Waited a whole 24 hours to pitch yeast

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

dPresc

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2024
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
Maine
I did a double brew the other day and didn't really have time to pitch the wort until today. I went to do it tonight but it seemed to have pressure inside the 5 gal buckets, everything smelt normal and looked normal but it had me worried if some contamination happened. I really don't want a whole day to be lost but if it is bad I also don't want it
 
Contamination is often the main concern around delayed pitching, and that's always a possibility when you leave growth medium sitting around with mere sanitized (not sterile) conditions. However, the other often overlooked damage is oxygen. Yeast will quickly scavenge available oxygen in the wort to prevent it when pitched directly. How bad it is depends on how much was introduced when moving it from the kettle to bucket.
 
I say pitch the yeast and see what happens. You have come this far, why not finish it out. If it is bad then so be it, but you never know. I have had some batches that I thought were going to go really bad, but ended up being good. The one I am drinking now, the mash temp was all over the place and I cooled it a bit farther than I wanted before I pitched the yeast. But it turned out to be one of my better efforts. You went this far, finish it up and see what happens.
 
Are you planning to pitch dry or liquid yeast?

Don't use liquid, unless you have made a good size starter beforehand.
When pitching dry yeast, if you have an extra pack, pitch the 2 packs (in a 4-5 gallon batch). You want to get this fermentation started ASAP.
 
I've waited 24 hours several times. I do no-chill often, but big question I have is you said you had pressure in the bucket before pitching... were the bucket sides firm, was there airlock activity already, or what? If the airlock was already popping, that's a bad sign. I'd pitch a lot of aggressive yeast like Nottingham and drink it young and fast. I know you've already pitched... hopefully it's a type that will get the job done fast.
 
I hope you've pitched it by now!

Many people have sat waiting for their beer to start fermenting for well over 24 hours. So, no great concern then.

Seal is okay on bucket? What's the weather been doing? Getting a bit naff? Pressure dropping on barometer? ...
 
Thanks for the reply guys. We're now close to 12 hours after pitching, airlock activity is pretty normal(that being not much at all). For the record on the sanitation practices I clean by hand, then pbw soak then 1 or two starsan soaks before racking the wort making sure to shake and flip the buckets. The kids are also fully submerged in the solution for a time. They were then sealed up immediately after cooling down enough from the boil. While writing this it has occured to me, could the whirlfloc in combination with the hop medium be causing the "pressure"?
 
If you over-chilled, it could even be cause by temperature change. Was it bubbling, or were you just noting like 0.5" water column on the air lock?
That is a good point I didn't think about that, the day I brewed it was closer to 70 and I chilled to about that, it ramped up to significantly yesterday and although it's inside in an a/c room temp increase would still happen and as such expansion I suppose
 
At this point you can't really say throw it out. You have to go the distance and see what it becomes. No chill and letting wort cool overnight is a thing. But those that do that are ensuring everything is as sanitary as can be. Even that spoon or paddle that was picked up at the last moment to stir things.

However, if I really feared something infected it, I might bring the wort back to a boil and then chill it again along with again sanitizing any and all things the wort will again come in contact with after the boil. But that will likely be if I noticed something I was certain will be an issue came in contact with it. Perhaps a sweaty and smelly sneaker fell in or something such as that! :)
 
In the summer, since I have no fermentation chamber, I often have to wait until the next morning before pitching my yeast. That time of year running my tap water through my Jaded Hydra IC can only get the wort down to the upper 70's, low 80's. The beers I've had to do that with have all turned out fine.
 
The kids are also fully submerged in the solution for a time.
There may be a visit from Child Protective Services in your future.

But seriously, I sometimes wait until the next morning to pitch my yeast because I often get a late start and run out of gas (that's me, not the propane burner) before I get to pitching temps. But that's usually closer to 8 hours than 24.
 
I have waited 24 hrs in the past with no issues, knock on wood. In fact I brewed a lager yesterday that I could only chill to 70, so put it in my ferm chamber to get down to 48 which it was at this morning. But did not have time to pitch due to work, so will be pitching when I get home, which will be approximately 27 hours later.
 
I pitch 12-24h (sometimes even later) quite often. I use ambient temperature or my fridge to cool my wort down for the last bit. Never had any issues really when pitching 36h at the latest. Even forgot to pitch yeast (dry) in an NEIPA once as well, no issues.

As long as you are relatively thorough in sanitation and common sense you should be fine.

Edit: and I don't pitch any extra yeast. I will pitch very laggish yeast earlier.
 
Last edited:
Sort of update:
It has now been almost 48 hrs since pitching. Airlock activity seems normal if not a bit excited, I pitched dry, I probably shouldve doubled the dose to help but I didn't. This morning I was worried because the house has a nasty smell but I took the trash out and after work the smell is gone. Thanks for all the input and I'll continue to update when airlock activity slows
 
I pitch 12-24h (sometimes even later) quite often. I use ambient temperature or my fridge to cool my wort down for the last bit. Never had any issues really when pitching 36h at the latest. Even forgot to pitch yeast (dry) in an NEIPA once as well, no issues.

As long as you are relatively thorough in sanitation and common sense you should be fine.

Edit: and I don't pitch any extra yeast. I will pitch very laggish yeast earlier.
When you pitch so late, do you ever see anything similar to early activity?
 
When you pitch so late, do you ever see anything similar to early activity?
What do you mean exactly? Fermentation behaves like it would normally, just 12-24h later. Everything is as it would normally be, just a bit later. That's why I do pitch something with a long lag phase like BRY-97 while the wort is still around 25 - 30 °C. That would supposedly also help getting things going, but I've never truly tested that.
 
What do you mean exactly? Fermentation behaves like it would normally, just 12-24h later. Everything is as it would normally be, just a bit later. That's why I do pitch something with a long lag phase like BRY-97 while the wort is still around 25 - 30 °C. That would supposedly also help getting things going, but I've never truly tested that.
Sorry I guess I shouldve specified, before you pitch, during the delayed 36hrs do you ever notice any pressure created from the wort or in the vessel the wort is in?
 
Sorry I guess I shouldve specified, before you pitch, during the delayed 36hrs do you ever notice any pressure created from the wort or in the vessel the wort is in?

You mean something like an infection? No, I've never had that happen. But then again when I brew wild beers it can take very long to see any activity depending on the process (sources of yeast and bacteria, etc). The only pressure changes I sometimes observe are slight off gassing and changes in wort and head space temperature that cause changes in volume, usually the pressure is negative. Thoroughly oxygenated wort could lose some dissolved gas I suppose.
 
An update: since fermentation activity has slowed to almost a stop I took gravity readings and had a smell/taste test. ITS BEER! I'm not sure if it's the beaker I'm using, the yeast, the mild temp change, or the waiting, but hop aroma and taste is down and I'm getting a more wine/lager taste. Either way I see no sign of infection or whatnot so I while cold crash, rack to kegs carb and update when it's a real beer

Final update: after kegging, clarifying, carbonating, I think the time didn't matter as much as it was temperature I was perceiving one of the beers(I assume the one with safale05) got a wicked lager skunk after taste, all is well as I'm not picky but lesson learned, time doesn't matter if sanitation is present but temp is still very important. Thanks for everyone's help
 
Last edited:
Back
Top