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Old 07-21-2009, 06:52 AM   #1
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Default over 72 hours, uh oh...

I brewed my second batch of beer on Saturday. Tonight was over 72 hours and I saw no activity from the yeast, so I took a gravity reading. The first thing I noticed was this English Dark Ale didn't smell very good. Then I took the reading and it's still where it was at when I added the yeast. There doesn't really look like there's any mold...what should I do? I did everything the same way I did my first batch which worked out great, though I haven't drank any of it yet.



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Old 07-21-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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72 hours is starting to get a bit long, but doesn't mean it won't still start up.

We'll need some basic info to help evaluate.
Recipe
Type of yeast
Age of yeast
Did you make a starter if liquid yeast
Temperature of wort when yeast pitched
Temperature wort has been at since you pitched.

I wouldn't focus on any smells just yet.



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Old 07-21-2009, 11:02 AM   #3
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I was getting ready to ask a few questions, but it seems as if Zen_Brew has already done that. Hop back in here and give us some more info and we will point you in the right direction.

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Recipe: Brewer's Best English Dark Ale
Type of yeast: Nottingham
Age of yeast: exp: 08/2010
Did you make a starter if liquid yeast: no it's dry yeast
Temperature of wort when yeast pitched: 75.5 degrees F. The strip thermometer on the outside of my fermenter said something like 80 degrees but I trust the thermometer I stuck in the wort more.
Temperature wort has been at since you pitched: it has remained at approximately 68 degrees F according to the thermometer on the outside, but my other thermometer says 62 degrees on the inside.

The packet of yeast said to suspend the yest in 86-92 degree water and then mix it with the wort. I did not do that, I followed the directions that came with the recipe and it said once the wort was chilled to 70 degrees dump the yeast in and mix it around.

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
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I just went and checked my fermenter and it looks a lot different than it did last night. There is some bubbles that have formed and the gravity is slightly lower, from 1.042 to about 1.037 today. Should I bring the fermenter out of my basement to a warmer climate for a bit?

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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Leave it where it is. The mid sixties is a great temperature to ferment ales. Notty can throw some nasty flavors if it ferments too high.

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Old 07-21-2009, 05:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ziggy13 View Post
I just went and checked my fermenter and it looks a lot different than it did last night. There is some bubbles that have formed and the gravity is slightly lower, from 1.042 to about 1.037 today. Should I bring the fermenter out of my basement to a warmer climate for a bit?
That's why we say 75 hours...but remember with LIVING MICROORGANISMS, anything we suggest is just a "rule of thumb," or average, based on our experience, but that doesn't mean the yeasties don't have their own timeframe and agenda...they are the beer bosses, not us.

Remember, if you have sanitized and sealed up your fermenter even if it is over 72 hours your wort wont be ruined if it takes longer. You can buy these and yeast wort kits in some shops. It's basically a 2 or 3 soda bottle of wort that you open, pitch yeast in and snap an airlock on. And those sit for many months on store shelves. And although I am sure it is not the greatest beer in the world, the wort doesn't instantly go bad if they are not sold within 72 hours of being sealed up.

So don't automatically assume just because the yeast doesn't appear to take off for over 72 hours, that it is automatically going to spoil, if you haven't opened the fermenter.

And under most circumstances your yeast will take off...UNLESS you have had mail order liquid yeast sent to you in the heat of summer and didn't make a starter, OR you dropped the yeast into boiling wort.

It is not like the bad old days of pre/1978 brewing when yeast came in dried out cakes that may have travelled in a hot cargo ship over months from Europe. Most yeast today is lightyears healthier than it was back then....

And even if some of the cells are dead, the first thing the yeasties are going to do when presented with 5 gallons of food is have an orgy and reproduce.....that is what is usually happening in the so called lag time...the yeast are waking up, and beginning to raise an army to tackle all that food.

If we can grow a huge 1/2 or 1 gallon starter from the dregs in a bottle of beer, then the yeast you pitch will take off eventually....and if you leave your fermenter alone...don't even look at it, in fact if you trust it...it will be fine.

They've been doing this fermentation stuff for over 4,000 years in some pretty hostile condition, they should be able to handle your nicely sanitized and sealed fermenter.

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Old 07-21-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
That's why we say 75 hours...but remember with LIVING MICROORGANISMS, anything we suggest is just a "rule of thumb," or average, based on our experience, but that doesn't mean the yeasties don't have their own timeframe and agenda...they are the beer bosses, not us.

Remember, if you have sanitized and sealed up your fermenter even if it is over 72 hours your wort wont be ruined if it takes longer. You can buy these and yeast wort kits in some shops. It's basically a 2 or 3 soda bottle of wort that you open, pitch yeast in and snap an airlock on. And those sit for many months on store shelves. And although I am sure it is not the greatest beer in the world, the wort doesn't instantly go bad if they are not sold within 72 hours of being sealed up.

So don't automatically assume just because the yeast doesn't appear to take off for over 72 hours, that it is automatically going to spoil, if you haven't opened the fermenter.

And under most circumstances your yeast will take off...UNLESS you have had mail order liquid yeast sent to you in the heat of summer and didn't make a starter, OR you dropped the yeast into boiling wort.

It is not like the bad old days of pre/1978 brewing when yeast came in dried out cakes that may have travelled in a hot cargo ship over months from Europe. Most yeast today is lightyears healthier than it was back then....

And even if some of the cells are dead, the first thing the yeasties are going to do when presented with 5 gallons of food is have an orgy and reproduce.....that is what is usually happening in the so called lag time...the yeast are waking up, and beginning to raise an army to tackle all that food.

If we can grow a huge 1/2 or 1 gallon starter from the dregs in a bottle of beer, then the yeast you pitch will take off eventually....and if you leave your fermenter alone...don't even look at it, in fact if you trust it...it will be fine.

They've been doing this fermentation stuff for over 4,000 years in some pretty hostile condition, they should be able to handle your nicely sanitized and sealed fermenter.


It's deja vu all over again (sorry Rev, I swear I just read this in another post)
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
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It's deja vu all over again (sorry Rev, I swear I just read this in another post)
Yeah, you did I thought it was worth putting in the 72 hours sticky after I wrote it here.....
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:41 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. I was originally worried because my first batch, Brewer's Best American Amber, reached it's FG in less than 72 hours. I ended up bottling it after 4 days. This batch seems to be taking much longer to even start showing signs of fermentation.

The only thing I can come up with is I added the yeast when my fermenter said 78 degrees...which meant a thermometer reading from the inside would have been about 84 degrees. This batch the fermenter said about 70 degrees and the internal temp was 75.5 degrees. From what I've read I think yeast will ferment faster if started at a higher temperature?

Next time, should I follow the instructions on the yeast packet rather than just dumping the yeast in and mixing when the temp is at 70 degrees like my beer kit instructions said?

Also, I did open the fermentor up, last night and again today to take the gravity readings. I assume this is ok?



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