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Dotneck

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First...before I ask I'm going to relax and have a homebrew...

Now...that's better.

I brewed an Oatmeal Stout on Sunday night. I usually see activity in my airlock by the next morning. So far its Thursday and nothing is going on...

I usually add a dry yeast to the wort...(S-05??) but this stout required a Nottingham...and the instructions in the kit said to rehydrate the yeast..which I've never had to do before.

If I killed the yeasties....I have some Windsor....can I pitch that instead?
 

DeathBrewer

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Are you using a bucket? If so, there's probably just a leak in the lid. Open it up and see if there is a krausen in there. If not, sure...pitch the Windsor.

You don't need to rehydrate. I use nottingham just about every week and I have never had a problem tossing it straight in.

EDIT: That shouldn't kill your yeast, tho, unless you used really hot water.
 

phidelt844

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I always get activity by the next morning. However, the batch I brewed on Saturday that called for Notty yeast did not take off until Tuesday morning... I'd let it run a bit more.
 
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Dotneck

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+1 on the leak check.

What makes you think you killed your Notty?
I was worried that maybe the water was too hot..never considered monitoring the temp...it sat there off the burner about 20 minutes...I was just worried that maybe it was too hot.

I usually pitch the dry yeast into the wort. The instructions on this kit said to rehydrate..."boil water...cool...add Notty to 8 oz water". Last time I used Notty it went into the wort dry and just went to work.
 
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You have the right idea: RDWHAHB.

I brewed an Irish Red Ale last Saturday. I did not see activity until late last night. This morning I had all kinds of activity and lots of stuff in the blow off tube. I was going to take an SG reading tonight to see if there was any activity. Now I'll probably wait until Saturday or Sunday to take the first one.

I believe that the temp was a little cool where I store my fermenter and it took a while for yeasties to take off. Temp was 62-63F and the directions with the yeast said optimal temp was 72F.
 

spitfire

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Are you using a bucket? If so, there's probably just a leak in the lid. Open it up and see if there is a krausen in there. If not, sure...pitch the Windsor.

You don't need to rehydrate. I use nottingham just about every week and I have never had a problem tossing it straight in.

EDIT: That shouldn't kill your yeast, tho, unless you used really hot water.
Are there any modifications you can do to the buckets to prevent any kind of leak? or is a small leak not that big of a deal?
 

Brew-Happy

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Are there any modifications you can do to the buckets to prevent any kind of leak? or is a small leak not that big of a deal?
Consider this thought: Your airlock is just a controlled small leak. If the CO2 is escaping through the lid leak, then not much can get into the beer.

Look around here about "open fermentation" or those that just use a piece of plexiglass and no airlock on their buckets.

How did you cool your wort for 20mins? Ice bath? It might be worth your worries to monitor your wort temps before pitching. Just to relax a little more.
 

Revvy

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And yet, I give the same answer....to your typical "no activity" question...


ctrl-v

You should never rely on the bubbling or lack of on a cheap plastic airlock as a "fermentation Gauge," it's not...It's an airlock, nothing more, a VALVE to release excess CO2, to keep from blowing the lid off the fermentor...

If it's not bubbling that just means that there's not enough CO2 to climb out of the airlock, or the CO2 is just forming a nice cushion on top of the beer like it's supposed to, or the airlock is askew, or it is leaking out the cheap rubber grommet, or you have a leak in the bucket seal, or around the carboy grommet...all those are fine...if CO2 is getting out then nothing's getting in....

Over half of my beers have had no airlock activity...AND that is spread out among carboys, buckets. water bottles, and anything else I may ferment in, and regardless of the type of airlock...I have 9 different fermenters...

That's why I and many others say repeatedly that the only gauge of fermentaion is your hydrometer (or refractometer) . Those are precision calibrated instruments...

More than likely your fermentation is going nicely at it's own pace but for a dozen possible reasons your airlock isn't bubbling...simple as that. Get out of the habit of thinking it is a precision instrument and you will find you are less worried...The only precise methid of gauging fermentation is taking gravity readings.

Back in the bad old days, the predominant airlock was an s type...and often they were made of glass and sat relatively heavy in the grommet, and that's where people like papazain and those who influenced him got into the habit of counting bubbles...but now adays with 3 piecers being the norm, and most things being made crappy these days...it's just not a reliable means anymore.


The trouble is, that even the authors for the most part have been brewing so long that they don't pay attention to the airlock, yet the perpetuate the myth from the old days of bubbles meaning anything....though I figure, as a writer myself, they have long moved past the basic methodology that they wrote about...it's easy to do...to "preach" something very basic, while doing a process somewhat more complex...or like most of us who have been brewing awhile, taking shortcuts.

Co2 is heavier than air...there can be plenty of co2 going on, plenty of active fermentation happenning but there is not enough excess co2 rising or venting out to actually lift the plastic bubbler

The 3 piece airlock is the most fallable of them all, often there is simply not a strong enough escape of co2 to lift the bubbler. Or they can be weighted down with co2 bubbles, ir hteir is a leak in the grommet or the bucket seal, anynumber of factors.

