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Old 12-29-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
bennettsci
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Default A little worried...

So I did my first brew two days ago. I'm using the Brewer's Best German Altbier kit and fermenting in a bucket rather than a carboy. The boil went fine, I transfered to the bucket and set it to cool. I pitched the yeast when the temperature looked okay.

It's been almost 2 days, and I don't see any signs of fermenting. No krausen, no bubbling in the airlock, etc.

I know to wait 3 full days and check with a hydrometer. What I'm wondering is if my yeast was dead before I even put it in the fermenter. If it was, A) can I repitch the yeast without losing the wort and B) what kind of yeast should I use?

Thanks for the help,

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:58 PM   #2
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what kind of yeast?
what temps did you pitch the yeast at?
what temp are you fermenting at?
have you taken a gravity reading?

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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Temp looked ok at what temp? There is a slight chance it could bee too cool to start up.If its below 60 or something.
When you set your bucket to cool,did you use an icebath or just let it cool by itself?
Did you aerate? Did you hydrate? These help for quicker starts,but alot of people dont do them with dry yeast too. What kind of yeast did it come with? You could try slightly warming and rousing to get it started ( i use a heating pad w/towel) then keep your temps mildly cool like low 60's once you see a frothy foam on top.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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I searched and searched and couldn't find the yeast strain included in the kit. It just said "yeast."
I pitched the yeast around 80 deg. F, and I'm thinking it was still too hot to pitch.
I'm fermenting in my basement, which hangs out between 60-65 F most of the time.
My first gravity reading was 1.040, which was a little low, but I wasn't too worried about it.

I cooled in an ice bath and then let it cool some more, covered, before I pitched.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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everything sounds good on your part. the yeast called 'yeast' seems a bit suspect. was it the yeast included with the kit? (i think most BB kits are Nottingham, right?)

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:07 PM   #6
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I'm not sure...I checked their website, and it just links to a PDF of the instructions that came with the kit. I found some info on some good yeasts for cooler Alt fermentation, so I might run to the brew shop tomorrow and get some to repitch if the hydrometer doesn't change tomorrow when I check it again.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:11 PM   #7
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It could still take off,but you may want to get some more just in case. Pitching at 80 seems high especially if your getting it down to low 60's.Try to pitch closer to your ambient temps or 5 deg above. Did you have your yeast sitting out at room temp for a while before you pitched,it needs to warm also.
What kind of water did you use?
You didnt see a ring of junk around the surface in the bucket? Ferments can be fast,and they can also look clear on top but usually is a ring around the bucket, once krausen falls. Ive never had a ghost ferment, so i cant say whether or not to check your hydrometer really.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:12 PM   #8
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might not be a bad idea. i don't wanna get you worried, but i'm always weary of the dry yeast that comes with kits, even if it's brand name. if you're going to try another yeast, try a liquid kolsch yeast, those are good for alts.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:08 PM   #9
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Jonmohno, thanks for the thoughts. I've seen a carboy after fermentation (krausen ring) and mine doesn't have that, which is why I was wary. I rehydrated, but then it did sit for a while before I pitched it, so it might have been too cold.
I think the wort is still good (sanitary, no infection) so I'll probably re-check with a hydrometer and then repitch with a new set.

NordeastBrewer77, thanks for the suggestion for the liquid kolsch. We have a pretty small brew shop, so I'll do my best to find a liquid strain rather than a dry strain again.

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Old 12-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #10
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a neutral dry strain like us-05 wouldn't be a bad option if your LHBS doesn't carry liquid. it won't have the lager like qualities of a true alt, but if you ferment at the cool end of the temp range, it'll still be a nice, clean amber, much like an alt.

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Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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