Waiting to Pitch

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KellyK

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Typically I pitch yeast right away after cooling the wort to the appropriate pitching temperature (~70 degrees). On Saturday, we participated in the big brew and our beer (all grain) came out at a much higher OG than expected 1.084 (supposed to be closer to 1.056). We finished the brew about 3:00 p.m. As we anticipated a lower gravity beer, I had not made a starter with the yeast, WL 002. I didn't want the yeast to be overwhelmed, so I decided to chill the wort with the immersion chillder as normal, followed all sanitization procedures (star san), and transferred the wort to the sanitized carboy with airlock. I went home, opened the carboy, extracted 1/2 growler worth of wort, and pitched the yeast in the growler to make a starter. As soon as I transferred the desired amount of wort from the carboy, I resanitized the airlock and replaced it. This morning, Monday, at 7:00 a.m. when getting ready to pitch the starter, I noticed a small layer of bubbles (white) on the top of the carboy. They were not there when I checked the carboy/starter late Sunday evening. No activity in the airlock. No noticable smells. I pitched the starter (now about 40 hours after the completion of wort chilling) but am worried that I may have made a bad call to let the wort sit while the starter did its thing and should have just pitched the vial.

Has anyone had this happen before? Hypothetically speaking, if there was a small amount of yeast/bacteria that was starting to ferment/do other bad things in the wort, will the large pitch of starter overtake that and correct the process? I've had a similar appearance in the top of a carboy where the pitched yeast was dead (both from a bad vial and a spent yeast cake) where I had to obtain good yeast and re-pitch, but in both of those cases I know at least some of the insufficient yeast had to be working. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid, but the wort tasted great and I had high hopes for this brew. I would hate to think I ruined it by waiting too long.

Thanks!
Kelly
 

Benny Blanco

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I've waited on pitching before with good results. Not the best thing to do, but if you were careful and sanitized properly then you should be in the clear. Let us know how it comes out. :mug:
 

BierMuncher

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Considering that a lot of people will see 36-48 hours go by before seeing any signs of fermentation, I don't think the delay you had will impact the beer.

While it's normal to wonder and even be concerned, there's not a lot to do at this point but see it through.

I'd suggest getting on to your next batch to take you mind off it. :D
 

RegionalChaos

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If you are going to have wort sitting in a carboy for a while before pitching, it might be a good idea to shoot some co2 on top of it.... I had to let wort sit for an extra 30-60 minutes last night. I used my keg charger to shoot a little co2 in so air wasn't sitting right on top.. Probably overkill I guess, but seems like it wouldn't hurt.
 
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KellyK

KellyK

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Well, I think the beer gods may be against me on this batch. We bottled 2 weeks ago and opened one (I know, a little early) and it appears to be a gusher. Flavor is also off, sort of a yeasty floral taste which I wouldn't think would be normal for the style and hops we used. I don't know if pitching the yeast earlier would have prevented this, or if the beer was destined for problems.
 
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