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Old 02-28-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
mhsull
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Default Need help with fermenting Tremens Clone

So this past Saturday morning, I attempted an all grain Delirium Tremens clone found here (http://hopville.com/recipe/110541). I didn't know when to add the Belgian sugar and invert sugar so I threw them into the pot to dissolve before the boil started. At the end, I pitched the liquid yeast at 70 degrees and left it for several days where I saw no action in the blowoff.

Tuesday, I decided to get a dry yeast package (http://www.danstaryeast.com/products/belle-saison-yeast) because I thought the liquid yeast wasn't strong enough for the high gravity wort. Tuesday night, I opened the bucket to see about 2-3 inches of bubbled head (never seen that on a non-activated beer). I attached my brew spoon to a drill and re-aerated the wort and pitched the proofed (at 90 degrees) yeast. It is Thursday morning now and still no action. What am I doing wrong?

Background - I have been brewing for over 5 years now. Been brewing all grain for a couple of years. All of the equipment that I used Saturday, I used Sunday to make an Old Chub kit which is currently bubbling like crazy right next to the seemingly inactive Tremens clone. They are both sitting in the closet where the temperature in the house gets to, at it's coldest, 66 degrees. The process for both kits was exactly the same. Do I need an even stronger yeast? Should I not have proofed the dry yeast when I re-pitched? Am I not being patient enough?

Thanks

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Old 02-28-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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I'm confused about what you're saying. It sounds like you initially underpitched the liquid yeast and decided to repitch a few days later. The "head" on the beer sounds like krausen which means the beer was happily fermenting when you aerated and repitched. If your beer was already fermenting you shouldn't of airated (it's called oxygenation at that point). I'm also confused about how the fermenter was at 90° when the room stays around 66°. Are you heating? What liquid yeast did you use?

To answer the airlock activity question, make sure your fermenter is sealed or the co2 will escape somewhere other than your airlock. No airlock activity means you should investigate if there's a problem, it doesn't mean fermentation isn't taking place.

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Old 02-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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What do you mean by "proofed" yeast? Also, I've never used candy sugar before but i would have added it at the end of the boil.

Edit: thinking more about it, I bet you rehydrated (proofed?) at 90°F and you're not fermenting at 90°F. That's good news!

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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That's a high gravity beer (projected OG of 1.088) and you should have used a yeast starter.

What was your measured OG?

Those liquid yeast vials do not nearly contain enough active cells to kick off healthy fermentation, with few exceptions noted.

I wish they put a warning on those vials: May need starter! It looks like everyone has to make that same unintended mistake at least once, I did. The LHBS where I obtained all the ingredients from, did not even mention the word starter or even try to sell me 2 vials, as in "you'll need those."

Anyway, my advice is: do not pitch a single vial. Unless one has money to burn and pitch 2 or 3 vials, it is fairly easy to make a good size starter, even without a stir plate.

Some may call it a nuisance to make starters, I'd call it "foreplay to brew day." You may quote me on that.

Where to go from here?
I'd say leave it alone and take a hydrometer test after a week from now. Report the reading back, if you want.

Quote:
...I opened the bucket to see about 2-3 inches of bubbled head...
Isn't that a sign fermentation was taking place. You should have left it alone and let it do its thing.

There maybe some off flavors from the second drill-stirring, maybe not. I hope that drill didn't drop any extra bugs into your wort. Those drills are hardly sanitary. Even hovering and breathing over an open bucket of wort could cause infections. You got to ride this one out and see where it leads.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:03 AM   #5
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What was your measured OG?

This is going to sound off but my OG measured at ~ 1.110

Those liquid yeast vials do not nearly contain enough active cells to kick off healthy fermentation, with few exceptions noted.


Anyway, my advice is: do not pitch a single vial. Unless one has money to burn and pitch 2 or 3 vials, it is fairly easy to make a good size starter, even without a stir plate.


Where to go from here?
I'd say leave it alone and take a hydrometer test after a week from now. Report the reading back, if you want.

Isn't that a sign fermentation was taking place. You should have left it alone and let it do its thing.

There maybe some off flavors from the second drill-stirring, maybe not. I hope that drill didn't drop any extra bugs into your wort. Those drills are hardly sanitary. Even hovering and breathing over an open bucket of wort could cause infections. You got to ride this one out and see where it leads.[/QUOTE]


I will take another gravity reading but I am getting anxious and I really want to see some action. I have checked my bucket and blowoff and I can't find any breaks in the seal so I still think something is wrong with the yeast or wort.

Is there another yeast I can pitch? Should I not have proofed it (meant, re-hydrated it)? Should I just make a starter?

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Old 03-01-2013, 10:02 AM   #6
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If you pitched last Saturday it is very possible that the most vigorous part of fermentation is already over and the bubbling has stopped. Check the gravity if you need reassurance but the fact that there was krausen means the yeast were doing their job. Look for ring of sludge around the top of the beer when you open the fermenter to check the gravity, it's a sure sign that the yeast are working.

Rehydrating is a good thing, no worries there. I wouldn't pitch anymore yeast at this point. Make a starter next time you brew something high gravity.

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