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Old 01-09-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
mattyoc20
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Default why won't my yeast activate

So I am brand spankin new to brewing and last Sunday I brewed my first batch of Caribou Slobber Brown Ale from Northern Brewers. I was using dry yeast and it is my understanding that nothing needed to be done to activate it. It is now Wednesday (3 days after brew day) and it looks like very little has happened to my beer. There is no head foam from the yeast. Did I ruin my first batch of beer?

P.S. - I tried attaching a picture of my beer but im not sure if it worked

unhappy-beer.jpg  
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:17 PM   #2
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From the looks of it, it looks as if you had krausen (foamy head) that dropped already due to the deposits on your carboy above the wort level. 3 days is a little fast for it to dorp, but it could happen. Check your gravity if you can, that will tell you if your yeast is working.

to do this, use a wine thief or turkey baster (sanitize it first) and remove a small sample ~6-8 oz. Put it in a tall glass or the hydrometer tube and using your hydrometer, measure the gravity. drink your sample or toss it out - don't put it back into the carboy.

If the gravity is lower than your OG, your yeast is working. If its still the same as it was, you will want to look into moving your beer to a warmer area to ferment or consider repitching. Its unlikely that your yeast isn't working though.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:17 PM   #3
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Default Follow up questions

What kind of yeast?
Did you just dump it into the fermenter with the wort?
What temp was the wort when you pitched?

What is the current temp of the fermenter (it looks like it is someplace cold!)

Let's start with that.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #4
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I agree with Doc, it looks like you had a good amount of krausen on top that has subsided, and I partially agree with him, although I have seen Nottingham yeast devour and then start to really subside in 3-4 days.

If you did not have a foamy head, then is that your yeast stuck to the side of the carboy?

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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it appears that your yeast already did the work you want it to do.

that or you didn't take it up to 88 miles per hour.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
What kind of yeast?
Did you just dump it into the fermenter with the wort?
What temp was the wort when you pitched?

What is the current temp of the fermenter (it looks like it is someplace cold!)

Let's start with that.


After chilling my wort to about 75 degrees or so i put it in the carboy, sealed it, and aerated it by swirling it around. I then dumped the yeast in. I have it in my basement right now nexted to the water heater. Its about 65-70 degrees there. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
I agree with Doc, it looks like you had a good amount of krausen on top that has subsided, and I partially agree with him, although I have seen Nottingham yeast devour and then start to really subside in 3-4 days.

If you did not have a foamy head, then is that your yeast stuck to the side of the carboy?
When i added the yeast there was a good layer of suds from the star san on the top of my wort. Maybe that is the yeast on side. Any ideas?
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:01 AM   #8
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As already said, looks like it had already fermented

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:13 AM   #9
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As already said, looks like it had already fermented

Could it have fermented over night? I have checked it everyday day and did not see the yeast foam up at all.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyoc20 View Post
Could it have fermented over night? I have checked it everyday day and did not see the yeast foam up at all.
Possible, but unlikely.

Check the gravity, it'll tell you if anything happened and you won't have to guess.
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