Author Topic: First No Sparge...seems dead.  (Read 7350 times)

Offline jharvey

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First No Sparge...seems dead.
« on: July 31, 2013, 02:22:25 PM »
I have been frustrated by what seems to be the 6% ABV ceiling with our brew rig and decided to try an all grain pure no sparge batch yesterday.
All seemed to go well with an outstanding 1.087 OG...new territory for me without a doubt. I put about 5-5 1/2 gallons into the fermenter and pitched 3 x Wyeast #1272 to try and offset the high gravity and over 24 hours later things seem dead?? I did overcool the batch a bit (64F) before I  pitched but it was well oxygenated and I stirred it thoroughly as I do all batches and they are usually rolling pretty well by this time.
Right now it is at 72F (top of the range) and not a peep from the airlock? Should I repitch? Hate to sacrifice this batch due to a simple miscalculation on the yeast.

Thanks for any help,
Jim

Offline philm63

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 04:40:39 PM »
How old was the yeast? Did it swell after smacking? Nothing wrong with 64 F with this yeast, well within range for a clean fermentation.

Was the yeast within 10 F of the wort when pitched? If there was a large differential between yeast and wort temperatures, the yeast will experience some shock and a delayed start can be expected.

Give it another day or so and keep it under 70 if you want that clean fermentation character - you should see something in the airlock by then.
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Offline GoodisBeer

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 04:56:41 PM »
On the other end of things I'd check the gravity. Maybe it fermented out when you were not looking.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 05:05:12 PM »
My first guess would be the typical lag phase, esp. since you said well-oxygenated.  Yeast consumes the O2 before switching to eating sugar and creating CO2. 

And then the temperature difference that Philm63 cited.   That shock can set-back yeast a bit. 

Offline jharvey

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 07:33:29 PM »
Thanks much for the replies. The yeast was in my bottling/fermenting room which I keep around 68F up until moments before pitching. I will definitely confirm that it was WELL oxygenated meaning almost foam on 5 gallons out of the top of a half barrel at the end of chilling, I was not aware of the yeast consuming 02 before sugars, so much to learn so few summers remaining.

Since we usually see activity inside of 24 hours I may be judging this harshly. I am prepared to repitch if needed (3x1272 waiting in the wings) But I will chill until tomorrow morning to see what's up.

Interestingly enough I have an identical fermenter next to this (with a lower gravity IPA) and it was reading 68F and this one was showing 72F so maybe signs of activity based on temperature more than activity?

Thanks again,
Jim

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 06:05:38 AM »
yea, the center of carboy can be a couple degrees warmer than the outside edge during the active ferm. 

To Phil's point, the fermentation character will be cleaner if you can keep that inside temp at 68 versus 72.  If it's 72 now, and heats up when the yeast really get going, that high of an internal temp could create a stew of off-flavors and fusels that typically do not fade much over time. 

Offline jharvey

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 02:27:35 PM »
Today I am still scratching my head and wondering if I should repitch. At 8:00 am my fermenters, one from a week ago reading 66F and the 48 hour old was reading 72F....definitely something going on BUT no activity in the airlock ?? (I have  lowered my room temp to 64F to try and compensate IF it does take off) So now I am at about 50 hours so I guess I'll wait it out until tomorrow morning.

Thanks for all the feedback,
Jim

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 07:09:37 PM »
.......meaning almost foam on 5 gallons out of the top of a half barrel at the end of chilling.........


I was looking for buckets or carboys.......do you mean a half-barrel keg is your fermentor?  That's 15.5 gallons only 1/3 full?   Lot's of airspace to fill with CO2, and the smallest leak would prevent airlock from popping?

Can you check it visually?  No foam topper?  No activity at all? 

Offline SharpsRifle

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 12:30:12 PM »
Take a gravity reading.   At this point that's the only way to know for sure if anything has gone on.  The only two things I hate about extra gravity readings are wasting wort and the extra sanitization needed.  I use a refractometer to minimize wort usage and exposure to anything from the outside when I check.
You might be surprised and have had a fermentation that wasn't super active but did it's job.  Especially if the yeast was marginal and things didn't jump into action.
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Offline jharvey

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2013, 05:22:17 PM »
Well here's an update on the brew....SG = 1.087 @ 64F on 7/30/13, checked the gravity on Saturday and to my surprise it was 1.030 @ 68F??

Someone mentioned maybe it took off the first night and ended quickly. Looks like that's what happened and yes that's the smallest batch I have ever put into one of my Sabco fermenters but as I said it was my goal to break thru the 6% glass ceiling I've been hitting!

I can't say how many times I've had to go back to my recipe and change from an Imperial IPA to an American IPA.

I guess it's time to break out the GoPro camera and tripod and set up for time lapse so I can see what happens at night!!

A 2 week dry hop is next and hopefully at least a little bigger brew for the fall.

Thanks to all who replied,
Jim

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 02:16:03 AM »
It's getting close to two months now.  i'm curious how this beer turned out.  Can you give us a follow up?
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Offline MikeinRH

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Re: First No Sparge...seems dead.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 11:00:05 AM »
I suspect a leak or bad yeast. How can you add 3x yeast and get no activity? I recently had no bubbles coming from an airlock on my Blichman ss fermenter, so I decided to look inside and saw that there was a ton of happy yeast doing their thing. I had a leak. The beer came out fine. I also suggest making a yeast starter one to two days in advance of your brew day. That way you can tell whether your yeast is good.