Slow fermentation

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Stormynd

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I am brewing my second batch of hard lemonade as the first batch was gone in a weekend. I made 6 gallons this time rather than 2 and used pink lemonade and limeade because the store was out of straight lemonade. Other than that I did everything the same. The last time it started fermenting hard in 12 hours, this time after 24 I am seeing bubbles in the test jar and there is white / brown foam on the top of the pail but otherwise no obvious signs of fermenting. My OG yesterday was 1.062 and today is 1.066. Should I pitch more yeast or just give it more time?
 

Puddlethumper

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The foam (krausen) tells us that fermentation is happening so that is a positive sign. With beer I usually pitch two packets if the OG is over 1.060 so you probably won't hurt anything at all by pitching one more packet. Also, did you rehydrate the yeast before pitching? That can have some effect on how long the yeast takes to get up to speed.
 
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Stormynd

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I did use a starter but I had a hard time getting my temp down so the starter sat for about hours before I pitched it. Maybe took too long?
 
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Stormynd

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I rehydrated dry yeast using 1 tbls of limeade,yeast nutrient, and water
 

boydster

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Next time, rehydrate in plain water. While it may seem logical to add some sugar source, it is actually detrimental to the yeast health to be exposed to sugar before it has been hydrated. If you use any nutrient in the rehydrating water (not usually necessary), use GoFerm. Other types of nutrient can just go into the wort/must.

For this batch, the bubbles make me think it is fermenting. Just give it time and mind the temperature and you should be OK.
 

Puddlethumper

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Next time, rehydrate in plain water. While it may seem logical to add some sugar source, it is actually detrimental to the yeast health to be exposed to sugar before it has been hydrated. If you use any nutrient in the rehydrating water (not usually necessary), use GoFerm. Other types of nutrient can just go into the wort/must.

For this batch, the bubbles make me think it is fermenting. Just give it time and mind the temperature and you should be OK.
^^^ this ^^^
 
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Stormynd

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The recipe called for the yeast to be rehydrated with some of the lemonade and nutrient prior to pitching due to the high level of acid in the wort. Will the yeast survive if it is started in plain water and then put into a high acid environment?
 

Puddlethumper

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The recipe called for the yeast to be rehydrated with some of the lemonade and nutrient prior to pitching due to the high level of acid in the wort. Will the yeast survive if it is started in plain water and then put into a high acid environment?
That's the first time I've ever heard of doing that. The yeast manufacturer's instructions tell us to use water only. My guess is that since the recipe specifically called for those additions it must have worked for the person writing the recipe.

From my perspective I'd call that a "who'd-a-thunk-it?" and wish you the best!

Cheers! :mug:
 

boydster

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That's the first time I've ever heard of doing that. The yeast manufacturer's instructions tell us to use water only. My guess is that since the recipe specifically called for those additions it must have worked for the person writing the recipe.
That'd be my guess, too. If the question is, "Will this work?" then the answer is yes. If instead the question is, "Is this the least stressful method to prepare my yeast before pitching?" that answer is no. It would undoubtedly be better (from the yeast's perspective) to hydrate in water, then slowly start introducing some of the acidic juice after the hydration step was complete.

However... Clearly, what you did is working, and that just goes to show how resilient yeast can be, so I wouldn't worry about this batch. It might be a fun experiment to remake the same recipe immediately, but only change your hydration procedure, then compare how the change affected the product.
 
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