Cloudy Beer/Uneven Colour in Fermenter

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Econwatson

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Hi guys! Sorry, more questions!

I've got a Toucan (Euro Lager and Canadian Blonde) in the fermenter with some US-05 yeast. Nothing else done to it. It's been fermenting for 7 days now.

This time round I've got my fermentation temperature much more steady, I bought two little desk fans from Big W and covered the FV in a wet towel. It's keeping a steady 18 degrees, much cooler than my last batch.

I decided to draw a sample today just to check the gravity and see how it's looking.

The first thing is that the airlock is still bubbling a week on. In my previous kit brew it stopped pretty quick. Is this longer ferment down to my cooler temperatures or maybe the fact it's a Toucan?

The second thing is when I got the FV up to eye level I noticed an inconsistent colour throughout the beer, such that the top is paler and the bottom is darker. I suppose this is to be expected but when I come to bottling, will this not mean that I have inconsistent bottles? Or will this fix itself after the fermentation is done and the yeast has some time to "clean up"?

The beer also came out looking very milky. Can I do anything to get a clearer appearance or should I have added Irish Moss initially?

Ooh and one more question! How do you guys draw samples without having some of your airlock water sucked into the FV? I did it again today when I forgot it happens and it always makes me worry about infection every time it happens!

Thanks very much for your help again!
 

carniebrew

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How full is your airlock mate?! Mine always sucks some air back in through the airlock when taking a sample, but not usually the liquid. But my liquid is starsan solution so it's ok if it was to get sucked in.

I'm not surprised to hear your ferment is taking longer...the lower temperature is one factor, I believe yeast works more slowly the lower the temp. And I certainly wouldn't worry about the two toned colour, that's happened to me with most brews. What did your sample taste like, and how's your gravity reading?
 

bradsbrew

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Econwatson said:
Hi guys! Sorry, more questions!

I've got a Toucan (Euro Lager and Canadian Blonde) in the fermenter with some US-05 yeast. Nothing else done to it. It's been fermenting for 7 days now.

This time round I've got my fermentation temperature much more steady, I bought two little desk fans from Big W and covered the FV in a wet towel. It's keeping a steady 18 degrees, much cooler than my last batch.

I decided to draw a sample today just to check the gravity and see how it's looking.

The first thing is that the airlock is still bubbling a week on. In my previous kit brew it stopped pretty quick. Is this longer ferment down to my cooler temperatures or maybe the fact it's a Toucan?

The second thing is when I got the FV up to eye level I noticed an inconsistent colour throughout the beer, such that the top is paler and the bottom is darker. I suppose this is to be expected but when I come to bottling, will this not mean that I have inconsistent bottles? Or will this fix itself after the fermentation is done and the yeast has some time to "clean up"?

The beer also came out looking very milky. Can I do anything to get a clearer appearance or should I have added Irish Moss initially?

Ooh and one more question! How do you guys draw samples without having some of your airlock water sucked into the FV? I did it again today when I forgot it happens and it always makes me worry about infection every time it happens!

Thanks very much for your help again!
1. Cooler temp will generally lead to a longer ferment.

2. What sort of FV do you have? could just be the way the light is passing through.

3. Cloudy is more than likely yeast. Yeast dependent but as the yeast finishes its job it will clear up a bit. Cold crashing it in the fridge after ferment will aid this even further.

4. Ditch the airlock and use gladwrap and a rubber band for the lid. The glad wrap will stretch when you take a sample.

5. You do not want that liquid from your airlock in your beer so try to avoid that. When I was using airlocks I would take the airlock out of the grommet when taking a sample. You can just sit it in a small glass with fresh starsan mixture then put back when done. I would not let stale starsan thats been sitting in the airlock into my beer either, once mixed and exposed to air it has a limited life as a sanitiser.

Cheers
 

Econwatson

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Hmm it wasn't that full! Perhaps I just opened the tap too far!

The sample tasted fine, no infection, tasted almost creamy, was quite nice! Gravity is at 1.012 at the moment. I think fermentation is almost done, but I reckon I'd like to keep it in theh FV for another week at least. Does that seem like a reasonable amount of time?

