Crazy Airlock Activity

18 Hours after Pitching Yeast
24 Hours after Pitching Yeast
Had to Swap the Airlock
30 Hours After Pitching

I don’t think I’ve ever had a fermentation quite this vigorous before from a beer – and the worst part of this is that I changed so many variables in this brew, I’m unsure of which was the major contributor to this improvement.  

First change: Electric Kettle – This opted for much better temperature control, which leads to more efficient sugar extraction. Additionally, the use of the spigot on the side allowed for draining without adding all the residual hop matter to the fermentation vessel, as well as quality aeration when prepping to pitch the yeast. 

Second Change: Hot Water Sparge – Not something I often do; this pulls the extra sugars that are still sitting in the grain out and into the water. Additionally, this allows you to bring up yourboil volume by contributing additional sugar. In the past I’ve started with 7 gallons of water, planning on one gallon of grain absorption, just adding in a little more prior to the boil, usually about one to two quarts, and then boiling down to the five-gallon volume. This initially dilutes your mash, however it usually nets out in your boil.  

Third Change: Yeast Starter – This in conjunction with the sparge are likely my golden eggs. I’ve always had issues with White Labs yeasts, even the pure pitches. I’ve always ended up with a lower efficiency than planned, or a stuck fermentation that required pitching a bit of Dry Yeast to get going again. Not in this case (obviously). I made this starter 24 hours before hand, and chilled up until about an hour before pitching, where I brought it out of the fridge and brought it up (close to) to room temp. I think making a starter 12-24 hours in advance is going to be a staple for me moving forward. 

I guess we’ll see in the final product just how well those changes really affected everything – Stay Tuned!


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