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Old 10-23-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation question

I'm doing a second batch on top of the yeast in my secondary. This is the first time I've tried this in an effort to avoid buying a yeast pack. There are many reports of success using this method. Most report rapid fermentation fairly quickly. The batch is a brown ale using Wyeast 1028.

I bottled early afternoon on Wednesday the 20th. I had a good yeast cake on the bottom of my glass carboy. I boiled my wort as usual, same recipe. I water bath cooled the wort and siphoned on top of the yeast cake. I airiated by shaking for a minute or two. Topped off to 5 gallons (added about 1.75 gallons H2O). The water I added I shook good to add O2 in 1/2 gallon increments.

As of this morning after 30+ hours I see no activity. At about 10 hours, the carboy pulled a little water out of the blow off container into the blow off tube by vacuum. The water did not go back far enough to go into the carboy.

This morning I can see there is a little pressure, but no bubbles. I can tell there is a little pressure because I can see air in the blow off tube below the water line in the blow off container. No foam forming on top of the wort in the carboy, other than some residual foam from shaking.

Should I wait? Should I buy another yeast pack? Did I get enough oxygen in the wort? Normally shaking works.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/, and by visible signs we don't necessarily mean a bubbling airlock.
It IS a sticky at the top of the beginners forum for a reason, afterall.

DOn't do anything for 72 hours then take a hydro reading.

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?
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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This is a bit different due to going on top of a yeast cake in my secondary. Most of what I have read indicates a rapid start to fermentation that is fairly violent. Not your standard yeast pack kind of question.

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:20 PM   #4
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I agree on the gravity reading, which I will do when I get home after work. I need to buy the pack today, or wait until late Monday if I need to re-pitch. I guess I'll buy one to be safe...

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
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It really doesn't matter. If there's lag time there's lag time, and that is NORMAL.

The bigger issue is that you haven't taken a hydro reading, so technically you don't KNOW whether you have any fermentation or not. You can either take one now, or you can wait til it's been 72 hours (which I would do) THEN make a decision whether to pitch or not.

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
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I agree (wait 72hrs and check) - thank you.

I'll purchase a yeast pack, just in case. I can always use it for a future batch.

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtHulka View Post
I agree (wait 72hrs and check) - thank you.

I'll purchase a yeast pack, just in case. I can always use it for a future batch.
I've never had much of a lag time when pitching on a cake or with a ton of slurry.

Did you make sure the wort was under 90 degrees when you put it on the yeast cake?
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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I can't say for sure what the temp was. The side of the kettle felt a little warm. If it was over 90, it was not by much.

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Old 10-23-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I can't say for sure what the temp was. The side of the kettle felt a little warm. If it was over 90, it was not by much.
Yeast isn't usually killed until the temperature is much warmer, but if the side of the kettle felt warm, maybe you had a higher temperature than you think? Just a thought.

If I wasn't seeing action after pitching on a cake within a day, I'd repitch. That's a ton of yeast, and I believe there is something wrong. In this case, I wouldn't wait the 72 hours.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:24 PM   #10
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I agree, if the kettle was warm to the touch and we are 98.6*F then warm would be close to that.

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