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Old 03-04-2013, 03:04 AM   #1
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Default Marzen with no activity...

I made a batch of Marzen on March 1st...it all of my numbers and everything looked great. I pitched my yeast and into the fridge it went at 52deg. It has been a couple of days now and I haven't seen any sort of activity at all. I used two smack packs of octoberfest wyeast (no starter, brew day was kind of spur of the moment). I am worried that I had dead packs, they didn't really swell up or anything during the day or while i was brewing. Should I give them a couple more days before I get worried or is this batch SOL? or can I add another pack of yeast still and get things going?

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:09 AM   #2
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As useless as an airlock is a a gauge of fermentation in ales, it's even more useless for lagers. Remember gas EXPANDS when warm and contracts when cold. So therefore since an airlock is really only a vent to release EXCESS co2, there often isn't any co2 that needs to vent out.

So it's even more important to use you HYDROMETER, to determine "activity," since a decrease in gravity really is the only way to know for sure.

If it hasn't been 72 hours since yeast pitch, I'd wait til it's been, then take a gravity reading.

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:22 AM   #3
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That kind of takes a load off...thanks. I have a nice set of hydrometers, I've just never taken a sample during primary. Thanks for the tip.

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Old 03-04-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
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That kind of takes a load off...thanks. I have a nice set of hydrometers, I've just never taken a sample during primary. Thanks for the tip.
Keep in mind that, while it's true that lagers off-gas less CO2 (and thus take longer to start bubbling, it would be unusual (assuming the bucket has bubbled through the airlock in the past..i.e. it doesn't have a leak) if it didn't bubble at all during fermentation.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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Fermenting in a glass carboy...both the bung and bubbler are fitted pretty tight...no leaks...

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Old 03-04-2013, 04:54 PM   #6
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Fermenting in a glass carboy...both the bung and bubbler are fitted pretty tight...no leaks...
In your case the bubbling will be decent estimate as to the stage of fermentation (baring wild temperature swings/changes in atmospheric pressure). Obviously verify the degree of fermentation with a hydrometer though.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #7
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Even if your smack packs were produced the day before you bought them, you under-pitched by a huge amount, assumming a standard 1.055 Marzen type beer. If they were old, the problem only gets worse. Its no wonder you're not seeing any activity.

Lagers need starters when using liquid yeast...period. Dry yeast is better for spur of the moment brew days, due to their higher cell counts.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
As useless as an airlock is a a gauge of fermentation in ales, it's even more useless for lagers. Remember gas EXPANDS when warm and contracts when cold. So therefore since an airlock is really only a vent to release EXCESS co2, there often isn't any co2 that needs to vent out.

So it's even more important to use you HYDROMETER, to determine "activity," since a decrease in gravity really is the only way to know for sure.

If it hasn't been 72 hours since yeast pitch, I'd wait til it's been, then take a gravity reading.

This is no dis on the OP at all, but how many times has that question been asked over the years??
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:17 AM   #9
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This is no dis on the OP at all, but how many times has that question been asked over the years??
Divide my postcount by 5 and that's probably the number of time I've answered it since I've been on here.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:23 AM   #10
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Divide my postcount by 5 and that's probably the number of time I've answered it since I've been on here.
Lol!! And then some..
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