BIAB problem

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BIAB problem

Unread postby royco » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:56 am

I did a 4liter test batch using BIAB (before messing up 50L in the BM!). Used Fermentis S-33 dry and after 72hr not one bubble from the airlock, so then rehydrated the remaining half pack and dumped this in yesterday. Still not a bubble
and now into 4th day. This is my first BIAB but the fermentation principle should be the same. I'm fairly new to brewing having done only 10 brews so something could be wrong. Maybe the yeast?
It was my first of Belgian Wit using Brad Smith's favorite recipe in Beersmith -- a simple grain bill of 50/50 2-row malt and flaked wheat. Started fermenting at 16.5°C then moved it up daily to 20°C. This is the first time this has happened.

Can anyone shed some light on the matter please?
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby whitegoose » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:27 am

Firstly, bubbles aren't really telling you anything - you need to meaure the gravity of your wort. Did you measure the gravoty before you added the yeast? This will tell you if you actually created sugars in your mash. And also, what is your gravity now? These answers will probably help.

Secondly, probably would help if you explained your process, including mash grain bill, mash temp and time, mash volume etc. This way we can figure out whether you've done anything that might lead to your wort not fermenting.

Thirdly, pretty sure this is not the right forum as this is a question about non-BM brewing and you;ve posted it in the BM Tips and Tricks forum!
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby thedragon » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:06 am

Take your airlock and throw it in the bin.

Why? Jump on google and search "airlock kittens".

(Please don't take this as a DASFFS post)
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby thedragon » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:08 am

whitegoose wrote:Firstly, bubbles aren't really telling you anything - you need to meaure the gravity of your wort. Did you measure the gravoty before you added the yeast? This will tell you if you actually created sugars in your mash. And also, what is your gravity now? These answers will probably help.

Secondly, probably would help if you explained your process, including mash grain bill, mash temp and time, mash volume etc. This way we can figure out whether you've done anything that might lead to your wort not fermenting.

Thirdly, pretty sure this is not the right forum as this is a question about non-BM brewing and you;ve posted it in the BM Tips and Tricks forum!


+1

If there was a "like this" option, I'd have cliche the button for this post
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby niels » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:45 pm

Do you see foam/krausen on top of the beer? Or do you see traces of foam on the sides of the fermentor?
Sometimes the krausen comes and goes overnight. A brown ring on the sides of the fermentor right above the surface of your beer is a silent witness of this.

Does the beer look cloudy?
When your beer is fermenting it looks cloudy as the yeast will be in suspension. During full activity you also see the suspended yeast traveling up in the beer.

Do you smell something?
While fermenting your beer will give off a smell (depending on the yeast this can smell like bananas or rotten eggs and everything in between). When you have an active fermentation you will smell it as the whole room (or closet) will be smelling like it.

Do you see settlement on the bottom?
Besides trub (hops, proteins, ...) the yeast will also settle on the bottom of your FV. You should see a creamy-white settlement on the bottom.

Did you take a sample already?
Take a sample and do a gravity reading. Use a hydrometer or use a refractometer and a calculation tool to get the correct gravity. This should be lower than the OG. You can calculate the apparent attenuation with the following formula: [(OG-FG)/(OG-1)] x 100 = AA. THe Fermentis S-33 normally gets around 70%.
Taste your sample! Do you taste C02 in it? Does it still taste very sweet? Does it taste like stale beer?

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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby royco » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:18 pm

Apologies, I see this should not be under this section. At a push under "general discussions". And the only reason I posted it on the BM forum at all is that it has nothing to do with the extraction method but seems to be a general fermentation issue.
As mentioned the grain bill was half 2-row and half flaked wheat (0.9kg total). The other bits like coriander, orange peel, hops shouldn't affect the ferm. Mash temp 67°C starting with 6.5L water to boil down to 4L.
Chilled in ice bath to 16°C and after violent aeration pitched half a pack of S-23 dry (recipe calls for 1/3rd pack). OG=1045. Current SG=1020.
Kept raising temp daily until 22°C.
Krausen disappeared after 2 days but a brown ring remains. Yeast cake on bottom covered by layer of trub.
I mentioned that on the 3rd day I rehydrated and pitched the other half pack S-23.
Wort is cloudy and an acceptable Wit colour.
Minimal smell from the freezer cabinet.
The sample is only vaguely sweet and has some bitterness and a hint of alcohol.
At 1020 it will be very low alc -- around 3.3 ABV kegged.

Maybe I'll leave it another week and force carb it just to get an idea.

PS DASFFS is new to me. Can you explain before I start using it randomly?
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby niels » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:59 pm

In your original post you said you used S-33 and in your last post you mention S-23. The former is an ale yeast, while the latter is a lager yeast. The way they ferment is different.

I only have experience with S-33. The starting temperature of 16.5°C seems a bit low to me, so you could expect some lag time there.

The S-23 should be fermented lower (around 12°C) and can take up to 3 weeks to complete the fermentation.

Let us know what yeast you used and we'll try to help you out.

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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby Dan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:16 pm

royco wrote:OG=1045. Current SG=1020


No problem - it's fermenting. Perhaps because it's such a small batch it's not pumping out enough CO2 to look active. The krausen is your best visual indicator, but since your samples indicate a drop in gravity - your yeast is working.

royco wrote: DASFFS is new to me. Can you explain before I start using it randomly?


= Do A Search For F#*k Sake
New forum users get hit with it at least once. It's just a way for someone to say "I'm not answering your question because it's been done over and over before".
I was hoping it would never creep into this forum - it's lazy. Sure - the info is often out there if you trawl the web long enough. But what are forums for? - ask a question - get an answer or 2 or 10!

HTH (=Hope That Helps) :wink:
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby royco » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:10 pm

Haha! This actually deserves a DASFFS but I didn't mean it to have too much airtime. The question has appeared on HBT but because it has never happened to me I never paid much attention. Plus, HBT is so massive that it can be quite tedious to trawl through. Thanks to everyone for the answers -- having never done a micro-mini batch before it never dawned on me that the airlock (which has now been tossed in the bin) may not have leaped into action.
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Re: BIAB problem

Unread postby royco » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:26 pm

thedragon wrote:Take your airlock and throw it in the bin.

Why? Jump on google and search "airlock kittens".

(Please don't take this as a DASFFS post)


BTW dragon, only kidding about tossing the airlock, but I get the general picture. You surely don't mean to hermetically seal the fermenter? It is just easier to plug in a bubbler half filled with vodka than to instal a blow-off tube and secure it into a jar of sanitizer, making sure the pipe does not tip the jar over. I can now see the point in ignoring airlock activity and just checking FG after a few weeks. Thanks for the advice
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