Pitched yeast too soon

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Joshua Moore

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Hello!
I brewed on 9-19
So I pitched my yeast a bit too soon, temp was a bit high, and i think i killed a lot of it.

Next day i had fermentation and was seeming to be okay.

I took a gravity reading yesterday, 9-24, and my reading was 1.024. OG was 1.056.

Paper work says it should end at like 1.014ish

I am making the the Smoked Porter from Brewers best.

I plan on moving it to my bottling bucket to finish out.

Is it safe the pitch some more yeast when i do this to ensure i have fermented completely?

Or leave it as is for a while longer (in bottling bucket)

Thanks Kids!
 

nobadays

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You didn't say how warm or what yeast you are using. I guess my first thought would be don't hurry it, it's only been in the fermenter 5 days. I would leave it right where it is for at least another couple of weeks. Let the yeast work. I brewed a couple of batches (American wheat and Irish ale) on 9-12, they are still in the fermenter and will be for at least another three weeks.... we are up in Colorado.... before I keg them. I figure they will just keep getting better!
 

Jag75

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What yeast and temp?
Refractometer or Hydrometer?
It's only been 5 days . The gravity needs to be checked ( hydrometer) for a few days to ensure your bottling a completely fermented beer. If you have a stuck fermentation give it a light swirl and Hopefully you can get about 10 more points .

Lol @nobadays .
 

DVCNick

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If you have krausen the yeast are going.
Personally I'd leave it where it is for two more weeks and check again then.
 

RM-MN

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So I pitched my yeast a bit too soon, temp was a bit high, and i think i killed a lot of it.
It takes temperature over 140F to kill yeast. Below that might damage or stress it but it won't kill it.

Next day i had fermentation and was seeming to be okay.
Since you had fermentation I'd guess that you didn't kill the yeast.

I plan on moving it to my bottling bucket to finish out.
Don't move the beer until you are ready to bottle it. Moving it from the primary fermenter exposes it to oxidation and had the potential for set the stage for an infection.

Is it safe the pitch some more yeast when i do this to ensure i have fermented completely?
Yes it is safe to pitch more yeast but since you have had fermentation you have plenty of yeast left to complete the fermentation, provide carbonation when you bottle it, and sufficient yeast left over to start 4 more batches of beer since the yeast multiplied before fermentation started.
 
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Joshua Moore

Joshua Moore

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The temp was around 90ish degrees when i pitched.

I dont recall the type of yeast used, it came in the box kit.

I will leave it till next week and take another reading.

Thank you all for the info and advice
 

smata67

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Not critical that you do this now, you could wait 3 days or so if you are still at 1.024 (this is what I would do), but some harmless things to do if you really feel a need to intercede is to rouse up the yeast. Gently stir it up from the bottom twice a day for a day or two, careful not to introduce oxygen. You could also mix 4 oz of corn sugar and about 2 cups of water, boil and bring to room temperature, and add this in along with the rousing. I recently got a 1.024 stuck beer (it had been at that for a week) down to 1.019 with this approach. Turns out the yeast was highly flocculant, worked for 4 days then essentially quit. And if this is an all extract beer, keep in mind they frequently don't attenuate down to the expected FG, mine always are done at about 1.019.
 
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InLimbo

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Tasting this beer will be a great lesson for you. Pitching warm and then cooling to fermentation temperatures is going to at best throw a bunch of off flavors, and at worst hurt your attenuation. It's crucial to cool the wort to ferm temp before pitching the yeast. My beer improved tremendously after doing this, and of course keeping the temperature where I want it during the entire fermentation process.

TLDR pitching hot and cooling to ferm temp is the complete opposite of what you want to do. if anything pitch cool (within a few degrees) and warming up can yield great results.
 

Day-Day

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I'd leave it for at least another week then check the gravity again..maybe I missed but did you pitch dry, or liquid? Dry you might have a better chance for attenuating but if you pitched liquid without a started... at 1.056 OG and high pitching temp you might have some issues with attenuation... IMHO... but you're def going to have some off flavors you're going to need to age out... depending on the yeast you used you might get some green apple, banana... and or harsh alcohol flavors...

