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Old 12-01-2010, 12:13 AM   #1
PitaPacket
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Default Not to beat a dead yeast

Since this has been gone over again and again, I'll keep it short. I brewed my 4th batch (AG) on Sunday. The Wyeast Activator didn't swell. After frantically searching threads I decided to pitch anyway. Would you believe there were no signs of fermentation in the first few hours? The days wore on. More time was spent searching pouring over the countless threads about "dead" yeast . Conflicting opinions and solutions abounded. Could not get over the fear of the stuck fermentation, or the fermentation that never was. Revvy and others assured me that we should wait 72 hours. I was going to stop by the LbH and tell them how they had done me wrong. I ran out of time and had to come home to what I thought would be a still pool of beautiful dark stout wort. But there were bubbles. Very small beautiful bubbles almost exactly at the 72 hour mark. And now a few hours later the churning (however slight) has begun. I'd just like to say that I'm humbled and will continue to follow the great advice that comes from so many great brewers with an amazing amount of experience...... So thank you all and I'll be listening more closely from now on.
Cheers!

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Old 12-01-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PitaPacket View Post
Since this has been gone over again and again, I'll keep it short. I brewed my 4th batch (AG) on Sunday. The Wyeast Activator didn't swell. After frantically searching threads I decided to pitch anyway. Would you believe there were no signs of fermentation in the first few hours? The days wore on. More time was spent searching pouring over the countless threads about "dead" yeast . Conflicting opinions and solutions abounded. Could not get over the fear of the stuck fermentation, or the fermentation that never was. Revvy and others assured me that we should wait 72 hours. I was going to stop by the LbH and tell them how they had done me wrong. I ran out of time and had to come home to what I thought would be a still pool of beautiful dark stout wort. But there were bubbles. Very small beautiful bubbles almost exactly at the 72 hour mark. And now a few hours later the churning (however slight) has begun. I'd just like to say that I'm humbled and will continue to follow the great advice that comes from so many great brewers with an amazing amount of experience...... So thank you all and I'll be listening more closely from now on.
Cheers!
Hopefully it is not from wild yeast...there is always something ready to eat those sugars! :P

I have had dead yeast before, had to pitch again, only happened once. All my other brews have always taken off within 12 hours. If it takes that long, you can bet there were not many cells in that package or the temp was waaaaay cold.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:45 AM   #3
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I was worried about that too. Knowing that the air was just sitting on top of the wort without motion but the fermentation is coming from the trub. The churning has started and the bubbles are carrying a lot of muck up with them. The yeast may have been slow but it seems that the same number should still be present. I'm really holding out for tomorrow to see if it's taken off. While the package was activated around 70 degrees, the beer got down to the low sixties the first night. I've since put it on top of my hot water heater and the 72 hour mark coincided with the beer reaching 68. Coincidence?? Not sure. I'm surely going to try to stick with proper brewing practices and temps in my future batches.

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:00 PM   #4
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Yeah, this business of waiting 72 hours to see if something (anything)
happens is a good way to see if...something (or anything) is happening,
but if I were using a liquid yeast and saw literally nothing in 12h, I would
dump a packet of good dry yeast on it. Wort is the perfect food for
microorganisms, and you can bet the traces of them are going to work
and dumping their crap in your beer during that time. Of course you might
be able to get rid of the off flavors by aging and letting the yeast digest the
crap, but why do that when you could be drinking in 10 days or less (with a
keg) or 2 weeks in bottles?

Ray

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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I agree with rayg. It's advisable to keep a packet of dry yeast as a backup in case of emergencies. This has saved me more than once.

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