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Old 02-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #1
Mofoa
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Default No fermentation activity from harvested yeast...

Hey all -- I took a shot at harvesting some (California Ale) yeast in a prior 5 Gallon batch which I used to pitch in my next American Pale Ale 5G batch. My first problem here is that I didn't prepare a starter with the harvested yeast (note to self: ALWAYS prepare a starter with harvested yeast). In my quest to correct my error made a day earlier, I gathered the remaining harvested yeast I had on hand and prepared a 2 liter starter and let sit on stir plate for 24 hrs.

It had shown 'some' activity but not nearly as much as if this were done using a new pack of yeast. After the 24 hour period, I pitched it to the wort. 20 hours later, there is 'some' fermentation activity, I can see pressure building by the slight bending upwards of the bucket lid. Not much activity happening in the airlock. (One thing to note is I am using the one-piece airlock for this batch which I hardly ever use).

Would appreciate getting some opinions on whether I am OK, or if I should just pitch additional package of yeast.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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I can see pressure building by the slight bending upwards of the bucket lid. Not much activity happening in the airlock.
How can that happen if it has an airlock? Is the airlock plugged up?
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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How can that happen if it has an airlock? Is the airlock plugged up?

Good point. This is a new bucket/lid where the lid seems not to be completely flat as my other lids. Different maker.

I think I may go with my gut on this one and just pitch a new package of yeast to be on the safe side.

Lesson learned: Prepare yeast starter, and analyze the viability carefully to determine if you have enough healthy yeast to pitch.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mofoa

Good point. This is a new bucket/lid where the lid seems not to be completely flat as my other lids. Different maker.

I think I may go with my gut on this one and just pitch a new package of yeast to be on the safe side.

Lesson learned: Prepare yeast starter, and analyze the viability carefully to determine if you have enough healthy yeast to pitch.
Better yet, take a gravity reading or a peek in the bucket!

Just because the airlock shows nothing doesn't mean it's not fermenting as gas can be escaping through a poorly sealed lid
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:54 PM   #5
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My plastic fermenter lids always bow up even with a perfectly clean airlock. It doesn't take much pressure to deform them. A 15" diameter lid with a 1" water column (normal for a single piece airlock) means about 6lb of force pushing up on that flimsy plastic lid.

But as duboman said, plastic lids are notorious for poor sealing. As long as it is doing anything give it a while.

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:01 PM   #6
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My plastic fermenter lids always bow up even with a perfectly clean airlock. It doesn't take much pressure to deform them. A 15" diameter lid with a 1" water column (normal for a single piece airlock) means about 6lb of force pushing up on that flimsy plastic lid.
Sorry, 6 psi is equal to 166 inches of water column, so 1 inch of water column is .036 psi. That's not going to deform anything.

EDIT, I reread your post and you are correct. 6 lbs of force, I thought it said 6 psi.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #7
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OK, I removed the air-lock to have a peek through the hole. Appears to a nice krausen. I replaced the one piece air-lock with the three piece-and within a minute, I now can see more the bubbling I typically see.

False alarm.

No more one piece air-lock for me.

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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check your grommet. if the rubber gets a tear, you'll get no bubbles.

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
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check your grommet. if the rubber gets a tear, you'll get no bubbles.
You know, there were too many variables in this latest batch. First time using from harvested yeast, first time using this new bucket/lid , and first time using this new one piece air-lock. I wasn't a fan of this air-lock as I was putting it together the first time. I was having issues with getting this particular grommet (funny that you mentioned it) fitted into the hole as it is not the typical tapered grommet style I normally use.

Just thankful I can get the re-assurance I need as I continue to grow and learn from this site.


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