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Old 03-07-2005, 08:40 PM   #1
daddyzero
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Default First batch concerns

Here's my situation, I started my first batch 71 hours ago and have yet to see any real activity. There are these tiny bubbles that gather in the airlock, but nothing that really makes me think that there's fermentation taking place in there. I haven't been able to make it back down to the brew shop for some more yeast to throw in there, so I started thinking about it. Temperature has been good and steady. There is quite a bit of head space in there, about a gallon and a half worth. Could that be my problem? Anyone have any similar experiences? Also, at what point is it too late to throw more yeast in the primary? For my innaugural batch I figured it would probably be best to play it simple and brew from a kit, it's a Woodforde bitter kit, if that's of any consequence. I'm really trying to be patient and not crack it open and ask "you guys doing okay in there?" What do y'all think?



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Old 03-07-2005, 08:45 PM   #2
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Well, 72 hours is quite a long time with nothing happening.

Several questions for you:

1. Did you use dry or liquid yeast?

2. Did you make a yeast starter?

3. What temperature are you fermenting (at)?

All these factors could be a cause of your problem. Of course, there's one more...

4. Did you forget to add yeast to the primary? (I had to ask).



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Old 03-07-2005, 08:54 PM   #3
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did the kit include it's own packet of yeast? i think those included packets are not the best quality. i used a packet of dry yeast that came with a munton and fisson pre-hopped liquid malt once and it was absolutely horrid... just poor quality, not so bad that i couldn't drink my beer, but no where near as good as subsequent batches with liquid yeast.

some other things to consider...

how hot was the wort when you pitched the yeast? too hot and you can kill the yeast. too cold and it may take some time to get going, but you say temp is constant atm...

did you areate (put oxegyn into) the wort by shaking or stirring with a sanatized ladle? the yeast needs, in addition to sugar, 02 in order to make the lovely nectar alcohol...

most important, do not sweat it, chalk it up to experience.

i would look at some glass carboys for fermenting, then you can know for certian if your yeast worked. there is a possibilty that the yeast did it's thing overnight whilst you were sleeping and you didn't even know it, and won't know untill you open the bucket up... so if you pry the lid open, a tell tale sign that the yeast worked would be a ring of slime above the beer that got plastered there when the yeast blew all the nasties around...

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Old 03-07-2005, 11:22 PM   #4
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I would do what T1 said, crack the top open and take a peak. My second batch i brewed must have done its thing overnight because i never say that air lock pop once! Ive been drinkin it though and its not bad. If it doesnt appear to have fermented, and theres nothing nasty lookin in there(infection) then make a yeast starter and pitch more yeast and give it 24 hours.

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Old 03-08-2005, 09:53 PM   #5
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It was dry yeast which did come with the kit, I didn't do a yeast starter but I rehydrated the stuff in some warm water instead of just pitching it in dry. The wort was just a little above 60 degrees when I added the yeast, and I have been fermenting at a constant 74-75 degrees. I stirred it around good, too. A little follow-up; I was nervous about opening the thing up for risk of contaminating it, but when I finally did there was a good thick slime on the sides of the bucket above the beer and even all over the bottom of the lid. That was a reassuring sight. Still a few days more before I rack it on over to secondary. I can already tell this is a rewarding hobby.

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Old 03-08-2005, 10:14 PM   #6
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yay!!!

good it went off for you whilst you were sleeping! i've had that happen several times now, but i can tell cause i got a glass primary. it is the most fun hobby i've come across, other than practicing for making babies...

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Old 03-08-2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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daddyzero...your temps were a little high, so apparently the stuff really went with a bang!

If you're sure it's done, why wait to rack it? Free up that primary and get a second batch going!

Welcome to the hobby, and welcome to the forum!

Sam

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Old 03-08-2005, 11:24 PM   #8
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I agree with Sam75, your temps are to high. When I brewed my first batch of beer, I fermented at the same temps, also in a plastic bucket. One night I heard a loud bang, and went to check. The top of the fermenter blew off, because the yeast was fermenting so violently from the higher temp. I started making sure my temp is around 68 degrees for ales, and everything was good. Good luck with second batch!!!

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Old 03-09-2005, 12:53 AM   #9
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I gotta disagree about his temps. being too high. Maybe I'm wrong...(it's happened once before)...but my ferments are always low to mid seventies. Maybe his is a LITTLE high...but that shouldn't be a problem...

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Old 03-09-2005, 12:59 AM   #10
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I was merely saying the temp was a little higher than optimal, and resulted in the fast ferment. He's more likely to have some slight off-flavors and a good bit of esters due to that but hey, the job got done!



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