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Old 04-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
May 2010
Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 171
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Did my first partial mash on Friday, everything went perfectly, other than taking 45 mins to cool my boil (I need a wort chiller). I aerated by shaking the carboy vigorously. Final step: pitch the liquid yeast. Of course I shook it up, opened it, and half of it spewed onto the floor.. maybe even a little more than half. Now I know to open more slowly next time.. oh, and to use a yeast starter from now on.

Anyway, am I probably screwed? Fermentation kicked off within 24 hours. After 36 hours, things seem to have slowed since bubbling of the airlock stopped, but I see activity in the carboy. There's a layer of krausen.

I couldn't decide if I should buy another vial of yeast.. I'd have to order online and wait a week to get it (no LHBS here). I figure I'll just wait the normal two weeks and check the hydrometer, but I'm just wondering if I'm screwed. I sent my yeast to do battle with severely weakened forces.

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Old 04-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #2
Zyme Lord
shawnbou's Avatar
Mar 2009
Austin, Texas
Posts: 541
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You're definitely not screwed, especially since fermentation is underway.

All you did is unintentionally underpitch by pitching half a vial or less. The only thing you could have done to really fix it would have been to pitch more yeast at the time.

By now, the yeast you pitched have multiplied to handle the job of fermenting your wort, and I wouldn't do anything about it now except watch the gravity and pitch more ifyou get a stuck fermentation. If the yeast keeps plugging along, you're fine. You may have some of the off-flavors we associate with underpitching (esters, homebrew tang, etc.) but the beer will be beer.

FWIW, I have made the mistake of shaking the yeast vial too much too, LOL ... a yeast starter will definitely save you in the future.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
Feb 2012
Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 196
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Give the fermenter a shake. get the yeast on the bottom back into suspension. should help a bit. Of not get some more testy and pitch again.

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Old 04-15-2012, 10:35 PM   #4
Sep 2010
upstate of SC
Posts: 299
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Been there done that. One of the few reason I stay with dry yeast.

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Old 04-16-2012, 01:54 AM   #5
Nov 2011
denver, co
Posts: 212
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You should consider pitching a yeast starter instead of just the vial. You'll get much better results that way.

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:43 AM   #6
E-Mursed's Avatar
May 2011
Westland, MI
Posts: 881
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They really should put a warning on those vials.

Been there and treat every one like a shaken bottle of beer when opening.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:48 AM   #7
Apr 2012
Pittsfield, MA
Posts: 547
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Its been said already. Your yeast kicked off fine, and you got active fermentation. No need for new yeast now. Next time do a starter, and keep a spare common yeast packet or two on standby (US 04, US 05 or whatever is common for what you brew)

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:54 AM   #8
Registered User
Nov 2010
Corn, High Fructose Corn Fortress, IA
Posts: 5,847
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They do say to open carefully,i thought i did my first one,but low and behold it burst all over my hand and vial wich i half ass cleaned/sanitiezed if i even sanitized my hand.I was splitting between 2 small batch fermenters and it was near impossible to splitt due to all the foamyness, so i underpitched one-probably.With age it should come together if you under pitched,thats the way it seemed with my experience.
Worst case scenerio, let it condition longer if it doesent taste right yet.Ive had a lot of beer just get better if something seemed off or wrong and it usually does with time.

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:54 AM   #9
Dec 2010
Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 402
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At least you didnt scoop it up off the floor and pitch it as in this post: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/spil...st-doh-212869/
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:54 AM   #10
Aug 2010
Wisconsin, WI
Posts: 142
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If you can get the Wyeast smack packs they will prevent the frustrations of the vial shaking. There is a pretty good selection there as well.

Starters are always good though! More yeast, better fermentation.

Everyone here is right. If you have fermentation you are good to go. The beer should finish and it should be drinkable!
I'm a bit Nuts.

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