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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > At what point does one stop considering a re-pitch and get on with their day....
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
tt0027
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Default At what point does one stop considering a re-pitch and get on with their day....

I'm making an IPA off a brewer's best kit which came with Danstar yeast. This is my second attempt (first in bottle now but looking promising..). On this second time around I greatly improved my cooling procedures on the wort (down to 73F in 30 min) and, after adding enough water to reach OG was actually at about 60F. I rehydrated the yeast in boiled water cooled to 87F before pitching and had no activity for the first day. I noticed that the temp on the primary had only grown to 64F so I gave it a light swirl and moved it to a bit warmer area (~69/70F). Activity started right away and this morning I actually had beer in the airlock. Here's where I'm stuck....

The primary is reading at 70F (on the stick-on thermometer) but activity seems to have disappeared again. I'd expect longer than a 20 hour ferment timeframe for an IPA, but since I'm only 3 days in and the first day showed little to no activity, is there a point at which I should consider re-pitching (i.e. - if the SG hasn't changed by a certain percentage). I've read a lot of posts on this site about this, and most say to just let it be. I also know the airlock isn't the answer to tell if fermenting is done but since the krausen made it's way in to the airlock, I would expect to have seen it at other leak-points in the bucket. I had to work today so I won't be able to check the gravity till I get home, but if there is still a ways to go on that reading, should I consider re-pitching or just let the yeast do it's job (which it obviously was doing to a certain extent to force beer in to the airlock). Also, working off of a dried yeast pack in a kit, am I still good to primary ferment only? I racked to secondary on my first beer, but if I don't have to, I don't have any reason to....

OG - 1.062
FG Target - 1.014 - 1.017

Thank you! It's not the cost of ruining the beer that concerns me, it's dealing with the loss....

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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At 70 F, it very well may be done. Don't do anything until you consult your hydrometer.

Not sure which Danstar, but IMO you'll be much happier w/your final product if you let the beer slowly ferment @64 F rather than a vigorous ferment @70 F.

Either way, I'd say it's either done or well on its way to being done. Post back w/ the yeast strain and after you've taken a hydrometer, tasting results.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #3
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I doesn't make sense that at a 70F ambient temp that your fermenation temp is at 70F, if there is any fermentation going on there it should be higher.

Either way, you fermented at the high end for an ale (ambient of 70F) so I'm not surprised if your fermentation is largely over after 3 days.

So it this case, I would not consider re-pitching as I would predict you are near to your FG.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Just leave it alone for a few days and then take a gravity reading. You got activity, so you have alcohol and CO2 to protect the beer. I bet the beer is still slowly going and the CO2 is escaping out small clearances in the lid seal.

A reason you didn't see other leaks may be the leak area is so small that it is difficult to get liquid thru it, but gas can escape relatively easily.

Again, because you got lots of activity, the beer will be protected, no matter how far it got thru fermentation, so just leave it alone for a few more days.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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The first 10-12 hours the yeast are eating and growing but until they use up all the oxygen in the wort they won't start fermenting sugars. Once they do they'll start making your beer. Once all the sugars gone they'll eat up any flavor precursors and drop out of solution as they go dormant.

I just pitched some WLP830 lager yeast into an extract kit I brewed yesterday and 12 hours later this morning not a sign of any krausen but I'll check it again tonight and look for trub a the bottom of the fermentor just to make sure.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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Thanks, I just got a bit nervous at the lack of visible activity and made the impulse move to the warmer area... Next time I'll just let it be.
It was in the kitchen with the thermostat set to 69 so ambient was probably anywhere between 67 and 70 for the duration it was out there (about 20 hours). I'll take a reading and report back with the findings.
Thanks again for the lightning quick responses.... I guess I can start focusing on work now (damn).

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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Keep in mind, fermentation is exothermic. During primary fermentation, the temp of the liquid is higher than ambient; how much higher is yeast strain dependent. Though I've never personally experienced it, I've heard as much as 10 degrees over ambient.

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Old 12-29-2011, 01:13 AM   #8
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Checked the SG tonight, it's at 1.024 (OG 1.062, aiming for 1.014-1.017) but the temp had shot up to 73.4F (in ambient 66F). It looks like the initial ferment that caused beer to enter the air lock also completely gunked up the opening of the air lock which is why I wasn't seeing much activity. Guess I learned my lesson about not using a blow-off tube. I changed it out with a spare airlock I had (as I'm guessing I'm through the worst of the fermenting) and moved it downstairs to regulate the temperature some. It's now back to bubbling every 5-10 sec (not sure how much of this is from the rousing of moving downstairs though)
Did the smell / taste test and both actually returned very nice results which I was surprised by. Should I continue to let this one go in the primary until I bottle or rack to secondary because of all of the gunk plastered all over the inside of the primary and potential increased amount of dead yeast due to the heat? What temp range should I be shooting for at this point given the amount of activity at the higher temps?
Thanks!

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Old 12-29-2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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Leave it in primary. The gunk will be above the beer once things settle.

Again, different yeast strains require different temps. What Danstar strain did you pitch? I'm only familiar w/notty. If it's notty, anywhere in the mid-60's should allow it to finish just fine.

For future beers, try to keep a steady temp in the lower half of the recommended range.

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Old 12-29-2011, 01:26 AM   #10
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Sorry, yes. It's Nottingham. So the basement (62Fish) should do fine for it then I guess as it shows a range of 57-70 on their website.
Thanks again!

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