New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Wort Not Fermenting




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-20-2009, 08:20 PM   #1
abrogard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: australia
Posts: 7
Default Wort Not Fermenting

I've brewed about 10 brews in total. So I'm a beginner but I've done it before.

They are brew kit brews. A malt mix in a can gets poured into a container with added sugar/malt/whatever and when the temperature is right the dry yeast package is added.

My second last brew got stopped because of a heatwave. It overheated and fermentation stopped. I got another package of nondescript dried yeast from my supplier and added it and the brew recommenced fermentation and went to completion. It's in the bottle now.

This brew never got started. I put that down to temperature again - because I'd pitched the yeast at about 30C or 86F and the weather suddenly got warm again.

So I added yeast again. After a couple of days. Another package of the nondescript.

After a couple of days and none of the usual signs of furious activity and foam at the top of the wort and a brown scum on top of the foam (I use a white plastic container that I can see these things through) I tested it and found an SG of about 1.012

So I added more yeast and waited again with the same result.

It is now 7 days since I made the brew.

The current SG is still 1.012 (as best I can judge).

I realise this means that there was some fermentation, despite the different appearance of the brew to what I usually get. VERY different appearance. That might be a function of the brew type, though, I suppose. I've never brewed this one before. It is 'Morgan's Canadian Light'.

It says it is suitable for one or two stage brewing. It says to leave the brew up to a week to clear before bottling. So it looks like all the time in the fermenter hasn't necessarily done it any harm.

I'd like to hear any ideas anyone has about the state of this brew and what can be done about it.

And I'd like more information on this 'restarting' thing if anyone has it. Can brews be restarted at any time? Are there any problems with a wort standing for days before getting started in the first place?

I've read that a standing wort is in danger of infection, which I can understand, but where I read it didn't make clear whether than was an airsealed wort such as mine or an open-to-the-air wort. I can't really see that a sealed wort should be in danger of infection because if it were then surely the actively fermenting wort would also be in danger of infection? But I just thought I'd ask. I've discovered in my life that asking stupid, obvious questions sometimes brings some surprising answers.

And, lastly, if a brew does get infected and spoiled, how do you know? Simply by taste? How does it taste? Too bitter? Or some awful 'other' taste? Does it make you sick, ill? Does it have a special smell?

regards,

ab



__________________

Last edited by abrogard; 12-20-2009 at 08:22 PM. Reason: typos
abrogard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
mosquitocontrol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,081
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

1.012 is done to me. I'd bottle it and move on tothe next.



__________________
mosquitocontrol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #3
ChshreCat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChshreCat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,172
Liked 436 Times on 347 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Hot weather won't stop your beer fermenting. It will make it ferment faster (with more off flavors as well). I probably just finished before you even noticed. What was your OG and expected FG?

__________________

"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

ChshreCat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
Dewangski1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 42
Default

What was your OG? FG of 1.012 sounds finished. At higher temps, most yeast is more active. Did you ever see signs of fermentation? What yeast was it? Some yeast, i.e. Coopers dry ferments completely in about 36 hours, max. After fermentation, your risk of contamination is greatly diminished because the yeast has depleted all of the nutrients in the beer (sugar, which is now delicious alcohol). I assume if your beer was contaminated, you wouldn't have to ask, you'd just know.

__________________
Dewangski1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 08:34 PM   #5
abrogard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: australia
Posts: 7
Default

Yes. This crossed my mind. But my hydrometer has a very clearly drawn area for beer, from 'start' to 'finish' and the finish is a 1.005 and I've always been able to get my other beers to that mark.

I'm deadly frightened of exploding glass bottles with little kids in the house.

Though my bottle sugar is well controlled because I use the sugar drops and unless I put two drops in it should be good and safe.

I'll take your word for it and I'll bottle it this afternoon unless I get some cautionary posts or somesuch during the day.

I wonder why no foam, no scum? Better ferment or worse or just different?

Years ago I remember reading about 'top fermenting' and 'bottom fermenting' beers/yeasts and thing called 'yeast bitten', supposed to happen when dead yeast fell through the brew, I think.

I don't suppose, I hope, that I've done any such thing to my brew by adding that last package of yeast that (presumably) had nothing to do?



ab

__________________

Last edited by abrogard; 12-21-2009 at 02:20 AM. Reason: typo
abrogard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
ChshreCat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChshreCat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,172
Liked 436 Times on 347 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Your hydrometer has no idea what your recipe was. My oatmeal stout finishes around 1.020. My saison finished at 1.001. Those marks on your hydrometer would only work if you make the same recipe every time.

Quote:
I wonder why no foam, no scum? Better ferment or worse or just different?
Not better or worse... just faster. It probably rose and fell overnight.

If you want to put your fears at ease, post the recipe and folks on here can tell you if 1.012 is your expected FG or not. I give 99.99% odds that it is just fine and you can just wait a few weeks and then bottle.

