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Old 10-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #1
hasseg
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Default Fermentation problem

I started a beer last friday with dried yeast, the mash does not seem to go on normally. Allthough there is fermentation, there is no foam like usual. It could be that the yeast was past the last expiration date (with 1 year in that case). What can one do? What will (could) happen?
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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Have you checked the gravity? It may have already fermented, but if there's no krausen left over, I find it hard to believe. What temps do you have it at?

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Old 10-11-2010, 01:07 PM   #3
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there never was any foam, not at the start nor now. There is fermentation however, I always judge the fermentation on the the foam so I cannot judge if it is an normal level fermentation.
Temperature is normal and there is still sugar in the mash. Possibly the yeast has lost it's normal working procedure because of age. I added some more yeast, fresher one, but still no sign of foam (krausen?)
mvh
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by whatever you mean by the amount of foam. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are. The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal. And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. And the peak of fermentation has already wound down, so there's simply no need to vent off any excess co2.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks. The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

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 "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

Fermentation is thought to have finished when the gravity has not changed for 2 readings over three consequitive days. So like other's have said, take a reading and you'll know where the beer is at.

We really can't help you without knowing what you beer is really doing. And the only way to know that is by telling us what the gravity is.

And the "magic" thing about this is, that 99.5% of the time when we tell someone starting a thread like this to take a reading rather going by airlocks or amount of krauzen, and they do, the realize that they worried and started a thread for nothing, that their beer is perfectly fine, and usually nearing completion.

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Old 10-11-2010, 06:02 PM   #5
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Guys.

I have just finished a batch of irish red last saturday. I pitched a packet of notingham yeast (dry) and so far i have not seen any action going on. I have to admit i haven't taken a reading (will do it tonight) but i checked inside and i didnt see any krausen signs either. The brew og was/is 1.056 and it was brewed from extract (dry and wet), slightly more hopped that the style calls for, but like it that way. Threw in a stick of cinnamon at minute 0 and at minute 30 of a 60 minute boil. If in fact no action has taken place, what recommendations could you give? (Aside from repitching another packet, will do if necesary tho)

Albert

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Old 10-11-2010, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by whatever you mean by the amount of foam. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are. The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal. And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. And the peak of fermentation has already wound down, so there's simply no need to vent off any excess co2.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks. The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

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 "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

Fermentation is thought to have finished when the gravity has not changed for 2 readings over three consequitive days. So like other's have said, take a reading and you'll know where the beer is at.

We really can't help you without knowing what you beer is really doing. And the only way to know that is by telling us what the gravity is.

And the "magic" thing about this is, that 99.5% of the time when we tell someone starting a thread like this to take a reading rather going by airlocks or amount of krauzen, and they do, the realize that they worried and started a thread for nothing, that their beer is perfectly fine, and usually nearing completion.
thanks for the long answer, but the thing is that I know it is fermenting. But my worries is if the fermentation is going to be normal, will it produce a beer with good taste and a foam. What happens when an old yeast is doing the ferment. I have done at least 30 similar batches to this and they all had a good krausen. By the way, I did repitch, it did not do the trick and now the fermentation is nearing the end.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hasseg View Post
thanks for the long answer, but the thing is that I know it is fermenting. But my worries is if the fermentation is going to be normal, will it produce a beer with good taste and a foam. What happens when an old yeast is doing the ferment. I have done at least 30 similar batches to this and they all had a good krausen. By the way, I did repitch, it did not do the trick and now the fermentation is nearing the end.
I don't understand the question, krausen (foam?) has little to zero effect on head (foam?) of the finished beer.

If you know there is fermentation why then did you pitch more yeast?

If you judge fermentation my the krausen and there was no krausen how then do you know it's fermenting?

An "old yeast doing the ferment" is the same as a young yeast doing the ferment, they both like to dance!!

I would suggest you take a hydrometer reading and see for sure if it's fermenting, we will advise from there, or at least, maybe revvy will?
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhiem View Post
Guys.

I have just finished a batch of irish red last saturday. I pitched a packet of notingham yeast (dry) and so far i have not seen any action going on. I have to admit i haven't taken a reading (will do it tonight) but i checked inside and i didnt see any krausen signs either. The brew og was/is 1.056 and it was brewed from extract (dry and wet), slightly more hopped that the style calls for, but like it that way. Threw in a stick of cinnamon at minute 0 and at minute 30 of a 60 minute boil. If in fact no action has taken place, what recommendations could you give? (Aside from repitching another packet, will do if necesary tho)

Albert
Nottingham has had more problems with their yeast and you might have a faulty pack. Repitch.

To the OP.... is it possible that there is an oily film on top preventing krausen from forming? And like everyone has already said.. you can only go by the numbers.. check your gravity.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:11 PM   #9
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I wouldn't worry too much about krasen or no krausen. Altough the vast majority of brews will exhibit a krausen, not all of them do in my experience. I have one batch right now that looks like dirty chocolate milk on top (yeast rafts all over and bubbling). No real fluffly foam. Same thing for a brew my friend did a few years ago: no krausen, bubbling for three weeks, perfect attenuation. Taste was fine.

Maybe it's because of an oily film, but I wouldn't know how it got there in the first place...

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Old 10-12-2010, 08:24 AM   #10
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I wouldn't worry too much about krasen or no krausen. Altough the vast majority of brews will exhibit a krausen, not all of them do in my experience. I have one batch right now that looks like dirty chocolate milk on top (yeast rafts all over and bubbling). No real fluffly foam. Same thing for a brew my friend did a few years ago: no krausen, bubbling for three weeks, perfect attenuation. Taste was fine.

Maybe it's because of an oily film, but I wouldn't know how it got there in the first place...
cheers mates, well I will continue as matters are as they should then.

In all my previous batches of the (almost) same beer receipe and yeast the krausen has been almost too much. Now for the first time with any beer receipe (at least 50 odd batches) there is not any sign of krausen, intensive bubbling and movement, but more like a wine fermenting or something. This deviance from normal of course made me worried, especially since I have a special treat in store for this beer, I am going to spice it up with fresh herbs before the autumn kills them. If this beer is a bit off or different I will pour it off and start a new one. But I will take it easy now.

BTW, Oily film, sounds like brett-fermentation. That fermentation usually gives very little kraeusen, and quite a fruity taste too it. Not bad though.

thanks again all
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