Lack of fermentation

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jeff17237

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**Warning: beginner homebrewer**

I started brewing around 8 months ago and absolutely love it. I am currently on my fourth batch but am having a few problems.

My first two batches went as well as I could have planned. Brewing was as planned and the beer tasted great. The last two brews however have not been so successful. Last batch, brewing was fine but the fermentation was very weird. It began about 12 hours after yeast was added, fermented vigorously (bubbled all over the lid) for less than 24 and then just quit. FG was about what I expected but I let it sit for another 10 days before bottling (no secondary). When I finally got around to opening a bottle, the beer was incredibly flat but the taste wasn't awful.

So I decided to brew again last saturday. I use grain/extract kits from Midwest and follow the instructions to a T. Brewing went well (OG 1.070 - added 1 lb DME), hydrated yeast in water 10 minutes before mixing at 100F (as instructed on the yeast packet), aerated wort, added yeast and it has been sitting fermentation-less for almost 6 days now.

First two batches were done during winter and fermented at mid 60s (65-66F). The last two problem batches have been sitting at 70-72F. Is this possibly the problem? Is it too high of a temperature? I added the yeast at around 75-78F so I can't imagine that killed them especially after rehydration.

Some more specifics: Irish Red Ale kit from Midwest + 1 lb Briess Golden Light DME. Premium dry yeast (hydrated before added). The kit was received in February and immediately put in the fridge. It's been a little over two months. Plastic fermenter has good seal, no signs of fermentation whatsoever.

Anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this? Clearly its not the beer's fault :cross:
 

kcpup

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Have you confirmed no fermentation with a gravity reading?
 

tonyc318

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We're the first two batches done with the same yeast and did they have the same OG? A 1.070 OG is most likely a little high for one packet of yeast. Should have pitched 2 packets of dry yeast or made a starter.
 
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jeff17237

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We're the first two batches done with the same yeast and did they have the same OG? A 1.070 OG is most likely a little high for one packet of yeast. Should have pitched 2 packets of dry yeast or made a starter.
Yes same yeast, no OG was slightly lower (~1.05). Third batch (flat) was same yeast with OG 1.05. Would too high of an OG for one packet kill fermentation altogether? I've read that straining yeast can give incomplete fermentation/off-tastes but not prevent fermentation altogether (but I don't know anything).
 

tonyc318

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I don't think it will kill it altogether, but it might. Hopefully someone that knows a little more about pitch rates will chime in here with a more concrete answer. I know that it will stress the yeast out, cause them to die really early and leave you with a large portion of unfermented beer. Anyone else know if it would completely stall the fermentation if not enough yeast is pitched?
 

Piratwolf

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Under pitching alone isn't likely to kill yeast, especially with only 1.07 OG. It may, as noted, cause off flavors or exaggerated esters. But if the ferment stalled out, it's b/c the yeast weren't healthy to begin with.

Did you keep it in the fridge prior to opening? Did you re-hydrate or pitch dry? It's a good idea to rehydrate: although many just say to pitch dry, I understand that those same dry yeasts when sold to pro breweries require rehydration!

Also, lack of visible fermentation signs doesn't necessarily mean it's not happening. The only way to know for sure is a hydrometer!

Edit: if it has stalled, just pitch more (liquid or rehydrated) yeast! No worries :)
 
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jeff17237

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Yes the yeast was kept in the fridge the entire time. It was rehydrated as I mentioned in the initial post.

Hydrometer is reading slightly below 1.07 still so I will go ahead and pitch 12g yeast and post an update in a few days. Thanks everyone for the input.
 
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