WLP029 Did not start fermentation

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FlabbyRoach

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I just brewed a 5 gallon pale ale and used WLP029 yeast to ferment.
The packaging stated ale temp to be 65°/69° so I cooled wort below 70° and placed it in mini fridge in garage.
Temp control on mini fridge set to 68° but garage was cooler than that and yeast did not start.
Also had a small heating element around the 7 gal fermonster.
Moved the whole fridge inside but still no activity.
Wort into fermenter on Saturday 12/4/21 and still no activity.
LHBS is closed today so can't but more yeast.
Am I cooked??????
Just not sure how long the wort can keep.
Temp now stable at 68° since this morning.
 

hotbeer

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Ambient temperature swings in a garage are going to be troublesome. No basement or cool place inside you can put your fermenter? Not really certain why you want it in a fridge. Are you someplace warm?

If you are were it's cool going to colder outside, just keep it in a cooler with a heat source such as a heating mat hooked up to a temperature controller. They can be had for around $25 USD.

If you are where it's warm, then the fridge connected to the same type temp controller. Inkbird and Digiten make them.

As for the beer, if you don't see anything happening in a day or so then pitch some more yeast. If dry yeast you won't need to aerate it again. Take an SG also and make sure it's really doing nothing.
 
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FlabbyRoach

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It’s in a mini fridge to control ferment temp with temp controller
moved inside yesterday afternoon
north east Ohio
 

PCABrewing

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I just brewed a 5 gallon pale ale and used WLP029 yeast to ferment.
The packaging stated ale temp to be 65°/69° so I cooled wort below 70° and placed it in mini fridge in garage.
Temp control on mini fridge set to 68° but garage was cooler than that and yeast did not start.
Also had a small heating element around the 7 gal fermonster.
Moved the whole fridge inside but still no activity.
Wort into fermenter on Saturday 12/4/21 and still no activity.
LHBS is closed today so can't but more yeast.
Am I cooked??????
Just not sure how long the wort can keep.
Temp now stable at 68° since this morning.
Was this a high-gravity beer, what is the SG?
As far as how long it will keep, how meticulous were you with sanitation, that has a big impact on how much potential infection you might deal with?
Let's say that you have a sterile liquid in the fermenter (hypothetical). In that case you are probably just racing against oxidation.
A little less than sterile (Realistic State) then it is a matter of what got in that may start growing before you finally get a yeast culture to start producing alcohol.
If you are pretty diligent then you have a good chance of it turning all right.
The normal situation is that we are diligent with sanitation and that we pitch a healthy culture into the wort so that it gets started before bad stuff does.
Don't give up yet.
 
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PCABrewing

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What was the date on the yeast package and did you make a starter?
 

Jag75

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What are you using as a fv ? You saying no fermentation yet because no bubbles in the airlock ?

Nvm I see it's a Fermonster. So Krausen would be visible.
 
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FlabbyRoach

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Was this a high-gravity beer, what is the SG?
As far as how long it will keep, how meticulous were you with sanitation, that has a big impact on how much potential infection you might deal with?
Let's say that you have a sterile liquid in the fermenter (hypothetical). In that case you are probably just racing against oxidation.
A little less than sterile (Realistic State) then it is a matter of what got in that may start growing before you finally get a yeast culture to start producing alcohol.
If you are pretty diligent then you have a good chance of it turning all right.
The normal situation is that we are diligent with sanitation and that we pitch a healthy culture into the wort so that it gets started before bad stuff does.
Don't give up yet.
SG was 1.052 per recipe
 

hotbeer

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With the combination of the heating element and the fridge, were they controlled by the same temp controller so there was no chance of them fighting each other and both staying on or both off?

Also was the temp sensor in the beer, under a insulating wrap on the fermenter or was it just measuring ambient temp in the fridge?
 
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FlabbyRoach

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With the combination of the heating element and the fridge, were they controlled by the same temp controller so there was no chance of them fighting each other and both staying on or both off?

Also was the temp sensor in the beer, under a insulating wrap on the fermenter or was it just measuring ambient temp in the fridge?
Used inkbird controller combo heat cool plug
had 15” thermowell into FV
 
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Jag75

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When using liquid yeast you should use a starter and aerate good. This could be the issue
 

hotbeer

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I'd never write it off, at least not if there isn't black fuzzy moldy stuff growing in it. If you have the temps stabilized and not bouncing off the extremes, then I'd be ready to re-pitch tomorrow if it doesn't get going.