As someone else mentioned... next time focus on getting that wort down to pitching temps... and make sure you're pitching plenty of healthy yeast... my beer improved so much when I focused on pitch rates and pitching/fermenting temps... those two areas will solve so many problems right out of the gate...

Also was this an extract brew? There's often attenuation issues with extracts... especially with dark beers... early in my home brewing I used a lot of extract... with browns and darker beers I rarely got below 1.018 terminal gravity... so after only 5 days you might not actually be that far from your terminal gravity... the best you'll get anyways...
 
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Joshua Moore

Joshua Moore

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I am using a hydrometer, just checked it again today and im at 1.022-1.024ish.

I gave it a bit of a stir and i can see the air lock moving now. didnt see bubbles but i see motion.

Will check again Tuesday and then try Smata67's advice
 

ZmannR2

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Your hydrometer could be off....did you calibrate it? Also keep temp around 70 and let it ride a bit more.....
 
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Joshua Moore

Joshua Moore

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Your hydrometer could be off....did you calibrate it? Also keep temp around 70 and let it ride a bit more.....
how does on calibrate it?

I mixed it a bit on Friday night, the airlock is now active once more. Im taking a reading today when i get home to see where we are
 
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kh54s10

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To calibrate a hydrometer, float it in distilled water. It should read 1.000 at the temperature it is designed for. That should be printed on the paper in the bulb. If it is off you just add or subtract the difference.

90 degrees is not enough to kill the yeast. In fact other than shock from the temperature difference they would love that temperature. But high fermentation temperature does not result in great beer.

Do not move to your bottling bucket as a secondary. Instructions still call for secondary but it is something that is now considered more of a risk of infection or oxidation than any benefit it might add.

And stop messing with the beer, each time you open and stir you are risking infection and you are adding to the oxidation of the beer.

I just pitch my yeast then wait 14 days before doing any checking on my beer other than looking for signs of fermentation.
 
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Joshua Moore

Joshua Moore

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To calibrate a hydrometer, float it in distilled water. It should read 1.000 at the temperature it is designed for. That should be printed on the paper in the bulb. If it is off you just add or subtract the difference.

90 degrees is not enough to kill the yeast. In fact other than shock from the temperature difference they would love that temperature. But high fermentation temperature does not result in great beer.

Do not move to your bottling bucket as a secondary. Instructions still call for secondary but it is something that is now considered more of a risk of infection or oxidation than any benefit it might add.

And stop messing with the beer, each time you open and stir you are risking infection and you are adding to the oxidation of the beer.

I just pitch my yeast then wait 14 days before doing any checking on my beer other than looking for signs of fermentation.
Signs of fermenting would be the airlock "floating" so to speak yes? i see no bubbles but i do see see the float being held up by pressure from the bucket. I will leave it be till Thursday this week. that should be a full 2 weeks of fermentation. fermenting temp has been about 72-75 degrees.
 

mongoose33

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Tasting this beer will be a great lesson for you. Pitching warm and then cooling to fermentation temperatures is going to at best throw a bunch of off flavors, and at worst hurt your attenuation. It's crucial to cool the wort to ferm temp before pitching the yeast. My beer improved tremendously after doing this, and of course keeping the temperature where I want it during the entire fermentation process.

TLDR pitching hot and cooling to ferm temp is the complete opposite of what you want to do. if anything pitch cool (within a few degrees) and warming up can yield great results.
Going to have to disagree with the "It's crucial to cool the wort to ferm temp before pitching the yeast" statement above. I can't remember the last time I did that, if I ever did.

My standard procedure is to pitch yeast into wort that's close to the same temp as the starter. Typically that's around 70 degrees, give or take a degree or two. I'll usually let it sit there, depending, for a few hours, then take it down to ferm temps...low/mid 60s for an ale, 50 degrees for a lager.

I agree, if this is what you were saying, that pitching too warm and leaving it there for an extended period will likely produce unintended flavors (exception: Kviek yeast, and some farmhouse/saison applications).

*********

In fact, I do my lagers intentionally so as to pitch warm. I do a starter, try to time it so I'll pitch at about 18 hours after putting on the stir plate. No double-packs of yeast, no building up a starter to high cell counts--I just pitch it into warmish (same temp as yeast starter, ~70 degrees) oxygenated wort. Then leave it at that temp for 6-8 hours and then begin to ramp it down to 50 degrees.

