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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > I may have killed it
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Old 02-12-2007, 06:21 PM   #1
Fish
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Default I may have killed it

My 4th batch was pitched yeasterday and I have not seen any action so far. It has been 20 hours. It was a white labs vial of yeast within its date. I strained the batch and I did not sanitize the strainer. The one thing I forgot. Everything else went fine. If I don't see action is there anyway to save it or is down the sink?

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Fish
My 4th batch was pitched yeasterday and I have not seen any action so far. It has been 20 hours. It was a white labs vial of yeast within its date. I strained the batch and I did not sanitize the strainer. The one thing I forgot. Everything else went fine. If I don't see action is there anyway to save it or is down the sink?
It may be okay, but we need more specifics. What where you brewing and what yeast did you use? What is the ambient temperature of the room the brew is fermenting in. Are you using a glass or plastic ferment vessel?
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Old 02-12-2007, 06:34 PM   #3
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I think I see the smallest little bubbles now. It may be alive. Maybe I am too paranoid.

It is a stout and pretty heavy. I tried to do a partial mash, threw in some oatmeal and smoked the grains. It is sitting in the kitchen in a plastic bucket. The bucket side fermeter reads 74 right now and it hasn't gotten below that. It was pitch in an 80 deg wort. Its the White Labs british ale yeast.

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:37 PM   #4
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20 hours is way too soon to worry. Just keep it at room temp and it will do what it is suppose to do.
check this out if you haven't already read it.

www.howtobrew.com

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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Thanks I was just getting worked up. The others I have done showed life earlier.

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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I had a lengthy lag time when I pitched a white labs vial w/o a starter...if I use their yeast again, I will definitely use a stater to minimize the lag.

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Old 02-12-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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When using liquid yeast, whether it be Wyeast or WL, you should always always always make a starter the day before. While the packs may say that it's enough to inoculate 5 gals of wort, that claim is pretty much hogwash.

The last time I used a liquid commercial yeast pack without a starter was my cranberry dubbel. A long time ago, in beer years (in real time....3 months ago) That was my learning experience. It was a new pack, and swelled plenty when smacked. I pitched it, and it took an excruciating 3 days to start. I actually went over to a local brewpub where I know the brewmaster, and got some yeast from him on the third day. By the time I got home, the Abbey yeast had finally started. The beer turned out fine with no infections and pretty good attenuation, but after that debacle, I make starters for all liquid yeast (exceptions are when racking directly onto an existing yeast cake, or when I get fresh yeast from that brewmaster I know). And I make big starters, too...a liter of water with 7oz of DME. Since then...very short lag times.

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Old 02-12-2007, 08:27 PM   #8
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OK. Here is the skinny on starters: Do you need one? The answer is yes and no and it depends.

It depends on the OG of your beer. Less than say, 1.050, you need about 50 to 100 billion yeasts cells for 5 gallons to get short lag times and good fermentation. The White Labs and Wyest preps claim to have about 100 billion cells. This works OK for medium and light gravity beers and I personally don't have problems. HOWEVER, for higher gravity beers (> 1.050) like bocks, stouts, cranberry dubbles, etc, you need much higher amounts of yeast cells to kick off fermentation. A 1.070 beer requires approximately 200 billion cells or more. Far more than is in a White Labs tube or a single smack-pack. These beers should have starters. If you didn't use a starter, things will eventually kick off (probably) and you will be alright (sorta) except for the gray hair from waiting so long.

That being said, just be careful on your sanitation when making your starter because not only are you propagating more yeast, but you may also be propagating any contaminants that came along for the ride. They like high numbers too. But I have never had contamination problems with starters. Just be extra clean and watch your santization and you will have no problems.

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Old 02-12-2007, 08:38 PM   #9
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:13 PM   #10
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I pitched a Wyeast vial in my brew last week and it took about 27 hours before I saw anything. I did the Caramel Cream Ale and didn't do a starter for it. After a little over a day it started going like crazy so I wouldn't sweat it too much.

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