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Author Topic: Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?  (Read 2138 times)

Offline Greg D

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Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?
« on: May 12, 2014, 05:03:06 pm »
Yes, I know that there have been about 1.7 million questions about slow to start fermentation processes on a broad range of forums and I almost feel guilty adding another one. 

Long story short, my 10th batch of beer doesn't appear to be fermenting after about 18 hours.   It's the first in a long time where I didn't double pitch liquid and dry and I am trying to focus on the San Diego Super Yeast in an amber ale without having to wake up in the early morning to deal with a blow off.  (no one wants their home brew waking them up with sounds, right?) 

For the first time ever I used a different method of cooling the wort by dumping it on almost frozen water (like the White House does).   It was 70F.   Now it's 79F and I have no way of dropping it.  Our home is a constant 74F.  So it's generating heat.  But no airlock activity unless I press down on the lid of the bucket (7.9 gallon) with 5 gallons of pre-beer.   I normally top to 6 gallons with this size bucket so this one has more air room than normal. 

Now, here is my fear.   About a week ago I took the vial out of the fridge to take a picture of it and E-Mail it to a buddy.   And I forgot to put it back in.   So it's been laying on my desk, well for about 10 days. 

Would that exposure at room temp actually kill all these bad boys in this entire vial?  Am I being too impatient?   I do have that emergency pack of dry yeast ready in the fridge, but I don't want to pitch it cause I want the recipe to be what I originally designed....   Have a feeling others have been here. 

Any thoughts welcome.   Thanks.

Offline duboman

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Re: Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 06:06:44 pm »
Leaving it out didn't kill it but total viability may have gone down a tad. Without making a starter most likely you under pitched the beer as well.

The fact that the temp has gone up and air lock activity is present with slight pressure means things are moving in the right direction and active fermentation is getting underway.

You really so want to consider getting the temp lower-swamp cooler.

Get a big tub, put vessel in it, fill with cold water and drop some frozen water bottles in it. You can also put a wet t-shirt over it and run a fan, this will drop the temp. You can then swap frozen bottles to maintain the temp.

Keep in mind that the drop in temp will shock the yeast and slow things down again until the yeast acclimated to the lower temp but it will ward off any off flavors from too high a temp but do this sooner rather than later or those esters will have already formed and not go away.

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline Stevie

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Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 06:07:43 pm »
I'm sure you are fine. The time outside of the fridge may have reduced your initial count by a bit, maybe a lot, and that is why you have this long lag time. At some point the pitch will grow enough to actually start fermentation.

Edit - you should find a way to control your temp and make starters. I don't think it is as big of a deal in the beginning but others do.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 06:14:14 pm by Steve in TX »

Offline bbesser

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Re: Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 03:34:47 pm »
Another thing to consider is that your lid may not be perfectly sealed.  The CO2 may be present but is escaping through the lid/bucket interface.  In this case, the heat of the bucket is a better indicator of fermentation than activity in the airlock.
"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has lost the path of wisdom." - Gandalf

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 03:42:16 pm »
+1.  If the bucket lid doesn't seal completely, that yeast could be close to done by now. 090 ferments to pretty much completion in 2-3 days assuming adequate quantities were pitched. I say give it 2 or 3 days and check your gravity.
Jon H.

Offline Greg D

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Re: Did I kill my San Diego Super yeast?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 11:46:11 pm »
Folks; Just want to say thank you for your tips and support.  It's going now.  Oh no they were not dead.  When Peter Griffin was asked by Helen Hunt if he wanted to have sex he said "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no."

Did I kill my San Diego Super Yeast?   "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no."

Took a peek at it this morning and saw nothing for about 20 seconds, and thought to myself
(How did I fail on my 10th time with no failures) and then, pop.   A bubble. 

Hell Yeah!    The San Diego Super Yeast has been going so strong that I am having to watch it to see if it's gonna require a blow off hose on day three.   It's gone from one per second to about 6-8 in the last 12 hours.  It might try to blow the airlock out tonight and no one wants their beer to make noise, nor mess. 

Will actually update on this brew.

Yeah, this yeast is a monster.