If I left it there at 70 for an extended period...well, it would be different than what we'd expect, and again, maybe that's what you're warning against, and if so, very much agreed.

Those beers turn out great. Not just my ugly baby opinion, but others rave about them.

*******

I think some of that advice comes from back in the day, much like the directions in kits saying "use a secondary" which almost nobody does any more.

*******

Have to pass this along as an interesting unintended experiment. Was brewing a California Common. Turns out I misread the expiry on the Wyeast 2112 pack I had, it was 10 months old. Did a starter, it didn't look very appealing. so I pitched directly an 8-month-old pack of White Labs 810.

[Yeah, I know. Misread the "Nov 18" date on the Wyeast pack as expiring Nov 18th, 2019. It was packaged in November 2018. :(]

After 24 hours, it was apparent that the old pack of White Labs was too old. No activity at all, not even a single bubble in the blowoff jar.

So I pitched a sachet of 34/70 dry yeast. Dropped the temp to 64 (which is where I'd ferment the Cal Common yeasts), as an experiment. Too warm, for sure, but some of the flavor in California Commons comes from, I believe, fermenting a lager yeast warm.

That yeast was virtually done in 48 hours. Stunningly fast fermentation.

That beer is only 9 days old today; I kegged it at 6 days after crashing, and it's finishing carbonation right now. It's NOT a nice clean lager, at least not yet, but then, I didn't expect that. Might end up being a new variation of California Common.

I'm anxious to see what I get at 3-4 weeks.

*******

I hate beers like this. What if it turns out to be the greatest beer ever produced--and I can't reproduce it! :) It's labeled in my keezer as "Frankenlager."

A buddy here said, hey, you should be able to reproduce it. Easy steps: Oxygenate wort. Pitch a pack of dead yeast. Wait 24 hours, pitch a pack of 34/70.

In other words, screw up exactly the same way. :)
 
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kh54s10

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Tasting this beer will be a great lesson for you. Pitching warm and then cooling to fermentation temperatures is going to at best throw a bunch of off flavors, and at worst hurt your attenuation. It's crucial to cool the wort to ferm temp before pitching the yeast. My beer improved tremendously after doing this, and of course keeping the temperature where I want it during the entire fermentation process.

TLDR pitching hot and cooling to ferm temp is the complete opposite of what you want to do. if anything pitch cool (within a few degrees) and warming up can yield great results.
I have to agree with Mongoose33 on this. It is most definitely not crucial that you pitch at fermentation temperatures. In fact many purposely pitch a little warm to give the yeast a boost then cool. We are only talking a few degrees though. Even fermentation temperatures are not crucial, There is a range. Some styles you want to keep on the low end of the range and others to the high end.

Signs of fermenting would be the airlock "floating" so to speak yes? i see no bubbles but i do see see the float being held up by pressure from the bucket. I will leave it be till Thursday this week. that should be a full 2 weeks of fermentation. fermenting temp has been about 72-75 degrees.
Signs of fermentation is a layer of krausen, bubbling airlock if there is no leak where the pressure is released elsewhere, change in color of the wort. etc. Make sure that the 72 - 75 is the temperature of the fermenting wort. Fermentation creates heat, if you have air temperature of 75 degrees, the wort could be as high as 85 degrees - not good.
 

tellyho

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I pitch at 80 b/c I don't want to waste more water. Been doing so for 13 years.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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I am using a hydrometer, just checked it again today and im at 1.022-1.024ish.

Not sure after a quick skim of the posts, but did you adjust for temperature of your sample?
I gave it a bit of a stir and i can see the air lock moving now. didnt see bubbles but i see motion.

Will check again Tuesday and then try Smata67's advice
Signs of fermenting would be the airlock "floating" so to speak yes? i see no bubbles but i do see see the float being held up by pressure from the bucket. I will leave it be till Thursday this week. that should be a full 2 weeks of fermentation. fermenting temp has been about 72-75 degrees.
Your SG dropped so you know you’ve had fermentation happening. The question here should be “is it done?” If you mashed (all grain) on the high side that could also explain the higher gravity reading.
 

kh54s10

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A smoked porter may not reach 1.014 and that would be totally normal. I suspect that it will finish properly a little higher. Maybe 1.020ish.
 
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