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Old 03-21-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default Pitching more yeast

I brewed a 10 gallon batch of CDA yesterday. Since I've kinda been on a budget, I tried using Muntons Dry Yeast. It's been 18 hours or so with absolutely no signs of activity in my carboys.

I did a little hunting around and saw lots of bad reviews on the Muntons yeast. It's got me considering running out and picking up a smackpack of 1056.
My question is... is it worth it to pitch more yeast? What are the chances of infection after 18 hours? Will I be able to wash and reuse the 1056 after?

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After reviewing that, I'm confident that stir plates are the way to go! Although I'd still like to find a way to use sex toys in brewing.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:28 PM   #2
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What is your definition of activity that you don't see? If it is airlock bubbling, then you are more than likely worried for naught.

Besides, 18 hours was not enough time to even begin to worry....after 72 hours is when you take a gravity reading and see what's going on. It's quite common for yeast to take 2-3 days to get going, it's called lag time.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/, and by visible signs we don't necessarily mean a bubbling airlock. it means gravity reading

It IS a sticky at the top of the beginners forum for a reason, afterall.


Airlock activity is irrevelent. Just gravity points on a hydrometer.
Airlock bubbling (or lack) and fermentation are not the same thing. You have to separate that from your mindset. Airlock bubbling can be a sign of fermentation, but not a good one, because the airlock will often blip or not blip for various other reasons...so it is a tenuous connection at best.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. If it bubbles it is because it needs to, if it doesn't, it just means it doesn't need too...


Your HYDROMETER is the only BEST indicator of fermentation activity. Nothing else is accurate or consistent...

Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by krausen formation. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are.

The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal.

And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't. And airlock is a valve, a vent to release excess co2...NOT a fermentation gauge. It's important to make that distinction, or you'll be panicking everytime a an airlock doesn't bubble, or stops bubbling.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Fast fermentations/slow fermentations/big krausens/small krausens/bubbles starting and stopping, in the long run is really irrevelent....just that you have fermentation. Yeast don't normal normally die/stop fermenting/get tired, that's a premise new brewers believe, but it's not the truth. Yeast have been doing this for 4,000 years, and know how to ferment the beer, they WANT to ferment the beer, it's their entire purpose in life is to eat sugar, peer alcohol and fart co2 (along with some major screwing during the reproductive phase) especially modern 21st century yeast.

All those other things are really just superficial to the purpose at hand, if your yeast took off, unless you let the temp go down near 50, your yeast is still working happily away, despite what the supreficial signs like airlock may indicate.

Take a gravity reading after 72 hours, and see what the beer's doing, MUnton's is no worse or better than any other commercial yeast these days, this is the 21st century, our yeast doesn't come in hot cargo ship holds and sit on shelves for god knows how long, like all those horror stories of bad yeasts in Papazian 30 years ago...Now adays moderns yeast rarely don't preform, even Munton's and Fisson's is a multimillion dollar corporation who has a reputation to uphold, they wouldn't put inferior yeast out on the market to piss off homebrewers.

More than likely the only thing that is wrong with the yeast, is that the brewer using it is impatient.

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Old 03-21-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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Its been less than a day, I wouldn't stress yet. If it hasn't started after 48-72 hours, then consider raising the temp a little (if its less than 70) and/or re-pitching new yeast.

What does CDA stand for?

Edit: Why did I even bother? Listen to what he said ^^^^^

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Old 03-21-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
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2ND post of that thread states:

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I will say though, let's not advocate that thinking fermentation starting in more than 12 hours is a good thing. It isn't. Any longer than 12 hours and you are looking for trouble--infections, sub-par beer and quite frankly it is a bad brewing practice.
Which is exactly what concerns me. I know airlock activity is a bad indicator of fermentation, but I'm using a carboy with a blowoff tube. My brews have never taken more than 6 hours to take off.
I'm also reading that people are having trouble hitting their target FG with the Muntons, which is another reason I'm considering re-pitching. This beer has an OG of 1.074.

Pappers, CDA = Cascadian Dark Ale
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After reviewing that, I'm confident that stir plates are the way to go! Although I'd still like to find a way to use sex toys in brewing.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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Saying that fermentation starting in more than 12 h is not a good thing is bad advice. If I recall correctly, JZs book on "Yeast" states that typical lag time is 12-18 h. Really short lag times would generally indicate that you overpitched whereas really long lag times can indicate that you underpitched or the health of the yeast is not good among other things.

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Old 03-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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I don't think many would recommend using Muntons, but now that you have, I would give it at least 48 hours before becoming concerned. What temp is it at now?

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Old 03-21-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeerNerd View Post
2ND post of that thread states:



Which is exactly what concerns me. I know airlock activity is a bad indicator of fermentation, but I'm using a carboy with a blowoff tube. My brews have never taken more than 6 hours to take off.
I'm also reading that people are having trouble hitting their target FG with the Muntons, which is another reason I'm considering re-pitching. This beer has an OG of 1.074.

Pappers, CDA = Cascadian Dark Ale
Quite frankly I find that notion preposterous...Since lag time is a normal part of yeast growth...the fact that we have a sticky, shows that it is quite common. Secondly that's the point of sanitzation, to prevent anything from being there to defeat the yeast. Thirdly, if you keep your sanitized fermenter closed, then there's no need to worry about anything getting in to infect the beer.

I mean you can believe what you want, and do what you want, but that doesn't mean that you're right...

It's too soon to worry about it and it's too soon to repitch, just because you're operating on your timeframe and not the yeast. Yeast has their own timeframe. They can't read, so they don't follow a recipe, or a calendar, they do what they've been doing for several million years.

In a dry yeast packet there is more than enough cells to do their job, so if you pitch more yeast you do run the risk of overpitching in this case.

Like I said it's your beer. But we get folks like you in every day, believing something's wrong, when in reality you're just impatient. But like the stories in the sticky shows, all those folks who waited, and all the other's like Papper's and myself who have had yeast take up to 72 hours or more before the yeast takes hold, haven't had any issues with infections, or anything else for that matter. That's why we tell folks to wait.

So why would your beer any different? Why would it be more at risk than the rest of ours?

Besides just because you can't see activity, the point is, there is probably plenty of activity already going on, the yeast are doing their jobs, so your beer IS protected by active yeast.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:54 PM   #8
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I just found this pitching calulator.

According to it, I have way under-pitched. It says for 10 gals of a 1.074 ale I need 28 grams of dry yeast. The Muntons packet was 6g. I've pretty much exclusively used and reused liquid yeast... so I wasn't really sure what to do here. I don't see over-pitching being a problem here, though I am not that experienced. That's why I'm asking for help.

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After reviewing that, I'm confident that stir plates are the way to go! Although I'd still like to find a way to use sex toys in brewing.
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