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Is it dead? Is it safe?

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hausfrau

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Dear Brewers,

The dear husband reads the recipe instructions to pitch the yeast at "under 100 degrees". I pipe in, "wait until it's 85". He pitches at 98.6. That was Sunday. It's Thursday. Not one bubble, no movement of water at all in the airlock.

I read through the forums here and learned that a specific gravity reading will be an indication of activity. Adjusted for temperature, OG was 1.043. Today it's 1.019, so it appears to be fermenting, but why no co2? A tiny push on the fermenter lid gushed water up the airlock, so I think it's air-tight. Should we continue with this batch? I guess I feel that the yeast is not active enough and wonder if carbonation will occur after bottling.

If this were dead, is it possible to revive? After four days I worry about safety. Would you ever reboil to kill bacteria, then repitch?

Thanks for your patience with the newbiebrewers, Hausfrau
 

Tonedef131

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It's not dead, they have been doing their job if the gravity has been dropping. If you are fermenting in a bucket you can't really rely on the airlock since most buckets start to not seal after a while.

But you might want to start pitching about 30F cooler in your future ales.
 

Homercidal

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Airlock action is not a reliable indicator of fermentation.

However, when you took your hydrometer readings, you must be sure to read at the same temperature, or adjust for any temperature difference.

It seems that your beer is working, and you should be able to see some krausen on the top of it. An improper seal on the lid of the bucket, or around the stopper on a carboy, can allow for leakage, and therefore not allowing the airlock to bubble.

It's only been a couple of days. Let it ride a few more and take more samples. When three days go by without a change in gravity, then I say it's ready to bottle. Most people ferment their beers over the course of three weeks or more, depending on the beer of course.
 

BarleyWater

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Ya, it's doing it's thing, and the gas is escaping through the path of least resistance, which must be a small leak in the seal of the bucket lid if you have seen no airlock activity.

Under 100F is safe for the yeast, but you really shouldn't put it into you beer until you are at around 65-70F. If you are proofing a packet of dry yeast in water, 98 is fine, but into the beer that's way too warm.
 

Dennis1979

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You are more likely to get quick fermentation starting at a high temp like that. Your drop in gravity tells you its definitely fermenting. So no it's not dead.

Is it safe? - What I would be more concerned about is pitching the yeast at the high temperature and 98.6 is really high. High temps like that can cause the production of fusel alcohols and fusel alcohols are wicked when you drink them. Trust me, I know.

How quickly did the wort cool down after you pitched?

Oh and I sense the episode may have caused some marital strain. Has "The Dear Husband" owned up to his mistake?

Dennis
 
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hausfrau

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How nice to get some replies so quickly!

Husband claims he didn't hear me say wait until it's 85 degrees (while I'm reading Papazian aloud). He seems to tune me out when he gets engrossed in something. I didn't argue when he wanted to put that yeast in the hot wort, and perhaps I should have. In the back of my mind I was thinking that my bread yeast can be added to liquid that's over 100 degrees, so what the heck.

Our house is cool, low 60's so I'm hoping that the alcohol problem is not an issue. I just hate to go through sanitizing and bottling if the brew will be bad.

Thanks for your help, Hausfrau
 

Beau815

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Yeah gravity is going down and it seems fine but you will more than likely have some off flavors.
 

SumnerH

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How nice to get some replies so quickly!

Husband claims he didn't hear me say wait until it's 85 degrees (while I'm reading Papazian aloud). He seems to tune me out when he gets engrossed in something. I didn't argue when he wanted to put that yeast in the hot wort, and perhaps I should have. In the back of my mind I was thinking that my bread yeast can be added to liquid that's over 100 degrees, so what the heck.

Our house is cool, low 60's so I'm hoping that the alcohol problem is not an issue. I just hate to go through sanitizing and bottling if the brew will be bad.

Thanks for your help, Hausfrau
It'll probably be okay. In the future, you're going to get better-tasting results if you pitch the yeast around 65F.
 
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