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Old 08-17-2006, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default Help! Fermentation will not start

Hi all,

Ok, I'll try to be as detailed as possible. The major components of the recipe are as follows:

-Water from a spring that's nearby a camp that belongs to my wife's grandfather. They've had it tested and there's nothing in it that would inhibit fermentation. It's very clean.
-9 lbs. Coopers light malt extract syrup
-1 lb CaraRed grain
-3 types of hops (forget what they are off the top of my head - one was Tetteneger (sp?))
-3 bags of frozen raspberries (the kind you get at the grocery store)
-White labs German Bock yeast

I steeped the grains at 155 for 30 minutes in 2 gallons of spring water, then added the syrup, brought to a boil, added the first hop and boiled for 30 minutes, added the second hop and boiled for 15 minutes, added the third hop and boiled for 15 minutes, then turned off the heat. I then added some of the cool spring water to bring the wort down to 180 degrees and put the raspberries in for 15 minutes. I put it all into my primary fermenter (the plastic bucket - well-sanitized and rinsed) and used my wort chiller to bring the temperature down to 75 degrees. I aerated the wort by shaking it around a good bit and then shook up the yeast as per instructions and pitched it. I put the lid on, attached the blow-off hose, and when I woke up this morning, there was nada. I attached an airlock and shook up the fermenter again to aerate it, and as of lunchtime, I still have nothing. Help!

Oh, one note: I ordered this stuff from California and I live in PA, and it took about 6 days to get here. Could the time in the truck have damaged the yeast?

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:10 PM   #2
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Well, you're going to have some lag time w/o making a starter. Also, a truck ride in the middle of summer very well could have killed all/most/part of the yeast. Give it some more time, then add more yeast.

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:11 PM   #3
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So is it still less than 24 hours since pitching? If so, too early to worry. It is possible that the long trip and heat killed the yeast, but it's too early to know for sure. If it's all sealed up nice and good (which it sounds like it is), give it a little more time.

Lessons for next time:

1. Have some backup dry yeast in the fridge
2. If there are any concerns about the yeast's viability, make a starter a day or so ahead of time.

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:14 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. Answer this for me, because I keep seeing it: what is a starter?

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:15 PM   #5
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where is Pa are you?


Do a lot of you guys see start times over 24 hours? I've yet to do a batch that took longer than 8.

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:18 PM   #6
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I see you're in Mechanicsburg, Todd. I live about 30 miles north of Harrisburg.

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:19 PM   #7
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Good link on how to make a yeast starter:

http://www.beerdude.com/yeast_starter.shtml

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Old 08-17-2006, 05:21 PM   #8
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Man, people are on the ball in these forums! Thanks!

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Old 08-17-2006, 06:20 PM   #9
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If fermentation doesnt start in 24 - 48 hours, you could find a local homebrew store and repitch your yeast. For more info on how to repitch, search the forums. That's what I do... I'm sure Todd could point you in the right direction for a homebrew store. Just a quick google search turned up this one in your area http://www.mrsteves.com/ . Why are you ordering from CA?

I'm originally from Warren, PA in the NW.

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Old 08-17-2006, 07:22 PM   #10
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There's one about 35 miles from me in Lemoyne, PA. I've been there before; I'm just lazy. I order from www.morebeer.com (who is based in CA), because they have a decent selection. If it doesn't start by tomorrow, I will go get more yeast on Saturday and pitch it.

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