If you push down on your bucket lid often you will suddenly get a huge amount of bubbling as you off gass the co2 that is there present but no needing to vent on it's own.

I find that the older S type airlocks, even plastic are much more reliable...in face I have started to use those old school ones exclusively. Not to use them as a gauge of fermentation...but because I like to watch the bubbles..

But even those don't always bubble..BUT you can tell theres CO2 pushing out because the liquid will be on the farthest side away from the grommet or bung hole.


Even not bubbling. you can see that something has pushed the water to the other side...


There's quite a few people on here who do not use an airlock at all, they simply loosely place their lids on the bucket, or cover with saran wrap, or tinfoil or pieces of plexigalss, these just sit on the top and if the CO2 needs to void out it doess...Because as I said before if the co2 is pushing out, then NOTHING is getting in.

If you look around on here at all the supposed "stuck" fermentation panic thread are not true Stuck fermentations, or deads yeasts, but are simply people like you using treating the vent like some precision instrument...And they, just like you use the words "Signs of fermentation." And that is our clue that you are going by arilocks.

And 90% or more come back and say they took a hydro reading...and everything was fine...

Rarely do yeasts these days get stuck...this isn't like the 70's when there was one or two strains of yeast, and they came from Europe in dried out cakes, and nowadays with our hobby so popular, even most tinned kits with the yeast under the lid trun over so fast that they are relatvely fresh most of the time.

So nowadays the only way our yeast "dies" or poops out is 1)If we pitch it into boiling wort 2) There is a big temp drop and the yeasts go dormant and flocculate out, or 3) if there is a high grav wort and the yeast maxes out in it's ability to eat all the sugar...and even then the yeast may poop out at either 1.030 or 1.020...But other than that most fermentations take....

AND this is regardless of any airlock bubbling...

Seriously, many of us pitch our yeast, walk away for a month and then bottle, and our beers have turned out great...The yeasts have been doing this for 5,000 years...they know what they're doing,

You will find you are much more relaxed and able to RDWHAHB...if you ignore the airlock...

and read this as well...http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/Think_evaluation_before_action/

:mug:


Does that answer your question???

:D
 

Kuglehaus

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I'm actually thinking he killed the Notty... If you boil water, let it site for 20min it's probably like ?? 140d? Dead Notty. Just pitch a new pack straight in.. who cares if the orig will work eventually... Sun-Thurs? That's a lot of time.**

**That is only if the whole leaking bucket isn't the answer... Should be easy enough to tell.
 

JuanKenobi

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I'm actually thinking he killed the Notty... If you boil water, let it site for 20min it's probably like ?? 140d? Dead Notty. Just pitch a new pack straight in.. who cares if the orig will work eventually... Sun-Thurs? That's a lot of time.**
I agree. It was the re-hydration water that cooled for 20 mins not the wort, right?

I was worried that maybe the water was too hot..never considered monitoring the temp...it sat there off the burner about 20 minutes...I was just worried that maybe it was too hot.

I usually pitch the dry yeast into the wort. The instructions on this kit said to rehydrate..."boil water...cool...add Notty to 8 oz water". Last time I used Notty it went into the wort dry and just went to work.
 
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Dotneck

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Yes it was the water for the yeast hydration that sat 20 minutes...the wort went into an ice bath...never even considered that water too warm could harm the yeast...

This is just batch #5 for me...and I asked the question because it is acting so different from the first four. I'll check the bucket after I get home tonight and see if there is any kraussen (sp?) inside.Might as well take a sample for the hygro at the same time....if nothing is happening I'll try a new yeast pack, too.
 

Revvy

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This is just batch #5 for me...and I asked the question because it is acting so different from the first four.
Something to remember is that with yeasties, you are dealing with living creatures...every fermentation is different...you can split a batch in half put them in 2 identical carboys, and pitch equal amounts of yeast from the same starter...and have them act completely differently...for some reason on a subatomic level...think about it...yeasties are small...1 degree difference in temp to us, could be a 50 degree difference to them...one fermenter can be a couple degrees warmer because it's closer to a vent all the way across the room and the yeasties take off...

Someone, Grinder I think posted a pic once of 2 carboys touching each other, and one one of the carboys the krausen had formed only on the side that touched the other carboy...probably reacting to the heat of the first fermentation....

I've found that you should never assume anything where the yeasties are concerned except that they are in charge...not us...and they've been doing this beer making stuff for 5, 000 years...so basicially we just need to trust them, and not bug them...and give them plenty of time, and they will make us very very happy.

And again I can't stress enough....ignore the airlock as a gauge of fermentation, and make you hydrometer the first thing you reach for if you have any doubts about your beer....we really can't diagnose your beer only you can....and your best diagnostic instrument is the hydrometer.

Like I sad here Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....

When brewers use the airlock like it is some calibrated "dial" to show them "signs of fermentation" (The only true sign is the numbers on a hydrometer) they are in a sense preforming malpractice on their beer....

