Foamy gunk left over after FG hit

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TonyF

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Hi all,

Been really busy and have just gotten back to finding time to make some beer. Decided to buy me a Robobrew and a Kegerator as well as ingredients to make an APA including Safale US-05 yeast for fermenting.

As the fridge is new and I don't have anything to put in the kegs, I decided to use the Kegerator as a fermentation fridge.

Beer day was a a bit of calamity but I hit my OG of 1.055 and eventually got the whole lot in the fridge and set it to 18C to ferment. The little stick on thermometer on the side of my fermenter was pretty stable at 18C, occasionally starting to highlight the 16C, though predominantly on 18C.

Fermentation activity seemed to stop at around 5 days in (it's now a week since brew day) and taking a gravity reading (1.011) yesterday and today would lead me to believe that fermentation has ceased. The gravity reading is a little lower than the expected 1.014 (does this mean my mash temp was too low?). Despite this there is a thick layer of foamy gunk on top of my beer which looks bubbly, yet not appearing to be bubbling (the bubbles don't appear to be "bursting") and there isn't any airlock activity. I realise a lack of airlock activity is not a sure sign of complete fermentation but:

Would the consistent (and "expected") gravity reading be taken to mean that the fermentation is complete (that's what I've been lead to believe by the knowledgeable folk of AHB)?
What is this foamy crap on top of my beer if it's not krausen from an active ferement and should I scoop this crap off?

I'm confused :)

Cheers,
Tony

PS I'm planning on throwing it in a keg eventually and dry hopping in the keg at ambient temperatures with some galaxy and mosaic for the next 5 days before pulling the bag. I'll then put it aside while I await a porter I'm planning on fermenting in the fridge to finish off.

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dammag

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That seems normal for US05.

I'd give it a few more days for the yeast to clean up then cold crash.

I wouldn't be too hasty in scooping the stuff off the top.
 

Matplat

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It's fine, sometimes krausen can be resistant to falling back into the beer.

Don't worry about it, now that it's finished, keg it.

1.011 is a good finishing point for an SG of 1.055, what was your mash temp?
 

mxd

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I would dry hop (galaxy is a bit of a love hate with various people) in the fermenter and drop the temp down (1 ish), then if you must leave the poor keg sitting in a Perth summer in a garage (or where ever it is) I would go for a natural carb in the keg to try to minimize the off flavours etc..from the temperature. (ideally cold crash, keg fridge with co2 and buy/find a fermenting fridge (if you don't have temp control then fermenting fridge can be conditioning fridge for keg on gas)
 

TonyF

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Matplat said:
It's fine, sometimes krausen can be resistant to falling back into the beer.

Don't worry about it, now that it's finished, keg it.

1.011 is a good finishing point for an SG of 1.055, what was your mash temp?
Thanks for that, interesting to know!

Mash temp was 65C for 60 minutes. I think this is what I had the Robobrew set to but my dial thermometer was showing 1-2C lower than this at the top of the malt pipe. I did recirculate every 5-10 minutes with a 2L jug.

The mash was very thick and the recirculated wort did sit higher in the malt pipe than the rest of the kettle. Might try more than the 16L of mash water next time to see if this frees it up a bit.
 

TonyF

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mxd said:
I would dry hop (galaxy is a bit of a love hate with various people) in the fermenter and drop the temp down (1 ish), then if you must leave the poor keg sitting in a Perth summer in a garage (or where ever it is) I would go for a natural carb in the keg to try to minimize the off flavours etc..from the temperature. (ideally cold crash, keg fridge with co2 and buy/find a fermenting fridge (if you don't have temp control then fermenting fridge can be conditioning fridge for keg on gas)
Current plan is to buy a new house fridge and "appropriate" the old one for a fermentation fridge :p

Recipe I have is to dry hop with 30g each of mosaic and galaxy. Might just throw 20g in of each for a first attempt to see how I like it.

I'd really like to ferment this porter I'm planning on doing in the next week in the keg fridge (the fermentation temperature control is a little more important isn't it?) and the Kegerator won't fit two fermenters in there, maybe a keg and fermenter, but definitely not 2 fermenters (and the wife sure as hell aint giving me the home fridge till I buy a new one to replace it hahaha).

I've also heard that dry hopping is better accomplished at slightly higher than fermentation temperatures. This isn't in line with your own experiences?
 

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