Long Lag Time then Stuck at 1.030

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smmcdermott

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I brewed up a NB Bavarian Hefeweizen Extract kit on January 3rd. I do a partial boil of around 3.5 gallons and usually have to add 2.5 (or so) to top off. I also added about half of the LME and DME at 60 mins and the rest at 15 mins. Nothing went wrong on brew day, that I can think of at least.

After I cooled the wort to 70 F I pitched the dry yeast (Munich). I didn't rehydrate it because it slipped my mind and I was bottling a beer and transfering another to secondary.

So it took approximately 5 days to start fermenting, which is too long in my book. The temperature where it sits is around 63-67 F and on occasion, gets as low as 60. This is within the recomended temperature for the yeast though (55-66). OK, so it might be one degree higher on occasion.

I then brewed again on Sunday, 1/17, two weeks later. My hydrometer only read 1.030 which is obviously way too high, so I gently shook up the yeast and let it sit again. It started to bubble again within an hour, not vigorously or anything, but a steady 2 bubbles every 3 seconds or so. This went on all night and slowed by morning to 1 bubble every 5 seconds.

Couple of questions:

1) why the long lag time? Surely not re-hydrating the yeast could have this large an effect?

2) What could have caused the stuck fermentation?

3) I know I need to check the hydrometer reading, but do you think the gravity has gotten low enough? Not sure the suggested SG is, but I would like to get around 1.012 if at all possible.

Any suggestions are much appreciated. Just want to make the best beer I can. Thanks for your help.

:mug:
 

jdc2

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Couple of questions:

1) why the long lag time? Surely not re-hydrating the yeast could have this large an effect?

2) What could have caused the stuck fermentation?

3) I know I need to check the hydrometer reading, but do you think the gravity has gotten low enough? Not sure the suggested SG is, but I would like to get around 1.012 if at all possible.

Any suggestions are much appreciated. Just want to make the best beer I can. Thanks for your help.

:mug:
What this site needs is a FAQ explaining why dried yeasts are not
the way to go if you can help it.
Not hydrating certainly will increase the lag time, because it needs
to hydrate. If in addition to that the packet of yeast has, at any point
in its lifetime, been sitting at room temp, the yeast will die and you
are pitching mostly nothing, which will also increase the lag time.
Dried yeast may work most of the time, but it's really a crap shoot,
not worth the 10% of the time it can fail completely, and the rest of
the time when it is not in optimum condition.
Jim:mug:
 

coastwx

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I'm fairly new, but have used Nottingham dry yeast for the last 4 batches. One IPA went from 1.072 to 1.012. It seems I saw that some pitched dry with no problems, but I rehydrate per instructions. Boiled a cup or two of water for 10 min with a tad of corn sugar. I do this in a small stainless pot and cover and place in a bowl of cold water to drop temp to around 70. Once the wort chilled to 70 I pitch the yeast and aerate with a paint mixer that attached to my cordless drill. I then drain the wort in my carboy and setup my blow off tube. Just did this yesterday at 1:00 pm. It started going last night and looked like boiling water this morning.
 
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smmcdermott

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What this site needs is a FAQ explaining why dried yeasts are not
the way to go if you can help it.
Not hydrating certainly will increase the lag time, because it needs
to hydrate. If in addition to that the packet of yeast has, at any point
in its lifetime, been sitting at room temp, the yeast will die and you
are pitching mostly nothing, which will also increase the lag time.
Dried yeast may work most of the time, but it's really a crap shoot,
not worth the 10% of the time it can fail completely, and the rest of
the time when it is not in optimum condition.
Jim:mug:
I have never heard this before and if this actually happened 1 in 10 times, someone would have something on it. I think you have your facts wrong on this one.
 

phatuna

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I have never heard this before and if this actually happened 1 in 10 times, someone would have something on it. I think you have your facts wrong on this one.
I'd like to see something as well. There are plenty of threads discussing pros and cons of dry vs. liquid. Non of those threads that I am aware of talk about the cons that you mention...
 

