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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > 5 days in, not much activity
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default 5 days in, not much activity

Working on this Irish Stout kit I got recently.

I had a Wyeast propogator package but the kit didn't come with DME for the starter so I just let the package swell for about 8 hours, guy at the store said this was all good.

It's been sitting around for about 5 days with little to no signs of fermentation. It had quite a few bubbles the second day and after that almost nothing. No bubbles trailing up the side of the carboy, no foam on top, and it's still extremely murky, no clearing just yet. LHBS said to throw a solid stopper on and shake it around some to try and get something going. Still nothing. Blow off container has a single bubble around every minute or so.

Wondering if I should repitch or try something different?

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Old 01-26-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jkeb74 View Post
Working on this Irish Stout kit I got recently.

I had a Wyeast propogator package but the kit didn't come with DME for the starter so I just let the package swell for about 8 hours, guy at the store said this was all good.

It's been sitting around for about 5 days with little to no signs of fermentation. It had quite a few bubbles the second day and after that almost nothing. No bubbles trailing up the side of the carboy, no foam on top, and it's still extremely murky, no clearing just yet. LHBS said to throw a solid stopper on and shake it around some to try and get something going. Still nothing. Blow off container has a single bubble around every minute or so.

Wondering if I should repitch or try something different?
Without a hydrometer reading, you have now way of knowing how much fermentation has happened. Krausen (foam) doesn't mean much, and bubbles in the airlock mean less.

Plus, "quite a few bubbles the second day" and "little to no signs of fermentation" can't both be true Fermentation is weird, and it looks different every time.

Get a hydrometer.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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What was the OG??

I would NOT use a solid stopper on the fermenting wort. Even though you might not see a lot of activity (actually a GOOD thing to have a slower fermentation) it's still fermenting.

Let it sit in the carboy for AT LEAST 2-3 weeks, with 3-4 weeks being even better. Be patient with the brew, and the results will give you all the reason to do that again next brew.

I wouldn't even care if the fermentation is 'done' after 1-2 weeks. Give it MORE TIME after that (not just talking a few days to a week. 4 weeks on the yeast cake/in the primary will give you better results than racking to a secondary for more time.

If the brew was above 1.075, then let it go at least a month, if not 6 weeks. Give it a taste test every week past 3-4 weeks and you'll see what the longer time will do for you.

Also, what yeast did you actually use? What's the room temperature, and wort temperature? Those will also impact ow active the fermentation is.

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Old 01-26-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Only way to know is to take a gravity reading. It may be done for all we know.

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Old 01-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #5
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Only way to know is to take a gravity reading. It may be done for all we know.
Being 'done' after 5 days is extremely unlikely. Especially for a stout... Even IF it's at it's final gravity (confirmed with at least two identical readings ~3 days apart) it will benefit [more] from sitting in primary for 2-4 weeks.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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If it looks murky and stirred up, the yeast is working. Quit worrying about it and let the yeast do their job. They like to work at their own pace.

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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I had a Wyeast propogator package but the kit didn't come with DME for the starter so I just let the package swell for about 8 hours, guy at the store said this was all good.
Propagator packs are for starters and activator packs are for batches (I make starters with both however). But if you pitched a propagator pack you have severely underpitched and this could take a while or even stall out on you. Give it some more time and then take a gravity reading.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:39 PM   #8
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Haven't used the hyrdometer before, is this considered 1.10?
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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That is 1.010 and that is probably fermented all the way out.

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Old 01-26-2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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That is 1.010 and that is probably fermented all the way out.
Yup primary phase looks to be done, what temperature did this ferment at? I'd let it condition for a couple or four weeks. before bottling.
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