Author Topic: Fermentation never started  (Read 992 times)

Offline mharding73

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Fermentation never started
« on: October 25, 2015, 10:20:52 PM »
I Brewed a 1.060 wort yesterday.  I pitched a pack of 001 pure pitch.  No starter at 2pm.  Pitched at 70 degrees.  Then my temp went to 59 unexpectedly.  I took it out of the cooler to warm back up a bit this morning.  I saw no airlock activity at that time.  Now I see a very small amount of activity.  I took a gravity reading just now and didn't see a change.  I have cooled my temp down to 60 in the past with no issues but I used a starter.  Could that be the issue?  Should I pitch another pack of 001?

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2015, 10:27:31 PM »
Maybe give it a swirl, see if you can get the yeast back up off the bottom.  I would just pick it up on your knees (if in carboy) and give it a good swirl for 10 mins.  Wait like 1 hour and see how its going then
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Offline mharding73

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2015, 10:42:02 PM »
Just shook it up.   I did the same thing this morning too.   

Offline Stevie

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 11:28:06 PM »
I'm sure it will take off, but sounds like you should have made a starter. Pitching another pack won't hurt anything but your wallet, but I don't think it's needed.

What are you fermenting in? Any positive pressure in the airlock?

Offline mharding73

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Fermentation never started
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2015, 11:34:41 PM »
Yes.  Positive pressure in the airlock.  I'm using a speidel.  I doubt I will direct pitch again.  Thought I would try it. I was too lazy to make a starter.   
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 11:59:03 PM by mharding73 »

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2015, 01:45:43 AM »
I have said it a million times.   Ale does not need to be started at 60F in order to produce a cleanly flavored product, especially ale fermented with BRY 96 (a.k.a. Ballentine "Beer," "Chico," Wyeast 1056, White Labs WLP001, and Fermentis US-05).  BRY 96 is one of the most forgiving yeast strains on the planet.    All starting an ale at 60F does is delay the onset of active fermentation (It can also mask yeast handling and brewery hygiene problems).  Anything that slows metabolism slows replication.

Offline mharding73

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 02:12:53 AM »
Got the temp up to 65 and it's going now.  Looks like a temp issue.  Live and learn. 

Offline pete b

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 11:46:58 AM »
I'm not see about this but pitching the yeast before the wort is at the desired temp seems like a bad idea. The only time I had a really bad fermentation I did this. Now I usually brew at night and pitch in the morning when the temp is stable.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2015, 11:57:43 AM »
I'm not see about this but pitching the yeast before the wort is at the desired temp seems like a bad idea. The only time I had a really bad fermentation I did this. Now I usually brew at night and pitch in the morning when the temp is stable.

I think that's the real problem here - pitching as the wort cools. It's much better to get the wort down to the temp you want, even if it means leaving it overnight in the fridge/freezer and then pitching the next morning. I've used Chico in the low 60s many, many times with no stalls.
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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2015, 02:26:22 PM »
I think that's the real problem here - pitching as the wort cools. It's much better to get the wort down to the temp you want, even if it means leaving it overnight in the fridge/freezer and then pitching the next morning. I've used Chico in the low 60s many, many times with no stalls.

Even if the OP pitched at 21C/70F (I pitch almost every batch of ale that make at 20C/68F to 21C/70F and every batch of lager at 16C/61F to 17C/63F before allowing the wort to cool to fermentation temperature), the drop in temperature is not rapid enough to shock the culture.  There is a huge amount of thermal mass in a 5 gallon batch of wort.   


Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2015, 02:35:27 PM »
the drop in temperature is not rapid enough to shock the culture.


I'd bet it didn't help either, Mark.  70 down to 59 is generally something to avoid, unless you like stalls.
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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2015, 04:28:53 PM »
the drop in temperature is not rapid enough to shock the culture.

That's quite a generalization to make without actually knowing how fast it was. I've seen a drop that large stall fermentation in a 5 bbl fermenter where it took several hours.
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Offline mharding73

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Fermentation never started
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2015, 04:31:49 PM »
It was 70 at 2pm when I pitched.  I wanted to drop it to 65 so I put some ice in the cooler.   Checked it the next morning 6AM and the temp was 59.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 04:36:09 PM by mharding73 »

Offline a10t2

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2015, 04:37:55 PM »
It was 70 at 2pm when I pitched.  I wanted to drop it to 65 so I put some ice in the cooler.   Checked it the next morning and the temp was 59.

In that case you probably didn't have any real yeast activity until after well after the temperature drop.

A day and a half of visible lag time isn't really anything to worry about regardless. In this case it was a combination of relatively low pitching rate and relatively low temperature, but there's nothing inherently bad about it provided your sanitation is good overall.
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Offline mharding73

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Re: Fermentation never started
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2015, 05:03:17 PM »
Yeah.  Good to go now.  Not worried about an infection.  I have never had this happen to me before.  I was gonna be let down if I blew $45 on ingredients and 7 hours of labor!