Irish Ale Yeast Fermentation Stall?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers

    BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers Initiate (10) Dec 4, 2018

    Just started AG brewing and I'm on my second batch. I'm making an Irish Dry Stout with White Labs Irish Ale Yeast and I'm concerned my yeast is slowing MUCH sooner than anticipated.

    After 12 hours, I saw a nice big Krausen and was bubbling vigorously. At 24 hours my Krausen settled a bit but was still bubbling vigorously. At 36, Krausen was basically gone and I'm.ubbling more sproadicslly and that has been the case since today, about 48 hours later.

    I make 3 gallon batches in a 5 gallong carboy andpitched 2 packs of yeast into a 1.052 OG beer. Is that a lot of yeast fermentation happened quickly, do I have an issue, or do I not worry, relax, and have a Homebrew?

    Thanks guys!
  2. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (414) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Depending on yeast manufacturing date, likely over pitched.

    I've never used this strain. However, universally you can't judge yeast activity visually. I suggest you take a gravity reading and then take a reading in a day or two to see if a stable reading.

    UK strains, once again don't know this one, typically are high flocculating strains. In parallel to taking your readings, it wouldn't hurt things to rouse to help keep the yeast in suspension.

    Last, for further evaluation, it'd be helpful to post fermentation temp (increasing temp may help finish), grain bill (understanding you fermentablies) and mash schedule (again understanding suger structure).
    #2 InVinoVeritas, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  3. BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers

    BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers Initiate (10) Dec 4, 2018

    One of my packets was from October 28th and another on November 3rd. I brewed this on Sunday (December 2nd) and BrewersFriend suggested i needed to pitch 119 billion to ferment, so I pitched 2. Starters aren't yet an option for me, but I would certainly like to start doing that for cost savings and to avoid overpitching.

    I am fermenting at 68 degrees and this specific strain recommended 65-68 degrees. My fermentables are 62% Marris otter, 20% flaked barley, 10% roasted barley, and 8% honey malt.

    I read a quick article on rousing yeast and taking gravity readings so I'm definitely going to see how that goes for now
  4. Eggman20

    Eggman20 Initiate (51) Feb 14, 2017 Minnesota

    Using 2 packets may have been a bit of an overpitch but that shouldn't be any problem. I'd say relax and just let it ride. It may have been a quick fermentation but not totally impossible for it to be done or close to it. I've never had any issues with Irish Ale yeast stalling out but like InVino said take a reading and see where you are at. If the gravity is still a bit high you could rouse the yeast and raise the fermentation temp a couple degrees.
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  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Unless you've taken a specific gravity reading, you don't know if your beer has stalled prematurely or not. Signs of fermentation can abate rather quickly, as others have said.
  6. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,257) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I'll say that I'm 99 percent sure that fermentation is complete, except for the time it takes for the yeast to clean up after themselves. Wait a few more days, take a gravity reading to see if you are at the expected final gravity for your recipe, and then confirm gravity stability with another reading two days later.
  7. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (95) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    Does the reference to "48 hours later" mean from the time you pitched the yeast....or does it mean 48 hours after the 36 hours you mentioned earlier?
    ....maybe I missed something else in the timeline.

    I've never pitched two packs in 3 gallons. Anyone know if it's reasonable to think that yeast could/would be finished in 3.5 - 5 days?
    #7 riptorn, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    If you're referring to attenuation, it would not be unheard of.
  9. LeeryLeprechaun

    LeeryLeprechaun Zealot (563) Jan 30, 2011 Colorado

    You will have to take a gravity reading to know for sure. White Labs packets usually have 60-80 billion cells each, so you did not over pitch much, if any, by using two packets.
  10. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (368) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I'm going with the consensus, that is, major activity is pretty much done. There still might be a few points of gravity to go down, and even if not, there is still work to be done. There will be a lot of cleanup for the yeast to do. Even if the gravity is stable, I would leave it in primary for another week or so to let things settle. I use the Irish Ale yeast on my stouts, and I have good luck with it. I do ferment a little low - I like to keep in the low 60s, I prefer things going slower, and most yeast won't throw the esters out at those temps like they do in the mid to high 60s. Keep in mind that the temps are the outside, unless you have a thermowell and long temp probe, the inside temps are several degrees warmer inside there - I wouldn't be surprised if the fermentation was in the low 70s.
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  11. BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers

    BigBellyBigBeardBigBeers Initiate (10) Dec 4, 2018

    Since this is my second batch, I just had a bigger IPA from my first batch react MUCH differently... And that was a California ale yeast, so I guess that was my expectation and I had a big Krausen for 3 whole days on that.

    I'm going to let it sit for another week on the yeast cake and start taking gravity readings. Whether fermentation is complete or not , I can definitely benefit from it cleaning up a bit and sitting for a total of 10 days right?
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  12. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,257) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Yeah, if you aren't in any hurry, 10 days will benefit this beer. You can take gravity readings now to know exactly where you are.

    A good rule is to never expect every batch of any beer to be the same for fermentation time, krausen amount, etc. Each yeast type has its own story to tell, and variability occurs with style types and fermentation conditions too.
  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,243) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Some of my beers appear to be done fermenting in a 2 day window, some never drop the Krausen. Watching the krausen and counting bubbles are poor tools for determining what's going on in your fermenter. Taking gravity readings and a taste sample are the only things I rely on. I check for gravity and taste for off flavors.
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  14. Eggman20

    Eggman20 Initiate (51) Feb 14, 2017 Minnesota

    Wanted to report back that I made an Irish stout saturday using Wyeast 1084 (the equivalent of the White Labs Irish) with an OG of 1.040. When I got home yesterday the krausen had completely fallen (less than 48 hours) so I can confirm that this yeast can wrap up really quick. Planning to let it sit for 2 weeks before bottling so will check gravity later this week.
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