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-   -   Winter Warmer stagnating (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/winter-warmer-stagnating-359439/)

RidingDonkeys 10-07-2012 04:26 PM

Winter Warmer stagnating
I'm slowly starting to assemble everything I need for all-grain brewing. In the meantime, I ordered a bunch of extract kits from Northern Brewer to keep me busy and provide me with some Christmas beer. One of these was their Winter Warmer with Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale yeast. This was started less than three days after arrival, and the yeast was made on 10SEP12.

I was in a rush, so I had my wife do a Malta Goya yeast starter around 4am on October 4th. I only do malta starters, and have done 20+ without an issue. I gave her instructions, but she did it a little different. She only brought the malta to a boil for brief minute and added ~10oz water to get the OG right before flame out. She cooled it, pitched the yeast, threw on the airlock, and called it good. She's a sanitation nut like me, so I don't see any issues there. However, I normally let it boil for 15+ minutes, she boiled it for about a minute. This was the first sign I should have noticed.

Normally I see massive action at 12 hours with this setup. This time around, there was very little action. But, I've got a lot of beer to brew this weekend, so I stayed optimistic. At ~24 hours, there was some fermentation action, and a good yeast cake at the bottom, but still smaller than I'm used to. This was the second sign, but I proceeded anyway.

I did the boil, pitched the yeast with the Malta, and called it good. I needed to free up the yeast starter supplies for my next starter, so I didn't think anything of it. As of now, I have no fermentation action going on in my primary.

In the meantime, I've got a Pumpkin ale that was brewed one day prior, and it is kicking like crazy. I did my stout last night, and it is going pure bonkers. The Winter Warmer is present for duty, but participating in the fermenting game, even at 73 degrees. :(

So, I'm chalking this up to weak yeast, and I'm trying to come up with a fix action. I have several packs of Danstar Nottingham around that I could rehydrate and pitch quickly. I'm a wee bit concerned because I've never doubled yeast on a brew before. I'm also concerned because the different yeast is bound to change the flavor, but I'm up for an experiment.

So, almighty brewers of the forum. Am I asking for disaster by pitching the Nottingham yeast into a stuck batch?

ChessRockwell 10-08-2012 12:41 AM


Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys (Post 4477805)
Am I asking for disaster by pitching the Nottingham yeast into a stuck batch?

How do you know it's stuck? Unless I missed it you didn't mention what gravity it was currently at...

It's only been what, a day or two? WAY too early to call a stuck batch, give it some time then take a gravity reading.

RidingDonkeys 10-08-2012 01:44 AM

The OG was 1.069, and it hasn't budged. My concern stems from the fact that all my beers generally take off within the first 24hrs. I have never had a batch take longer when using a yeast starter.

I'll sit on it a few more days.

ChessRockwell 10-08-2012 02:27 AM

I bet it will take off, I don't see how boiling that stuff shorter would have made all that big of a difference. (had to do a search to see what Malta Goya even was - never heard of it!)

RidingDonkeys 10-08-2012 12:53 PM

Malta Goya is a great way to make a starter. I don't have a brew shop close by, and it easier to keep around than DME. Basically, I pay about $8 for a 12 pack of 12oz bottles. That yields me 4 starters. A little more expensive than DME, but super convenient and quick.

It isn't hurting anything for it to sit, so I will let it ride for a few more days. I'm just befuddled because I normally get a super fast launch using this method.

RidingDonkeys 11-04-2012 01:34 AM

The gravity today was only 1.050. That isn't much movement in a month's time. I took the chance to dry pitch some Danstar Nottingham in the batch and hopefully revive it.

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