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Rob10

No Fermentation

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Hi Everyone,

This is my first post on the forum, and I have a question about fermentation for the American Blonde ale w/booster. My first brew was the Cowboy Lager, haven't tasted it yet but I bottled it today. So, when I added the yeast to the wort for the Cowboy it basically started fermenting right away at around 70degrees, almost immediately after I set the keg in it's place. I could see the foam on top and it was bubbling quite a lot.

Today I brewed the American Blonde ale w/booster same temperature and it doesn't seem to be fermenting at all. I did it the exact same way as the Cowboy Lager, but no visible signs. I can see at least 1/4 inch or yeast at the bottom, some sitting on top and some suspended. I just understood that when the fermentation process is over is when I should see the yeast at the bottom. Should I shake it up? Warm it up?

Help!

Thanks

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I'm no expert but I do know from reading here that every beer is different. Don't sweat it and check back in a couple days and enjoy a good craft beer (in a bottle suitable for harvesting).

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Ok thanks, I was just worried about the yeast sitting at the bottom of the keg and if it rise back up to the top

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Hi Rob. Welcome to the forums and the obsession.

You should be just fine. Not all recipes react the same. Not even the same recipe is guaranteed to react the same as it did before. Just give it a little more time and I'm sure you'll be ok. After some more lag time, I bet you'll start to see some activity.


Rick

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Thanks Rick,

What about the yeast at the bottom already, is it fine to just leave it like that?

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Yes sir. Just leave it as is and you'll be fine. Take a look tomorrow and you should definitely see some activity. I've noticed with some of my batches, it can take a few hours or better before I start seeing any noticeable activity.


Rick

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What you see on the bottom us called trub. It's a sign that fermentation us happening. You don't always see krausen.

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Oh I didn't know that! I just thought there was no fermentation unless there was foam and bubbling on the top

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No worries Rob10, I just bottled a batch of Classic Blonde myself and if I remember correctly it took a good day or so for it to start fermenting. And honestly it didn't take much time before it seemed that it was done bubbling (fermenting) so I would just let it sit and do its thing. I've read a lot of good things about this batch so sit back and relax. Welcome to the obsession and happy brewing!

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Hi guys, this is my first post on this forum. I brewed my first batch of beer, West Coast Pale Ale(came with the kit), with Mr. Beer 2 days ago. As of 47 hours since I put my fermenter in it's temperature controlled holding location, I've seen absolutely no activity. It looks like all the yeast just sank to the bottom.
After doing a little research, I realized I used old yeast. The "Best if Used By" date on the bottom of the West Coast Pale Ale HME was November, 2010.
Can I save the beer by adding a packet of fresh yeast?

Thanks,
Andy

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"anbowden" post=268263 said:

Hi guys, this is my first post on this forum. I brewed my first batch of beer, West Coast Pale Ale(came with the kit), with Mr. Beer 2 days ago. As of 47 hours since I put my fermenter in it's temperature controlled holding location, I've seen absolutely no activity. It looks like all the yeast just sank to the bottom.
After doing a little research, I realized I used old yeast. The "Best if Used By" date on the bottom of the West Coast Pale Ale HME was November, 2010.
Can I save the beer by adding a packet of fresh yeast?

Thanks,
Andy

:borg: Welcome to the beerborg information center anbowden. You will be assimilated. Resistance is quite futile: we have beer.

yes, by all means put in some new yeast and give it a go.

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Thanks for the quick reply, I'm glad there's some hope to saving my beer.
I'm really not sure what yeast to buy. I would by a direct replacement from Mr. Beer, but the shipping is outrageous.
How about a Coopers Dry Ale Yeast, or a Nottinghams Dry Ale Yeast?

Thanks,
Andy

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you can get by with S-33. it's a good general yeast. But the others are fine as well.

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Welcome aboard The Obsession Rob10! If you're like the rest of us here you'll soon be awash in a sea of beer and setting sail on many great brewing adventures. There's lot's of information here and plenty of hands to help you get under way. You'll soon be producing some memorable beers and having a lot of fun too in the days ahead.

Navigate on over to our Advanced Brewing Techniques area of the forum and read over the

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417" target="_blank" title="http://community.mrbeer.com/index.php?

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417">'4 Things Every Brewer Should Know About Yeast'

sticky. Yeast is a living cell, keep them healthy and they'll ferment you up some awesome tasting beers.

Set your course and sail on over to our New Brewers and FAQs area of the forum and read over the 'Malt To Adjunct Ratios' sticky.

Remember for the best tasting beer you'll want no less than 66% of the alcohol to come from malts and no more than 33% of the alcohol to come from sugars or other adjuncts.

** Just as a side note I've never ever brewed a batch of beer, either ales or lagers, without seeing a layer of krausen floating on top of the fermenting beer.

