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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Fermentation Problem after 10 days
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:20 AM   #1
NogLager
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Default Fermentation Problem after 10 days

Hi all, I tried searching the forums for my answer but didn't find a good answer.

First and foremost, I'm new to brewing. I've done 6 ales and 1 lager... so far, so good. The batch I'm having a problem with is an Octoberfest recipe from my local brew supply shop. I can see yeast sediment at the bottom of the carboy (around 3 inches at the bottom), but no krausen or noticable CO2 bubbling.

- Setup is in an insulated garage, no true tempurature control, but temps have been fairly consistent around 40 degrees (A bit cold from what I've read for primary fermentation). It's better than the 20 degrees outside, lol.

- Equipment sanitized with bleach, rinsed many times to get the bleach out

- Using Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager (smack pack), waited 4 hours @ room temp, bag inflated as usual

- I am also making a Doppel Bock, fermentation activity has been normal, given the exact same environment (different recipes, different yeasts though).


So, I'm hoping someone can give me some insight as to what happened and what I should do now? Depending on the problem, I'm hoping I can throw in more yeast... I don't want to lose the batch

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Old 12-16-2009, 07:26 AM   #2
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My first guess would be the low temperatures caused the problem, but the fact that that my other batch (created side by side) seems to be fermenting leads me to believe it's some type of bacterial issue... not sure.

I may just end up trying a different yeast and try to find a more suitable environment closer to 48-52 degrees. I'm not giving up on the batch yet.

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Old 12-16-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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The problem is your 40 degree temps. You can keep adding yeast, but its not gonna help if you cant keep the fermenter at the recommended range for your yeast. You might try swirling it a bit and moving to warmer temps. Also take a gravity reading just to check, maybe it has been fermenting along.

Your yeast details:
A unique strain, capable of producing fine lagers. Very smooth, well-rounded and full-bodied. Benefits from temperature rise for diacetyl rest at the end of primary fermentation.
Origin:
Flocculation: medium
Attenuation: 70-74%
Temperature Range: 48-56° F (9-13° C)
Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 9% ABV

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Old 12-16-2009, 01:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NogLager View Post
First and foremost, I'm new to brewing. I've done 6 ales and 1 lager... so far, so good. The batch I'm having a problem with is an Octoberfest recipe from my local brew supply shop. I can see yeast sediment at the bottom of the carboy (around 3 inches at the bottom), but no krausen or noticable CO2 bubbling.
First and foremeost I don't see any info on the current gravity of the beer, so how do you whether or not you have a problem????

Quote:
no krausen or noticable CO2 bubbling.
are not accurate indicators of fermentation. For one thing, youi have 3 inches of sediment which leads me to believe you have fermentation and perhaps even flocculation.....

And secondly as we say over over, airlock bubbling, or lack of airlock bubbling is not a good indication of "fermentation activity," especially in the low slow coldness of lager fermentation.


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.

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" without 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. It's exactly the same thing when you try to go by airlock....

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..

And honestly there really is no such think as "normal" fermentations. Secondly, Just because you "have never had this happen before" doesn't mean that the yeast are doing anything wrong. It just means that you haven't experienced one of the infinite NORMAL behaviors that living organisms, living wildcards, are capable of.

you can't compare one brew to another. No two fermentations are exactly the same.

When we are dealing with living creatures, there is a wild card factor in play..Just like with other animals, including humans...No two behave the same.

You can split a batch in half put them in 2 identical carboys, and pitch equal amounts of yeast from the same starter...and have them act completely differently...for some reason on a subatomic level...think about it...yeasties are small...1 degree difference in temp to us, could be a 50 degree difference to them...one fermenter can be a couple degrees warmer because it's closer to a vent all the way across the room and the yeasties take off...

Someone, Grinder I think posted a pic once of 2 carboys touching each other, and one one of the carboys the krausen had formed only on the side that touched the other carboy...probably reacting to the heat of the first fermentation....but it was like symbiotic or something...

With living micro-organisms there is always a wildcard factor in play...and yet the yeast rarely lets us down. So it is best just to rdwhahb and trust that they know to what they are doing.

Don't assume the worst with the yeast, realize that they've been making beer since long before our great great great grandfather copped his first buzz from a 40 of mickey's out back of the highschool, so they are the experts.

Yeasts are like teenagers, swmbos, and humans in general, they have their own individual way of doing things.


So take a Hydrometer reading and get back to us.......otherwise all anyone is doing is speculating, because we don't really know if anything is even wrong right now.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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The 40F temps are definitely too low for your strain of yeast. However, I haven't seen any type of gravity readings either. If you have a bunch of yeast at the bottom of your carboy, it is most likely that the yeast are doing their thing. If you killed off the yeast, they would have never multiplied that much.

I would for sure bring it into its proper temperature range and see what happens. I would also recommend taking a gravity reading of your beer today and then compare it with another reading in a day or so. As long as you notice a drop in the SG, your beer is still coming along.

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Old 12-16-2009, 06:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the crash course guys. I think I jumped to conclusions about the yeast not being viable. I will take some hydrometer readings and get back to you.

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Old 12-17-2009, 05:55 AM   #7
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Jesus Christ. I was making soup today and one of my spices fell down an SMASHED my glass hydrometer before I could take a reading. lol.... really, not funny though. I'm sad.

I will update as soon as possible.

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