Saturday, March 21, 2009

fourth brew (Belgian witbier), part 3

Last night I spent some time reading a very helpful sticky thread on fermentation at HomeBrewTalk. I did not realize that fermentation could take 72 hours to begin, or that sometimes completes without any noticeable airlock activity. After reading that, and many fermentation tales, I felt silly for having popped the lid and stirred. At most I should have sloshed it around for a while, but probably I didn't need to do anything.

At 4:45 this morning I heard a stentorian Glalalooplooploop from the fermentorium down the hall. I leapt out of bed, grabbed a flashlight, and inspected the primary. The sanitizer jar was bubbling merrily, lots of krausen in the blow-off tube, and every now and then there was the sort of eruption that had commanded my attention.

I'm not sure long it did this, but as of 8:00 there is again no visible activity. I'll probably take a gravity reading later.

I don't know, of course, whether my stirring prompted this, or whether it would have done it on its own at 60+ hours. There's also the possibility that the bucket lid wasn't tight, but I don't think so. I'd get movement in the blowoff tube with the slightest pressure on the lid.

In any event, this was a good experience.

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