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Old 10-25-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
Nike_Eayrs
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Default Help! Yeast isn't fermenting

I harvested some yeast from my last batch of brew. I made another batch 2 days ago and used the yeast. No airlock activity has occurred. I tried to make a starter with the remaining yeast and its bad as well. Is the batch ruined, or can I run and grab more yeast? Additionally, any ideas where I went wrong harvesting? It was near the back of the fridge, can it get too cold? Thanks for the help!

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:11 PM   #2
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Take a gravity reading. Airlocks do no indicate fermentation, only positive pressure in the vessel.

If it hasn't budged, repitch.

Most importantly - RELAX.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post
Take a gravity reading. Airlocks do no indicate fermentation, only positive pressure in the vessel.

If it hasn't budged, repitch.

Most importantly - RELAX.
I will take a gravity reading when I get home. The only thing that has me concerned is the starter I made with the other yeast I harvested. I use a "sports type" bottle so I can leave the lid off for air exchange. I let it sit overnight, and shook it pretty good this morning. Usually the pressure almost blows the lid off, but nothing happened this morning. If I do need to re-pitch, has any harm been done to the wort as long as everything is air tight? Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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As long as you where sanitary you will be fine.

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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Seems that a lot of people worry when the yeast isn't going like they expect.
Two things.
1) Make a starter so you know what you have before you pitch. You either have good yeast life, or you open another pack and try again. The extra yeast cells can be a good thing also.
2) It's just beer. Re pitch and it will probably be fine. you've already put the time and money into it so why wouldn't you just pitch more yeast and wait?

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/

Fermentation can take 24-72 hours to show VISIBLE signs.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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I just don't buy that it takes 72 hrs to show. Maybe but you've got a sad/slow fermentation. I know people treat that like the gospel around here but I'm not buying it. If it takes 72 hours and everything else is regular (average OG, no crazy ingredients) then you did something wrong.

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Old 10-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrManifesto View Post
I just don't buy that it takes 72 hrs to show. Maybe but you've got a sad/slow fermentation. I know people treat that like the gospel around here but I'm not buying it. If it takes 72 hours and everything else is regular (average OG, no crazy ingredients) then you did something wrong.
I agree.
I would say though that people that post worried because they don't see yeast activity and don't know what to do MAY be at a slightly higher risk of having done something wrong.
Could be the temperature, could be pitching very old yeast with few live cells. Who knows.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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The yeast was only two weeks old, and I washed it using a tutorial written on this site. If it doesn't take off, any ideas where I could have went wrong?

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Yep, just by attempting yeast harvest you sound like you are way ahead of most people who ask the same question though.
Almost added a disclaimer but didn't.
Not everyone who asks the question is going to be prone to lots of other issues, but percentage wise I would say a lot more of them are going to be guys that pitch into wort that hasn't chilled enough, had the fermenter in the garage where it got down to 40° or other issues.

I'm going to try a yeast harvest soon, but not till I get and read my yeast book that's on it's way in the mail right now. I want to know more about the little guys.
I will still do a starter and see signs of life before I start my beer. It just makes me feel better knowing that I've got good yeast ready to go.

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In primary
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