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Is this a good time for a rundown on what additions have been made to those "smack packs"?

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So I'm assuming that since my "lag phase" will be approx. 5 days, the beer won't be as good as it could have been but it's probably still worth salvaging? The effects of over-yeasting will be off-flavors, right?
Is it okay to add the yeast to my fermenter(Mr. Beer keg) in it's current state? Obviously I need to make sure I stir it vigorously to aerate, but anyting else important given my circumstances?

Thanks,
Andy

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That's an interesting question Andy....are you thinking that you missed some window of opportunity where even if you re-pitch new yeast you think it won't be as good?

I'm not sure....would like to hear about that.

Since there was no activity in the beginning has the risk of infection gone up?

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"Fee" post=268345 said:

Since there was no activity in the beginning has the risk of infection gone up?

That's definitely one line of thking I had considered, but I'm 100% new to this.

Andy

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"anbowden" post=268339 said:

So I'm assuming that since my "lag phase" will be approx. 5 days, the beer won't be as good as it could have been but it's probably still worth salvaging? The effects of over-yeasting will be off-flavors, right?
Is it okay to add the yeast to my fermenter(Mr. Beer keg) in it's current state? Obviously I need to make sure I stir it vigorously to aerate, but anyting else important given my circumstances?

Thanks,
Andy

As long as a wild yeast has not found it's way into your wort, the beer should turn out just fine, despite the lag. I'm not sure I would aerate the wort at this point, but I would like to here other opinions on that. If it were me, I would remove the cover, sprinkle the yeast around, and replace the cover as quickly as possible. Don't worry about over-pitching in this circumstance. Many of us use 11 grams of yeast in a MB-sized batch without consequence. Quite the contrary actually.

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"packerduf" post=268357 said:

"anbowden" post=268339 said:

So I'm assuming that since my "lag phase" will be approx. 5 days, the beer won't be as good as it could have been but it's probably still worth salvaging? The effects of over-yeasting will be off-flavors, right?
Is it okay to add the yeast to my fermenter(Mr. Beer keg) in it's current state? Obviously I need to make sure I stir it vigorously to aerate, but anyting else important given my circumstances?

Thanks,
Andy

As long as a wild yeast has not found it's way into your wort, the beer should turn out just fine, despite the lag. I'm not sure I would aerate the wort at this point, but I would like to here other opinions on that. If it were me, I would remove the cover, sprinkle the yeast around, and replace the cover as quickly as possible. Don't worry about over-pitching in this circumstance. Many of us use 11 grams of yeast in a MB-sized batch without consequence. Quite the contrary actually.

+1, though presumably if the initial fermentation never took place I don't know how aerating would hurt since the new yeast will need oxygen (should still be some/all in suspension from the initial aeration, but more can't hurt, right?).

What I'm curious about though, is that the OP mentions the original yeast sank to the bottom. Does that mean you can see it? I wouldn't think that a 2g packet of yeast settled out on the bottom would be much to see. Could it be some trub down there?

Do you have a hydrometer?

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"KZ" post=268361 said:

"packerduf" post=268357 said:

"anbowden" post=268339 said:

So I'm assuming that since my "lag phase" will be approx. 5 days, the beer won't be as good as it could have been but it's probably still worth salvaging? The effects of over-yeasting will be off-flavors, right?
Is it okay to add the yeast to my fermenter(Mr. Beer keg) in it's current state? Obviously I need to make sure I stir it vigorously to aerate, but anyting else important given my circumstances?

Thanks,
Andy

As long as a wild yeast has not found it's way into your wort, the beer should turn out just fine, despite the lag. I'm not sure I would aerate the wort at this point, but I would like to here other opinions on that. If it were me, I would remove the cover, sprinkle the yeast around, and replace the cover as quickly as possible. Don't worry about over-pitching in this circumstance. Many of us use 11 grams of yeast in a MB-sized batch without consequence. Quite the contrary actually.

+1, though presumably if the initial fermentation never took place I don't know how aerating would hurt since the new yeast will need oxygen (should still be some/all in suspension from the initial aeration, but more can't hurt, right?).

What I'm curious about though, is that the OP mentions the original yeast sank to the bottom. Does that mean you can see it? I wouldn't think that a 2g packet of yeast settled out on the bottom would be much to see. Could it be some trub down there?

Do you have a hydrometer?


You bring up an excellent point, KZ. I also wondered if he was confusing the trub for yeast. It is possible that he missed the krauzen, as some have more than others and it can be short-lived. This possibility makes aerating a bad idea, IMO.

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"packerduf" post=268364 said:

It is possible that he missed the krauzen, as some have more than others and it can be short-lived. This possibility makes aerating a bad idea, IMO.

