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Old 01-21-2013, 02:37 AM   #1
WillKing
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Default beer not fermenting

This is only my second batch that I have done, so I'm still very new to home brewing. My question- I brewed a smoked Porter 4 days ago and there has been little to no activity in the airlock, I tired to stir the yeast back into suspension yesterday and still no activity. Do I need to pitch more yeast or let it sit for a little while? If I do need to pitch more yeast, so I need to rack it off of the original yeast cake?

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:41 AM   #2
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The airlock is not a good indicator of fermentation. Take a hydrometer sample to see where you are at. If it is around 2/3 of your og in about a week you'll be fine.

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:20 AM   #3
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The only problem with that is I didn't get to do an original gravity because my wife dropped my hydrometer a few days before I brewed and my new one wasn't in yet. Is there anything else I can do?

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:22 AM   #4
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so repitch if you feel like wasting money, if you have a yeast cake at the bottom and you didn't originally pitch on to one then there has been activity

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:37 AM   #5
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Would repitching be a bad idea just to make sure?

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:58 AM   #6
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if you want to waste money go for it..

what did you start with yeastwise... a package of dry? a vial of wet?
and you see more than what you pitched at the bottom of the fermenter??

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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If this is an extract batch, post the recipe and we can calculate the OG

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillKing View Post
The only problem with that is I didn't get to do an original gravity because my wife dropped my hydrometer a few days before I brewed and my new one wasn't in yet. Is there anything else I can do?
If you have the new hydrometer now, you can take a reading. If it is close to your expected OG then you didn't get any fermentation. If it is close to, or considerably lower than, your expected FG then you got fermentation.

No need to pitch any more yeast until you know whether you had fermentation and there is no way to really know that without a hydrometer. You could also pop open the lid and look for a nice krausen - this would indicate that everything was fine (though can't tell you how far along you are)
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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What are you fermenting in? Is it a PVC bucket, or glass carboy? The reason I ask this is because I'm fermenting in a bucket for my first time, and honestly I don't know how people do it as you can't see inside to get a better feel for what's going on. I have a batch of imperial nut brow ale in the ale pale, and it only bubbled in the air lock for 24 hours then stopped dead. After doing a bit of research I have come to discover that many of the ale pale style of fermenters don't hold the gas well, and leak from the rim seal making it look like fermentation has stalled, however this is most likely not the case as fermentation is still underway, it's just that the gas is escaping from the lid. I haven't peaked inside the bucket yet, but will wait a couple weeks just to insure that fermentation is complete. I will never ferment in a bucket again due to this....glass carbons only for me.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
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What are you fermenting in? Is it a PVC bucket, or glass carboy? The reason I ask this is because I'm fermenting in a bucket for my first time, and honestly I don't know how people do it as you can't see inside to get a better feel for what's going on. I have a batch of imperial nut brow ale in the ale pale, and it only bubbled in the air lock for 24 hours then stopped dead. After doing a bit of research I have come to discover that many of the ale pale style of fermenters don't hold the gas well, and leak from the rim seal making it look like fermentation has stalled, however this is most likely not the case as fermentation is still underway, it's just that the gas is escaping from the lid. I haven't peaked inside the bucket yet, but will wait a couple weeks just to insure that fermentation is complete. I will never ferment in a bucket again due to this....glass carbons only for me.
There is no danger in opening the lid and looking inside. I do it ALL the time. In fact, I begin all my fermentations with the lid just placed gently on top of the bucket - I don't lock it down. I let it go 3 days or so like this so I can keep an eye on things easily - it is very reassuring to actually see the krausen. Once a few days have passed and I am sure everything is proceeding well, I lock the lid down and let it go for another couple of weeks.
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