Thanks again!

EDIT: Sorry I didn't see bradsbrew's reply before I posted, thanks for the advice!

I'm not sure on the brand, I got it at Beercraft in Melbourne. It's got a translucent colour to it so it's possible to see what's going on inside. Hopefully it is just the way the light is hitting i!
 

carniebrew

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Nothing wrong with two weeks in the fermenter but yeah, 1012 will be very close to done if not done for that brew.
 

Econwatson

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I was under the impression that the longer the brew is in the fermenter the better, is 2 weeks perhaps excessive? To be honest the longer it can sit the better since I am still polishing off my last batch of home brew! :D
 

carniebrew

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Two weeks is definitely not excessive, especially when you're controlling the temp really well.
 

Econwatson

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Thanks guys! Don't want to hurry her! Hope it's tasting better in a week!
 

yum beer

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always try and leave a 'finished' brew 5 days at least before bottling.
The difference in colour is because the yeast is finished/finishing doing its thing and is dropping out of suspension. Let it drop out ully before bottling.
 

Econwatson

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Thanks for your help guys!

Bubbling in the airlock has now stopped, and it's been 9 days now so guessing fermentation is almost there. Going to be leaving it another week at least since I am short of bottles!.

I have a related question. What are the negative affects of your fermenter heating up after fermentation is complete. From what I understand, high temperatures during fermentation are bad because of the production of fusel alcohols. But what about higher temperatures after fermentation is complete?

I ask because I had a small temperature spike today, it was maybe at 23 for a few hours!

Thanks again!
 

bum

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23 is nothing to be too concerned about. Will knock out some CO2 though. Be sure to use that temp in your priming calculations (if you do such a thing).
 

Econwatson

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Thanks bum, wow, the more I read about this hobby, the more complex it becomes! Right now I'm just chucking a carb drop into my bottles and sealing them up! But higher temperatures encourage more presence of CO2? Or will it get rid of some of it?
 

bum

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It gets rid of it but if you're using carb drops it won't matter to you anyway. Really only matter if you're after a precise level of carb. The carb drops are generally considered to carb a little high so some coming out of solution now is putting you in a better position, IMO.

[EDIT: the short, layman's version (i.e. the version I know) is that gasses don't like to be in solution - warmer temps help them bust out, colder temps trap them in a little better. There's tonnes of better explanations about the board if you have a read but there is always confusion about whether it is temp during ferment or temp ever (i.e. including conditioning). Seems to make sense to me that it is hottest temp after the most vigorous part of primary is over but that might just be me.]
 

pk.sax

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I look at it this way:

20C: If your brew is still fermenting and you see bubbles through it, cool it down to 18C and bubbles still, means that the extra capacity of gas got absorbed and now the appropriate temp for calculation is 18C. Wherever it finishes and was last bubbling at, is the temperature for calcs.

20C: brew doesn't seem to be bubbling at all, either it's not CO2 saturated yet or it's stopped producing more CO2. In either case, raise temperature so it finishes off/d-rest and you know exactly what temp you had it highest at (should see gas coming out of solution at that temp, that's it) let it lose the excess gas and then chill it down. Lets say the highest you got to was 24, now that 24C CO2 level is locked in and you can calculate carbonation on that safely.
 

Econwatson

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Thanks guys!



So is this look to be expected on day 9? I don't know why I'm so paranoid about this batch! I almost feel like I am getting a pork taste as an after taste, maybe I'm going nuts!
 

JDW81

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I wouldn't be too concerned about slightly obscure flavours at this stage. Some yeasts can taste a bit funky, and that disappears once it drops out of suspension. Also remember it is a very green beer. Give ti time to clean itself up and a lot of those flavours will disappear.

JD
 

carniebrew

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Aye...you're rocking green beer with over 40 IBU at the moment, it's gonna taste pretty funky 'til it has a few weeks to condition in the bottle. Colour looks great to me...let us know how it tastes on around March 1st!
 

Econwatson

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Does IBU drop down to a constant after a while? I didn't realise it started off higher!
 

bum

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Bitterness mellows over time. Whether anyone would want a figure on actual IBU change...that's possibly something else entirely.
 

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