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Old 06-19-2008, 04:32 PM   #1
EamusCatuli
 
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This really does not help my effing confidence with my new brewing styles (PM, AG) . My Belgian Wit which I made on Tuesday afternoon (my first PM) is seeing no activity. Its OG was, and still is 1.049. Its also sitting pretty at 70F in a dark closet. I am using WLP575, which is supposed to be a pretty vigorous yeast. Now before you all tell me to RDWHAHB, which I will, there are a couple factors here that may contribute. 1) I didnt use a starter (havent really learned how to yet) and 2) I bought the yeast at least a month ago, but have been keeping it in my fridge.

Im going to give it one more day before I really freak out, but this is the first time ive ever had a stuck fermentation, and just to be prepared I wanted to know what steps I should plan on taking?
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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How do you know the yeast is inactive???? It's probably still in its reproduction mode, and will start generating CO2 soon. You may or may not notice any bubbling due to various factors.

My advice?

1. read my sig.

2. Then leave the fermenter alone for the first 2 weeks, and I mean alone - don't even look at it unless you expect a blow-off hose is required. Come back at 14 days, or later, and check the gravity using a hydrometer.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:20 PM   #3
Edcculus
 
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Are you using a bucket? The lid might not be on tight enough. That happened to me once. After that, I went out and bought a second carboy.

Since you didn't use a starter, there is a good chance it will start soon. I would say it could have already fermented out and you didnt notice, but thats pretty unlikely. That being said, I've completely missed the rigorous part of fermentation, which happened within the first 3 days.

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:26 PM   #4
FireBrewer
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EamusCatuli View Post
1) I didnt use a starter (havent really learned how to yet) and 2) I bought the yeast at least a month ago, but have been keeping it in my fridge.
Probably has more to do with that than new moves to PM and AG. It'll start, just will take a bit longer as the yeast is probably still reproducing. Forget about it for a few days.

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireBrewer View Post
Probably has more to do with that than new moves to PM and AG. It'll start, just will take a bit longer as the yeast is probably still reproducing. Forget about it for a few days.
I agree. The yeast is a month old in your fridge, and you did not mention how old it was when you bought it. You can sometimes get away without doing a starter for Wyeast, since smacking the pack wakes the yeast up, but older While Labs yeast will not start right off the bat.

As far as making a starter, you really need to do it. It is not hard. Mix a cup of DME into a quart of water, boil for five minutes, cool, and pitch your yeast. Some folks boil in a Pyrex flask; others boil in a pot and then pour into a sanitary container (just like a wort boil, you need to be sanitary after cooling). Then, just slap some sort of airlock device on it, set it aside, and let nature take its course. Give it, at least, a day or so. Even a week or so is fine.

Some folks just pitch the whole thing into the wort. Others like to decant. I like to decant because I do not ferment my starters under optimal conditions and I do not want to influence my beer that much. To decant, just start a day or so earlier to give the yeast a chance to floc and drop out. You can also keep the starter in the fridge once the fermentation is done, and that helps the floc. Then, just pour off most of the starter liquor, leaving enough to make a good slurry. Swirl everything up into that slurry and pitch.

Starters are the easiest way to improve your beer and your brewing experience.


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Old 06-19-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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wait 72 hours before worrying about your yeast. No starter, and possible low aeration = slow fermentation.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:43 AM   #7
EamusCatuli
 
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Wierd, it feels like every time that I pull the lid off the fermenter to check the gravity, it starts up fermenting right after I close it again. Its off and running!

This must be the second or third time this has happened when im worried about stuck fermentation, open up the lid, close it, and it starts within an hour.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:50 AM   #8
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Same thing here. I returned from camping today and the yeast I pitched monday is finally going. It was Pacman which I harvested from a bottle. I got lazy and only stepped it up twice and let it sit for 5-6 days before I brewed. It had settled out and was lazy.
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