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Old 12-17-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
BelgianWannabe
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Default two questions.....fermentation again

so, my buddy trevor is new to brewing, he is using those little 2 gallon fermentors, and hopped extract kits from Mr. Beer.
he recently made one at place....brewed as directed, sanitized his fermentor, added yeast after cooling.
he left his fermentor at my house (i usually keep the temp for fermenting ales in the mid 60's range)....og was 1.060 about 2 weeks ago, as of last night it was still 1.045

any particular reason this would happen?

question 2.
my buddy cultures his yeasts for re-use.....he has an excellent belgian blend, he gave me some of it in a tightly capped jar with some wort in/on it, it has been in my fridge for a month.
is it usable? could anything (that can survive in a beer) in my fridge ruin it.... or should i feel safe about using it when i buy ingredients for a new batch next weekend (i get paid bi-weekly....ugh)

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Old 12-17-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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Not sure how accurate this would be, but he may have underpitched his yeast. What type of yeast did he use? I'm going through this right now with a chocolate stout - OG was 1.078, I pitched one vial of White Labs Irish ale yeast, two weeks later the gravity is at a firm 1.031 - Found out, that because it is such a big beer, I should have either made a starter or pitched 2 vials of yeast. So he could always pitch more yeast, which is what I'll be doing soon.

As for the second question:
Do a search here on Yeast Washing. I would assume that there would be no problems using this yeast (you said it's tightly capped in a jar, you mean like a mason jar?). I have washed one yeast before, but haven't used it yet so I can't really give feedback on the results. I believe all you need to do is pour the old beer off the top of the cake, and use the slurry at the bottom to make a starter, then pitch. Someone else may be able to clear that up more.

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:28 PM   #3
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i think we pitched ok.
the kit came with a small packet of dried ale yeast, we pitch that, then on top of it made a starter from the slurry at the bottom of a batch we had just bottled.

yeah, it's in a mason jar.
yeast washing??
i am intrigued.

anyway, thanks for that info

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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Wow, yeah you didn't underpitch...

I'm not sure what it could be...

Anyway, here is the thread on yeast washing, it sounds exactly like what you're already doing, but who knows you might learn something new.

Yeast Washing

Oh, and just to be on the safe side, the yeast with the kit wasn't expired and the starter you made from the slurry was working right? Not trying to be a jerk or anything, but I had to make sure, I assume you had checked all of it.

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:54 PM   #5
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thanks for the link.
yeah the starter was working.
the dried packet on the other hand....may have been an issue, we didn't even think to check it.....it may just have been outdated....
i don't know.

we'll have to see what happens i guess.
last night i added some yeast energizer and gave it a swirl, hopefully that helps

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Old 12-18-2008, 02:10 AM   #6
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Hopefully the yeast energizer kicks in, I've never used one so I don't know how well they work. Also, you didn't happen to use any lactose in the batch did you? Someone mentioned today that the pound of lactose I used in my stout could be the reason that the gravity is still so high (unfermentable, adds .010 gravity...), so if you used it that might be it, but 1.035 would still be pretty high...

Perhaps it was the yeast. I have never used one of those cans before so I'm not sure how well the yeast works, or how fresh it is. I have never re-pitched yeast into a stuck fermentation before, so I'm not sure which strand to suggest for sure, but I've been told the US-05 dry yeast will finish nice and clean. No matter what I wouldn't feel comfortable bottling with that gravity, you could end up with quite a mess. Hopefully someone else has some advice since I'm not incredibly knowledgeable on the subject.

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Old 12-18-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czeknere View Post
Hopefully the yeast energizer kicks in, I've never used one so I don't know how well they work. Also, you didn't happen to use any lactose in the batch did you? Someone mentioned today that the pound of lactose I used in my stout could be the reason that the gravity is still so high (unfermentable, adds .010 gravity...), so if you used it that might be it, but 1.035 would still be pretty high...

Perhaps it was the yeast. I have never used one of those cans before so I'm not sure how well the yeast works, or how fresh it is. I have never re-pitched yeast into a stuck fermentation before, so I'm not sure which strand to suggest for sure, but I've been told the US-05 dry yeast will finish nice and clean. No matter what I wouldn't feel comfortable bottling with that gravity, you could end up with quite a mess. Hopefully someone else has some advice since I'm not incredibly knowledgeable on the subject.
we didn't add any lactose....however there may have been a little in that mr.beer kit....i'll have to look into that.
thanks
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianWannabe View Post
so, my buddy trevor is new to brewing, he is using those little 2 gallon fermentors, and hopped extract kits from Mr. Beer.
he recently made one at place....brewed as directed, sanitized his fermentor, added yeast after cooling.
he left his fermentor at my house (i usually keep the temp for fermenting ales in the mid 60's range)....og was 1.060 about 2 weeks ago, as of last night it was still 1.045

any particular reason this would happen?

question 2.
my buddy cultures his yeasts for re-use.....he has an excellent belgian blend, he gave me some of it in a tightly capped jar with some wort in/on it, it has been in my fridge for a month.
is it usable? could anything (that can survive in a beer) in my fridge ruin it.... or should i feel safe about using it when i buy ingredients for a new batch next weekend (i get paid bi-weekly....ugh)
1) I'm not sure. ~65F should be a good fermentation temp for any ale yeast. Unless the yeast pitched was not viable or the wort was too hot when you pitched. Swirl the beer some to try to rouse the yeast and warm it up to 70+F to see if you can get some more action. You might even consider pitching additional yeast.

2) Most of the beer spoilage organisms have similar tolerances to environment as the yeast, so if the yeast harvest was infected then it would likely cause a problem with you new beer. However if the yeast was harvested for a batch of beer that tasted good and the jar and equipment it touched was sanitized then the yeast should be good for a new batch of beer. You should definitely make a starter to get the yeast reawakened and to multiply the cell count to sufficient numbers for pitching. If you are familiar with fermenting beer, then watch the starter and smell it too see if it seem off before using it.

Craig
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:57 PM   #9
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thanks man.
i'll try givin it a swirl tonight.

yeah, everything was sanitized, and the yeast was cultured from a very tasty batch....so (hopefully) it should be fine....i will definately take your advice and make a yeast starter and sniff test it before deciding whether or not to pitch

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