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Old 06-16-2009, 03:33 PM   #1
sayteller
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Jun 2009
Round Lake IL
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I brewed up my first batch ever last night. All was well. Heated barley at 155 F for a half hour in water, added malt extract and water, added hops at correct times. Then came the cool down time. I used ice and water in the fermentor then added the wort. It didn't cool it down enough! My probe thermometer decided to stop working at about 97 F (don't bother buying the cheap red ones from Walmart). I drew a cold bath and with the lid on the fermentor I placed it in the bath to cool some more. Because my thermometer was busted I had to guess on the temp (bad I know). I had pitchable yeast in an Activator pack that never seemed to swell up even after multiple hits with my palm and 2 hours of waiting. Regardless, I pitched it in, put the lid on with the airlock, and went to bed. This morning I awoke to NO BUBBLES! Shouldn't I be seeing mad bubble action? I was pissed. I was sure that I killed the yeast due to the wort temps still being too hot. In a fit of rage I dumped the batch . I obviously made mistakes. Please advise on where I went wrong. I'm heading to the local brew shop to get ingredients to try again tonight. I want a batch for the 4th of July. Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:34 PM   #2
McKBrew
 
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/thin...s-aside-74520/

Relax, it is too soon.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
davesrose
 
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Well before you make your next batch, get some thermometers man! You can never have too many Then you won't have to guess the temperature of the wort either. If your wort was above 100 degrees when you pitched, then some of your yeast might have died and it would take even longer to get fermentation to start. Fermentation is also slower if you don't make a starter or don't get those smack packs to work: but also note that if the packs don't swell, you can still pitch with them....fermentation is just going to be slower because you don't have as many yeast cells to start off with.

Those Wyeast smack packs can be tricky....here's an instructional video on using them:

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:50 PM   #4
carbon111
 
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May 2009
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You dumped it?

It would have been fine. Worst case scenario is you would have had to repitch...no big deal.

BTW - remember to take the barley out of the water before the boil. Couldn't really tell from your description whether you had or not. Also, don't forget to get the OG before you pitch.

The 4th might be a little soon. You're going to need at least a week in the primary, even if you decide not to secondary...and, once bottled, you'll need 3 weeks or so to carb and have the flavors smooth out a bit.

Take it easier next time.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:51 PM   #5
sayteller
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Jun 2009
Round Lake IL
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Thanks davesrose! Its good to see instructions on how to use that pack. Its odd because I smacked that pack several times to make sure it was broken, let it sit for 2-3 hours and it didn't swell one bit. Even when I did eventually open it to pour it out the inner pack was broken open, so I know it mixed up. Weird. Yes I am planning on buying a nicer thermometer on the way to the brew shop.

However with the airlock, shouldn't I see at least one bubble in a 20-30 minute time period? There was NOTHING going on in there. I also had to fill the airlock a bit more with more water this morning before deciding to dump it. Is this normal?

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
snailsongs
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way way way overreacted. Fermentation takes time to get going....days sometimes. and if it doesn't, you could get more yeast and re-pitch. someone needs to fill you in on RDWHAHB!

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
sayteller
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Jun 2009
Round Lake IL
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carbon111... no I did not take the barley out before boiling it. LOL good to know. Like i said I'm a noob, but I am trying to learn.

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
snailsongs
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If you had to refill your airlock with water, that means you had a lot of cooling going on overnight which caused a negative pressure inside your fermentor and sucked in some of the airlock fluids.....this is not cause for dumping either, but just an explanation of what happened.

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #9
sayteller
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Jun 2009
Round Lake IL
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snailsongs... haha, I realize all this now unfortunately. And I'd love to relax and have a homebrew, but I'm still trying to get my first batch to actually be able to drink it and relax. lol.

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
sayteller
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Jun 2009
Round Lake IL
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snailsongs.... AHHHH that makes sense. So to prevent that next time, stash it in a slightly warmer area?

 
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