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I'm seeing this thing happen soon after I add my yeast and was wondering what it was called and the science behind it.

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"High Krausen"/"Exponential Growth Phase" As the yeast feeds it produces co2 and the bubbles make a foam of yeast and other materials in the beer.

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How soon is "soon"?

It looks like you've sprinkled dry yeast across the top of your (chilled) brew kettle and maybe waited 10-20 minutes? If so, this is the yeast "blooming" in response to being reactivated from their dried state. At what temperature is the wort? Can you provide any more detail about your process?

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  • Wort is at room temperature.
    – Neil Meyer
    Jul 27 '16 at 8:29
  • Looks like a lot of yeast for it to be from dry yeast, no? Maybe OP is using three packets.
    – brewchez
    Jul 27 '16 at 10:32

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