1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Almost 4 days later and no fermentation?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GameFreac, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    Took these pics last night - 72 hours into my first batch. OG was 1.050 and I just checked the gravity...still 1.050.

    I did notice a layer of something on the bottom. Is that the yeast or should I go buy more yeast and re-pitch? I used 1187 Ringwood Ale and the smack pack barely inflated.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  2. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (390) New York Dec 12, 2011

    what temp is the fermenter at?

    what mfg date was on the yeast?
     
  3. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    60-65

    August 6, 2012
     
  4. DimensionX

    DimensionX Savant (325) Oregon Oct 1, 2010

    Hmmm that is a bummer, you should be seeing a nice krausen by now.

    I'm guessing that either the yeast was no good or used improperly or the wort did not have suitable living conditions for the yeast, possibly missing sugars and oxygen.

    but really it could be a number of things, was the wort properly cooled when you pitched the yeast? I'm not sure if you can re-pitch another pouch but you don't have much (6$) to lose otherwise.
     
  5. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    The thing is, I pitched at 80-85 degrees because that's what the instructions on the kit said but everyone on the Homebrew Talk forum and John Palmer's How to Brew said it should have been down to 60-65. I put the fermenter in a bucket of water 3 hours after pitching with frozen water bottles and have been keeping it at 60-65 since then...but still nothing.
     
  6. DimensionX

    DimensionX Savant (325) Oregon Oct 1, 2010

    did you aerate the wort before pitching?
     
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Well, your temp looks a little low, but I'd be surprised if you got no activity at all at 60-65 unless there was another issue. Bump it up close to 70F and see what happens, though my hunch is you're probably looking at repitching. But if you post your recipe and process, including the temp of your wort when you pitched, someone can probably troubleshoot what went wrong.
     
  8. “I used 1187 Ringwood Ale and the smack pack barely inflated.”

    How long after smacking the pack did you pitch the yeast? The fact that you stated: “smack pack barely inflated” is a strong indication that you did not have viable yeast.

    A manufacture date of August 6, 2012 means that the pack was not old but in the summertime if the pack is exposed to heat the yeast can die.

    The smack pack feature of Wyeast yeasts is a useful tool to proof the yeast. If the package of yeast does not completely swell after a few hours then this is an indication of damaged (killed) yeast.

    Cheers!
     
  9. jivex5k

    jivex5k Advocate (600) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    I'd stir the crap out of it.
    No risk in oxygenating wort before it starts fermenting right?
     
  10. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    I poured it into the fermenter. That's pretty much it.

    @ Vikeman

    I used the IPA kit from Williams Brewing.
     
  11. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    Put it in the fridge for a few days, then smacked it and had it out for a little more than 24 hours at room temperature.
     
  12. The pack should have completely swelled up over a period of 24 hours at room temperature. It would appear that your pack got ‘killed’ by heat exposure (that is my guess).

    From the Wyeast website:

    “5. How long should it take for a package to swell?

    If a package is within 2 months of the manufacture date, the package should show signs of swelling within 5 hours and typically much faster than that. When the yeast is stored for long periods of time, they slowly consume their energy reserves (glycogen). When the energy reserves get low, the yeast are slow to produce CO2 and therefore are slow to cause swelling in the package. Improper storage at warm temperatures also has the same effect as long storage times.”

    You will need to add new yeast that is viable. I would recommend pitching a dry yeast package given that four days have passed without fermentation starting.

    Cheers!
     
  13. wattly

    wattly Zealot (75) Illinois Nov 19, 2009

    Yeah, you'll want to pitch new yeast. The combination of an unswollen smack pack and lack of fermentation leans heavily towards your yeast not being healthy at the pitch. Get some fresh, healthy yeast in there ASAP before other nasties can ruin the wort.
     
  14. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    What if I just got the same exact yeast from a store? Does it matter if I use different yeast?
     
  15. Tebuken

    Tebuken Savant (320) Argentina Jun 6, 2009

    ^You will need to add new yeast that is viable. I would recommend pitching a dry yeast package given that four days have passed without fermentation starting.^

    +1. It is high time you pitched a dry yeast , infection is a high risk at this time.
     

  16. I suggested a dry yeast because I always keep a package of dry yeast in my refrigerator for emergencies (like yours) or for brew on a whim circumstances.

    “What if I just got the same exact yeast from a store?” That is fine but you need to do this now. Your wort has been sitting around for 4 days with zero signs of fermentation. Bacteria loves to ‘eat’ wort just as much as yeast so you are at risk of infection.

    “Does it matter if I use different yeast?” Yeast selection isn’t as critical as just getting some ale yeast in your wort to start up your fermentation.

    If you are willing to go to your local homebrew store right away to purchase a package of Wyeast 1187 (or equivalent), do yourself a favor and also purchase a sachet of dry yeast (e.g., US-05) and keep it in your refrigerator for a potential next time emergency.

    Cheers!
     
  17. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    Is there different types of dry yeast? I've never made a yeast starter and have no Dry Malt Extract so would I need to do a starter? Or just buy "any" dry yeast and sprinkle it on top?

    Keep in mind this is my first batch so I don't really know what to do.
     
  18. raynmoon

    raynmoon Savant (490) California Aug 13, 2011

    Wort was too hot or too cold
    Yeast was old
    Wort wasn't aerated
    Wort was oxygenated

    Does that cover it all?
     
  19. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    I called my local homebrew shop...they said they have Nottingham dry yeast.

    Should I go and get it now and pitch ASAP?

    And should I try to aerate it before or will that infect it?
     

  20. “Is there different types of dry yeast?” Yes.


