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Old 07-05-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
flexxy86
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Default No fermentation yet... 78 hours and counting

I'm sitting 78 at hours with no air lock activity. Now I know that is not the be all end all sign of fermentation, but still it's a pretty good indicator. I know that I have a good seal on the bucket because when I lightly press on lid the airlock moves. On to the nitty-gritty ...

I used Windsor for this brew (long story, had a smack pack and it didn't inflate properly, emergency run to the LHBS for the dry yeast) The temps are sitting around 69-71 degrees ambient air temps with the fermenter sitting in a swamp cooler. My two questions are as follows:

1) how much longer do I wait before I crack open the fermenter, take a hydro reading and repitching yeast if the SG is the same? (I know the thread is saying it could take 72 hours, but I'm just looking for opinions/reassurance)

2) I would have liked to use an Irish Ale yeast (i'm brewing an irish red) with this brew, but with the bad yeast and lack of time to wait for a liquid yeast from the LHBS to warm up properly, I grabbed the dry yeast ... Could (or should) I buy a vial of WLP004 Irish red and repitch that? What kind of weird flavors would I get if any from mixing Windsor & WLP004?

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:49 AM   #2
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Well if the first yeast didn't take, then repitch and relax. If the smack pack didn't inflate it didn't work, if the dry yeast hasn't given any sign of fermentation, krausen, activity or anything else, then it didn't take. Repitch and don't worry that much.

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:55 AM   #3
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can you smell anything?

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:59 AM   #4
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Try one or both of the following before pitching more yeast:

* swirl or stir the wort (with something sanitized)
* remove from swamp cooler for a few hours to bring temp up slightly (then return to swamp cooler)

I ran into a similar problem this past week, did both things and within a day fermentation started up, slowly, returned to swamp cooler and I had very active fermentation for 3 days.

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Old 07-05-2011, 02:04 AM   #5
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Are you using ice in the swamp cooler bucket? If so, the wort may be too cool. It's unlikely that both the smack pack and the dry yeast are not viable. Do you still have the smack pack and has it inflated yet? If so, you could go ahead and pitch that too. You should be able to hear it fizz when you shake it up and put it up to your ear. The fizzing is unmistakable. I think the ferment will get going by tomorrow morning if it's not too cold.

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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I am using ice in the swamp cooler ... I removed the fermenter from the swamp cooler before I left for work today. The air temps are at 68, so it'll be ok til i get home. Smack pack didn't inflate, but I also doubt the dry yeast isn't viable ... I probably messed something up rushing around last minute pitching it friday. I (thought) I properly rehydrated it, but who knows.

I'm thinking of stopping by the LHBS after work and getting the white labs irish ale yeast and pitching it tonight. I was just worried about the windsor + irish red yeast goofing with the flavors if the windsor isn't dead and kicks off when i pitch the liquid yeast. Any Thoughts on that?

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
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My thoughts:

A) There really is fermentation going on, and you just arent seeing big visible signs. You re-pitch with Irish yeast, and it has minimal flavor impact. Irish ale yeast is pretty clean and shouldn't do anything funny.

B) There really is NO fermentation going on (maybe you rehydrated your yeast in 140 degree water or something?) and you need to get yeast into that wort before bacteria and other junk takes hold and ruins your batch.

Either way it wont hurt to pitch Irish ale yeast into the wort. The real concern here is what you did to your dry yeast, and why you didnt pitch the smack pack. How did you rehydrate? Next time, pitch the smack pack anyway...they dont always inflate but are almost always still viable.

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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WLP004 likes it to be 65-68 F. Not much of a temperature variance. I would see what the wort temp is, may be your only issue. I am currently fighting a non starting starter with wlp004.

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flexxy86 View Post
I am using ice in the swamp cooler ... I removed the fermenter from the swamp cooler before I left for work today. The air temps are at 68, so it'll be ok til i get home. Smack pack didn't inflate, but I also doubt the dry yeast isn't viable ... I probably messed something up rushing around last minute pitching it friday. I (thought) I properly rehydrated it, but who knows.

I'm thinking of stopping by the LHBS after work and getting the white labs irish ale yeast and pitching it tonight. I was just worried about the windsor + irish red yeast goofing with the flavors if the windsor isn't dead and kicks off when i pitch the liquid yeast. Any Thoughts on that?
I would not worry about the Windsor + Irish mix causing problems. They are close enough that most of us couldn't tell the difference.

I predict that the ferment will be rockin' by the time you get home from work. Might even go volcanic.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flexxy86 View Post
I'm sitting 78 at hours with no air lock activity. Now I know that is not the be all end all sign of fermentation, but still it's a pretty good indicator. I know that I have a good seal on the bucket because when I lightly press on lid the airlock moves. On to the nitty-gritty ...
It's NOT a good indicator. Take a grav reading and know for sure......

If it were a good indicator we wouldn't have 10+ thousands threads like this where the op actially took a reading and went "My bad, I guess I shouldn't rely on the airlock afterall, because my gravity is lower...."
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