Since you fermented so hot, you can expect some fusel alcohol flavors and other off flavors in the beer. More time in primary will help ease that, but probably won't get rid of them all. I'd suggest working on your temperature control in the future. Pitch in the low 60's and try to keep the wort under 70 at least.

Don't worry about dead yeast. Your yeast aren't dead (well, the vast majority of them, at least), they're just dormant. You don't have to worry about flavors from dying yeast unless you leave your beer on the yeast cake for months before transferring it.
__________________

"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

ChshreCat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
abrogard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: australia
Posts: 7
Default

Hot weather won't stop it? True? How about when the weather is 40C ?

It is what seemed to happen to my last two brews, for sure.

I can't post the recipe. It was a home brew can thing, as I've said, and I added a 1kg proprietary mix of dextrose and malt, etc., (maybe some 'etc.', I'm not sure) from the local homebrew shop which supplied the can.

Pitch in the low 60's ? That's 60F, of course, which equates to 16C. I'm everywhere (on the cans, in the instruction leaflets, etc) told to pitch anywhere between 22C - 30C ( = 71-86F ). I thought the yeast perhaps wouldn't work in such a cold mix.

You are saying it will still work?

But slowly? And slow fermenting adds quality to the beer?

I didn't know that.

Wait a few weeks to bottle?? I can safely leave it in the fermentation vessel ( i.e. my plastic thing ) for a few weeks? And, in fact, SHOULD, leave it ?

I didn't know that.

So it sounds like I'm okay but should leave this brew till it totally clears at least ?

regards,

ab

__________________
abrogard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-20-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
SMOKEU
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NZ
Posts: 240
Default

I don't see the connection between a hygrometer and beer. Maybe someone would care to enlighten me?

__________________
SMOKEU is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 02:18 AM   #9
abrogard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: australia
Posts: 7
Default

Well it is a little known fact that one of the primary reasons beer drinkers find beer so attractive is the subtle intrusion into their nostrils of the aromatic compounds created during the fermenting process.

These compounds, quite heavy, large molecules, are carried in the moisture arising from the brew.

Certain mixtures are, as is well know, more 'volatile' than others. The more volatile the liquid the more readily moisture rises from the liquid and is available for the carriage of the aromatic compounds.

Hence the fact that beer has a 'nose' just as wine does.

Of course measurement of the nose is subject to more or less stringent definition of temperature of the beer, height above the liquid for the measurement to take place, air pressure, wind speed and state of the liquid: mixing (swirling, in motion) or static and other such factors, some more subtle and some more significant than others.

A good indication of the subsequent nose to be hoped for is gained by employing a hygrometer during the fermentation process.

This is, however, something of a black art, because of the multiplicity of factors in play - not the least of which, of course, is the composition of the wort, whether heavy with solids or not - and which alter with every different recipe.

Brewers therefore try to keep this whole process secret and frown upon any of their guild members divulging even the fact of this process. I myself have to constantly move house and live under an assumed identity to protect myself from harm, having given out to the world just these bare facts...

Guard this secret with your life.

ab http://www.homebrewtalk.com/images/smilies/occasion14.gif

__________________
abrogard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-21-2009, 04:54 AM   #10
ChshreCat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChshreCat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,172
Liked 436 Times on 347 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOKEU View Post
I don't see the connection between a hygrometer and beer. Maybe someone would care to enlighten me?
I don't know if there is a connection between a hygrometer and beer. A hygrometer is used to measure relative humitidy. A hydrometer, on the other hand, measures specific gravity of a liquid. You measure your wort at the start and it will tell you how much dissolved solids (mainly sugar) are in it, then you measure later to track the process of fermentation.

As for fermenting slower/cooler makes better beer....

When beer ferments warm, the yeast will produce certain compounds in undesirable amounts. Things that can give banana or clove flavors in your beer. In some beers, this can be a good thing. In most, it's not. Warmer temps also cause the beer to produce different alcohols in different amounts. So, you end up with fusel alcohols in higher concentrations. These are the ones that give you the "hot alcohol" flavor, like drinking a shot of booze.

Fermenting at a lower temperature keep these things to a minimum. This is why lagers are often (but not always) very cleaner tasting than ales. They're fermented very cold so those byproducts are kept to a very low level.

Some beers are meant to be done warmer. I made a saison this summer that I fermented in the 80's (around 30C) and it has some wonderful spicy flavors that were caused by the yeast fermenting warm.


__________________

"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

ChshreCat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to Cool Wort (w/out wort chiller) web250 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 42 09-30-2011 08:58 PM
Beersmith: Fermenting Wort Grav vs Finished Beer ABV anth Brewing Software 3 07-24-2008 05:42 PM
all grain wort ferments faster than extract wort? dcunitedfan All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 05-08-2008 12:46 PM
wort chiller and water/wort transfer questions chemist308 Equipment/Sanitation 1 03-24-2008 01:33 AM
My wort isnt fermenting Josh The Brewer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 01-23-2007 10:01 PM