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I know a variant of this question has been asked a million times, but can someone let me know if this behavior is "normal" for a brew?

I'm using Northern Brewer's Caribou Slobber Brown kit.

I brewed on Saturday evening, followed the instructions carefully (the only thing I did 'incorrectly' was add water/wort in the wrong order. The instructions said to put 2 gal. of cold water in the Carboy first, I put the wort in, then realized my mistake). The wort was cool to the touch by the time I added the yeast.

All day Sunday I had crazy activity in the fermentor: the bubbles were going so fast that it sounded like a boiling pot, and the krausen was thick and active (it rose and sank, and all sorts of stuff).

Monday I went down and it has all but stopped. I sat and watched for a while and barely saw a bubble (i can't tell if it was my tapping fingers on the clawfoot tub the carboy was in or what). All that was left of the krausen was the sticky stuff on the sides of the better bottle.

Wondering two things in specific:

  1. Is the beer in trouble for having "gone" so fast?
  2. Should I try and rinse the krausen particulate back into the wort?

It's been particularly warm the last few days, but it's in a dimly lit, rarely used bathroom in the lowest part of my apartment (we have three half-stories). Overall it's been a very comfortable temperature in the room.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Nope, nothing wrong at all! Fermentation can happen fast, especially if you have good pitching rates and oxygenation. I've commonly had fermentations that are done after a day or two, and I'd say on average most of my fermentations are done by day 3. From a fermentation standpoint, everything is great!

However, given that the fermentation was so active there MAY be some problems with taste. That level of activity could easily raise the temperature a few degrees. You usually want fermentation to happen around 68'F, and if it gets too high into the 70's you can get a lot of esters and off flavors. Try some and you will be able to tell immediately, if you have problems with esters just try to keep it cooler next time.

As for the krausen particulate, it isn't really necessary to rinse it back into the wort, I would just let it sit for now. The yeast are still active, just not as much. By now they have finished converting sugars for the most part. However they are still cleaning up the beer, breaking down byproducts and impurities, improving the taste.

If you are worried at all you can take a gravity reading to make sure everything is on track. It should be right around or a little higher than what you would expect for a final gravity. Good luck, and enjoy the beer!

Edit: Just to be clear, any off flavors aren't due to the speed of fermentation, but just the temperature, so if you keep the beer cool enough, fast fermentation is fine.

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