TechyDork

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I have also been using dry yeast for all of my batches lately, around 8 batches now. I have been extremely happy everytime i use it. For me teh slight chance that i get a weak paket is well worth it to save over liquid yeast. I can get 3 packs of dry for the cost of one vial of liquid yeast.

i alway pitch my yeast straight from the packet without hydrating and have not noticed any increase in lag time. It should be noted that i am doing 3gallon batches.

1.030 is pretty high, I would try to warm up the fermenter and give it a few light spins to resusupend the yeasts. if you don't have any temp control just try wrapping a blanket or two around the fermenter, this usually got me 3-4 degrees before i got temp controll.

I have a smoked porter in my primary right now that i brewed around the same time as yours. it stalled out at 1.028 and even after warming it up to 67-68 for a week it was still stuck. i used dry windsor yeast and eded up pitching a packet of nottingham dry and kept the temp at 68. watched it all week, after a day i had small bubbles on top of the fermenter, day three i had a nice krausen, day 4 it fell, and sampled after 7 days and was down to 1.019.

Try to warm it up a bit and stir the yeasties, give it a week or so and if you don't drop then try pitching some nottingham to finish it out.
 

motobrewer

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What this site needs is a FAQ explaining why dried yeasts are not
the way to go if you can help it.
Not hydrating certainly will increase the lag time, because it needs
to hydrate. If in addition to that the packet of yeast has, at any point
in its lifetime, been sitting at room temp, the yeast will die and you
are pitching mostly nothing, which will also increase the lag time.
Dried yeast may work most of the time, but it's really a crap shoot,
not worth the 10% of the time it can fail completely, and the rest of
the time when it is not in optimum condition.
Jim:mug:
this is probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

OP, i don't know the answer to your question, but the above is not it.

What was the OG? Is your hydrometer accurate? (check that it reads 1.000 in distilled water, and adjust for temp)
 

jdc2

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I'd like to see something as well. There are plenty of threads discussing pros and cons of dry vs. liquid. Non of those threads that I am aware of talk about the cons that you mention...
Well, there are plenty of posts in the beginner's forum on stuck fermentations,
with dried yeasts, like one almost every day. My own experience as well is that
the dry yeast is unreliable, but people say now that they get good results with
Safale and other brands. But a packet of dried yeast that's been sitting at
room temp supplied with the kit is a crap shoot. Pretty much every
brewing book and guys like JZ who win competitions say that starters
made with liquid yeast are the way to go. Unfortunately beginners are quite
often stuck with a package of Munton's yeast that's been sitting taped
to the bottom of a can of extract that hasn't been refrigerated for 6 months.
Jim:mug:
 

motobrewer

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the OP used a northern brewer kit, which isn't a pre-packaged kit. it comes with fresh yeast, Danstar Munich.
 

TechyDork

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Well, there are plenty of posts in the beginner's forum on stuck fermentations,
with dried yeasts, like one almost every day. My own experience as well is that
the dry yeast is unreliable, but people say now that they get good results with
Safale and other brands. But a packet of dried yeast that's been sitting at
room temp supplied with the kit is a crap shoot. Pretty much every
brewing book and guys like JZ who win competitions say that starters
made with liquid yeast are the way to go. Unfortunately beginners are quite
often stuck with a package of Munton's yeast that's been sitting taped
to the bottom of a can of extract that hasn't been refrigerated for 6 months.
Jim:mug:
There is a big difference between a dry yeast pack that has been sitting under the lid of a kit for who knows how long and a nice packeet of danstar or safale dry yeast.

