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Old 12-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
edpelo
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Default WLP041 not fermenting

Hey everyone,

I've brewed a ton with WYeast and Safale. I tried a new batch with White Labs 41 the other day and have no fermentation after almost 48 hours at ~72 degrees. The directions on the yeast vial say to remove from fridge for 3-6 hours before shaking and then pitching in the wort. I probably went with about 2 hours and tossed it in.

Just wondering how long fermentation takes to begin for most people using this yeast. If it doesn't start soon I'm buying the WYeast equivalent, re-aerating, and tossing it in.

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Old 12-22-2012, 11:19 PM   #2
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Things should be roughly the same as any other yeast, its yeast. Was it dead? What was the date? How big was the batch of wort?

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Old 12-22-2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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How fresh was the yeast? What was the OG of the wort? Old yeast and/or high gravity will lengthen the lag time.

There should be no appreciable difference between Wyeast and White Labs yeasts for lag times.

Did you make a starter? Neither White Labs vials or Wyeast smackpacks contain enough yeast to optimally ferment a 5 gallon batch that is over approximately 1.040.

I would also look into keeping the temperature a little lower.

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Old 12-24-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. It turns out the lid to my bucket must be leaking. It's definitely fermenting!

kh54s10, what do you mean by "optimally?"

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Old 12-25-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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I believe he means optimally as in using an minimal amount of yeast to get the job done will take longer to get going and in high gravity beers an insufficient amount if yeast can stress the yeast added which may result in off flavors or stalled fermentations. You should be making a starter from your yeast vials/smack packs as that will ensure you are pitching an appropriate amount of healthy yeast to ferment the batch.
There are plenty of yeast pitching calculators out there to help figure out what size starter to make for the batch your making.

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Old 12-28-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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So you're saying the directions on the typical smack packs are wrong and that said smack pack is not enough by itself to ferment a strong ale correctly?

I've read in a few places that the smack packs are so good that starters are no longer necessary. I've also read that slow fermentations are often done intentionally to produce different flavors, not necessarily "off" flavors. None of this reading I have done has come from any particularly valid source so I may very well be misinformed.

I've brewed numerous batches that all turned out great without starters, but I'm certainly open to techniques that will produce a better end result. I do, however, have to understand something before I will adopt it. What about the smack packs isn't enough to ferment a high gravity beer correctly and why does that produce off flavors rather than either a) the same flavor, or b) a different flavor that is not off.

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Old 12-28-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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It all comes down to enviromental conditions that the yeast are subjected to that make them release diferent chemical compounds as byproducts. My biology professor best friend gave me the basic run down bout a week ago.

Essentially, temperature allows yeast to operate differently. Producing phenols or esters. Phenols are actually toxins that in large dose taste terrible. Alcohol percentage in the liquid effects them too. If there is high alcohol then the yeast will more likely produce the phenolics that are nasty. High gravity worts produce high alcohol and make this happen.
Having too few yeast result in too high of an alcohol content PER yeast. So once the yeast eats alot of sugar they lose ability to work well, combine that with high alcohol content then u have more and more reasons that yeast start producing the phenolics.

I can go on and on, just keep asking more details, happy to answer.

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Old 12-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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What u really want to see is a blitz of primary fermintation that happens very quick using lots of yeast. Then u have no off flavors and also lots of dead yeast that then start to absorb any bad stuff that did get created, so ur left with a truly professional beer experience.

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Old 01-27-2013, 10:59 PM   #9
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I used 041 in my last brew 2 brews. The first was an India Brown Ale (1.060 OG) which I made a huge starter for and fermentation went buck wild after about 4 hours and continued for 5 days before subsiding. The second was a porter which I used a n 041 slurry for. It took longer to start, about 18 hours, but is going strong now. Both times the ambient temp was about 60 degrees F.

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