BRY-97 - sooooo slow

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beerbong

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Fermenting a US Brown ale with BRY-97 yeast. No yeast starter but did a gentle re-hydration and took a lot of care to avoid temperature shock. My methods have never failed me before. Anyway after 72 hours of no air lock activity I gave in and took the lid off to check. There was definitely some fermentation going on the wort surface. And this morning finally have some solid airlock activity! Phew. ~96 hours!!
Found some old comments here and there on these forums about it being a slow starter. Countless brews and only had one proper dud brew where my temp controller was faulty. Perhaps I had a leak and taking the lid off I resealed better? I don't know. Hopefully it settles into a decent ferment now. My first yeast scare
 
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Yes, an air leak is probable. There are many posts like this, one recent on this forum.

Will that cause unwanted oxygen contact? Not during the active phase, when CO2 is displacing air. After that, in theory air will diffuse back through the leak. The heavier weight of C02 slows the process down but does not prevent it. How fast depends on the leak..

Ideally, wait until you reach target fg, slowly raise to 20 for two days (which expands the gases in the air space). and then bottle with carbonating sugar or move to purged keg.

Cold-conditioning in an unpressurised fermenter will draw in air. Do that instead in the keg or in the bottle after carbonation. Still, many brewers cold-crash in an unpressurised fermenter and like the results. If you must do it, chill fast, not over several day as is often recommended and is fine under slight pressure or an airtight, purged vessel.

I've heard the same complaints about BRY-97's slow start, but in probably fifty or so brews with it I've never waited more than 14 hours before seeing activity. As you probably know, fermenting wort has to reach saturation with CO2 before it exerts substantial pressure in an airlock or starts to build krausen. Within the usual fermentation temps the colder the wort, the slower the yeast is to start and the more CO2 stays in solution.

I generally pitch BRY-97 at 16.
 

beerbong

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Thanks for this. Appreciate the explanations and the detailed advice. This is my first use of this yeast. Most of my experience is with US05, S04, Nottingham and Saison. I guess these are a bit more forgiving of mistakes and the equipment I use. I don’t have a pressure fermenter. Anyway I think it is ok. Bubbling now and giving off healthy fermentation smells. Cheers
 

Matty Groves

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I pitched some of this last night - not used it before. I chucked it in without rehydrating and then luckily saw this on their website: ‘Our research suggests that pitching LalBrew BRY-97TM directly into wort without prior rehydration will often result in better performance including shorter lag-phase and greater attenuation.’
 

beerbong

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1x 11g packet into 19L of wort. SG was ~1.060. I BIAB and hot cube/no chill the wort, so no worries about the aeration of the wort once I tip into the fermenter through a sieve. But I reckon you are onto something. I have possibly underpitched the yeast. So I checked the calculator on the Lalbrew website and they suggest 2 packets. I have brewed beer with similar numbers using the single 11g pack of Nottingham and it was all routine, but that yeast is a voracious beast. So probably my bad here, don't blame the tools...
Good evening Beerbong. How much yeast did you pitch and into what volume of wort? Also, what was the starting gravity please?
 

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