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Slow/Cold Fermentation

Discussion in 'Kits & Extracts' started by Scoooter, 3/1/20.

 

  1. Scoooter

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    Posted 3/1/20
    Hi all,

    I started my first brew on the 29/12. It's a Mangrove Jack's Juicy Session IPA kit. I pitched the yeast which is M44 US West Coast at 21c degrees. The OG was 1.040.

    I'm fermenting it in a fridge that I have set to holiday mode which is 17c. After 48 hours there was no bubbling in the airlock and I couldn't see any krausen, so I took it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temp for a few hours. I also gave it a gentle swirl. I put it back in the fridge and the next day there was lots of bubbling in the airlock.

    2 days later and there's no bubbling. I took a hydrometer reading and it is sitting at 1.030. The temp strip on the FV says it's at 14c degrees. I tested the wort temp in the hydro sample with a thermapen and it said it was 15 degrees. It does say for M44 for best results to ferment at 18-23 degrees, so I'm worried that the fridge is getting too cold. I would've thought 17 would be alright, but it looks like it's cooler than it says. I know that colder temps take longer to ferment, but I'm just wondering if this is too cold.

    Any ideas or should I just give it another week or so and take another hydro reading? I'm planning on picking up a second hand fridge and getting a temperature controller for my next brew.
     
  2. TowelBoy2013

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    Posted 4/1/20
    Have you calibrated all your equipment? ie: hydrometer, thermo. etc? sounds like they're a bit all over the place.
     
  3. Scoooter

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    Posted 4/1/20
    The hydro says it's calibrated to 20 degrees, and when I took the 1.030 sample it was around 15.8, so it might have been a bit off. Next time I take a sample I'll make sure it's 20 degrees, my OG test was at 20 degrees. I might get some distilled water and check to see if it reads 1.000. Thermapen is calibrated I tested it with ice water.

    I checked the fridge this morning and the temp strip on the FV said 12 degrees, so I've taken it out and I'm letting the temp come up. I know fluctuating temps are not good, but I'm pretty sure the fermentation is gonna stop all together if it's that low. Definitely need to get a proper temperature controller. I just wanted to see if this holiday mode on the fridge would work, but it defs doesn't keep the fridge at 17c.
     
  4. Schikitar

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    Posted 4/1/20
    How are you measuring/setting your fridge temp?
     
  5. Scoooter

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    Posted 4/1/20
    It's just a fisher & paykel fridge that has a holiday mode setting, which it says in the manual sets the fridge to a constant 17 degrees.
     
  6. Scoooter

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    Posted 5/1/20
    OK, I've tested my hydrometer with distilled water and it reads 1.000 at 20c / 68f. I did another SG reading today, but this time I degassed the sample, something I didn't do last time and I also made sure it was at 20c. It read 1.022. I've added the dry hops per the instructions. The only concerning thing is that there's no bubbling in the airlock. But I'll just wait a few more days and check again and hopefully the SG has come down.
     
  7. Tomo

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    Posted 5/1/20
    Sounds like you need a inkbird controller. Fairly cheap and easy to use and will look after the temp of your fridge no problems. From a novice fridge is getting too cold and causing yeast to slow down. Temperature control is very important.
     
    Schikitar likes this.
  8. Schikitar

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    Posted 6/1/20
    Yep, this, don't rely on what the fridge manual says, you need active monitoring..
     
  9. Scoooter

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    Posted 6/1/20
    Yep, definitely going to get an inkbird. Only thing is this is a fairly new fridge with a freezer as well, so I don't really want to damage it with the controller turning it on and off all the time. I'll have a look for some cheap second hand fridges.
     
  10. TowelBoy2013

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    Posted 6/1/20
    It won't damage it, most fridges are designed to be switched off and on. Infact i'd be concerned if it wasn't. Inkbird temp. controllers have a delay function anyway. So the compressor doesn't burn out. cheers.
     
  11. Scoooter

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    Posted 19/1/20
    So I ended up getting an inkbird controller, works a treat. I bottled my beer yesterday after about 3 weeks of fermentation. SG was 1.040 and FG was 1.010. Measured the FG 2 days apart and it was the same.

    The bottles are 750ml and I used 2 carbonation drops per bottle (as per the instructions of the drops).

    I filled up half PET bottles and half glass. Some of the PET bottles I squeezed before putting the cap on, so the beer filled right up to the brim and there was no air in the bottle. I've just checked them today and all of the bottles I squeezed like this have popped out already. I'm just a bit worried that this happened too soon, since they've still got about a month of carbonation/conditioning to go. I'm especially worried about the glass bottles in case they explode.

    What do you reckon? Is that too soon for them to pop out like that? They also feel pretty firm already.
     
  12. MHB

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    Posted 19/1/20
    Beer at the time of bottling is a saturated CO2 solution for the temperature its at, squeezing the bottle will create a slight vacuum, CO2 will come out of solution until its back to atmospheric pressure (well a fair approximation).
    Relax dude
    Mark
     
  13. Scoooter

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    Posted 19/1/20
    Yeah I'm definitely worrying too much haha. Thanks for the help.
     
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