Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Fluctuating temps + underpitched yeast
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-07-2010, 07:48 AM   #1
mezzoblue
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 20
Default Fluctuating temps + underpitched yeast

So here's the situation.

For my third batch, I wanted to move to liquid yeast. Not quite ready to do a starter yet, so I asked at the local homebrew shop if a Wyeast 1056 smack pack is good enough without a starter. They said yeah, so I brewed as normal and dropped it in. Except I used a Wyeast Starter, not an Activator.

24hrs later I was starting to get nervous. I ran my numbers through the Mr. Malty yeast calculator and came up with 189B cells ideal pitch. The pack I used had 25B. I was low by almost 8 times. The homebrew shop was closed so I couldn't pick up more yeast; I decided to try and cold crash the wort to 10C / 50F to hopefully stop the current yeast from propagating & building up fusel alcohols, and ideally have it flocculate out until I had a chance to pick up more yeast today.

Of course the shop was closed today too, so here I am 56hrs out from pitching with a slowly fermenting batch that appears to be picking up steam. I've raised the temp back up to 20 C / 70 F and I'm going to let it go for the next week and see what happens. This yeast will now have to compensate for both low numbers and a big temperature fluctuation at the start.

I'm expecting a slow ferment that won't attenuate nearly enough, and I'll have to dump this batch. Anyone have any hope for me?

__________________

mezzoblue is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2010, 07:53 AM   #2
Pommy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 727
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

probably wont be great because of the low cell count at pitching but why on earth would you dump it?

__________________
Pommy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2010, 11:56 AM   #3
Justibone
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,023
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 69

Default

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sure underpitching is less than ideal, but lots of people do it and still get drinkable - even good - beer. Also, a cold snap is waaaaay better than a heat wave for the flavor of your beer.

Let it go, it wants to be beer. RDWHAHB.

Justibone is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
stevo155
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Derry, NH
Posts: 933
Liked 21 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

I always try to keep a couple packets of dry yeast around for just these types of events.

Hope it comes out drinkable for you.

__________________

BN Army for Life!!!

stevo155 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2010, 01:50 PM   #5
cenla
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pineville, LA
Posts: 122
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justibone View Post
Let it go, it wants to be beer. RDWHAHB.
+1. Live it, love it, drink it.
__________________

call me Mike.

dough, the stuff that buys the beer,
Ray, the guy that buys the beer...

cenla is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
dpittard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Athens, Ga
Posts: 190
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I propose that you would have been just fine from the start. The worst thing we can do for a beer is to try to fix something we don't know to be happening. I would have suggested that you wait AT LEAST three days and then check for signs of fermentation. I certainly trust instinct better than some calculator on the Internet (and no, I'm not saying that JZ's calculator is wrong or not trustworthy).

__________________

Reason: additions
dpittard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2010, 11:59 PM   #7
mezzoblue
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 20
Default

I expect dpittard is exactly right. If I hadn't gotten nervous and tried to floc out the old yeast, it would have kept munching away and produced something drinkable. It appears to be working steadily anyway despite my bungling efforts.

If it actually attenuates anywhere near properly, I'll keep going and bottle anyway, and see what happens over a few months. I've read enough to know over time the yeast could surprise me and make something drinkable out of it. I have my doubts, but we'll see what happens.

(Ironically, this was supposed to be the improved version of my batch #2, which turned out really, really well.)

__________________
mezzoblue is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-26-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
mezzoblue
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 20
Default

As an update on this one for any future searchers with similar problems: it did indeed ferment out properly, and it turned out great. Differently than expected, but great.

I ended up leaving it in primary for three weeks and saw too many floating yeast chunks on bottling day, so instead of bottling I racked it to secondary for another week to try and let them settle. I likely should have done that sooner, the beer tasted meaty at this point which is apparently a good sign of yeast autolysis. Not to mention that the yeast cake I left behind smelled absolutely foul.

After a week it had cleared up considerably so I bottled, though there was still the odd chunk of yeast here and there. I let the bottles sit longer than normal, and after a month they've cleared up and taste really good. Definitely not the IPA I thought I was brewing, and much sweeter than I was going for (almost like a maple cream ale), but a highly drinkable beer nonetheless.

So, lesson learned. The yeast will do their thing, best leave them to it.

__________________
mezzoblue is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
Justibone
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,023
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 69

Default

It wants to be beer!

__________________
Best Brews Yet:
Edwort's (modified) Apfelwein
BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde
Cuinrearview's Gumballhead-Inspired WPA
Pelikan's John's Red English Barleywine
Justibone is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fluctuating Ferm Temps Merg Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 08-04-2010 07:37 AM
Underpitched the Yeast? duffman2 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 08-04-2010 03:57 AM
fluctuating fermintation temp monk420 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 05-29-2010 03:22 AM
Underpitched the Yeast?? duffman2 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 12-04-2009 04:53 PM
Fluctuating lagering temps aqudoc Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 04-21-2009 09:12 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS