Please Help Beginner- Fermentation Concerns
O.K. Wife wanted me to brew her a clean dom tasting brew. No flavor, plain bland Etc. I know right...
Anyway, brewed the following last night:
6lbs Of Rice Syrup Solids
1oz Cascade Hops
Danstar Nottingham Yeast
Ferment temp between 68-71 degrees in a swamp style cooler with ice bottles to control temp.
When I got home from work today, I noticed that I have zero fermentation bubbles coming from my airlock, so 2 things crossed my mind.
1. Danstar yeast problem- Could be bad yeast
2. Yeast will not ferment an all Rice syrup Solid brew.
I had a second packet of Danstar Nottingham, and I just tossed it incrementally to my fermentation pale.
Anyone ever brew with only Rice Syrup Solids? Will only Rice Syrup Solids ferment, or are they missing essential nutrients that yeast need? How long should I give this brew a chance to ferment with the second packet of yeast added? Any advise would help other than my personal advice to myself "Toss this bucket of crap and brew real beer".
How long have you waited? It could take 24 to 72 hours to start. So dont go throwing new yeast in there for another day or two
Like others said it takes up to 72 hours.
That being said, I only had one bad batch last year and it was from using Nottingham yeast. I did the same as you and added a second packet after a few days. The whole batch turned out weird and I had to trash it. Ever since then I have used liquid yeasts and had no problems.
Advice is to wait and I am sure it will do it's thing. Always follow through and bottle/ keg it. With time a lot of problems work their way out.
Well, you jumped the gun, and used a Faulty "sign of fermentation."
As already stated in the linked sticky, Fermentation often can take up to three days to start. And by visible signs they do NOT mean airlock bubbling.
I don't see anything by what you are saying to indicate that your fermentation actually wasn't. All I see is that your airlock wasn't bubbling, and that you didn't take a gravity reading before panicking and pitched more yeast.
BUT without a gravity reading all you are telling me is that your airlock wasn't bubbling....That is NOT the same thing as a fermentation happening.
Whether it's in a conical, a bucket, or a carboy, it's the same thing. An airlock is a VENT, a VALVE to release excess co2, nothing more.
If it's not bubbling it just means that there no excess co2 to be vented out.
In your case, more than likely hadn't even started yet, or that it was working fine, and just didn't need to vent any co2 yet.
A beer may ferment perfectly fine without a single blip in the airlock.
That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks. The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.
The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....
Thinking about "doing anything" without taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?
Next time, wait 72 hours, and then take a grav reading, what happens to 99% of the nervous new brewers like you, is that when they open their bucket to take the reading, they see a beautiful krauzen on top of the beer, which means that fermentation is indeed happening.
Yeasts just don't "NOT WORK" these days. That's an old idea from 30 years ago, not the reality these days. Given enough time the yeast does what it needs to do.
Thanks to all, appreciate any and all advise!
I did take a gravity reading from my satellite fermenter, and it stayed the same 1.052 as the original 24hrs into it.
I did notice that the airlock had begun releasing CO2, and I'll give the satellite hydrometer another reading leter this evening.
Now my concern is that I added a second packet of yeast when I probably shouldn't have. Does anyone know what results I should expect when adding a second packet of yeast 24hrs in?
A satellite fermenter is just as bad a "sign of fermentation" as an airlock.
That "satellite fermenter" idea will only tell you WHAT YOUR BEER WILL FINISH AT, NOT when your 5 gallon batch of beer will be done.
It's used to measure attenuation of the yeast, not rate of fermentation.
It will take yeast a lot less time to chew through 12 ounces of wort than it will 5 gallons.....so don't trust that silly thing that someone came up with because they are too afraid to take samples from their beer as being accurate.
If you do take that as "gospel" you more than likely are rushing your beer off the yeast way to soon. You know "bottle Bombs" or suddenly posting an "is my beer in secondary ruined?" thread because now that you moved it to secondary because the "satellite" said it was done, you now have this scary looking growth that you have never seen in your bucket (because the lid is one) that suddenly grew on top of your wort and is ugly as sin....which we of course will tell you to rdwhahb because that is just krausen and it formed because you racked too soon and the yeast is still trying to work to make beer for you.
The idea came from commercial breweries, but you have to realize when they are using in it a 3 or 7 or 10bbl fermentaion setup, that their sattelite looks like this.
And they are drawing off hydro sample out of that bucket just like we do.
And they are STILL going to be taking readings and tasting the REAL beer in the ACTUAL FERMENTER, before making any determination.
It's been adopted by some home brewers, and unfortunately gets perpetuated by people (mostly noobs scared of taking real hydro readings) but it's about as accurate as airlock bubbling, (and you know where I count that in terms of fermentation gauges- slightly below the astrological calender :D)
Please don't fear taking a real hydro sample of your beer, don't ever go by a satellite grav reading.....Or an airlock....
Great advice on the actual Hydro sample. I'm still at the beginning homebrew stage, and all I read is sanitization / sanitization... I've been worried to pop the top on my primary fermenter for a reading beacuse of outside air getting in. I'll continue to keep everything clean and sanitized when taking my readings moving forward, but was worried that even outside air could ruin my batch.
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