Author Topic: Won't ferment :(  (Read 1053 times)

Offline bstein

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Won't ferment :(
« on: January 08, 2016, 09:36:14 PM »
Hi Everyone,
New to this forum and looking for some help, advice. I have been brewing off and on for a few years and have had moderate success brewing pale ales and stouts. A few weeks ago, i thought I would change things up and try a saison. I did an all-grain 2.5 gallon batch using BIAB method. I pitched Safbrew T-58 at about 80 degrees reading that this yeast likes heat. It's winter here in norther california and the temperatures have dropped. I have a thermal wrap around my fermenter because it's stored in the garage. the temp dropped to about the mid-60s. the packet says it will ferment between 57 and 75. So, i waited. And waited. no fermentation. I went back the the home brew shop and got another packet. The weather got warmer and I got the temperature up to 70 in my fermenter. I put the second packet in. It still isn't fermenting. this has never happened before. Usually things start happening in 24 hours or less. It's been a week since i brewed and I put the 2nd packet in 4 days ago.

Currently, I have placed a clean trash barrel upside down over the fermenter trying to get the temps even higher to see if I can kick things into gear. My first thought was bad yeast, but i have put in two packets from two different brew supply shops.

Anyone have thoughts on what I could have done wrong or what I might try to get things unstuck?

Thanks,
Brook

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 09:48:45 PM »
Did you take a gravity reading to be sure nothing happened? I've had some batches go off like crazy and others that you hardly notice.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 11:34:17 PM »
Did you take a gravity reading to be sure nothing happened? I've had some batches go off like crazy and others that you hardly notice.

+1

Also, if you are fermenting in a bucket, you may not have a perfect air-tight seal, which would make it seem like nothing is happening. That happened to me often when I fermented in opaque plastic buckets. The only way to really know that it is fermenting (or not) is to take a gravity reading.
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline denny

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 12:39:36 AM »
At 80f it probably fermented and you missed it.  IMO that's way too warm.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline IPAnic

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 12:51:54 AM »
Just wondering if you could've confused hydrating the yeast with the fermentation process. From Fermentis website:
Sprinkle the yeast in minimum 10 times its weight of sterile water or wort at 27°c ± 3°C (80°F ± 6°F). Leave to rest 15 to 30 minutes.
Gently stir for 30 minutes, and pitch the resultant cream into the fermentation vessel.
Alternatively, pitch the yeast directly in the fermentation vessel providing the temperature of the wort is above 20°C (68°F). Progressively sprinkle the dry yeast into the wort ensuring the yeast covers all the surface of wort available in order to avoid clumps. Leave for 30 minutes, then mix the wort using aeration or by wort addition.

Offline bstein

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 07:13:31 PM »
So checked it with a hydrometer and it's at 1.020. I have pushed the temp up to 78 but still no bubbles in the airlock. Unfortunately I broke my first hydrometer when brewing so I don't have an OG reading so I am a bit blind on this batch.

The first package of yeast I did hydrate with 80 degree water. The second one a sprinkled across the surface. So strange. 


Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 07:20:26 PM »
What temp/time did you mash at?  Do you check your hydrometer and thermometer for calibration? What type of thermometer. Do you account for temp on your hydrometer readings? At 80F (like Denny said) that stuff should've fermented fast and unimpeded.
Jon H.

Offline bstein

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 07:54:05 PM »
I checked my new hydrometer and it is off - reads 1.002 in 60F clean water. :(

I mashed 6 pounds of Vienna Pilsner, .5 wheat, .5 Cara 20L

I mashed between 148 and 152. Was using a kettle on the stove top and had a hard time maintain temp as this is a small batch - 2.5 gallon. Mashed for over an hour.

I just checked brewers friend.com and it seems that it did ferment as it's near the FG. So strange as I never saw any airlock activity and the wort was sealed in a stainless conical.

Thanks for the input.

Offline denny

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Re: Won't ferment :(
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 08:07:40 PM »
I checked my new hydrometer and it is off - reads 1.002 in 60F clean water. :(

I mashed 6 pounds of Vienna Pilsner, .5 wheat, .5 Cara 20L

I mashed between 148 and 152. Was using a kettle on the stove top and had a hard time maintain temp as this is a small batch - 2.5 gallon. Mashed for over an hour.

I just checked brewers friend.com and it seems that it did ferment as it's near the FG. So strange as I never saw any airlock activity and the wort was sealed in a stainless conical.

Thanks for the input.

Pretty normal for a hydrometer to be off by that much.

Don't blindly trust FG estimates from brewing software.  Sometimes they'll be correct, sometimes they won't. It depends a lot on the fermentability of the wort.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell