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Old 07-14-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
gpfeifer
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Default Unhappy 3rd generation yeast

Hey all-

I need some advice. Today was brew day (an APA that I've brewed too many times to count- my house beer). I pitched about 6hrs ago now and still have no yeast activity.

I know that lag times can vary significantly but here is why I am worried. I have been harvesting, storing, and reusing various yeast strains for about a year now. This particular yeast is a third generation Wyeast 1056. Normally around this generation I get a super-fast start to the primary (within about 45 minutes I am seeing bubbles and within a couple of hours the yeast is going gang-busters). Nothing changed about my sanitation and collection methods for the harvested yeast- it also smelled and looked good before I pitched today so I thought all was alright but since there is no activity yet I am beginning to wonder.

The only thing that has changed is this. I use a plate-chiller to chill the wort and live in Florida. This time of year my cold water is not that cold so it only chills to around 80 degrees or so (never had a problem with this before though). I chilled to this temp and then pitched the yeast. There was a difference it temperature between the yeast and the wort as I neglected to take the yeast out of the fridge early enough to bring it to ambient room temp. So the yeast was colder than the wort. Here is my question: anyone ever have problems with unhappy yeast due to temp variations between yeast and wort? the wort was by no means hot, so I didn't scald the yeast, but they do not seem to want to work.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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How big was your starter or were you using a jar of washed yeast without a starter?

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:30 AM   #3
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I was just using my washed yeast. No starter. I used to regularly make starters with my reused yeast but haven't been doing it all the time lately. This is the first time I've had an issue with it. Do you think it is just sluggish?

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:37 AM   #4
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It's been 6hr, oh you should definitely dump it...

if the yeast was in the fridge, around 38ºF? then they are probably in a dormant state. yeasts take a while to switch gears and get going.

just wait a little while longer, it will get going.

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Old 07-15-2011, 03:23 AM   #5
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To be clear, there was never any plan to dump it. I know that yeast take a while to wake up. That wasn't my question. The question was about whether or not anyone who regularly re-uses yeast had seen a drastic difference in lag times based on these temp changes when normally there wasn't such a thing... The yeast wasn't just out of the fridge. It had been out for a while it just wasn't at the ambient temp of the air and the wort was warmer...

But point taken.

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Old 07-15-2011, 03:47 AM   #6
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I'm just giving you sh!t... Yeast don't like to experiencing quick big shifts in temp. If your yeast warmed up to 65-70 and you pitched in to 80ºF wort they will be a bit gun shy.
Yeast are good for up to 5 generations, or at least thats the common thinking, So at 3 generations you should be fine. After 5 generations they will need a rest or to be replaced.

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Old 07-15-2011, 03:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpfeifer View Post
I know that lag times can vary significantly
I usually pitch 40F yeast into 65F wort without issues.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:02 AM   #8
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@ bsquared- i figured you were just giving me ****. No worries. Thanks for the info! I am seeing some activity now so i think all is ok. It was just not the norm for me so I was a bit concerned.

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Old 07-15-2011, 04:04 AM   #9
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@ samc- how quickly does the primary take off for you when you do this? As you can see I usually don't do it this way but it is reassuring to know that others do without issues.

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Old 07-15-2011, 06:01 AM   #10
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No idea actually. If I pitch during the day I go look at the fermenter before going to bed, so it can be 10 hours or more before I've checked it. And then how do you define "take off"? Usually you can see small white bits of krausen forming on top, but zero other activity until the next day. Plus I am normally fermenting at or below the low end of temps so it's going to be a bit slower. Best bet is to pitch and forget it for 24 hours. No matter what yeast or beer I've done, it's never taken more than 24 hours to show some signs of life!

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