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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > OOPS! Wort chilled down too much after pitching. Slow start...
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
Stein
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Default OOPS! Wort chilled down too much after pitching. Slow start...

Brewed a pale ale on Saturday and I had some issues. It was my first partial boil in a very long time, so I was a bit rusty on the process.

I did an ice bath but I ran out of ice before the wort got to a pitchable temperature. I put the wort in my keezer and the temp was still at 110 degrees. Turned on the keezer and waited until the temp got down to about 74 degrees, then I pitched US-05. I set the temp to go down further to 70. I woke up the next morning to see if fermentation started, and I was shocked ot see the temp dropped all the way down to 60 degrees. It could have gone lower over night, too, but by the time I woke up it was at 60. No fermentation. Throughout the day it got up to about 65 degrees, still no fermentation even after a full 24 hours. I woke up today to see the temp sitting at 70, and fermentation had begun.

Anything to worry about? I think the cold temps just made the yeast go dormant, but did this stress them out enough that I should worry about off flavors? I heard cold yeast is better than hot yeast in that regard, but I'm a little concerned.

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
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I had that happen once. I had the wort chilled down to 70F-ish,then remembered I'd forgot to clean & sanitize the fermenters' spigot. By the time I got that done,it chilled down to about 59F!
I was using a 15g packet of Cooper's ale yeast I'd re-hydrated. Midwest & NB carry the larger 15g packets. Anyway,it took till the wort got back up to 64F before any real fermentation began. And that only after I'd swirled the FV to kick the re-awakening yeast back into suspension.
From my observations,this scenario makes the yeast quite sluggish. Even after temps rise well back into the yeasts' range. So some casulties do seem to be suggested...
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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It most likely made them a little more sluggish than usual. Don't stress. It's much worse to go the other way with it and hold it hot. Creepy things happen then. And in my experience, hot temps lend themselves to off flavors. Depending on the yeast you could get some diacetyl production but if you just bring it back into the 69-70 range after primary for a couple days the yeast will clean that up no problem.

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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It def makes them more sluggish. But I noticed in my case that they seemed to stay that way,even coming back up to 68F or so. So I assumed there was some small rate of attrition involved.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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Check your FG when the yeast ate done, no activity or the same gravity reading 2-3 days in a row. If its too high, pitch more yeast. I doubt you'll have a problem though.

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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I didn't have any attenuation problems in the end. It just took a bit longer. It should be fine.
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