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Old 11-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Late fermentation every time

Hi!

I'm fairly new to AG and brewing in general. I'm trying hard to setup a stable, constant system.

However, I'm finding that fermentation (krausen and/or bubbling) always takes more than 24 hours to start. While the beer turns out fine, with no contamination whatsoever, this is pretty nerve-wracking every time.

I cool the wort using an IC down to tap water temp (~68F) and I control fermentation temperature using a modified freezer, and tend to ferment ales on the cold side, but not too much (~65F). I make a 1.5-2L starter as per Wyeast instructions on their website, chill it to drop the yeast, decant it, let it warm up to room temp, then pitch it. I then shake the crap out of the carboy for 5 minutes.

I'm pretty clueless on that one..

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Old 11-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
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A starter is always good! The thing is, some beers need a small 2L starter, while others might need a bigger starter to have the optimum amount of yeast.

There are two really good yeast pitching calculators out there- mrmalty.com (go to "yeast tools" and choose pitching calculator) or yeastcalc.com

Check it out, and see if your starters are actually the proper amount that you need for each batch. My guess is not.

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Old 11-10-2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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No worries. A 24 hour lag period is fine so long as you pitch enough yeast and hit your temps right. It sounds like you're working at addressing both so long as you're not brewing higher gravity beers or lagers.

The goal isn't a fast, vigorous ferment, but a healthy one within the optimal temp range for the yeast that will result in a pleasant-tasting beer.

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Old 11-10-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
A starter is always good! The thing is, some beers need a small 2L starter, while others might need a bigger starter to have the optimum amount of yeast.

There are two really good yeast pitching calculators out there- mrmalty.com (go to "yeast tools" and choose pitching calculator) or yeastcalc.com

Check it out, and see if your starters are actually the proper amount that you need for each batch. My guess is not.
I do all my calculations with Beersmith, and have double checked with yeastcalc.

I also brewed lower and higher gravity beers, all had about the same lag period. I never had to step up a starter, but if I had to, I would.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
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Yeast don't work by time or calendar, they honestly have no idea if they're late or not so neither should you

If you are doing everything right to ensure proper pitch rate and controlling temps and turning out good beer then don't worry about it, they'll get the job done in the time frame THEY need, might not be yours though....

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Old 11-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0ngwh0ng View Post
I do all my calculations with Beersmith, and have double checked with yeastcalc.

I also brewed lower and higher gravity beers, all had about the same lag period. I never had to step up a starter, but if I had to, I would.
Then it sounds fine! You mentioned making a 1.5-2L starter, per Wyeast, that's why I mentioned using yeastcalc. In most cases, a 1.5L starter isn't big enough.

For example, a 1.060 OG 5 gallon batch of beer with yeast that was made on October 5, you'd need a starter of 3.21 liters to get to the optimum amount of yeast, per mrmalty.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #7
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Do you use a stir plate?

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #8
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If the beer tastes fine, then don't worry.

I get concerned when mine start quicker than 12 hours. The yeast need time to reproduce. If it starts too early I get concerned that I over-pitched and do not have enough fresh yeast.

I like to start between 12 and 24 hours.

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
If the beer tastes fine, then don't worry.

I get concerned when mine start quicker than 12 hours. The yeast need time to reproduce. If it starts too early I get concerned that I over-pitched and do not have enough fresh yeast.

I like to start between 12 and 24 hours.
I have no concerns about when my fermentations start. I pitch proper sized starters, ferment at proper controlled temperatures. I get great beers.

Most of my fermentation show some signs after 4-6 hours and almost always by the next morning. If they don't start before going to bed that day, I don't get worried and all have started in 12-18 hours.

I have also read enough that I would not get too worried for at least a couple of days.

If you treat your yeast well, they will reward you with good BEER!
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:47 AM   #10
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I've heard adding an oxygen setup will speed up the initial fermentation time. Shaking only gets you so far…

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