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Old 10-05-2009, 01:15 PM   #1
businesstime
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Default yeast floating on top?

I posted the other day about my beer being slow to start fermenting (or showing signs at least). I also mentioned that my wyeast smack pack didn't expand like others have in the past.

This morning (after 60 hours of nothing), it almost looks like my yeast has died and risen to the top of my wort?

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/8748/p1110647.jpg


Thoughts?? Should I go ahead and pitch new yeast?

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Old 10-05-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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that looks like little pools of CO2 to me, so I'd say it's heading in the right direction. have you tried taking any hydrometer readings on it yet? this is the only real way to know if your beer is fermenting or not.

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
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Remember; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/

A slow start, or a fast start, mean absolutely nothing and are nothing to worry about either way, just like whether or not an airlock bubbles. All that matters is the numbers on your hydrometer, and/in your case whether or not you see a krauzen.

In your case it looks like you are getting ready for krusen to start building.

Dead yest doesn't float anyway, it sinks. Live yeast climbs to the surface and doesn't it's think from the surface (hence the term "Top fermenting yeast." So yeast on top is a good thing.

And it is very rare that people actually have yeast die, most people who think they have it just haven't been patient.

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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Two things

1. Picture looks like co2 bubbles on the top.

2. Ale yeast ferments from the top.

Re-pitch if you want it won't hurt but most importantly RDWAHAHB.

Edit: sorry I opened this thread before everyone else responded.

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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Thanks, everyone. I'll wait it out another day to see if it changes at all. My problem with the gravity reading is that I don't know if I can trust my OG. I did a partial boil and when I mixed it into the top off water, it did not combine well. I tried to thief a sample from near the bottom to be more accurate, but who really knows what I got.. Also, the temperature was around 90.

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by businesstime View Post
Thanks, everyone. I'll wait it out another day to see if it changes at all. My problem with the gravity reading is that I don't know if I can trust my OG. I did a partial boil and when I mixed it into the top off water, it did not combine well. I tried to thief a sample from near the bottom to be more accurate, but who really knows what I got.. Also, the temperature was around 90.
Well if it's an extract recipe it doesn't really matter what YOUR OG reading was. As long as you topped off to the correct final volume for your recipe (5, 5.5. or 6 gallons depending on the kit or recipe) the what the recipe says your OG should be is correct.

Extract recipes are fool proof that way, regardless of whether or not you mixed it up good enough initially. If your recipe says your OG for 5 gallons is, let's say 1.056 you can bet it is close enough to 1.056 for government work....and if your recipe doesn't say what the OG should have been, you can imput it into any brewing software, including the free online http://beercalculus.hopville.com/recipe

And that will tell you what you OG is....and als long as your reading after 72 hours is lower, you have fermentation.

Like I said, yeast is pretty resiliant, take a read of this about how rare it is for yeast to "die" when people are brewing. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/am-...5/#post1553441

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Well if it's an extract recipe it doesn't really matter what YOUR OG reading was. As long as you topped off to the correct final volume for your recipe (5, 5.5. or 6 gallons depending on the kit or recipe) the what the recipe says your OG should be is correct.

Extract recipes are fool proof that way, regardless of whether or not you mixed it up good enough initially. If your recipe says your OG for 5 gallons is, let's say 1.056 you can bet it is close enough to 1.056 for government work....and if your recipe doesn't say what the OG should have been, you can imput it into any brewing software, including the free online http://beercalculus.hopville.com/recipe

And that will tell you what you OG is....and als long as your reading after 72 hours is lower, you have fermentation.

Like I said, yeast is pretty resiliant, take a read of this about how rare it is for yeast to "die" when people are brewing. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/am-...5/#post1553441

That's a pretty awesome post about yeast's durability, thanks. It was an extract batch, so I'll take another reading in a day or 2 and see.

My first 3 batches were way different, so I guess I wasn't used to this and wanted a backup plan.

I'll stop worrying now
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by businesstime View Post

My first 3 batches were way different, so I guess I wasn't used to this and wanted a backup plan.


One thing to realize is that since we are dealing with living micro-orgasms, that no two fermentations are ever the same. So we shouldn't expect them to be.

And to never assume that because something is happening differently, in one batch to another, that there is something wrong.

When we are dealing with living creatures, there is a wild card factor in play..Just like with other animals, including humans...No two behave the same.

You can split a batch in half put them in 2 identical carboys, and pitch equal amounts of yeast from the same starter...and have them act completely differently...for some reason on a subatomic level...think about it...yeasties are small...1 degree difference in temp to us, could be a 50 degree difference to them...one fermenter can be a couple degrees warmer because it's closer to a vent all the way across the room and the yeasties take off...

Someone, Grinder I think posted a pic once of 2 carboys touching each other, and one one of the carboys the krausen had formed only on the side that touched the other carboy...probably reacting to the heat of the first fermentation....but it was like symbiotic or something...

With living micro-organisms there is always a wildcard factor in play...and yet the yeast rarely lets us down. So it is best just to rdwhahb and trust that they know to what they are doing.

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Old 10-05-2009, 03:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by businesstime View Post
It was an extract batch, so I'll take another reading in a day or 2 and see.
I would recommend IF you do get visible signs of fermentation (airlock activity, krausen) I wouldn't bother taking another reading. I typically just like to let my fermenters sit in a cool dark place and not touch them for a few weeks. IMHO, the more you open them up, and stick thieves in, and move them around, the more variables you're adding to the equation.

However, if you don't have the warm-and-fuzzies of knowing you're fermenting because of the visible signs, by all means, go ahead and sample.
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