Author Topic: Please reassure me  (Read 1022 times)

Offline USBrews

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Please reassure me
« on: June 05, 2017, 01:09:39 PM »
Hi, new poster here. 

I have 5gal wheat beer in a 6.5gal bucket working with Wyeast 3068, but it's behavior seems odd to me.  I got away from brewing for almost 10 years and haven't used a bucket in maybe 15 years.  I just found that they are not always airtight, which I think happened here.  I know I pitched too warm and didn't make a starter-- the smack pack was in date and inflated, OG was just under 1060.  After 24hrs with no airlock activity, I thought I'd killed my yeast.  Apparently, though, that shouldn't have happened at 85°F.  Still no airlock activity at 48hrs.  I took a US-05 packet from the fridge for rescue purposes.  At this point, the airlock did smell of banana and I opened the bucket to find a low krausen.  I closed it back up and let it be.  A few days more passed, still without airlock activity.  It now has an unpleasant odor that I remember being normal.

So, I think: the warm pitch caused a long lag, and gas is escaping via lid seal.  As primary finishes, am I risking infection if air is able to enter?  Oxidation was never an issue for me in the past, and this isn't a batch that will be stored once conditioned.  I guess I'll answer the questions myself soon enough!  How can I smell the ferment through the lock if no bubbles?  Of course, bubbles may sneak out when I'm not looking.  I'll take first FG reading tomorrow.  I read here that some keg lube can help the seal in the future.  I'll test the seal with water when I'm done and with any new buckets.

I loved my carboys.  I just can't lift them safely any more.  I might try a Better Bottle soon, though.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 01:46:14 PM »
I think your warm pitch caused a fast ferment and you have a leaky bucket. As long as fermentation is active, you don't need to worry as much about oxidation.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 01:51:34 PM »
It's also possible simply pitching a smack pack without a starter into a wort in the high 1.050's caused the lag.

Even with nice fresh yeast that's been kept properly cool, I've seen 24 hours of lag in beers in the 1.030's when I've skipped a starter.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline USBrews

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 01:59:46 PM »
Thanks!  I hope to find it has fermented properly, of course.  I'm experienced enough not to worry, but I was starting to worry.  I was questioning my return to buckets, too.

And I was sort of experimenting by planning to just pitch the smack pack.  Then my OG was higher than I planned.  I'm finding lots of tools on the net that just didn't exist 10 years ago.  I'm getting quite a re-education.

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 03:09:43 PM »
Yup everything you knew 10 years ago has exploded. There is so much more readily accessible information and so many more choices in equipment.  85F pitch would have accelerated the fermentation, not slowed it down, and many buckets don't make a great seal. Contamination either exits in the bucket when you start or falls in. It doesn't crawl under the lid, so a non sealing lid is not a big deal. If you're using a 3 piece airlock, they can show little or no activity. One of the "S" shaped ones will usually bubble like mad by comparison. I expect a gravity reading will confirm that everything is just fine. And, welcome back to the wonderful world of homebrewing. I took off from 1995 to 2005 and was excited to see how many more choices I had when I started brewing again. It's now better than ever. Cheers!
Diane
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"Have no fear of perfection...you'll never reach it" ~Salvador Dali

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Offline USBrews

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 04:41:59 PM »
It seems there a lot more homebrewers now, too.  I don't even know if there were homebrew forums then. There probably were, but I'm glad you folks are here now.

RDWHAB still applies, luckily.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 08:30:34 PM »
It seems there a lot more homebrewers now, too.  I don't even know if there were homebrew forums then. There probably were, but I'm glad you folks are here now.

RDWHAB still applies, luckily.

I think there were some forums back in 2006.  I can't really recall when we all crawled out of UseNet groups and on to the World Wide Web.  It is definitely a big step forward to today.

Welcome back!!  There are many really good resources available today including the folks on this forum.  Any odd ball idea has probably been tried by at least somebody on this board.  Everyone is happy to share and help out.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline USBrews

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 09:02:05 PM »
Thanks for the welcome,  all.  I loved UseNet.  I don't rember if I posted on any HB groups, though.  And it is a new millennium. I lurked several fora before joining here.  It seems like a good community. 

I'm going to crack open this thing tomorrow and see if I have made beer.  This was my second batch getting  back to brewing.  The first is a brown ale that's just fine for the keg in a few days, which makes it easier to relax.

Offline USBrews

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 07:22:03 PM »
Follow up:  It seems ok.  It tastes like green weizen and gravity's down ~1020.  Thanks for the reassurance, folks.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 03:46:58 PM »
No need to worry about air escaping in the bucket is under positive pressure.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline USBrews

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Re: Please reassure me
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2017, 02:05:19 PM »
Thanks.  This might hit the keg tomorrow.