Exactly...a hydrometer would be handy here, but in lieu of that I guess just toss the yeast in and hope there's sufficient oxygen rather than take the risk.

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"packerduf" post=268364 said:

"KZ" post=268361 said:

"packerduf" post=268357 said:


As long as a wild yeast has not found it's way into your wort, the beer should turn out just fine, despite the lag. I'm not sure I would aerate the wort at this point, but I would like to here other opinions on that. If it were me, I would remove the cover, sprinkle the yeast around, and replace the cover as quickly as possible. Don't worry about over-pitching in this circumstance. Many of us use 11 grams of yeast in a MB-sized batch without consequence. Quite the contrary actually.

+1, though presumably if the initial fermentation never took place I don't know how aerating would hurt since the new yeast will need oxygen (should still be some/all in suspension from the initial aeration, but more can't hurt, right?).

What I'm curious about though, is that the OP mentions the original yeast sank to the bottom. Does that mean you can see it? I wouldn't think that a 2g packet of yeast settled out on the bottom would be much to see. Could it be some trub down there?

Do you have a hydrometer?


You bring up an excellent point, KZ. I also wondered if he was confusing the trub for yeast. It is possible that he missed the krauzen, as some have more than others and it can be short-lived. This possibility makes aerating a bad idea, IMO.

I guess you guys might very well be right, maybe it is trub. See the attached pic, what do you think? I'd GUESS it probably is more than just the 2g of yeast.
I checked the fermenter at approximately 2 hours after pitching the yeast, 8 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours. Is it possible the krauzen came and went somewhere in there? Everytime I've checked it, the top of the wort has been completely "flat".
Unfortunately I don't have a hydrometer, this is my first batch.
THANKS for all the feedback, I really appreciate it.

Andy

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That's trub. You had fermentation. Sometimes krausen comes and goes fat and you just miss it, especially with simple batches.

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That's great news! So is this crazy that 3+ year old yeast, never frozen or refrigerated, worked?

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Not so crazy. In the right environment things can keep a long time. And those dates are RECOMMENDED dates to use by. It would take a lot longer for it to not work at all. Glad you were able to salvage the batch

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"packerduf" post=268439 said:

Mr Beer says their dry ale yeast is good for three years from packaging date.


Well shame on me for not looking that up. The research I had done on the homebrewtalk forum led me to believe dry yeast wasn't good after 1 year, and that's if it's refrigerated.
So one final question: Should I let it ferment longer because it's known old yeast?

Thanks,
Andy

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There are fermentations and then there are fermentations, I'm not saying I'm just saying. I think you know what I mean.

Navigate on over to our Advanced Brewing Techniques area of the forum and read over the

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417" target="_blank" title="http://community.mrbeer.com/index.php?

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417">'4 Things Every Brewer Should Know About Yeast'

sticky. Yeast is a living cell, keep them healthy and they'll ferment you up some awesome tasting beers.

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So Andy, you gonna bottle it? have you tasted it?

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"Fee" post=268502 said:

So Andy, you gonna bottle it? have you tasted it?


Sure, why not? It certainly won't be as good as it could have been, but I imagine it will still be palatable. Besides, I wasn't expecting my first batch to be perfect.
I wasn't planning on tasting it until after 7 days of fermenting, but I took a little taste sample today(3 days into fermentation) and it initially has a pleasant, sweet taste, but with a slightly harsh alcohol after-taste.

Andy

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After ~1.5 more weeks of fermentation, it tastes the same. Is it possible the off-tastes will condition out during the bottle conditioning phase?

Thanks,
Andy

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Chalk that brew up to the lessons learned category and move on. A properly fermented beer should be ready to drink in as little as three weeks. While some high 7-11% ABV brews will mellow with aging most 4-6% ABV beers shouldn't require more than that.

When yeast get stressed the resulting beer will suffer from off flavors, many of which will never condition out.

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The money is already spent, the beer is already brewed, and it is now in the bottle. There is no harm in giving it 4, 6, or even 8 weeks at room temp, then giving it another taste test. Under the circumstances, 1 1/2 weeks is not enough time. You've got nothing to lose here. In the mean time, brew some more beer. ;)

Edit: Okay, I think I read that wrong. Even so, I would see it through and hope for the best. It won't cost you anything.

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"packerduf" post=272489 said:

The money is already spent, the beer is already brewed, and it is now in the bottle. There is no harm in giving it 4, 6, or even 8 weeks at room temp, then giving it another taste test. Under the circumstances, 1 1/2 weeks is not enough time. You've got nothing to lose here. In the mean time, brew some more beer. ;)

Edit: Okay, I think I read that wrong. Even so, I would see it through and hope for the best. It won't cost you anything.

