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Old 12-21-2010, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default 6 days later, the beer didn't ferment

So, I looked through all the FAQs and wiki, and while there's tons of info on relaxing, taking hydrometer readings, generally dealing with no bubbles in your airlock, there's not much on what to do after you finally do determine that no fermentation has taken place (or, I failed to find it).

I brewed AHBS' WInter Imperial Ale six days ago. While there were no bubbles in the airlock all week, I didn't panic because that's happened before and the beer came out fine (just a leak in the bucket, probably). But today, I took a hydrometer reading just to make sure. The result? 1.062, almost identical to the 1.064 reading I got when I pitched the yeast originally.

The yeast was from a washed batch that I made just over six months ago. It smelled a little funny when I opened the Mason jar to make a starter, but everyone on here said don't worry about it, pitch it anyway, so I did. Couldn't hurt, right?

In 3 years of beginner brewing, this is the first time that this has happened to me, so I'm not too upset about it, but on the other hand, I do have almost 5 gallons of wort that I'd like to salvage if possible. I have a packet of Munton's dry yeast in the fridge, but this was my backup packet in case of emergency for the last 3 years, and the date on it say 10/2009. Can I use that? Or should I just go buy a test tube of yeast at the local homebrew store 45 miles away? And should I make a starter out of the test tube or just pitch right away?

Thanks, guys. You've been a massive help in the past, I'm hoping you can help in my greatest hour of need so far.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:40 AM   #2
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Hmm you say you made a starter out the 6 month old yeast? did the starter ferment normally? If it was me and there is no evidence that the beer has any infection I would go get the yeast vial and pitch it.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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Yeah I don't think it's infected. I don't know if the starter fermented normally, I got lazy and didn't take a hydrometer reading of the beer in the starter. But my beer smells normal right now. I also tasted what I drew into the hydrometer, and it tasted like sugary wort, like the stuff I taste every time on brew day (to take the OG reading).

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:48 AM   #4
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Ah well I would try and save the beer, I wouldn't trust 3 year old muntons. Do you have any local brewer friends that may have a pack of yeast to bum? could save you a long ride.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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I'd get some good yeast and get it pitched ASAP. I'd probably just go with a good dry yeast like US04 or US05.

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:16 AM   #6
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Any bottles of beer you made. That would probably reactivate too.

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Old 12-21-2010, 04:24 AM   #7
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I tried stirring it up tonight with my sanitized spoon, just to see if I get any airlock activity by tomorrow. If not, I'm planning on buying some yeast. Sigh.

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Old 12-21-2010, 04:42 AM   #8
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Pitch the pack of dry you have right now and also make sure fermenter is at a temperature between 65 and 70.

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Old 12-21-2010, 04:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockout View Post
I tried stirring it up tonight with my sanitized spoon, just to see if I get any airlock activity by tomorrow. If not, I'm planning on buying some yeast. Sigh.
I'd definitely go with some new, dry yeast. That beer doesn't need a liquid yeast. If you go dry, you'll have a good cell count right off the bat without having to wait for a starter to build it up.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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+1 on previous brews. i have done a starter with yeast at the bottom of the bottle. it works just fine.

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