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Old 11-13-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default Belgian Wit Yeast Question/Problem

I've read a few similar problems through out this site but I can't find an answer I'm completely satisfied with...with that saying here's the problem...

I brew from kits from the local home brew store and I haven't had any problems with fermentation starting to date. Usually everything starts within 24 hours and I can see action in the air lock.

I did a Belgian Wit on Saturday. Cooled it to about 64-68 degrees, pulled it out of the fridge and pitched the room temp yeast. It was about 70 in the house at that time. I used the White Labs Belgian Yeast.

The Starting Gravity was 1.060, which was dead on according to the home brew list.

It's Tuesday now and I haven't seen any action in the air lock. The temp has remained between 64-68 degrees according to the stick on temp gauge on my fermenting bucket. I even wrapped a sweater and towel around it hoping it'd heat up a little bit. I did open the bucket today to see if anything looked wrong and there was foam in there...again no action in the air lock.

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated...and I've already relaxed and had a home brew...a few actually...and now I'm worried haha...

Thanks!

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Sometimes if you don't make a starter your lag time will be pretty long. What is the date on the tube/packet? With liquid yeasts I like to use a starter pretty much 100% of the time. The foam is most likely the start of fermentation. Just keep an eye on it if you get more foam you know that fermentation is underway. The air lock is not a really great indicator of fermentation you could have a leak in the bucket seal.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I'm certain that the tube of yeast wasn't expired or very old. Usually everything I get from the store is really fresh. Unfortunately I don't know the expiration date on it...tossed it in the trash that night...

I've usually kept everything between 70-75 degrees for the fermentation stage and I notice bubbles within 24 hours.

Haven't had anything take as long as 3 days. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Should I continue to transfer to my 2ndary in a few days or hold off. Usually I can tell when fermentation is about done by the airlock...at least that's what I've used in the past and things have turned out fine.

Thanks again!

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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If you are looking for the true Belgian flavors to come through you really should be fermenting in the low 70's to achieve the proper flavor profile. Fermenting colder will slow the yeast down and that could be what's wrong. They are also usually rated as high flocculation so they drop quick.

Raise the temp and give the vessel a swirl to rouse the yeast and let the beer finish fermenting before you consider racking to a secondary. This means you take two gravity readings over 3 days to verify FG. In all honesty, unless you are planning on adding anything to the beer you could leave it in the primary for 2-3 weeks and allow the beer to finish and clear and then package

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Old 11-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Awesome thanks!

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Old 11-13-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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You may just have a leak in your vessel, so no CO2 is escaping through the airlock to cause bubbling. The only way to know if you've had fermentation is to check the gravity, but I wouldn't worry just yet.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:15 PM   #7
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thanks for the heads up. I've got a 6.5 gallon primary bucket, I'm wondering how fast the lid would get worn out. I've done about 9 beers total with this current set up.

Appreciate the help!

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:39 PM   #8
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I brewed a Belgian wit a couple weeks ago. It started bubbling after like 12 hours, but didn't pick up until at least 72 hours. I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you still aren't seeing any signs of fermentation (e.g. Bubbling, krausen) you can always just aerate again and pitch more yeast. Hope that helps.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:45 PM   #9
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My bet is daksin is right. When you opened it up and saw foam that's a pretty good indicator that you have fermentation, or there was fermentation activity. You can check for a seal be pressing on the lid of the bucket and see if you get any bubbles in the air lock. But like others have said it could be slow. Did you shake it for 40 seconds before pitching? Also, a 5 gallon batch of 1.060 wort would be better off with 2 vials of yeast, or a starter.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:54 PM   #10
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Also it is a better practice to use hydrometer readings to determine when fermentation is finished. If you get the same reading 3 days running you know that it is done.

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