From the HBD Archive
From: Marty Albini <martya@hpsdl39>
Subject: stuck fermentation (again) and help with contaminated fermentation lock
Date: 1989-12-05 15:44:11 GMT

I seem to be having very bad luck with Edme ale yeast. A few
weeks ago I had a fermentation get stuck, and had to repitch to get it
going again. Well, it's happened again, only this time repitching
didn't even work.

The beer is a stout, OG 1.068, and it has only gotten down to
about 1.039 after a week. There are about ten pounds of John Bull light
extract in the five gallons, so I expect it to wind up in the low
twenties, if not lower. The funny thing is, this ferment started out
faster and more vigorous than I've ever seen (a bubble a second after
a couple hours) and the krausen (~2" worth) fell after one day.

My only guess so far is that the temperature in the closet I
brew in may have dropped into the low 60s at night, and this seems to
knock the yeast out at least semi-permanently. Does anyone know if
Edme normally behaves this way? Is there a threshold termperature at
which it konks out? Could it be some thing else (pH, nuetrino density,
the political climate)?

I should probably add that throughout this process, I was
relaxed, did not worry, and consumed several homebrews.

> From: Ilaine - 'the maniac with the string' <estokes@lucy.wellesley.edu>
> Subject: bubbles and vapor locks
>
> I am brewing my first batch of mead, and it seems to have developed
> an obnoxios habit in the last week. There is a sort of suds at the top which
> I am told is normal, I was also told I left plenty of space at the top of the
> carboy. Nonetheless, the bubbles have been creeping all the way up and into the
> lock. I was told if this happens I should change the water. So far no problem,
> but I have had to do this every day for a few days now. I don't want to have
> to open the thing too often, I have popped the reachable bubbles when I
> cleaned the lock, but they are growing back quicker and quicker.

I have a suggestion that might help (it works for me, anyway).
Remove the fermentation lock, clean it, and refill with vodka. Now,
even if it gets contaminated with krausen, nothing will grow in it,
and it's guaranteed to be food-grade! 8<:^) There's also no problem if
it gets sucked back into the fermenter, as there would be with a
bleach solution or sulphite.
- --
________________________________________________Marty Albini___________
"To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."
phone : (619) 592-4177
UUCP : {hplabs|nosc|hpfcla|ucsd}!hp-sdd!martya
Internet : martya%hp-sdd@hp-sde.sde.hp.com (or @nosc.mil, @ucsd.edu)
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US mail : Hewlett-Packard Co., 16399 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego CA 92127-1899 USA

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