Tips and tricks

The Stages of Fermentation

Props to RM-MN of

During the first phase, the yeast are using up the oxygen to reproduce. This is usually called the lag phase because it appears that nothing is happening.

Phase 2 is where the yeast go crazy, eating the malt sugars and excreting alcohol and CO2. This is often called the active phase. While the yeast are primarily making the alcohol and CO2, there are a number of other compounds produced then too, on of which is acetaldehyde.

During the third phase, this acetaldehyde is reduced to alcohol by the yeast but there is no CO2 being produced so many brewers assume that the ferment is over. This acetaldehyde is what gives beer the “green apple” or “cider” aroma. This process takes some time so we tell people not to rush to bottle.

The yeast also break down or absorb other compounds that give “off flavors” so it is sometimes called the cleanup phase.


Flexible Wheat Beer GA10071 Notes — update 1

Well this is day three of the Fermentation period and the violent fermentation as subsided. I now am a little concerned as to why the fermentation has quit so early in the primary fermentation period.

My only thoughts to this is due to

  1. Stuck Fermentation – where as the temperature has gone out of the working range the yeast requires or the yeast has died for some sort of reason.
  2. Infection – highly unlikely but not completely off the table. i may have mold or some other wild yeast growing in the fermenter. Today, I will have to crack the bung off of the fermenter and check to see if their is a stench other than what is expected, coming from the drink 😛
  3. I am imaging things and all is progressing as it should be – 90% probable as this is the best answer. I will check the SG tonight and see what is going on.

Fermentation on Sunday was very violent and making a lot of gurgling. On Monday morning there was hardly any action at all. I may also place an airlock back onto the fermenter and remove the blow-off tube.

More to come!


Flexible Wheat Beer GA10071 Notes

The first day of the 2013 brewing season it was a rainy early fall; the environment cool and comfortable for brewing. The recipe I chose was my flexible wheat beer GA10071 (German Ale 1007 version 1). This recipe I have morphed from a base recipe I found on the internet. The color I expected to be in the SRM of 3.8, but I forgot that I used Dark wheat instead of Belgium wheat, so I have an SRM of 6.8.

Flexible wheat beer GA10071Mashing went very well, no hassles or issues. However, I did have an equipment issue when transferring the mash to the mash tun, in order to sparge. I had to use a food grade bucket (my bottling bucket) to pour the first mash run off into, while the sparge water was coming to tempature. It was a tedious process, but I will be getting another pot for boiling or mashing, in the near future. The new mashing tun (igloo water cooler) worked great! Definitely a great item to have for mashing. Due to the rain, it was easy to clean the mash tun and the bottling bucket, I kept them wet in the rain.

After the mash, I noticed a “gray puss,” on top of the spent grains. I have no clue what that was, but brushed that off as possibly something I didn’t need. I posted the question on to home brew talk for an answer.

As for the primary fermentation period, that has just starred and progressing nicely. I will be posting another entry later on in the week.

Happy brewing!