When i was doing kits my LHBS recommended that i purchase a packet of nottingham to use in place of the included packet.
 

bonzombiekitty

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Well, there are plenty of posts in the beginner's forum on stuck fermentations,
with dried yeasts, like one almost every day. My own experience as well is that
the dry yeast is unreliable, but people say now that they get good results with
Safale and other brands. But a packet of dried yeast that's been sitting at
room temp supplied with the kit is a crap shoot. Pretty much every
brewing book and guys like JZ who win competitions say that starters
made with liquid yeast are the way to go. Unfortunately beginners are quite
often stuck with a package of Munton's yeast that's been sitting taped
to the bottom of a can of extract that hasn't been refrigerated for 6 months.
Jim:mug:
There's nothing wrong with dry yeast. The advantage to liquid yeast is simply in the variety. The prejudice against dry yeast seems to come from the old days where they were shipped in horrible conditions for yeast. It's not like that anymore.
 

Arkador

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Deleted my reply, because you obviously don't cere... I even took the time to quote and answer all 3 of the original questions.
Alright, well thank you to everyone for their replies, but it seems no one has an answer OR read the OP.
 
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smmcdermott

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Alright, well thank you to everyone for their replies, but it seems no one has an answer OR read the OP.

I did stir up the yeast and the temp is within the temp range and at time 1 degree higher than it should be. My hydrometer is correct, tested in distilled water. If 1016-1018 is what most people get for a heffe than I think I will be fine.

Why the long lag time. It is from NB and as someone said, they supply healthy yeast. The temperature (as stated in OP) was fine. And pitching rate doesn't make much snese either, I thought dry yeast has a bunch more yeast than liquid yeast, hence no need for a starter.

anybody?
 

mojotele

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Why the long lag time. It is from NB and as someone said, they supply healthy yeast. The temperature (as stated in OP) was fine. And pitching rate doesn't make much snese either, I thought dry yeast has a bunch more yeast than liquid yeast, hence no need for a starter.
I understand your frustration, but sometimes there's no clear answer. As I've seen Revvy say many times, yeast are a living creature and there's no way to reliably predict how they'll behave. Sure, they behave such and such a way under certain conditions MOST of the time. But, they never behave the same way all the time.

I think you need only concern yourself with this if the problem persists through each/many of the brews you make. Otherwise, just chalk it up to coincidence and move on.
 
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smmcdermott

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I understand your frustration, but sometimes there's no clear answer. As I've seen Revvy say many times, yeast are a living creature and there's no way to reliably predict how they'll behave. Sure, they behave such and such a way under certain conditions MOST of the time. But, they never behave the same way all the time.

I think you need only concern yourself with this if the problem persists through each/many of the brews you make. Otherwise, just chalk it up to coincidence and move on.
Thank you sir for being honest. I have ready many posts on this type of a subject and it seems pretty clear, but never one where there was s uch a long lag time. I bet it is a combination of things and coincidence looks nice too.
 

TechyDork

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And remember that just because you don't see arilock bubbles or a krausen that doen't mean things are not happening.
 

DrDirt

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Wow, this thread went on a tangent quickly.
OP - I brewed the all grain version of the same kit a few weeks ago and I also had a slow start with the Munich. My solution was to warm the fermenters up to about 72 degrees for 24 hours to kick start the yeast. After a day, you can drop temp back to 68ish.
EDIT: FYI, I rarely worry about rehydrating my dry yeast, just pitch it onto the wort. Also, I ended up with a FG of 1.012 at 18 days.
 

jdc2

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Alright, well thank you to everyone for their replies, but it seems no one has an answer OR read the OP.

I did stir up the yeast and the temp is within the temp range and at time 1 degree higher than it should be. My hydrometer is correct, tested in distilled water. If 1016-1018 is what most people get for a heffe than I think I will be fine.

Why the long lag time. It is from NB and as someone said, they supply healthy yeast. The temperature (as stated in OP) was fine. And pitching rate doesn't make much snese either, I thought dry yeast has a bunch more yeast than liquid yeast, hence no need for a starter.

anybody?
Why the long lag time? Well, lots of possibilities, I've given you mine
but you are the best person to answer that question since you made
the beer. Saying flatly that "NB supplies healthy yeast" may make you
feel certain but nobody can supply healthy yeast every time. Neither NB
nor you can know how the yeast was handled from the time it left the
factory and went to NB, and then again from NB to you.
Jim
 
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