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Same Recipe, Very Different Krausen...

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Mr. No-Tip

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So a mate and I are brewing up 100l of lambic for barrel aging. We each brewed the same base recipe: 70/30 pils/unmalted wheat - WL Belgian Sour Mix.

He got his down first and its dropped from 1046 to 1012 in three days, but no sign of krausen.
Mine had huge krausen after about 18 hours which is now spewing it's way out the top of my fermenting keg (with a sour yeast? yeh i know :S)

Anyway, I am trying to figure out what is causing the major krausen difference. His yeast obviously had no problem doing the job. The variables I am aware of are:

  • Mashing. I did a cereal mash with the wheat and 10% of the barley. He did a turbid mash with 5l of the wort.
  • I added yeast nutrient.
  • I oxygenated with pure oxygen.
  • I upped the quantities of grain, so my OG was 1066. 20 points higher.
I think that's about it for the differences. What would be the most likely cause for such different activity?
 

Mr. No-Tip

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In the interests of establishing scale, this would have to be the largest krausen I've ever had:

photo.JPG

:icon_vomit:
 

Lecterfan

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The variables I am aware of are:

  • Mashing. I did a cereal mash with the wheat and 10% of the barley. He did a turbid mash with 5l of the wort.
  • I added yeast nutrient.
  • I oxygenated with pure oxygen.
  • I upped the quantities of grain, so my OG was 1066. 20 points higher.
I think that's about it for the differences. What would be the most likely cause for such different activity?

While I'm not really answering your question, surely these variables alone are potentially enough to answer your own question? That last point that I've bolded challenges your premise that it is 'the same recipe'...it is certainly not the 'same beer' at a full 20 gravity points difference.

I'm sure it'll be lovely! :icon_cheers:
 

carniebrew

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[*]I added yeast nutrient.
[*]I oxygenated with pure oxygen.
It does sound like a strange question given the obvious differences. I would have thought the 2 points i've quoted above would be enough reason for a hugely active fermentation.

Also why does it look like your krausen photo was taken in 1906? :)
 

Mr. No-Tip

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Cheers guys, I do realise that one or more of those variables was probably the cause, but was more interested in seeing which was the likely differentiator.

The fact that the non krausen batch still fermented out very quickly without the vigour seemed odd to me?
 

yum beer

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Its fairly obvious that the first batch is seriously infected and thus no krausen......
and the second batch is seriously infected hence the massive krausen.....
Which of the differences do you think would make the most difference?
Or were they actually the same and I just didnt realise the obvious in front of me?
Can I ask another ridiculous question or have i reached my limit?
 

Wolfy

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Cheers guys, I do realise that one or more of those variables was probably the cause, but was more interested in seeing which was the likely differentiator.

The fact that the non krausen batch still fermented out very quickly without the vigour seemed odd to me?
Without repeated and more scientific-type testing, I doubt you'll find an answer - many theories but no definitive answer.
Yeast is a living thing and tends do do what it likes as it likes, and does not always behave the same even when we want it to. As home brewers we cannot usually make the 'exact' same beer twice (even if we try), there are always small (sometimes large) differences and any one of these could explain why the yeast is behaving differently (or it might be all the changes combined together).
 

Bada Bing Brewery

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I just did a double belgian wit. Same yeast, same wort, pitched at same time both at 18C - 2 different krausen. One with big krausen is at 1018 and the no krausen is 1012, 2.5 days into ferment. Both taste the same. Even when everything is the same you get different yeast activity ..........
Cheers
BBB
 

Mr. No-Tip

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Its fairly obvious that the first batch is seriously infected and thus no krausen......
and the second batch is seriously infected hence the massive krausen.....
Which of the differences do you think would make the most difference?
Or were they actually the same and I just didnt realise the obvious in front of me?
Can I ask another ridiculous question or have i reached my limit?
How about 'Why am i being a prick on the internet unecessarily?'?

I just did a double belgian wit. Same yeast, same wort, pitched at same time both at 18C - 2 different krausen. One with big krausen is at 1018 and the no krausen is 1012, 2.5 days into ferment. Both taste the same. Even when everything is the same you get different yeast activity
That's quite interesting where no obvious difference is at play.
 

np1962

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I just did a double belgian wit. Same yeast, same wort, pitched at same time both at 18C - 2 different krausen. One with big krausen is at 1018 and the no krausen is 1012, 2.5 days into ferment. Both taste the same. Even when everything is the same you get different yeast activity ..........
Cheers
BBB
Not really wanting to weigh in on this thread but this post interested me.
Same Yeast? Was it from the same pack? From the same starter? Could the half you poured into one fermenter have been slightly thicker than the other? More cells/ml?
Same Wort? Was the wort no chilled in two cubes? Was one fermenter filled from the kettle then the other with no mixing of the two halves?(if chilled)
Different fermenters although they are made identical could give different head pressure. Slightly less seal on one lid. Looser rubber band if going with cling wrap.
A degree of difference in temperature in different spots in the fridge?
Was the dissolved oxygen the same ppm in both fermenters after aeration?
There are so many tiny little things that could affect the performance of the yeast and therefore the size/shape/texture of the krausen.
And the beer in both fermenters tastes great! There will be differences but could we distinguish them anyway?
Exactly the reason some of the mega brewers, and some of the not so mega, blend different batches on the packaging line.

To the OP.
There were so many large differences in the worts/ferments you were comparing that it was highly unlikely the yeast would ferment the two beers in anywhere near the same way.

This is why I love brewing. No two ferments/beers are ever identical and you're always learning.

Cheers
Nige
 

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