So after about 3.5 weeks of fermentation, I noticed some bubbles appearing on the top of the wort. After another .5 weeks, I took a picture, see attached.
It has an aroma that is very similar to bread yeast. It could be my six, or even my seventh sense telling me these are wild yeasts and I should trash this one.

Andy

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I can't be sure but based on that picture, it's possible it's infected. A bread yeast isn't necessarily a bad smell. You can taste it to see if it tastes vinegary or cidery.
Is this bottled already?

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"Beer-lord" post=273897 said:

I can't be sure but based on that picture, it's possible it's infected. A bread yeast isn't necessarily a bad smell. You can taste it to see if it tastes vinegary or cidery.
Is this bottled already?

I would say it has a hint of vinegar taste, but the yeast taste is stronger. Overall I'd say it tastes like beer. It has what appears to be carbonation now, which it didn't have before. The bubble formations on top have some strange formations: for instance, you may notice large, thin "sheets" of material(yeast-like?) floating on top.
It's still in the fermenter.
I took a hydrometer reading: 1.025, but I didn't do an OG.

Thanks,
Andy

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C02 is a product of fermentation so it's possible to get a mild, carbed feel.
The vinegar taste part is not good.
I'd do another reading in a day and see where you are. Unless it gets much worse smelling, you can try bottling it and letting it condition out. If the off flavors are not too bad, they may go away with a longer conditioning time. It's really hard to say it's bad or not at this point.

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It looks like maybe the beginnngs of a pellicle forming. Doesn't mean you can't drink the beer if it tastes good. Hint of vinegar could mean lactobacteria or a wild yeast got in there, which could make a pellicle that looks like that, or it could just be that it needs conditioning time.

My only concern about bottling it is your FG. If it was WCPA + booster which is what I glean from posts above, and you are at 1.025, now, then it really didn't ferment much. If so, and you bottle it and one of the critters really takes hold, you could end up with bottle bombs. Your FG means there is plenty of stuff in there for bugs to eat, your alcahol level didn't reach a point that it will control much of anything.

It's difficult for me to say what I'd do with that beer if it was WCPA + Booster... I'm normally of the "bottle it if it doesn't taste bad" camp, but it might not be such a good idea here.

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"mashani" post=273945 said:

It looks like maybe the beginnngs of a pellicle forming. Doesn't mean you can't drink the beer if it tastes good. Hint of vinegar could mean lactobacteria or a wild yeast got in there, which could make a pellicle that looks like that, or it could just be that it needs conditioning time.

My only concern about bottling it is your FG. If it was WCPA + booster which is what I glean from posts above, and you are at 1.025, now, then it really didn't ferment much. If so, and you bottle it and one of the critters really takes hold, you could end up with bottle bombs. Your FG means there is plenty of stuff in there for bugs to eat, your alcahol level didn't reach a point that it will control much of anything.

It's difficult for me to say what I'd do with that beer if it was WCPA + Booster... I'm normally of the "bottle it if it doesn't taste bad" camp, but it might not be such a good idea here.

It is WCPA+Booster. This may be a dumb question, but you'd be hesitant to bottle it and drink it because there's the possibility of getting sick?

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"anbowden" post=274036 said:

"mashani" post=273945 said:

It looks like maybe the beginnngs of a pellicle forming. Doesn't mean you can't drink the beer if it tastes good. Hint of vinegar could mean lactobacteria or a wild yeast got in there, which could make a pellicle that looks like that, or it could just be that it needs conditioning time.

My only concern about bottling it is your FG. If it was WCPA + booster which is what I glean from posts above, and you are at 1.025, now, then it really didn't ferment much. If so, and you bottle it and one of the critters really takes hold, you could end up with bottle bombs. Your FG means there is plenty of stuff in there for bugs to eat, your alcahol level didn't reach a point that it will control much of anything.

It's difficult for me to say what I'd do with that beer if it was WCPA + Booster... I'm normally of the "bottle it if it doesn't taste bad" camp, but it might not be such a good idea here.

It is WCPA+Booster. This may be a dumb question, but you'd be hesitant to bottle it and drink it because there's the possibility of getting sick?

He'd be hesitant to bottle it because it may not be done fermenting. And if it's infected, the bacteria and wild yeast that infected it may be able to consume sugars that would be left behind by brewing yeast. So the chances of having bottle bombs is pretty high. If you're bottling in plastic, you'll probably just have a mess on your hands, but if you're bottling in glass, you could have shards of glass flying.

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I see. Well I suppose I could let it stay in the fermenter until it finishes. Its been in there 4 weeks, what's another 4 weeks?
Even if it doesn't taste great, at least it will be an interesting experiment.

Thanks for all your help,
Andy

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If it's infected, the stuff you see on top will completely cover it in another week or two. If so, send us pics!

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