I am working on a small batch, 1 gallon of Pale Ale. It came in a kit and the yeast was not labeled so I am not sure what kind it is. This is only the third batch I have brewed. On my first two batches I saw a lot of activity by the second day and things died down by day seven, I racked to secondary (these were 5 gallon batches) on the 7th or 8th day.

What I am unsure how to handle is, on the 7th day there is more activity than there has been all week. Seems obvious that I should not interrupt the process, but being new I wanted to ask.

  1. Is this normal?
  2. Since this is a one gallon batch should I just keep it in primary for 3 weeks and not worry about secondary?

The OG was 1.06 (if that helps)


1 Answer 1

  1. Yes this is a normal behavior, but not one we like in brewing. We like to see good activity in less than 12 hours.

  2. Forget the recomended times in your instructions, they are lost in lag now. Let primary fermentaion complete, then rack secondary if called for.

Causes of a long lag time are numerous. Insufficient o2, insufficient nutrients, under pitching, poor yeast health. To name a few, the last two probably being your main culprits.

It's a good idea to hydrate and proof old dry yeast.

We don't like long lag times because it gives fast acting bacteria a chance to get hold before yeast has produced alcohol.

  • 1
    Cold temperatures can also lead to a long lag time and slow fermentation. Jan 3, 2016 at 16:05
  • Thanks! I'll do some research on hydrating and proofing old dry yeast.
    – MagRat
    Jan 4, 2016 at 20:13
  • Just wanted to follow up and note this batch still turned out well.
    – MagRat
    Feb 15, 2016 at 2:03

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