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Old 05-08-2013, 02:15 AM   #1
cyborgbally
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Default Visible activity or lack there of . . .

I brewed an extract kit from Northern Brewer (Black IPA) on Saturday afternoon. This is my second batch and the first took about 48 hour before I saw any airlock activity, then it went bat **** crazy and I needed a blow off tube. Both batches have used the Wyeast 1272. It has now been almost 4 days since it went in the fermenter and I have yet to see any bubbles in the blow off.

My concern is that I was in a hurry to get it in the fermener. I had it in the ice bath to cool it down and was checking it periodically and it was @ 80 degrees, then a couple of minutes later it was at 40 degrees. I took it out of the ice bath and added it to the fermenting bucket, then I pitched the yeast. The bucket has been sitting at about 68 degrees since then. Did I make the yeast go dormant? I'm guessing at the very least I may have shocked them, thus making the process take longer.

This is really just the standard newbie "Oh my gosh, the beer is not doing what I expect it too" and I really am expecting the standard, " Just wait a little longer and be patient and you will get beer" response. But just in case, I thought I would make sure I do not need to go get a new yeast packet and add it.

Any insight would be helpful.



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Old 05-08-2013, 03:43 AM   #2
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Just wait a little longer and be patient and you will get beer!

Did you make a starter?

You may have shocked the yeast a little but yeast are strong. Once the temp had increased the yeast would wake up and start doing their job. Maybe you have a leak somewhere and that is why you have zero airlock activity.



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Old 05-08-2013, 03:56 AM   #3
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I did not need to make a starter, it was a wyeast smack pack. I think I will take a peek tomorrow to look for krausen.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #4
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I asked about starter since Wyeast Labs suggest making a starter or pitching more than 1 pack if the OG is over 1.06.

I think once you take a peek you will see some healthy Krausen though! Let us know.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cyborgbally View Post
I did not need to make a starter, it was a wyeast smack pack. I think I will take a peek tomorrow to look for krausen.
That's not necessarily a good assumption to make. Check out the yeast pitching calculator at mrmalty.com, and you'll find that most beers will benefit from a starter. It all depends on your OG, your volume, and the date on your smack pack (make sure to check that date - older smack packs contain less viable yeast!).

As to your situation, give it another day or so, then look into getting another pack of yeast to get in that fermenter if you can.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:16 AM   #6
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Thank you everyone for your replies. Still no activity, but I did take a peek and the Krausen is there. I suspect that the difference is that the last batch I was using my father in laws old fermenting bucket which was not marked for 5 gallons and I did not have enough head space, thus the airlock blow out and the need for the blow off tube.

This batch I purchased a new fermentation bucket and it has plenty of head room, thus even though there is activity, there is not enough gas being created to fill the empty space in the bucket as well as the blow off tube and create bubbles in the jar.

I am going to put the regular airlock back on it and I am sure by tomorrow I will see a little activity.

In time it will be beer, and that beer will be in my belly.

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Old 05-13-2013, 03:28 AM   #7
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Ok, so it has now been 8 days since I brewed, and although I did see krausen, I have still not seen any activity in the airlock. I am going to head to the LBS tomorrow and pick up another pack of yeast and pitch it after work tomorrow. Hopefully I can get this baby back on track tomorrow.

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Old 05-13-2013, 03:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyborgbally
Ok, so it has now been 8 days since I brewed, and although I did see krausen, I have still not seen any activity in the airlock. I am going to head to the LBS tomorrow and pick up another pack of yeast and pitch it after work tomorrow. Hopefully I can get this baby back on track tomorrow.
Unnecessary. Airlock activity is not an indication of fermentation .... More likely you had a leaky seal somewhere. If you saw Krauzen, you had fermentation.

Also, if you REALLY want to verify fermentation, take a gravity reading.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:28 AM   #9
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Agreed with masterfool. The only way you can tell for sure about fermentation is with a gravity reading. Do not pitch more yeast without a reading first.

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Old 05-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #10
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another +1 with masterfool. If you've got Krausen, the yeast is alive and making beer. A gravity reading will put to rest your worries. My money's on a small leak in the seal that prevents airlock activity but is small enough to stop any undesirables from getting in.

One of my fermenters seems to have a leak in it too, and funnily enough it was the one in my small collection of fermeters that appeared more well-made than the others.



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