Good Luck

:mug:
 

steelerguy

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You SHOULD be concerned if you have no fermentation going on for almost 100 hours. As much as people like to say RDWHAHB, there does some a time when you need to check and make sure things are actually working, especially if you feel something may be going wrong. Take that hydrometer reading and see if it has dropped, if not pitch some more yeast. Wort is ripe for infection if there is no yeast making alcohol, so make sure your yeast are working for you.

BTW, if you have a decent seal on your bucket and the bung the airlock is in, it is a damn good indicator that fermentation is happening or not. Yeast eat sugar and make ethanol and C02...that C02 has to go somewhere.
 
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Dotneck

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OK...youse guys are right (not that I had any doubt...that's why I asked.)

I opened the bucket and there was the Kraussen all over the inside walls. Took a cupful (with a starsan sprayed cup) and dumped it into the hygro tube. 1.012. Started out at 1.052. So something's been happening in there.


Lot of floating yeast (?) chunks in my sample though....

I'm planning to let this sit in the bucket for a while though....I'm going out of town next week and plan to let it sit until I get back around April 1 or 2....

Also, it smells like beer!

:ban:
 

sempf

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Rack it to secondary (move the beer to a clean carboy or new bucket) before you go. the trub in the bottom will make it taste funny if you leave it there more than 2 weeks. I have started doing this and it has made a lot of difference.

S
 

DeathBrewer

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Rack it to secondary (move the beer to a clean carboy or new bucket) before you go. the trub in the bottom will make it taste funny if you leave it there more than 2 weeks. I have started doing this and it has made a lot of difference.

S
Not true. Beer does just fine sitting in the primary for months on end. One could argue that it improves the flavor in some cases. In my experience, there has never be any problems with autolysis leaving beers on the trub for a full month or up to three. The only end result is cleaner, clearer beer.
 

DeathBrewer

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OK...youse guys are right (not that I had any doubt...that's why I asked.)

I opened the bucket and there was the Kraussen all over the inside walls. Took a cupful (with a starsan sprayed cup) and dumped it into the hygro tube. 1.012. Started out at 1.052. So something's been happening in there.


Lot of floating yeast (?) chunks in my sample though....

I'm planning to let this sit in the bucket for a while though....I'm going out of town next week and plan to let it sit until I get back around April 1 or 2....

Also, it smells like beer!

:ban:
Awesome. Sounds like it's almost finished with fermentation. Let that sit for another two weeks so those guys can clean up after themselves.
:mug:
 

Revvy

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Rack it to secondary (move the beer to a clean carboy or new bucket) before you go. the trub in the bottom will make it taste funny if you leave it there more than 2 weeks. I have started doing this and it has made a lot of difference.

S

Many of us leave our beers in primary for 3-4 weeks....Our experience is that it actually improves our beers to leave it on..there's about 10,000 threads discussing long primary or no secondary....many of us have all manner of good things coming from it, including great contest scores...at the minimum many of us have noticed that our beers are clear, and crisper tasting.

John Palmer even concurs in How To Brew...

Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks, will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
And this,

As a final note on this subject, I should mention that by brewing with healthy yeast in a well-prepared wort, many experienced brewers, myself included, have been able to leave a beer in the primary fermenter for several months without any evidence of autolysis.
 

dontman

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Rack it to secondary (move the beer to a clean carboy or new bucket) before you go. the trub in the bottom will make it taste funny if you leave it there more than 2 weeks. I have started doing this and it has made a lot of difference.

S
Actually the opposite of this is true. You stand a better chance of getting an off flavor racking beer off of the yeast too soon than leaving it on the yeast for too long.
 

steelerguy

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Sometimes, if you leave the beer sitting on the cake long enough, the yeast will even form little gold nuggets! :)
 
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I had yeast build me a city. One skyscraper almost touched the top of the carboy. Apparently I killed them all though when I racked the beer to the keg. Oh well, lil ****ers probably would have tried to take over the earth anyway.
 

dontman

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I had yeast build me a city. One skyscraper almost touched the top of the carboy. Apparently I killed them all though when I racked the beer to the keg. Oh well, lil ****ers probably would have tried to take over the earth anyway.

Cold blooded, dude. You killed off a civilization that probably would have worshipped you as a god. Talk about vengeful.
 
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Dotneck

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Will I still need to worry about the temperature as it sits over the next couple weeks? Its already getting warm...no way I'll be able to keep it at 70 degrees while I'm gone....
 

DeathBrewer

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The first few days are the most important. The yeast give off their flavors during fermentation...when it is over, cooling is not necessary. Unless you have temps in the 90-100s, then you might have some problems. Sitting in the 70s will be just fine.
 

Revvy

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I know, but I needed the beer. Priorities you know.
You've prolly angered the gods, and they will more than likely sic the evil yeast monster upon your monkey ass.



I was looking for an evil yeast monster pic...and I just stumbled upon;



I dunno wtf this is...but it's beer related, and pretty weired...(I even surprise myself with my mad googel skllz :D)

Yeast of the yellow night...
 

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