Personally, I'd do dry yeast so you don't have to aerate and risk contamination any more than necessary. Also, if you do re-pitch, then get an SG reading just so you'll know whether it did do anything but didn't leave visual evidence.
 

Deadalus

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Does the Fermonster have ribs like a glass carboy, seems so? Your pic is possibly a little grainy but in the ribs and generally in the lower half there appear to be the beginnings of yeast activity. All your trub would be mostly settled down and collected but not necessarily compacted. Seems like some yeast on the walls there.

I use that yeast myself but always with a starter. I'm not sure where I have kept this one at temperature wise, on the lower side but I am bad about recording temperatures during fermentation. I just picked up two tools to do that though recently. I do cold crash my Kolsch at the end and then lager it for three weeks, around 40F. That always clears it up nicely.
 
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FlabbyRoach

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I'd never write it off, at least not if there isn't black fuzzy moldy stuff growing in it. If you have the temps stabilized and not bouncing off the extremes, then I'd be ready to re-pitch tomorrow if it doesn't get going.

Personally, I'd do dry yeast so you don't have to aerate and risk contamination any more than necessary. Also, if you do re-pitch, then get an SG reading just so you'll know whether it did do anything but didn't leave visual evidence.
No black fuzzy stuff as of this morning.
Temp is stable at 68
I am going to my LHMS to pickup some yeast later today.
I don't think they carry dry WLP029 but I can ask.
If not I may use some 05 yeast just to get things started.
 

wepeeler

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Here is my setup
i think the temperature was too cold for the yeast
do I repitch more yeast, warm and shake wort again, I gotta leave it for one more day since LHBS is closed
As long as nothing froze, the yeast should wake up if you get them into the mid 60s. Same idea as cold crashing a starter. I've read that WLP029 doesn't like temps under 62 after fermentation slows, so that might be some of it. The times I've used WLP029, I didn't get a ton of krausen. You might have had a mild fermentation. Also, are you 100% there's no leak?
 

TestTickle

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If you only used one pack, you definitely underpitched. How much of an underpitch depends on how old the yeast was. but with that particular yeast at that OG, at the very least you should have pitched two packs or made a starter.

It should start fermenting eventually, but it's going to put a big strain on the yeast which will probably result in some off flavors. If your LBHS doesn't have this particular yeast, you should still be able to save it by pitching a pack of US-05. It'll be a different beer, but it should still be a drinkable beer (and who knows? maybe an amazing beer?).

As for the temp, as @wepeeler mentioned, temperature could also be an issue, but it was definitely underpitched. I use WLP029 frequently and usually pitch around 64 and let it free rise and ferment at 66 for a nice, clean Kolsch. Pitching additional yeast and leaving it at 68 should be good.
 
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FlabbyRoach

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As long as nothing froze, the yeast should wake up if you get them into the mid 60s. Same idea as cold crashing a starter. I've read that WLP029 doesn't like temps under 62 after fermentation slows, so that might be some of it. The times I've used WLP029, I didn't get a ton of krausen. You might have had a mild fermentation. Also, are you 100% there's no leak?
Nothing froze but the wort has been at 68 degrees for a full two days now.
I still have not seen any activity, small or otherwise.
100% sure of no leaks
 
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FlabbyRoach

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If you only used one pack, you definitely underpitched. How much of an underpitch depends on how old the yeast was. but with that particular yeast at that OG, at the very least you should have pitched two packs or made a starter.

It should start fermenting eventually, but it's going to put a big strain on the yeast which will probably result in some off flavors. If your LBHS doesn't have this particular yeast, you should still be able to save it by pitching a pack of US-05. It'll be a different beer, but it should still be a drinkable beer (and who knows? maybe an amazing beer?).

As for the temp, as @wepeeler mentioned, temperature could also be an issue, but it was definitely underpitched. I use WLP029 frequently and usually pitch around 64 and let it free rise and ferment at 66 for a nice, clean Kolsch. Pitching additional yeast and leaving it at 68 should be good.
I have made this beer numerous times and had no issues with pitching one pack of yeast.
Usually starting fermentation after 12 hours.
I Guess there is always a first time.
I am going to try the US-05 yeast tonight.
 

