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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > How long is long enough?
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default How long is long enough?

Post below about my pitching ECY07 into a Wee Heavy and the wait for fermentation to begin is now over 40 hours. There is no activity whatsoever. What is the longest time you would give this to start before pitching another yeast to try and salvage a batch with almost $50 in it already? I am not a newbie, but do get nervous when fermentation lags over 24-30 hours. This is the longest I have ever had wort sit with no fermentation signs at all, thus the multiple posts. I have a Wyeast 1728 getting ready to go on the stir plate and am thinking I'll give the wee heavy 50 hours and go to plan B?

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Old 02-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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Post below about my pitching ECY07 into a Wee Heavy and the wait for fermentation to begin is now over 40 hours. There is no activity whatsoever. What is the longest time you would give this to start before pitching another yeast to try and salvage a batch with almost $50 in it already? I am not a newbie, but do get nervous when fermentation lags over 24-30 hours. This is the longest I have ever had wort sit with no fermentation signs at all, thus the multiple posts. I have a Wyeast 1728 getting ready to go on the stir plate and am thinking I'll give the wee heavy 50 hours and go to plan B?
If you didn't do a starter with that beer then it's not surprising it's taking so long. Also, verify with a hydrometer since it could be going slow enough at this point that your airlock may not be bubbling (or you didn't see it).
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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Please note the sticky at the top of the beginner's forum......Fermentation can take 24 to 72 hrs to show visible signs. And by visible signs, we're NOT referring to what an airlock does or doesn't do.

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Old 02-13-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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If you didn't do a starter with that beer then it's not surprising it's taking so long. Also, verify with a hydrometer since it could be going slow enough at this point that your airlock may not be bubbling (or you didn't see it).
I agree. I would take a second reading in a couple days if your first is still sitting at the OG before pitching.

EDIT: When you include what Revvy said that should put you at or past the 72 hrs mark.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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If it were mine and i had another yeast on hand that was the same style, I'd pitch it. It would also give you a chance to check the seal on your fermenter and a visual look to ensure fermentation hasn't began. I've never had one ferment without the airlock bubbling, but a hydrometer/refractometer reading and temp check might ease the anxiety.

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Old 02-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Please note the sticky at the top of the beginner's forum......Fermentation can take 24 to 72 hrs to show visible signs. And by visible signs, we're NOT referring to what an airlock does or doesn't do.
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Originally Posted by afr0byte View Post
If you didn't do a starter with that beer then it's not surprising it's taking so long. Also, verify with a hydrometer since it could be going slow enough at this point that your airlock may not be bubbling (or you didn't see it).
OK. I see I have stirred up the beer gods.

Revvy, I have been brewing since 1986 and have never had a wort sit on yeast more than 30 hours without overt signs of fermentation with or without a starter (I don't lager or do particularly cool ferments which may explain it partially) so I don't care if the beginners forum has six weeks posted as a fermentation time table, my experience has been different so I asked a question. This is a special brew in honor of my son and I don't want it messed up and since it will sit until next December before I will know if something wild got loose in there, I'm a little edgy and was hoping for early, obvious activity.

afr0byte, that's what I would have thought except ECY yeasts supposedly are between 3-400 billion cell counts, so I thought it might show early signs rather than late ones. I'll sit on this one against my better judgement, but thanks for your input.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
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I agree. I would take a second reading in a couple days if your first is still sitting at the OG before pitching.

EDIT: When you include what Revvy said that should put you at or past the 72 hrs mark.
That is what I plan on doing. Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sloanfamilydsm View Post
If it were mine and i had another yeast on hand that was the same style, I'd pitch it. It would also give you a chance to check the seal on your fermenter and a visual look to ensure fermentation hasn't began. I've never had one ferment without the airlock bubbling, but a hydrometer/refractometer reading and temp check might ease the anxiety.
That is my inclination as well, but I will bow to the collective wisdom and wait 72 hours before doing so. Thanks also.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
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OK. I see I have stirred up the beer gods.

Revvy, I have been brewing since 1986 and have never had a wort sit on yeast more than 30 hours without overt signs of fermentation with or without a starter (I don't lager or do particularly cool ferments which may explain it partially) so I don't care if the beginners forum has six weeks posted as a fermentation time table, my experience has been different so I asked a question.

afr0byte, that's what I would have thought except ECY yeasts supposedly are between 3-400 million cell counts, so I thought it might show early signs rather than late ones. I'll sit on this one against my better judgement.
I hope you mean 3-400 billion cell counts? A normal white labs vial has about 100 billion cells (fresh). If you actually mean 3-400 million then you way under pitched.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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I hope you mean 3-400 billion cell counts? A normal white labs vial has about 100 billion cells (fresh). If you actually mean 3-400 million then you way under pitched.
Oops , my mistake, corrected now, thanks.
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