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Old 02-06-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
GVH_Dan
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So my dad did up an extract kit scotch ale. This is about his 4th or 5th batch, but his first bad batch.

He brewed it up like normal, cooled it, pitched in the yeast, put it in his cellar...and nothing. No bubbles in the air lock. He called me and I told him he probably threw in the yeast too early or it was bad yeast. It had only been 4 days so he got more yeast and threw it in. Still nothing.

So what could have happened?

Two bad batches of yeast? Doubt it. Too cold? Doubt it. Its the same room that produced the exact same scotch ale the first time.

I didn't actually see the set up, so I don't know if his specific gravity was falling or if there was any krausening. And he's thrown it out and since brewed up another batch that is doing fine in the same carboy in the same room.

So what could it be? Didn't get the stopper in so the gas wasn't passing through the air lock? Over zealous on the cleaning and left enough in the carboy to kill the yeast? I'm at a loss.

 
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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Probably aeration. Tell him to shake the hell out of it.

Check the gravity too. Sometimes you just miss the fermentation.

 
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:19 PM   #3
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He threw it out?

 
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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Did he take a hydrometer reading before assuming it didn't ferment?
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #5
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step 1: always take a hydro reading. airlock bubbling (or a lack of) doesn't really mean anything.
Never ever shake it before taking a reading or you may horribly oxidize a finished beer.

step 2: never throw out a beer unless it tastes like death, decay, rotten meat, or otherwise 'infected flavored'
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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He didn't shake it.

He took an initial reading, but admits he didn't take any after that though he should have.

He threw it out because he was heading off on vacation (or whatever retired people call it when they go someplace different to do whatever they want) and didn't want it sitting around his basement not fermenting. OK, that mom was more concerned it would start smelling.

So tell me more about aeration/shaking. Two of you seem to disagree.

 
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
He didn't shake it.

He took an initial reading, but admits he didn't take any after that though he should have.

He threw it out because he was heading off on vacation (or whatever retired people call it when they go someplace different to do whatever they want) and didn't want it sitting around his basement not fermenting. OK, that mom was more concerned it would start smelling.

So tell me more about aeration/shaking. Two of you seem to disagree.
Aeration is pretty important. You can get something like this which just pumps air into the bottom of the wort getting oxygen to dissolve into it. You do that for about 10 minutes then pitch your yeast.

Yeast need oxygen, though. So no matter what, you have to get oxygen dissolved into the wort somehow. Some people pitch their yeast, put the top on their fermenter, then shake the hell out of it for 5-10 minutes. As much sloshing as possible. There's no such thing as too much at that point.

 
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