First batch fermentation not starting

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Ticebain

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Got a first ever batch in the basement right now. It's a hef. Recipe is 1lb wheat steeped for an hour. 3 lbs lme wheat. And enough water to make 2.5 gals. Hops too but doubt its important to my question. Yeast was little more than half a vial of wlp001.

I made it on Sunday past week. Pitched yeast (no starter). I will prob make a starter from now on. Honestly did not know to make one. No fermentation all week. I've kept it in a shower stall with a space heater that can regulate the temp at 76 all week. On Thursday I pitched some dry yeast. Can't remember type (package said for light ales). Still laying in bed this morning but intend to check it / take a hydro today.

Question is this. Should I call it I salvageable and start over? Is it still good? Even with yeast in it the wort should still be sweet right? (I intend to take a taste too, just wondering how yeast affects flavor) One thing I did not do that I am wondering if I should have done is add yeast nutrient. Would it still be a good idea to add it? I had a batch of cider that would not start and forgot to add nutrient. Once I did it was going in under 12 hours
 

HopsMan

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What type of fermenter is it in? Is it possible you have a leak somewhere other than the airlock? I'd agree with the previous poster and take a hydro reading just to make sure you don't have some sort of fermentation going on in there.
 

unionrdr

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Was the first yeast you pitched fresh? Old yeast can do stuff like that if not put in a starter first. I did that once with 2 year old yeast to get it good again.
 

beergolf

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How do you know it is not fermenting? Like the others said, you need to take a reading to really know.

76 is too hot for most yeasts. It is possible that if it was at that temp all week you could have missed the active fermentation.

Take a reading.
 

kh54s10

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Repeating, the only way to know is taking a gravity reading.

Also 1/2 a vial is light on the amount of yeast you should have used. Check out mrmalty.com and yeastcalc.com for information on making starters.

And 76 degrees is very warm. When yeast ferment the wort additional heat is created adding 5-10 degrees. Check the optimum temperature range and aim for the low end.

Check the gravity, if it is progressing wait it out, enjoy the beer.
Get another fermenter and start another batch. The first one will be gone before you know it.
 

unionrdr

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He's only doing a 2.5G batch. So half a vial should be about right. But since liquid yeast packs have fewer cells than dry,a starter might've done better. Or maybe the whole vial. Dry you'd use less.
 

Yooper

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He's only doing a 2.5G batch. So half a vial should be about right. But since liquid yeast packs have fewer cells than dry,a starter might've done better. Or maybe the whole vial. Dry you'd use less.
No, a whole vial would probably be about right for a 2.5 gallon batch, especially if the vial had already been opened and half used somewhere. If the vial had already been opened, it's possible that there was less than half a vial of viable yeast in there.
 
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Ticebain

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to answer as many questions as possible, i will not quote. I keep it at 76 in the air, just took a temp reading from a 75 degree air temp and the wort was only 69. its on a tile floor in the basement in denver so there is a lot of heat loss due to the ground temp this time of year.

I was thinking a half vial was a little light too. My recipe was a 5 gal recipe and called for a full vial so i did a generous half vial for a half batch. Yeast was fresh though, expired sometime in march 2013.

my fermenter is a bucket. a leak is possible i guess. the lid is on-godly hard to get off though so i doubt it, but i am suspecting it, since i just took a hydro reading:
original reading was 11/25/12 85 degrees (i cooled it more before i pitched yeast) 1.050
Current reading 12/1/12 69 degrees 1.016
my nifty i phone app says i should be looking at 4.81%abv

somehow, without my airlock perking at all, i have made beer!
i gave it a taste, it is beer for sure, no off flavors, other than it tastes quite young.

so final question, for future batches. Yeast nutrient or no yeast nutrient with extract brews? I know that full grain will put the right stuff in there but I am unsure about extracts

o, and get a carboy so i can see it fermenting
 
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