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Thought I killed yeast, may have infection?

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electric_beer

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I am currently brewing a London Pub Ale (similar to Fullers)

So when I pitched the yeast I was doing way too may things and I realized immediately I had pitched the yeast at way hotter than I wanted. After reading a few threads and doing some internet research I decided to ride it out a few days to find out if I had in fact killed the yeast or if the beer was going to just be a bit harsher and fruitier than I had expected. Its been 1.5 days so far and last night it appeared that there was no bubbling happening. However I also know that sometimes bubbling is minimal.

So I decided to take the lid off and smell to see if anything was going on. When I looked it definitely smelled like there was fermentation going on, so I decided to take a small sample and check its gravity (its brewed a bit too high earlier). When I checked the gravity had already changed. HOWEVER the beer looked like it had some weird foam/hoppy/funky white stuff on top. I just want to make sure, do you think my beer could have an infection from being pitched too hot? I don't want to scrap it just yet as sometimes accidents turn fine and sometimes even good. Any idea if my beer is totally screwed?
 

nostalgia

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Is this your first brew? Most likely the funky stuff on top is a kraeusen, a natural mess of proteins and whatnot shoved up there by the yeast.

Here's an example of a kraeusen on one of my beers. It happens to be a pretty clean one - they're usually rocky and dirty looking.



You can find more examples in the gallery. So that is to say, don't worry, your beer is most likely just fine.

-Joe
 
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electric_beer

electric_beer

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Its not my first beer, but does look similar to your picture (just a bit chunky?)...I am going to ride it out. I think it has some hop remnants and that is what is causing the hazing when I took a sample. I don't think I'll really know how it will turn out until I get it into the secondary fermintator.

But even if my airlock isn't bubbling it still could be fermenting, correct?
 

nostalgia

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Its not my first beer, but does look similar to your picture (just a bit chunky?)...I am going to ride it out. I think it has some hop remnants and that is what is causing the hazing when I took a sample. I don't think I'll really know how it will turn out until I get it into the secondary fermintator.

But even if my airlock isn't bubbling it still could be fermenting, correct?
Yes. And "like my picture but chunky" sounds exactly like it should be. Do you know how hot you pitched?

Keep us posted on how it comes out!

-Joe
 
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electric_beer

electric_beer

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Well, usually I do like a bit warmer pitch (just under 90degrees), but this time I think my wort was about 105 or even a bit hotter. Which I could have kicked myself just as I finished pouring the yeast. I had measured the water bath, but forgot to check the wort - DAMN!! That's what I get for thinking about the berry pie I was also making. New rule, no cooking while making beer. lol.

I will make sure to take picts of the results and add this to my list of experiences. Oh well, my stout right before this turned out so freaking amazing. I guess can't win em all.
 
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electric_beer

electric_beer

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Just under 90* is really warm to be pitching.
Well I have a couple of problems...

1. I don't own a wort chiller
2. I'm in Los Angeles and at best I ferment at 74 degrees, usually its low 80s so I tend to have a higher brew temp to begin with.

I've since bought a big bucket to put water into to keep my brew cooler. However so far all of my brews have been really good so far and I'm just worried I got a bit excited when I pitched this one.

From what I've read the higher temp pitch is usually has more of the fruity esters and tends to be a bit stronger. Hopefully both will go well with my British Brew.

Do you think it would be a very wise investment to buy a wort chiller? I currently need to save some money if I'm goin to be buying more stuff. (this is my 10th or so beer...3 batch since I got back into brewing).
 

redraider629

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Yeah I live in Texas and have problems with keeping it cool. I put my fermenter under my ac vent, and with a fan blowing on it, that cools it down nicely. I will also put a wet shirt around the fermenter. I would buy a wort chiller if I were you, I never pitch yeast unless my wort is below 80 degrees. I do not have one but my kettle fits in my kitchen sink so I chill it in the sink with ice. I am going to purchase a immersion chiller.
 
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electric_beer

electric_beer

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Yeah I live in Texas and have problems with keeping it cool. I put my fermenter under my ac vent, and with a fan blowing on it, that cools it down nicely. I will also put a wet shirt around the fermenter. I would buy a wort chiller if I were you, I never pitch yeast unless my wort is below 80 degrees. I do not have one but my kettle fits in my kitchen sink so I chill it in the sink with ice. I am going to purchase a immersion chiller.
Thanks for the suggestions!! I currently do the submersion in the sink technique. However after measuring the bath water around it and a few brews later, I got a bit hasty. lol.

I just hope in all the checking and craziness I didn't give my brew an infection.

Anyone know what sort of funky flavors can happen when you pitch it too hot?
 
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electric_beer

electric_beer

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Ok, so day 3 and things seem to be looking even more normal in the fermentor! :D

So now we wait for the taste test to find out how this changes the taste. I really appreciate the help from everyone. I'll post a pict of the final product!

:mug:
 

SmugMug

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Living way down south (perhaps some of my neighbors can attest) it can be really difficult to get a constant temp in your house any time of year, but is nearly impossible during the summer and winter. So I have a similar dilemma (in the spring/summer/fall) as I usually pitch in the mid to upper 80s. If I didn't then the wort would have to sit out overnight in a cool bath. Anyway, so far so good but I've kept to weizens and saison-styles since the esthers taste ok when fermenting at higher temps. I think I would have major issues if I was trying for a clean stout.

The temp diff from my kitchen and my fermentation area is about 15F. It gets pretty frustrating after a while.
 
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electric_beer

electric_beer

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Yeah, I can imagine that the deep south is even worse than SoCal. What I will say, best investment so far:


Water keeps so much more consistent and it dropped my fermentation temp 7 or 8 degrees! :D

Surprisingly I just made an amazing stout and fermented it in the mid 70s. The next is a Belgium Golden Strong Ale *fingers crossed* it goes well.
 
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