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Old 02-08-2006, 04:35 PM   #1
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Default Mourning my Loss

It seems my latest IPA, brewed Sunday afternoon, has failed to begin fermentation. I'm not sure what happened really... bad yeast I suppose. I pitched a tube of White Labs California Ale, but then nothing happened. After 24 hours, I made a starter with some of the same strain I harvested from a Cream Ale. It got going OK, and I pitched that in after about 48 hours. It's been almost 3 days now, and nothing is happening. It's in a bucket, and it's now been opened twice. No bubbles, no activity. I've raised the temperature to around 68-70, too.

So, when is it time to say goodbye? When should I dump this into the sink?


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Old 02-08-2006, 04:36 PM   #2
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Have you seen any krauzen, or a ring around the bucket indicating the krauzen had been there?


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Old 02-08-2006, 04:48 PM   #3
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Don't give up yet, give it a little more time. I've had slow starters before.
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Old 02-08-2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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What they said. Also, take a SG reading and see if it has dropped at all from the OG reading.
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Old 02-08-2006, 04:54 PM   #5
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it sounds like you pitched it too cold, when you say you "raised it to 68/70f" what was it before? I always pitch at least 68f. (some people pitch as high as 80-85f) You said you tried pichting an actively fermenting starter into it and still nothing?
thats bites the big one!
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Old 02-08-2006, 05:01 PM   #6
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I pitched initially around 80F.

No sign of any krausen ever being there. Perfectly flat, no foam/residue anything on our around the surface.

Second pitching was active, but not as active as I would have liked. (It was a desperation move )

It was about 64 in my house, so I raised that up a bit, and moved it closer to my kegerator to try to get some of the heat from the back of it to warm the fermenter.

...and I've shaken the snot out of it twice a day since Sunday.
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Old 02-08-2006, 05:04 PM   #7
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Also, I've had some that took anywhere from 24-36 hours to get a good start. This one is approaching 72.

I'll take a gravity reading tonight, but I'd be suprised if it had dropped any past the 1.068 OG.
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Old 02-08-2006, 05:11 PM   #8
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oh i see, you ment you raised the ambient temp. to 68. It sounds like you did everything you were supposed to do right, and the yeast was the problem. Going againts the advice of my hbs i always, repeat ALWAYS make a starter, it seems odd that you did make a starter after the initial yeast no-go, so that is weird it didnt ferment the second time at least.
they say that hope is the last thing to die, so i guess just cross your fingers and wait a few days...ive had this happen once where i had to pour out 5 g. down the drain, and it sucked, but i think its worst to have to find out a month from now after waiting and then bottling that your beer is bad,(its alot easier to dump 5 g. than 50 12 ouncers) so i would just bite the bullet and start over(your talking 4 days now, thats alot of time for bacteria to get a strong hold and beat up whatever yeast decides to start working)

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:11 PM   #9
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One thing to consider is boiling it again (10 min should be ok) in order to kill any bacteria that may have started growing in there and start over with pitching yeast from a starter or using dry yeast. The boiling, however, may ruin your hop profile and you may have to add some flavor and aroma hops.

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:21 PM   #10
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Hmmm.... that's not a bad idea Kai...
I could get another tube of yeast and an ounce of Cascades to dry-hop, and just reboil. Seems like it could work!

Oh yes, as far as yeast starters, I'm sold. I have sworn an oath never to even begin brewing until I have a yeast starter going.


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