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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Absolutely cursed pils
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:24 AM   #1
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Default Absolutely cursed pils

I firmly believe my first pilsner has been cursed by Beelzebub himself. It is now day 8 and no fermentation. I have added a total of four (4) pilsen urquel smack packs and just took a gravity reading which confirms zero fermentation. The temperature has been 50 degrees steady the entire time but I am planning on increasing the temperature in an attempt to please the beer gods.

I have literally no idea what's happening here. I have been brewing for 3 years and have never had a problem like this. The brew day went as planned, the OG was 1.046, and the yeast were viable in the smack packs. If anyone has any ideas or experience, I would greatly appreciate the input.

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Old 07-22-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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If it helps, I recently had a problem with this yeast when I pitched 1 whole pint of day old slurry. New beer had yet to take off in 48 hours so I used another 1/2 pint and it still crept before showing signs of active fermentation.

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Old 07-22-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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What nutrients are you using? How is your aeration process?
I would think about "boxing" the beer in a clean and sanitized bucket to aerate, crank the temps to 60 and say a prayer to the beer Gods!

I hate a bastard beer!

Cheers
Jay

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Old 07-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #4
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Heya shabedue, Minneapolis is my favorite big city. What volume wort did you pitch to?

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Old 07-22-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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Cold fermented lagers really need HUGE starters and pure oxygen, which you are finding out the hard way. It sounds like you pitched an inflated smack pack (yeast production date???), nothing happened for a while, then added another, etc. Chances are you are still below the required cell count for a healthy fermentation if your smack packs weren't at the peak of freshness.

Done correctly, cold-pitched lagers will show clear activity by 12hrs and full krausen by 24hrs.

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Old 07-23-2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I upped the temp to 58F a couple hours ago, still no bubbles. In answer to questions:

Jaybird: I am using a yeast nutrient called fermax. I recently switched from using servomyces but have seen better results with this product (although I do only use half the recommended dose for fear that the smell could stick with the beer if its not all used). I aerated with a .5micron stone and pure oxygen for 2 minutes. This was the first time I've oxygenated but I'm certain that it was working.

ShaineT: I pitched to 5 gallons strait from the packs.

g-star: I suspect you're correct that it was too little yeast. I added 1 pack the day of, 1 pack on day 3, and 2 more packs on day 5. The pack I remember looking at was dated mid June and I suspect the rest were the same. I actually am able to make starters on a stir plate but I usually only do that with the yeast cultures I propagate myself because I've never before had an issue.

Looks like this is going to be a hard learned lesson about the value of doing a full starter. Thanks again, I'll post back results on the brew in case anyone's interested in what happens to a beer that takes this long to start fermenting.

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Old 07-23-2013, 04:32 AM   #7
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According to mrmalty you would need 3.8 packs/vials of yeast that were produced today. I would expect that most of the problems are due to underpitching, But even at 8 days you should be seeing some signs of fermentation.

I guess, give it some more time and/or warm up a bit and see where it goes.

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Old 07-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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I usually cool the wort to 65-70F. and pitch the yeast. I leave it at that temp until fermentation starts. I check it the next morning, and if it's going good, I drop the temp to 50F.
I always make a starter, and a big starter. I make mine in a growler. I also like to have it actively fermenting when pitching.

So far, this has worked out fine.

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Old 07-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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Are you using a hydrometer or refractometer?

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Old 07-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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My experience with that yeast is that it likes 54 F.

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