    “I've never made a yeast starter and have no Dry Malt Extract so would I need to do a starter?” There is no need to make a starter for dry yeast. In fact, you shouldn’t make a starter if using dry yeast.

    “Or just buy "any" dry yeast and sprinkle it on top?” Feel free to consult with your Local Homebrew Store guy if you want a dry yeast similar to Wyeast 1187. I am unaware of any dry yeast which will be exactly like Ringwood. I mentioned US-05 in my previous post. That is the yeast that I use to make American style IPAs.

    There is a suggested method to re-hydrate dry yeast but since this is your first batch I would recommend that you just sprinkle the dry yeast in and violently stir (whip) the wort. I prefer to use a big egg whisk (which has been sanitized) for this process but you could use a big spoon (that has been sanitized) for this job as well. This violent stirring is your aeration process.
     
  21. Buy the Nottingham, that is a good choice as well for making IPAs.

    See my above post on how to add the dry yeast and aerate at the same time.

    Cheers!
     
  22. Tebuken

    Tebuken Savant (320) Argentina Jun 6, 2009

    You don`t need a starter using dry yeast.Just do it as JackHorzempa has stated above.
     
  23. GameFreac,

    I am sorry to hear that your first batch got off to a rough start. If you practiced good sanitation then adding the sachet of Nottingham will get you back on track.

    In a previous post you stated: “I used the IPA kit from Williams Brewing.” When did you order this kit?

    I frequently order from online vendors (Northern Brewer, Midwest, Williams Homebrewing, etc.) but I make it a practice to never order liquid yeast from these vendors in the warmer times of the year (June – August). The liquid yeast is exposed to hot temperatures during transport and this could be injurious to the yeast. You can always order the yeast with a small icepack but these packs do not last during long (many days) of transport. If I need to obtain a liquid yeast during the summertime I drive to my local homebrew store and buy it from them; they obtain their yeast from Wyeast/White Labs in Styrofoam packages that have lots of ice packs in them during the summertime.

    Hopefully your next batch will go more smoothly.

    Cheers!
     
  24. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    Thanks everyone.

    Just pitched the Nottingham and stirred the crap out of it and shook the fermenter around with the lid on. Hopefully something happens now.
     
  25. Good luck on your IPA.

    You should think of a cool name for this batch; maybe: Better Late than Never IPA!?!

    Please report back how it turns out.

    Cheers!
     
  26. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Pitching* at 80-85F can cause off flavors, but it wont kill the yeast. In fact, they'll thrive in it, and fermentation will take off very quickly. So the problem was something else.

    *Storage of inactive yeast at 80-85F would be bad though, and the yeast would die off much faster than at lower temps.
     
  27. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Savant (400) Virginia Feb 28, 2012

    Please correct me since I am still learning but I thought for most ale yeasts you could pitch around 75. I've personally been pitching at a few degrees higher than my peak ferementaion temp. My peak fermentation temp has averaged around 68 so I usually pitch around 70. After peak fermentation ends it drops down to 65. Is this ok? Not trying to thread jack. I think this will be helpful for the OP also.
     
  28. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (390) New York Dec 12, 2011

    depending on strain, pitching at 70-75 shouldn't be too bad for off flavors, but will tend to result in more esters than if you pitch in the low to mid-60s. for some styles (belgians) this may be desirable; for others (ipas) it may not be. 80-85, however, is definitely the high side of pitching temps for nearly all strains. you usually want to be south of 80 when you pitch.
     
  29. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    It's better to pitch below the desired peak fermentation temp. Fermentation is exothermic (produces heat), so your wort/beer gets warmer. Keep in mind that at its peak, you beer/wort may be 5-7 degrees F warmer than your ambient temperature.
     
  30. maltmuncher

    maltmuncher Aficionado (195) Aug 22, 2012

    So did it start up?
     
  31. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    I think. I peeked inside the hole where the airlock goes and I see some bubbles, a thin layer of yeast maybe, and some stuff on the sides of the fermentor. Still nothing going on in the airlock though.
     
  32. Make sure you have enough water/vodka/ whatever fluid you use in your airlock or it won't move... Happened to me the other day after a surly bender brew day, no airlock activity after 30 hours... Then I filled the airlock up more and it bubbled away vigorously.... Guess they put that fill line on there for a reason ;-)
     
  33. maltmuncher

    maltmuncher Aficionado (195) Aug 22, 2012

    LOL I have almost done this... well kinda, I put too much water-that was a fun experience.
     
  34. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    Yeah I just realized it was nowhere near the fill line so I filled it up with more water.

    It's definitely fermenting though. HUGE layer of krausen on the top. Thanks guys :)
     
    bszern and ClassicBrad like this.
  35. maltmuncher

    maltmuncher Aficionado (195) Aug 22, 2012

  36. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    4 days after re-pitching, the krausen is gone? Is this normal?
     
  37. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    I love success stories. Warms my heart.
     
  38. koopa

    koopa Champion (800) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    Glad you got the beer to referment! I've seen anywhere between 3-14 days of krausen on various batches. I'd say 4 days of krausen is nothing to worry about. Take a gravity reading if you are interested in its progress. I've your beer is about 80% done with fermentation at this point, then you should be right on schedule.
     
  39. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (410) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    C
    Cool

    So since I have some dead yeast in there from the first pitch, should I keep it in primary for 3 weeks to let it settle out?
     
  40. koopa

    koopa Champion (800) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    I would assume the dead yeast will settle out pretty fast....wouldn't they just fall to the bottom right way instead of staying in suspension? Regardless of that, I usually leave my beer batches in primary for 2-3 weeks depending on the style / starting gravity. Once your gravity readings stay the same for say 5+ days you know that fermentation is complete.
     

Share This Page