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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Slow Fermentation / Mold?
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
alden
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Default Slow Fermentation / Mold?

Hi,

I just brewed my first batch ever last Saturday, using the Brewers Best American Cream Ale kit and boiling/cooling went well.

The directions in the kit said to just sprinkle the dry yeast packet over the cooled wort, but I had read other literature about rehydrating and proofing the yeast, so I attempted that on the side while I was boiling. Didn't see a whole lot of activity, but the kit directions said that it could take up to 24 hours so I pitched the rehydrated yeast and sealed up the fermenting pail. Temperature on the pail is between 65-68F. Gravity reading is at 1030, which seems a little low, but I'm assuming that I might have boiled too long and boiled off some of the wort and then had to add more water at the end to get the batch up to 5 gallons.

As of yesterday (3 days after brew day), I was seeing no activity in the airlock, and opening the lid showed nothing in terms of fermentation. I talked to the local brew shop, and they sold me another packet of dry yeast and said to add that and if it doesn't take off, then it's time to dump it.

This morning (4 days after brew day), I opened the pail to add the yeast, and now I'm seeing way more activity than I did yesterday. I didn't add the new yeast yet. Unfortunately I'm not sure if this is normal fermentation, or if it's mold. Here are a couple pictures that I just took:

http://aldenalmagro.com/beer1.jpg
http://aldenalmagro.com/beer2.jpg

So what are your thoughts? Should I keep waiting this batch out? Add the additional yeast? Dump it and try again this weekend?

I've never done this before, so I don't know what I'm looking for and how to remedy any problems. Still trying to rdwhahb.

Thanks,
alden

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Old 10-07-2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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looks like fermentation to me. just wait it out. just because your not getting activity in your airlock doesnt mean fermentation isnt happening. just keep your lid on and let it do its magic. in about a week pop it open and take a grav reading and see what you have. we have all been in your shoes before so dont worry and just relax, your beer seems like its going good.

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Old 10-07-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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Looks fine to me, dont listen to anyone telling you to dump your beer. It looks like its taking off. Did you rehydrate with warm water or hot water. If you feel compelled you might throw the packet in there, but it looks fine. Just set it aside , control the temps and forgot about opening it for about 3 weeks. You'll be fine.

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the advice.

For those of you looking for closure, I got home tonight and took a peek and I'm seeing about one bubble a second in the airlock. Guess it just took a while.

I did rehydrate the yeast with water that was probably a bit more hot than it should have been -- I was running a lot of hot water in the sink beforehand and it might not have been back down to a reasonable temperature. In the interest of learning as much from this as possible, are there any other reasons that it could have taken so long to take off?

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Old 10-08-2009, 12:17 PM   #5
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from my experience, sometimes that just happens. ive had yeasts that started fermentation within an a few hours and ive had yeasts do nothing for a day or two. patience is a major key to this addiction. plus keep in mind that its pretty hard to spoil your beer and never let anyone tell you to dump. if you brew something that isnt coming out the way it should just let it go, and even if it tastes bad, it could be good in a couple months when its in the bottle.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
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Yeast should be rehydrated in water which is just barely warm to the touch. If it felt hot you probably killed a significant percentage of the yeast, and it took them a long time to build up a population that could saturate the wort with CO2 and start bubbling the airlock. I suspect it will come out just fine since 1.030 isn't a particularly difficult wort to ferment.

In any case it sounds like your fermentation is going well now, and next time you will know better.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:45 PM   #7
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You have fermentation, AND a case of noobitus. Everything is fine, now walk away from your beer for a few more days.

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Old 10-09-2009, 12:29 AM   #8
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Okay, that one is going good. What are you making next?

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Old 10-09-2009, 07:13 AM   #9
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Noobitus was mostly when i had no signs of fermentation. Now that things are closer to the expected plan, I'm much more calm.

I'm well aware that my first batch of beer is not going to be perfect. If I end up with something that tastes vaguely like beer, I'll choke it down and be proud that I made it myself. Admittedly, I got worried when my first batch didn't look like it was fermenting at all and I thought I needed to take additional action. Lesson learned.

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Old 10-09-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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1.030 is a pretty light beer, and won't show a whole lot of fermentation signs. It looks fine and should be fine to drink, albeit a bit on the light side.

Next time, check that you follow the directions closely as far as how much water to add and how long to boil, etc.

Cheers and congratulations on a new addict, I mean hobby.

~r~

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