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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > No action in primary
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #1
wizardofza
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Default No action in primary

Hi guys-

I did a Celebration Ale clone this past Saturday night and used a Wyeast Ale (1056) smack pack. I activated the yeast ~4 hours prior to pitching and it inflated like normal. But I haven't seen any activity in my primary (I'm using the plastic bucket ale pail as my primary). The wort was about 72 degrees when I pitched.

I opened up the lid yesterday and there seems to be some krausen - at the very least it's foamy. But it turned foamy when I poured my wort in on Saturday. I'm wondering if the foam is actually krausen, or it's the foam I generated when I poured my wort into the fermenter? I didn't see much trub on the sides of the bucket though, like I normally do.

I'm just curious as to why I haven't seen any activity on the air lock? I emailed Northern Brewer (where I bought the ingredients) and they guy told me that it's possible that I didn't have the lid sealed, but I'm positive I sealed that thing.

Anyhow, I guess this is a good lesson to always use a glass carboy if you got one around. I'll have to buy another one.

Should I be concerned or just rack to the secondary as I had originally planned? I'm heading out to Europe in two days and wanted to get it in the secondary before that! Would pitching another smack pack save it?

I'm stumped.

Thanks for any info!

C.

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Old 09-18-2007, 12:59 PM   #2
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Before you rack, just take a Hydro reading. Sometimes things just ferment quietly along. Sometimes you actually miss the bulk of the ferment it happens so fast. At this point it is most likely Krausen in there. If the Hydro shows that you are attenuated then rack.

Oh and no harm leaving it in the primary for several weeks.

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Old 09-18-2007, 02:06 PM   #3
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Did you make a starter? Checking the online pitching rate calculator at mrmalty.com it suggests a 3L starter is required for a 1065 gravity wort (i'm guessing it was somewhere around there?) That's assuming it was fresh from the labs, a few months old and a larger start than that is recommended.

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Old 09-18-2007, 05:13 PM   #4
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Well, my OG actually came in quite a bit lower than an actual Celebration (but that's a topic for another thread! ), 1.052.

But that's good to know. I didn't realize that a starter was necessary for OGs > 1.065.

I guess I'm just going to let it ride out in the primary until I can rack to my secondary in another week or so.

*crosses fingers*

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Old 09-18-2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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Even a 1040 gravity beer needs a 1.5L starter. although i'm sure you'd be OK with one liter for most low to mid gravity ales. I would always make a starter though, even when a product claims to be pitchable (it probably is when it leaves the labs but quickly looses viability).

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Old 09-19-2007, 02:52 PM   #6
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Yeah, I think starters is the next step that I have to take in my brewing.

Thanks for the tips guys. Hopefully this turns out anyways.

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Old 09-19-2007, 05:24 PM   #7
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just leave it in the primary for 2 weeks from pitching. Take a hydro, rack to secondary, and relax.

Or, leave it in the primary for 3 weeks and bottle/keg it.

I'm sure it will be fine.

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Old 09-19-2007, 05:53 PM   #8
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Are you able to smell any CO2 or other fermentation products in the bucket? If so, you certainly have fermentation. From the sound of it, all is going well.

Next time, make a starter (like the others said) and pitch your yeast at a slightly higher temperature (~85F). Also, if you didn't aereate, do so. All those things will help with any beer, and especially with higher gravity ones.

At what temperature are you fermenting? If you are on the low side, you see slower yeast activity.


TL

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