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Old 06-25-2007, 05:28 PM   #1
Jun 2007
Posts: 9

So I decided to not use a kit for my second batch(extract). Everything went well with the wort and then I pitched the yeast. The next day there was nothing fermenting. I know I pitched the yeast when the temperature was probably too high (about 100), so I chalk that up to my impatience. I went to the brew store and got some WLP002 and warmed that to room temp for 4 hours and pitched that. When I shook it, there was little or no foaming or fizz, and the wort didn't ferment by the next day. I took the SG and it was the same as the OG on Friday: 1.082. So I went to another brew store and they told me to try some champagne yeast to get the sucker starting. So this morning I woke up, and lo and behold, there was some bublling in the airlock. My questions are:
1) Since the OG was a little on the high side, should I have made a starter first?
2) What can I expect from this batch? Has this happened to anyone else?

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Old 06-25-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
Chris_K's Avatar
Oct 2006
Chicago, IL
Posts: 97
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1- Per White Labs "Ale Yeast will survive up to ~90 F", so if you pitched at 100 F it's dead.

Most people would say that you should make a starter almost every time you brew. Everyone would agree that a starter would improve your beer, especially with such a high OG. If you use Jamil's yeast pitch calculator http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
you get a suggested starter size of almost 2 liters for that OG, that's a huge undertaking for a single vial of yeast, and one that might have made the lag time over the 12-18 hours you waited before seeking out yeast #3. Depending on the amount of nutrients and oxygen in your wort, the yeast may still have been building up its energy supplies to begin producing alcohol, so you wouldn't have seen a drop in OG.

Not much experience with champagne yeast, but my understanding is that it's very dry, and certainly won't give the flavor profile you would get from using the English strain you started with.

2-It'll ferment, and it'll be beer, so drink it up and learn more for the next batch. Patience is the most difficult part. RDWHAHB
Primary #1-Oatmeal Stout
Primary #2- Empty
Secondary #1- Empty
Kegged- Cream Ale
Someday/ Maybe/ Getting There- 'California Common', Impromptu IPA, Imperial Stout

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Old 06-25-2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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DeathBrewer's Avatar
Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,790
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yeah, bad advice from your LHBS for pitching champagne yeast to start a beer. i've used it a couple of times to finish beers, but even then i don't like to use it and you definitely should start with some ale yeast to get the right flavor.

It's actually a good idea to always use a starter and definitely make one for anything over 1.050 or so.

anyway, you'll still have some beer there. drink it up and check the forums next time for quick advice! i've been helped out here before in minutes!

also, keep some dry yeast around for repitching so you don't waste so much on liquid yeast and time going to the LHBS

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:56 PM   #4
Jun 2007
Posts: 9

Yeah, I had a feeling I was being steered in the wrong direction. My gut told me to ignore the person at the store and make a starter after I didn't see fermentation within a day. Next time I'm gonna go with my gut. That's where the beer goes, so it should know better than my stupid head.

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Old 06-26-2007, 12:11 AM   #5
dibby33's Avatar
Nov 2006
Hobart, Tasmania
Posts: 2,127
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Originally Posted by stemcell001
My gut told me to ignore the person at the store
You should always trust your gut. That is where the beer is going! it should know best

s : Ginger Beer, Wheat Beer
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: all drunk
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Next Up : Wheat Beer with grainy things

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Old 06-26-2007, 02:25 AM   #6
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
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another tip: keep a few packets of your favorite dry yeast on hand. in the fridge. they keep a while like that, and you can always rotate the stock if it gets close to the 'use by' date.
Like some Safbrew 05, or my favorite 33 (the old Edme strain...never let me down in my mead making days).

I also like to rehydrate my dry yeast. If it foams you know its happy, and you try to get the water temp to match the wort temp to avoid yeast shock.

Its another learning experience. I have them daily

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