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-   -   How big was my mistake? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-big-my-mistake-379939/)

MikePenn 01-09-2013 01:12 PM

How big was my mistake?
Good Morning, so I am on my second brew. The first one I did was just a nice and simple box set that seemed to have little room for error. This one I found a recipe provided by one of my favorite local microbreweries. The wort came out great and my boil times were on spot, I cooled everything quickly but then realize as I looked for my yeast that it was still in the fridge. I took my White Labs California Ale out of the fridge, warmed it up in my hands for a couple of minutes and then pitched it in to 80 degree wort. I have my fermentation area at 70 degrees. After about 24 hours I went to check and saw that fermentation had begun. Being the child that I am I went to check on it again about 48 hours later and say that fermentation had stopped. The first question is did I shock my yeast and is that what cause such a quick end to the process?

Part II of the story; I went around reading as many articles as I could about what went wrong (which is where is learned that shock is probably the big factor) in some of these articles it was suggested that maybe I should open her up give her a good stir and hop for the process to continue back up. Knowing the risks of infection I went ahead and as carefully and cleanly as I could, I opened it up and stirred. It has been another 24 hours since then and no fermentation has begun. I plan on sitting this through the full 7 days testing the FG, dry hopping, and transferring to a secondary. Has anyone made this mistake, you think I am fine? Any advice would help, my buddy told me to dump it but how will I learn if I donít taste the mistakes I make.

PAjwPhilly 01-09-2013 01:26 PM

I am by no measure an experienced brewer.... yet. But I do have a degree in biochemistry.

You made a sugary liquid that you want yeast to eat. If those yeast are not eating it, something else probably is. Therefore if your not happy with those yeast's fermentation, I would get another batch of yeast in there ASAP.

I would test the gravity to see if anything is happening (OG > MeasuredG)

Like I said I am by no means a seasoned home brewer, just wanted to give you some feedback.

In case you are not having fermentation I think you should pitch more yeast. And give them ample time to ferment rather than using a secondary.

jethro55 01-09-2013 01:30 PM

A couple of mine so far have completed the first stage in 24 hours. Most within 48 hours. It's only the first stage. The rest is most important and it just sits there and doesn't appear to be active... But it is.
Sounds like it is working to me.

Golddiggie 01-09-2013 01:31 PM

Your biggest mistake was making TWO threads for the exact same smurfing question. That's a big 'no-no' around here. Post once and wait. Don't panic and make posts in different sections thinking you'll get a faster response. A good number of us watch for new threads and such, so your question will be answered soon enough.

Of course 99% of all questions can often be answered IF the person just searches a bit on the boards. I'm not talking about searching for hours, but using the search function as well as reading the sticky threads and such.

Wondering how long before the mods close down one of your duplicate threads.

BTW, you can also look at the bottom of the page for "Similar Threads" before creating a second one. :smack:

Dubya 01-09-2013 01:32 PM

Fermentation likely didn't stop...just the visible signs of fermentation (airlock activity). My recent batch had zero airlock activity after 48 hours. Yet I pulled a sample last night after 10 days in primary and the FG is right where it should be.

yancydc 01-09-2013 01:32 PM

Absolutely don't dump it. In fact, I bet it's just fine. The only way to tell what's happening with fermentation is checking the gravity, not bubbles, or a krausen, or anything else. My guess is the FG will be right where you want it, and you can go ahead as planned.

There are very limited circumstances where you should dump your beer, and this ain't one of them.

CTR08 01-09-2013 01:32 PM

Yup you're fine.

DPBISME 01-09-2013 01:43 PM

I agree, you should be good but next time don't rush. put the TUBE in your pocket for half an hour or so and then pitch it....

You just killed almost all the little beasties that could grow so you have a little bit of time. You are casting Billions of cells of yeast and unless something is really dirty they still will get way out in front of anything else.

BUT: like it was stated above... test gravity... even taste it for sweetness (very un-scientific)... to see if the majority of the sugars have been consumed.

MikePenn 01-09-2013 01:55 PM

Thank everyone for your quick resonses, makes me feel better.

Also I do have to say I feel like an idiot. I was searching in the fermentation threads and hit new thread when in fact I want to post into the beginners thread.

BigRob 01-09-2013 02:45 PM

Unless you've checked the gravity, you can't really "see" fermentation being over. Bubbles in your airlock are excess CO2 venting, they are not a very reliable method to determine how your fermentation is progressing. Since you pitched the yeast into very warm wort, they very well could have finished the bulk of your primary fermentation already. You might also find some off flavours due to the warm pitch and high temp fermentation.

You might also consider using dry yeast like US-05 or Nottingham next time too, since you're new at this you aren't likely into the idea of making a starter (which you should with Vials/Smack Packs). A 11.5g sachet of dry yeast is going to give you a much more optimal pitch rate, it's also cheaper, and WLP001-Cali Ale is the same yeast as US-05 anyway.

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