Author Topic: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem  (Read 6778 times)

Offline MRMARTINSALES

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beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« on: April 02, 2012, 08:43:31 AM »
Hi all,

 Here's my problem- I pitched safale 04 yeast into my all grain beer at a temperature of 21 degrees. I didn't make a starter I just sprinkled it in as reccomended on the packet. I have a feeling I may not have aerated the wort enuf as I transferred it vey slowly. Its been about 20 hours now and nothing as of yet. Anybody know how I can get this going? Maybe vigorous whisking? Please help

Offline PetenNewburg

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 09:22:07 AM »
  Since it has not started, Shake the heck out of it!!  I used to use a cheap paint stirrer with a drill, worked great!
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 05:45:43 PM »
I use Fermentis exclusively and have rarely had a problem.

If you think you didn't aerate, perhaps pour what you've got into sanitized vessel and then pour it back.

What are you using for a fermenter? More than once I've found that what I thought was a problem with the yeast turned out to be a bucket with a poorly sealed lid.
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Offline MikeinRH

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 08:24:57 AM »
I agree. Shake the heck out of it. If that doesn't work, go buy a liquid yeast (Wyeast or White Labs) and pour it in, then aerate. Always make a yeast starter!

Offline Rep

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 05:38:53 PM »
21 degrees F?  That was the pitching temp?  I would warm it up a bit.  If your sanitation methods are ok a lag of this time is alright.  If you pitched at that temp it is not aeration that is the issue.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 06:38:08 PM »
21 ÂşC = 69.8 ÂşF
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Offline hohumm

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 07:16:34 PM »
I am guessing that aeration is not your problem.  For the most part, there is no need to aerate your wort when using dried yeast.  Yeast use oxygen during the lag period to produce fatty acids and lipids so that they can have raw materials on hand to reproduce.  Most dry yeast companies today will treat their yeast in a manner that optimizes these raw materials so that you do not have to.

My guess is that your problem is that you did not re-hydrate the yeast in water before adding it to the wort.  If it was a high gravity wort, many times the amount of sugar will inhibit the ability of the dried yeast cell to absorb water.  It is best to re-hydrate in plain water first (sanitized of course) so that the cell can absorb enough water to "wake up".
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 07:18:22 PM by hohumm »

Offline PetenNewburg

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2012, 07:23:49 PM »
  Thats a great tip about the high gravity beers and dry yeast.  I have used dry yeast only a few times with Beer Kits but I've often considered Safale for a IPA.  Thanks for the heads up!
Several meads ageing.
IPA kegged, 2/9/14
R. Porter in Secondary, 2/9/14
Next up, Vienna Lager, Pale Ale

Offline Hopmonster

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 08:55:36 AM »
I usually get start times of 5 to 8hrs using a starter and bottled oxygen, can't imagine not doing it that way. less lag time means less of a chance of infection and with a starter you will get better attenuation. and better beer.
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Offline MikeinRH

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 08:21:13 AM »
Shake your booty! Next time, make a yeast starter.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: beer not started fermenting, yet another problem
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 10:05:21 AM »
Since this post is from April 2nd, presumably your issue has worked itself out.  How did it go?  Did you do anything, or just wait?

Don't rely on the airlock as your sole means of deciding if fermentation is working.  As was noted above, bucket lids leak...and the CO2 may not be passing through the airlock.

With most things fermentation, RDWHAHB is the best first action.  Your more likely to screw something up that is actually working just fine.  But, if you are still worried, don't do anything until you are SURE you have a problem by taking some measurements: 

  • Always take a gravity reading before "doing" anything.  If the gravity is dropping, then leave it alone. 
  • If you have a pH meter, then take a pH reading.  Cooled wort will have a pH in the 5.0+ range (depending on your original mash pH).   Once the yeast take over, they will drop the pH down by a full point (or more) into the 4.1+ range.  If the pH has dropped, the gravity will start to fall very shortly.

No matter what, don't do anything for 48 hours.  Sometimes, fermentations can be less active.   or a lag period can be longer than usual.  If you pH or SG hasn't changed in 48 hours then its time to do something. 

At that point, I would repitch a brand new packet or two-rehydrated in declorinated, sterile water first.  Something was wrong with the first packet, I'd use 2 brand new packets to keep the lag as short as possible.  72 hours is pushing the safe limit to prevent infection from something else.

This is the primary reason I use properly sized starters grown from liquid, yeast.  Near zero lag, and VERY low risk of infection (given proper sanitation practice).   But, it is definately a step up the complexity curve.

---------------------
21C is plenty warm.  I routinely ferment ales at 16C (61-63F).  Granted I'm using liquid yeast, and making large starters.  But, 21C is dead in the middle of the recommended temperature. 

Hohumm is spot on for anything over 1.050 or so...anything significantly above starter wort concentration (1.036) is "high gravity" to the yeast.  The farther above the 1.036 value the more likely you are to have troubles.  It is ALWAYS easier on the yeast to hydrate in plain H2O.

No need to make a yeast starter with dry yeast.  It can actually be detrimental---they lose all those reserves that HoHumm described.  If you are making a high gravity brew that needs more than one packet of yeast, buy 2.  This is assuming that you are using fresh, properly stored yeast packets.  If not, then get a fresh, properly stored packet. 

You can get most of the benefits of a starter, by rehydrating your dry yeast in a low concentration word with just enough sugar to get them "chewing" (around 1.020) at the beginning of a brew day.  It will be hydrated, and already going to town on the sugars in the wort by pitching time.  That should cut your lag time in half.  You won't get much growth, and they won't have time to use up their reserves.  But, they will have had time to reanimate, saving you 6-8 hours of lag time in your precious wort.
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