Think I buggered my yeast, should I add more?

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OkanaganMike

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Cooked up a 5gal batch of Chocolate oatmeal porter on Sunday. I tried to cheat more than once and think I buggered the yeast as although there is bubbling coming out of the blow off tube, it is very slow.

First off I made a starter w/ stir plate but only took the yeast (WLP002 English Ale yeast) out of the fridge an hour or so before adding it to the DME wort (68F).

Then I only gave it like 15-16hrs before I pitched it into cooled wort again around 70F.

I've never used this yeast but it seems it isn't rolling like it should. Should I try adding more yeast and does it have to be the same? I can't easily get more of the same but can get locally a Wyeast. What are the risks?
 

flars

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Your yeast starter was either done or very close to being done. The temperature difference in the small volume of a starter has less of an impact than pitching cold yeast into a large wort, and even that is not detrimental to the over all fermentation.
Are you brewing in a bucket? Blow off tube may not be pushing as much volume because the CO2 is leaking at the rim.

Optimum temp range for WLP002 is 65-68°F. Holding the beer at 70°F will allow the fermentation temp to rise above 70°F. A swamp cooler will cool the beer if you don't have other means.
 
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OkanaganMike

OkanaganMike

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Your yeast starter was either done or very close to being done. The temperature difference in the small volume of a starter has less of an impact than pitching cold yeast into a large wort, and even that is not detrimental to the over all fermentation.
Are you brewing in a bucket? Blow off tube may not be pushing as much volume because the CO2 is leaking at the rim.

Optimum temp range for WLP002 is 65-68°F. Holding the beer at 70°F will allow the fermentation temp to rise above 70°F. A swamp cooler will cool the beer if you don't have other means.
6.5gal glass carboys.
I've sealed the tube pretty good with electrical tape. Other times I haven't and it still rolls pretty good. There isn't any significant krausen either which lead me to think its not a healthy run.

I had the carboys in the basement but the temp outside has been warming up so they were warmer than usual too. I have an infra red gun and this morning it was slowly burping along at around 74F. The other I brewed same day was Moose drool and used SAFALE 04. Krausen going like mad and temp was around 77F. 2 others I have in primaries from a week ago have slowed down primary ferment and were 67F. I moved them all into the garage as it hit 26C today. Wort Temp dropped to 60F and its going to be cold tomorrow with a high of 14C so I've brought them back into a different room in the basement (no window to raise temp w/sun) .

Pretty new and just started in March. Haven't needed a cooler yet but figure will use one next time as temps are on the rise and I'm a bit worried about these 2 latest having off flavors.
 

flars

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SA04 is an aggressive starter, optimum temperature range is 59° - 68°F. I haven't used it, but others have said it ferments cleaner in the low 60° range.

A tub of water can not only cool, but prevent temperature swings. Plastic soda bottles filled with ice can be used in a tub of water for cooling. A temperature controller with an aquarium heater can be used for warming. I haven't found an aquarium heater that is adjustable down to the high 50° or low 60° range, so the controller would be needed.

Mini refrigerators and chest freezers can be set up as temperature controlled fermentation chambers, but do take some time and dollars. Controlling the fermentation temperature is one of the important techniques for getting the clean tastes you want from your wort and the yeast. Would be worth looking into if you have the means.
 

rlmiller10

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If you are getting bubbles then relax. If you are really worried pull a sample and check to see that gravity is dropping. But I would not do that as long as I see some activity. Some yeast do not produce lots of visible sign such a krausen.

And lower the temps if you can. 77 is going to give fusel alcohols. Flars has some good suggestions
 
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OkanaganMike

OkanaganMike

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Definitely going to try the swamp cooler next time. At least for the first few days when its high activity. Just checked this morning and all 4 are at 62-63F.
When I think about it the heat generated alone is a good sign its working. I've done 8 batches so far and have never seen one without a krausen.
 
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