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I've got an Imperial IPA that I'm worried has something wrong.

OG 1.080, 5gal batch, 6.5gal fermentation bucket, Used a healthy starter, Room temp 70f

Primary kicked up within five hours or so and was pretty steady bubbling every second for two days. Then on the third day it started coming out through the air lock. I rigged up a ghetto blow off tube I found here. On the fourth day it's still bubbling once a second...

I haven't taken any gravity readings because I don't like to mess with my beers while in primary, but does this sound right? Most of my smaller (og 1.060 or below) beers in the past have almost always died down within 2-3 days and then I give them an extra week before moving to secondary.

Also, I used a lower than usual mash temp of 149f.

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update: I opened it up after a couple more days of it not slowing down and it didn't look right and smelled funny. The gravity had dropped to 1.005 so I dumped it. –  Patrick Kafka Dec 21 '11 at 21:39

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yeah, that sounds perfectly fine. A big beer like that could easily actively ferment 5-7 days. I generally won't even look at it for 2 weeks, and let it primary at least 4.

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I second this. After using a big starter (half of a primary yeast cake) on a relatively big beer and getting gunk in the airlock, I now use a blow-off tube with every batch. –  Dustin Rasener Dec 8 '11 at 22:41
    
Yeah, with gravity and temp like that an IPA yeast like 1056 will go totally nuts. Just relax, don't worry, have a homebrew. If you want to really mess with it, set the carboy in a bathtub of cold water for a couple of hours next time, try to get the temp down a bit. That beer would have been into the high 70s at least at the peak of fermentation, which will generate some off aromas, potentially. –  Juanote Dec 19 '11 at 4:01

At that temperature, I'm not surprised. If the room temp was 70, the beer temp could have been 75-80. Way too high for making good beer, but a higher temp will encourage a faster, more active fermentation.

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Is there any standard to room temp vs frm temp? like the room should be 5-10 less than you want it to be fermenting at? –  Patrick Kafka Dec 8 '11 at 22:20
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@Patick: These two questions should help: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/5522/… -- and --homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/5563/… –  Dustin Rasener Dec 8 '11 at 22:43

The high fermentation activity itself isn't a problem, but as Denny says 70F does seems a bit on the high side to make the best beer. For a high gravity 1.080 beer we can expect that actual temperature of the wort to be up at around 78F which is probably at the upper limit of what ale yeast generally likes (see here for estimates of wort temperature).

Since you actually want your wort temperature to be at around 70F, you should be aiming for an ambient temperature of around 62F.

However, all said and done I am sure your beer will be pretty tasty.

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