Author Topic: Failed fermentation  (Read 899 times)

Offline MO

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Failed fermentation
« on: January 31, 2015, 02:05:34 PM »
It's been almost 48 hours now since adding Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey to my wort.
Nothing so far.  I had the yeast in my refrigerator for a week PAST the expiration date...
I popped the little packet inside the Wyeast and let it sit overnight around a total of 16 hours before adding it to the wort.  The package never did swell up like it always does.  Is this batch ruined now or can I buy a non-expired pack and proceed?  Any help/comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
"Trying my best to be who my dog thinks I am"

Offline majorvices

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 02:30:35 PM »
With liquid yeast, you really need to make a starter for every beer. There are only enough viable cells in a vial/smack pack to ferment 5 gallons of a 1.040 ale. And that is only when it is fresh. An old, especially expired smack pack is simply going to give you all kinds of problems. Fermentation is the most critical part of the brewing process. You really have to make sure you pitch enough viable yeast.

Always make a starter with liquid yeast or stick to dry yeast. Alternatively you can pitch multiple packs but that gets expensive.

Offline MO

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 02:42:44 PM »
I'm learning that.  So, should I toss this batch and start over or can I add 2 more fresh packs to it to get it going?
"Trying my best to be who my dog thinks I am"

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 02:59:15 PM »
The batch is made; therefore, you have nothing to lose by letting it go.  You will eventually see fermentation, but you are going to experience a much longer lag phase.  The older the package, the more important it is to make a starter.

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2015, 03:06:36 PM »
Wyeast 1214 is a known slow starter. Give it some more time.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 03:21:19 PM »
Did you aerate the wort well? I'm curious if you shouldn't still do so as active fermentation hasn't started.

Offline MO

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 03:26:16 PM »
Aerate the wort?  I stirred in the WYeast really well.  Is that what you mean?
"Trying my best to be who my dog thinks I am"

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 04:13:57 PM »
You want to shake the snot out of the wort before you pitch it and maybe for a bit just after pitching. I normally do this for about 5-10 minutes and then give it another shake up every hour or so for a few hours.

I'm just thinking maybe there is very little oxygen in there which is further reducing your chance at the fermentation cranking up. Give the responses some time, I feel like most of the active folks on this forum are on the Best coast.

Offline MO

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2015, 04:25:01 PM »
OK...thank you guys.  When I get home I'll shake it up really well and wait and see what happens. 
I appreciate the comments and suggestions. 
"Trying my best to be who my dog thinks I am"

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2015, 04:33:50 PM »
Out of curiosity do you have a link to the kit you brewed? I'm surprised that wasn't spelled out for you.

Offline beersk

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2015, 06:09:42 PM »
At 48 hours, I really start worrying. Pitch more yeast! If you can, go buy another pack or 2 of the same yeast and pitch it. Don't toss the batch.
Or have some dry yeast on hand for these situations. Either way, I think I'd pitch more yeast.
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Jesse

Offline majorvices

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2015, 07:41:19 PM »
Yes, aeration is extremely important. I highly recommend a good homebrewing book too, especially if this is a hobby you plan to continue in. There's a lot to learn. Try www.howtobrew.com.

Offline JT

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2015, 07:44:06 PM »
Just be careful.  Shaking 5 gallons of anything is an injury waiting to happen.  There are better ways to aerate your wort.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 07:52:52 PM by JT »

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2015, 07:46:50 PM »
^good point. Always made me nervous w a glass carboy. No worries now w my Speidel.

Offline JT

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Re: Failed fermentation
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2015, 07:53:43 PM »
^good point. Always made me nervous w a glass carboy. No worries now w my Speidel.
Still dangerous.  Very easy to cause a serious back injury.