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Old 01-07-2013, 05:23 PM   #1
Kirbstreet51
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Default Went out of town...

So I went out of town after putting my beer in the primary fermenter, was gone for 8 days. When I came home there was no sign of fermentation, The house temp was set to 64 but the fermenter was by a window. The hydromiter reading was teh exact same from when I left to when I got home. Once I transfered it to my carboy, it fermented great... After five days, the reading went from 1.041 to 1.022, I havn't checked it since (has been 9 days since transfer) and am wondering how long I should let it sit before I check it again and altimately bottle.
The beer is amber ale from midwest brew.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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i would go 2 more weeks. But i leave mine for at least 3 weeks before i even touch 'em. hydro test in another week and see if she drops.

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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Since you had it by a window,I hope you covered it with something? Skunked beer is no good.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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Did you aerate the wort before you pitched the yeast?

I fail to see how you can pitch yeast and not have ANY activity for 8 days and still end up with beer. I've never made a beer, kit or AG that didn't start heavy fermentation within 24 hours from yeast pitch. I hope it turns out for you!

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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unionrdr is referencing beer's intolerance for light, specifically UV light. You really never want to let your beer see any light from brew day until it hits your glass. If it gets exposed, the UV will cause some 'skunky' off flavors. If your primary vessel is a plastic bucket, this won't be as big of a problem as it would have been in a carboy, but still something to be aware of. Ferment in dark places with consistant temperatures (the interior of your house, closet, basement, etc) if you can.


Now, about your fermentation, it is unusual that it would fail to ferment at all during the 8 days it was in primary. What yeast did you use? If it was right next to a window it might have gotten too cold and caused the yeast to go dormant. You may have also not pitched enough yeast, pitched it too hot/cold, not had enough o2 in the beer, etc. One way or another, it sounds like you stressed out the yeast to the point where it gave up. Transferring to your secondary may have resuspended the yeast enough to get it started again.. but it's hard to say with the details you have provided.

As mentioned above, give it some more time (at least another two weeks), and try to keep the temps consistent. This batch may not turn out perfect but it sounds like you'll have beer at least. If my speculations are correct, next time you will be able to significantly improve your product by being a little nicer to yeast. I'd suggest you read up a little on fermentation.. here are a few topics to investigate.
* pitching enough yeast
* fermentation temperature control
* aeration

Best of luck, and enjoy your beer!

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fall-line View Post
unionrdr is referencing beer's intolerance for light, specifically UV light. You really never want to let your beer see any light from brew day until it hits your glass. If it gets exposed, the UV will cause some 'skunky' off flavors. If your primary vessel is a plastic bucket, this won't be as big of a problem as it would have been in a carboy, but still something to be aware of. Ferment in dark places with consistant temperatures (the interior of your house, closet, basement, etc) if you can.


Now, about your fermentation, it is unusual that it would fail to ferment at all during the 8 days it was in primary. What yeast did you use? If it was right next to a window it might have gotten too cold and caused the yeast to go dormant. You may have also not pitched enough yeast, pitched it too hot/cold, not had enough o2 in the beer, etc. One way or another, it sounds like you stressed out the yeast to the point where it gave up. Transferring to your secondary may have resuspended the yeast enough to get it started again.. but it's hard to say with the details you have provided.

As mentioned above, give it some more time (at least another two weeks), and try to keep the temps consistent. This batch may not turn out perfect but it sounds like you'll have beer at least. If my speculations are correct, next time you will be able to significantly improve your product by being a little nicer to yeast. I'd suggest you read up a little on fermentation.. here are a few topics to investigate.
* pitching enough yeast
* fermentation temperature control
* aeration

Best of luck, and enjoy your beer!
It was in a plastic bucket and I did areate my wort by pouring it back and forth between two buckets severaly times. I also rehydrated the dry yeast that I used. The temp on the carboy has been a steady 63-64 degrees. This was my first batch and am hoping it doesnt get ruined by having it by the damn window!
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #7
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I also ensured that the wort was cooled to below 80 degrees before I aerated it and added the yeast. I am hoping (since it started fermenting after transfer) that the yeast just went dormant and its still good.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #8
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What likely happened is the higher temp stressed the yeast. then the temp falling quickly made them go dormant. i've had that happen before.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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It did ferment so you pitched at a good-enough temperature. You said you haven't checked the gravity for 9 days- take another reading and see what it's doing. Your original 11 days could have fermented it out fully, but as unionrdr says the yeast may have been shocked a little. They'll recover. Kyle

edit: what yeast did you use? May help some of the more ferm-knowledgeable around here help.

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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Not too sure what type of yeast it was, it was just the dry yeast that came with the kit. Luckily it is still fermenting.

My next big question is since it was by the window after i put it in the car boy how much light (never direct sunlight) is too much?

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