extra-long ferment

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

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JohnDrake
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extra-long ferment

Post by JohnDrake » Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:32 am

Looked, but didn't find anything related under "Sugar". If this has a section that covers this subject, please direct me!

I started a sugar wash December 26, 2020 using a packet of Baker's yeast, 9 pounds of sugar, 6 ounces of tomato paste, and 9 gallons of water.

After 2 weeks at about 65°F, it was still doing its merry thing, bubbling along quite nicely. I decided to let it continue. Then I got busy and forgot about it until early February. Still bubbling. Not rapidly mind you, but there were thousands of extremely small bubbles rising to the surface. The air lock was cycling about 6 times a minute. I continued to let the yeast feed on the sugar and nutrient.

I looked yesterday morning (20 March 2021) and things are still bubbling, although now at a rate of about 2 times a minute. Extremely tiny bubbles.

Have I done something wrong by letting things go this long? Is this common? I see on the forum here where most of you go anywhere from 10 to 14 days to finish your wash and start to run. Should I ignore the bubbles and only ferment 10 to 14 days?

Sorry for the long post, and thank you!

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still_stirrin
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:48 am

JohnDrake wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:32 am
Looked, but didn't find anything related under "Sugar". If this has a section that covers this subject, please direct me!

I started a sugar wash December 26, 2020 using a packet of Baker's yeast, 9 pounds of sugar, 6 ounces of tomato paste, and 9 gallons of water.

After 2 weeks at about 65°F, it was still doing its merry thing, bubbling along quite nicely. I decided to let it continue. Then I got busy and forgot about it until early February. Still bubbling. Not rapidly mind you, but there were thousands of extremely small bubbles rising to the surface. The air lock was cycling about 6 times a minute. I continued to let the yeast feed on the sugar and nutrient.

I looked yesterday morning (20 March 2021) and things are still bubbling, although now at a rate of about 2 times a minute. Extremely tiny bubbles.

Have I done something wrong by letting things go this long? Is this common? I see on the forum here where most of you go anywhere from 10 to 14 days to finish your wash and start to run. Should I ignore the bubbles and only ferment 10 to 14 days?

Sorry for the long post, and thank you!
That’s a tip off....too cold for baker’s yeast. But....it will be clean, ie - without a lot of esters or solventy character when distilled. It’s just going to take a loooooooooooonnnnnnnnng time!
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JohnDrake
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by JohnDrake » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:00 am

Thank you for the reply and info!

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acfixer69
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by acfixer69 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:02 am

Bakers yeast likes it in the upper 80 to 90's best. It will slow way down in the 70's and my has always stalled in the 60's with my sugar washes. Sounds to me that yours is stopping and starting on it's own. Try warming it up and it should finish shortly.

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cranky
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by cranky » Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:24 pm

The others covered most everything but I would like to add that I personally don't worry or care how long a ferment takes. It takes what it takes and in my opinion slower is better.

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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:17 am

cranky wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:24 pm
The others covered most everything but I would like to add that I personally don't worry or care how long a ferment takes. It takes what it takes and in my opinion slower is better.
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by Expat » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:58 am

Agreed with the folks above. I would also add that the airlock is not a good indicator of ongoing fermentation. C02 will continue to come out of solution for a while. Taste but, check both FG, give the fermenter a gentle stir if needed. Then reassess.
Last edited by Expat on Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Deplorable
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by Deplorable » Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:47 am

I've learned quickly that slow and steady ferments are key to bigger hearts cuts, and better tasting products.
I'm now fermenting everything on the lower mid range of the yeasts happy temp, and letting them fully finish to dry, and clear on their own before racking. Then the squeezins get cleared and racked off the custard before the stripping runs.
It's done when it's done. I'll get to it as soon as I can after it's done, and I have quit trying to make this hobby fit my planned schedule. Rather, I try to make plans around when my ferments are finished.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Demy
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Re: extra-long ferment

Post by Demy » Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:09 am

From my experience, fermentation in the low range (declared by the yeast producer) the yeast will give the product more "clean". If the yeast suffers too hot or too cold will give more by-products we don't want. I like the temperature of 20 ° C when possible.

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