TestTickle

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I have made this beer numerous times and had no issues with pitching one pack of yeast.
Usually starting fermentation after 12 hours.
I Guess there is always a first time.
I am going to try the US-05 yeast tonight.
Perhaps it was just an older pack than you normally use or you had a bad pack...maybe this was just a one-off issue for you.

If the use by date on the pack was March of 2022, then the manufactured date was September of 2021. Underpitched beer will certainly ferment, but I am surprised you've had such success underpitching. 5 gallons of 1.052 wort would ideally need around 185 billion cells and the viability of that pack was around 50%.

If the beer tastes good to you, continue as you have been since you've had success. Just for kicks though, have you considered pitching two packs or making a starter some time just to see if it's possibly even better beer? I'm not going to pretend to be yeast nerd because I certainly am far from it, but most of my experiences with pitching that low have never ended well for my liking.

Regardless, good luck with the additional pitch! I'm sure it'll turn out just fine.
 
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wepeeler

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Nothing froze but the wort has been at 68 degrees for a full two days now.
I still have not seen any activity, small or otherwise.
100% sure of no leaks
Make a starter next time. I've seen activity as fast as 5 hours (my last neipa took off FAST!). With a cooler fermentation, like a Kolsch, you may see a longer lag time, but that is shortened with a starter. I think my last Kolsch started in less than 10 hours.
 

hotbeer

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Substitutes for WLP-029 are K-97, G03, GY021, WY2565. SafAle K-97 is the only dry in that list. Don't know how common that particular one is for LHBS.


I only know how to spell Kolsch so I can't really say if S-05 or anything else will change the expected results too much.
 
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FlabbyRoach

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Perhaps it was just an older pack than you normally use or you had a bad pack...maybe this was just a one-off issue for you.

If the use by date on the pack was March of 2022, then the manufactured date was September of 2021. Underpitched beer will certainly ferment, but I am surprised you've had such success underpitching. 5 gallons of 1.052 wort would ideally need around 185 billion cells and the viability of that pack was around 50%.

If the beer tastes good to you, continue as you have been since you've had success. Just for kicks though, have you considered pitching two packs or making a starter some time just to see if it's possibly even better beer. I'm not going to pretend to be yeast nerd because I certainly am far from it, but most of my experiences with pitching that low have never ended well for my liking.

Regardless, good luck with the additional pitch! I'm sure it'll turn out just fine.
I will definitely make a starter next time.
Thanks
 
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FlabbyRoach

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Make a starter next time. I've seen activity as fast as 5 hours (my last neipa took off FAST!). With a cooler fermentation, like a Kolsch, you may see a longer lag time, but that is shortened with a starter. I think my last Kolsch started in less than 10 hours.
I will definitely make a starter next time.
Thanks
 
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FlabbyRoach

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Substitutes for WLP-029 are K-97, G03, GY021, WY2565. SafAle K-97 is the only dry in that list. Don't know how common that particular one is for LHBS.


I only know how to spell Kolsch so I can't really say if S-05 or anything else will change the expected results too much.
I will see what they have for substitute.
 

Bilsch

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Am I cooked??????
Just not sure how long the wort can keep.
Temp now stable at 68° since this morning.
The answer is it depends on what your expectations are.
Is it going to taste anything like an actual Kölsch? Not a chance.

Ideally your yeast should be pitched healthy, active and at the proper rate. It should start actively fermenting in a few hours and be producing visible CO2 in less than ~6 hours. Again this is in ideal conditions.

The bright side is most homebrewers will drink just about anything including completely ruined batches covered in disgusting pellicles. This is the part where your expectations come into play.

I wish you luck.
 
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FlabbyRoach

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The answer is it depends on what your expectations are.
Is it going to taste anything like an actual Kölsch? Not a chance.

Ideally your yeast should be pitched healthy, active and at the proper rate. It should start actively fermenting in a few hours and be producing visible CO2 in less than ~6 hours. Again this is in ideal conditions.

The bright side is most homebrewers will drink just about anything including completely ruined batches covered in disgusting pellicles. This is the part where your expectations come into play.

I wish you luck.
Thanks
I guess
 
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