumed you were repitching. Now I understand better. You can ferment with that yeast around 55 but you need to pitch more yeast to do so successfully. Either make a starter or use more packages. If you want to continue to pitch a pack, your best bet is to pitch at 65 and slowly let the temperature drop into the 50’s over 12 hours or so. Low temperatures really restrict yeast growth and cause weak fermentations because there isn’t enough growth.

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