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Old 08-18-2009, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default White Labs-NO Fermentation?!

Hey all, made a generic IPA Sunday afternoon, got it chilled to around 75 I'd say, pitched a tube of White Labs American Ale liquid yeast directly into my fermenter, shook it before and after pitching the yeast, also shook the tube of yeast before pitching. This was Sunday around 5pm. I go to the house today around 4pm and nothing. No krausen, no bubbles, no nothing? Could I have had dead yeast? It stank bad when I smelled the tube, but this is the first time I used liquid yeast so I had no idea how it was supposed to smell.

So I tossed a packet of Notty in and did it the cheap way , this is my 7th extract batch, and I ferment in my parent's basement, and always by Tuesday after a Sunday brew it was bubbling like an SOB every time.

So what did I do wrong? Not enough aeration? No starter?



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Old 08-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
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Have you taken a hydrometer reading yet?



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Old 08-19-2009, 12:05 AM   #3
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My OG was 1.052.

I didn't take a hydrometer reading yet, but I always keep a bottle with a sample next to the fermenter to keep track of the gravity. I looked in that bottle and there was NO signs of any fermentation so I didn't think to take a reading.

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
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I've used dozens of white labs yeast and all have worked. It is possible you killed the yeast (by freezing or cooking it) but it's unlikely.

There is a sticky thread somewhere here about fermentation taking up to 72 hours to take off - I'd copy the link but i'm on my iPhone now and can't, but take a look for that thread.

The likely reason your fermentation was slower to take off this time is related to the yeast. Dry yeast has a much higher cell count and is basically ready to go when you pitch it. Liquid yeast needs to reproduce itself first - that's why many folks make a starter with it before pitching.

You're white labs yeast was likely getting itself ready (by reproducing) and would have started a more active fermentation shortly.

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:17 AM   #5
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First off unless you take a hydrometer reading of your FERMENTER then you don't know what's going on.

The only "signs of fermentation" that you should go by is numbers on a hydrometer scale.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....

Thinking about pitching more yeast before taking a hydrometer reading after waiting an intial 72 hours, is the same thing....thinking about a "cure" before we even know if the beer is even "sick."

And actually that "satellite fermenter" idea that you are employing, will only tell you WHAT YOUR BEER WILL FINISH AT, NOT when your 5 gallon batch of beer will be done.

It's used to measure attenuation of the yeast, not rate of fermentation.

It's probably one of the most misunderstood "brewing myths" it's really useless.

It will take yeast a lot less time to chew through 12 ounces of wort than it will 5 gallons.....so don't trust that silly thing that someone came up with because they are too afraid to take samples from their beer as being accurate.

If you do take that as "gospel" you more than likely are rushing your beer off the yeast way to soon. You know "bottle Bombs" or suddenly posting an "is my beer in secondary ruined?" thread because now that you moved it to secondary because the "satellite" said it was done, you now have this scary looking growth that you have never seen in your bucket (because the lid is one) that suddenly grew on top of your wort and is ugly as sin....which we of course will tell you to rdwhahb because that is just krausen and it formed because you racked too soon and the yeast is still trying to work to make beer for you.

The idea came from commercial breweries, but you have to realize when they are using in it a 3 or 7 or 10bbl fermentaion setup, that their sattelite looks like this.



And they are drawing off hydro sample out of that bucket just like we do.

And they are STILL going to be taking readings and tasting the REAL beer in the ACTUAL FERMENTER, before making any determination.

It's been adopted by some home brewers, and unfortunately gets perpetuated by people (mostly noobs scared of taking real hydro readings) but it's about as accurate as airlock bubbling, (and you know where I count that in terms of fermentation gauges- slightly below the astrological calender )

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:19 AM   #6
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With Liquid, If you've underpitched or not made a starter which the yeast has come out of a dormant period, then when it find it self surrounded by 5 gallons of food, before it starts truly diving in the yeastit has start growing an army to best eat it, so they have a wild orgy and then make a bunch of yeast babies. Then they get to work.

So that is why it can take up to three days before the really get going..the first part of it is called lag time, the waking up part, lag time, then the sex part is obviously called the reproductive phase....

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
First off unless you take a hydrometer reading of your FERMENTER then you don't know what's going on.

The only "signs of fermentation" that you should go by is numbers on a hydrometer scale.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....

Thinking about pitching more yeast before taking a hydrometer reading after waiting an intial 72 hours, is the same thing....thinking about a "cure" before we even know if the beer is even "sick."

And actually that "satellite fermenter" idea that you are employing, will only tell you WHAT YOUR BEER WILL FINISH AT, NOT when your 5 gallon batch of beer will be done.

It's used to measure attenuation of the yeast, not rate of fermentation.

It's probably one of the most misunderstood "brewing myths" it's really useless.

It will take yeast a lot less time to chew through 12 ounces of wort than it will 5 gallons.....so don't trust that silly thing that someone came up with because they are too afraid to take samples from their beer as being accurate.

If you do take that as "gospel" you more than likely are rushing your beer off the yeast way to soon. You know "bottle Bombs" or suddenly posting an "is my beer in secondary ruined?" thread because now that you moved it to secondary because the "satellite" said it was done, you now have this scary looking growth that you have never seen in your bucket (because the lid is one) that suddenly grew on top of your wort and is ugly as sin....which we of course will tell you to rdwhahb because that is just krausen and it formed because you racked too soon and the yeast is still trying to work to make beer for you.

The idea came from commercial breweries, but you have to realize when they are using in it a 3 or 7 or 10bbl fermentaion setup, that their sattelite looks like this.



And they are drawing off hydro sample out of that bucket just like we do.

And they are STILL going to be taking readings and tasting the REAL beer in the ACTUAL FERMENTER, before making any determination.

It's been adopted by some home brewers, and unfortunately gets perpetuated by people (mostly noobs scared of taking real hydro readings) but it's about as accurate as airlock bubbling, (and you know where I count that in terms of fermentation gauges- slightly below the astrological calender )
Tell me how it is ruined.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:24 AM   #8
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And I use the hydro (every other time but this, I am serious) and I am not scared of it thanks to everyone on here and their advice. I am just not keen on screwing with the beer all the time with whatever I need to do to pull the beer out, I have no means to do that and don't want to infect the thing, I let my primaries sit for minimum 3 weeks...also due to advice on here! SO it is tough learning but I don't want to half ass it.

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:29 AM   #9
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So Revvy you are telling me to not bother with a 12 oz bottle to make a satellite fermenter? I have had a few hobbies and this one takes the cake for as much conflicting info there is out there. I am an auto technician for a living, there is only one way to change oil or repair a misfire! This is ridiculous! I read books, I am on here every night, and no matter what I do it is wrong to somebody! But thanks for the info the more I read the more confident I am with this and I am having fun with it so that is all that matters.

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agroff383 View Post
And I use the hydro (every other time but this, I am serious) and I am not scared of it thanks to everyone on here and their advice. I am just not keen on screwing with the beer all the time with whatever I need to do to pull the beer out, I have no means to do that and don't want to infect the thing, I let my primaries sit for minimum 3 weeks...also due to advice on here! SO it is tough learning but I don't want to half ass it.
Well without "screwing around" as you call it, meaning taking a hydrometer from the fermenter, we really can't help you....The hydrometer is the best diagnostic tool we as brewers have. So don't fear it, or consider it "messing with your beer" consider it understanding your beer.

Otherwise there is really nothing we can do....we're not psychics....so without knowing by the numbers what is happenning, then really we are at a standstill.


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I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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