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Old 02-16-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
JWest
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Default First batch...did I kill the yeast?

Hey everyone...I brewed my first batch (a Belgian White Ale) on Monday. I followed the recipe closely and tried to make sure everything was sanitized as I was brewing. However, I did make one (maybe big) mistake. I pitched the yeast while the wort was still about 105 F. I didn't realize until after the fact that the wort should be no higher than about 80 degrees before pitching.

My concern is that I killed some (or all) of the yeast. I had pretty significant bubbling in the airlock all day yesterday, which tells me that the yeast is alive, but today, there is no bubbling at all. I've read that sometimes it takes up to 72 hrs for there to be signs of fermentation, but I had already had bubbling yesterday, and now today, there are no signs of active fermentation. Granted, I'm brewing in a bucket, so I can't see what's happening, but there is no bubbling, and the bucket doesn't smell like anything.

Should I be concerned? If so, what should I do from here? Is pitching more yeast an option?

Thank in advance for the help!

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Old 02-16-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JWest View Post
Hey everyone...I brewed my first batch (a Belgian White Ale) on Monday. I followed the recipe closely and tried to make sure everything was sanitized as I was brewing. However, I did make one (maybe big) mistake. I pitched the yeast while the wort was still about 105 F. I didn't realize until after the fact that the wort should be no higher than about 80 degrees before pitching.

My concern is that I killed some (or all) of the yeast. I had pretty significant bubbling in the airlock all day yesterday, which tells me that the yeast is alive, but today, there is no bubbling at all. I've read that sometimes it takes up to 72 hrs for there to be signs of fermentation, but I had already had bubbling yesterday, and now today, there are no signs of active fermentation. Granted, I'm brewing in a bucket, so I can't see what's happening, but there is no bubbling, and the bucket doesn't smell like anything.

Should I be concerned? If so, what should I do from here? Is pitching more yeast an option?

Thank in advance for the help!

That’s pretty hot. I am sure some made it out alive but I would pick up some more yeast and repitch asap just to be on the safe side. Even if you have enough still alive to ferment it out they will be stressed which can give off flavors.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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I pitched mine at too high the other day and it is bubbling away nicely now. As long as it wasn't at 105 for hours, should be ok. Mine took 44 hours to show any signs in the airlock

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Old 02-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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I pitched mine at too high the other day and it is bubbling away nicely now. As long as it wasn't at 105 for hours, should be ok. Mine took 44 hours to show any signs in the airlock
I cooled it down by putting it in the sink with some ice and cold water shortly after I pitched it and did some research about the proper temperature to pitch. It cooled down pretty quickly after that and has been in the upper 60s since.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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Sounds exactly like my brew day. Next time, I'll stir the wort while cooling, as all the wort was not cooled, just where I had the thermometer.

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Old 02-16-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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They're all dead man! DEAD! It's not a salvageable batch, so after a few weeks, just rack it into a corny and send it to me. I have a license for proper disposal.

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JWest View Post
Hey everyone...I brewed my first batch (a Belgian White Ale) on Monday. I followed the recipe closely and tried to make sure everything was sanitized as I was brewing. However, I did make one (maybe big) mistake. I pitched the yeast while the wort was still about 105 F. I didn't realize until after the fact that the wort should be no higher than about 80 degrees before pitching.

My concern is that I killed some (or all) of the yeast. I had pretty significant bubbling in the airlock all day yesterday, which tells me that the yeast is alive, but today, there is no bubbling at all. I've read that sometimes it takes up to 72 hrs for there to be signs of fermentation, but I had already had bubbling yesterday, and now today, there are no signs of active fermentation. Granted, I'm brewing in a bucket, so I can't see what's happening, but there is no bubbling, and the bucket doesn't smell like anything.

Should I be concerned? If so, what should I do from here? Is pitching more yeast an option?

Thank in advance for the help!

If you had bubbling, it means that the yeast were probably doing their thing. And if they lived through the high-temperature wort to do that, why would they have died?

105 shouldn't be hot enough to instantly kill the yeast, though rapid temperature changes can shock them.

But most likely, they fermented the vast majority of the sugars in your wort during that first day, and now they are either cleaning up the bi-products of that, or they are busy building up the enzymes they need to ferment the more complex sugars that are left.

Sometimes a fermentation can take days to start, sometimes it can days to finish, and sometimes it can finish quite quickly.

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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all that said - your quality will probably suffer some - maybe some off-flavors.

Done this myself in my early batches -
Next time try to start and finish within the temperature range for the yeast you're using...

congrats on making BEER, though!

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