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Bugger... Wort Too Warm, Have I Killed My Yeast?

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SpaceMonkey

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Put down a can of ESB Bavarian this arvo, but had a bit of a mishap. Whilst topping up the carboy and eyeing the temperature it was looking a bit on the low side so I cucked in a bit of hot water out of my kettle. Unfortunately I chucked in a bit more than I intended and the temperature of the wort shot up over 30c. I let it sit for a bit to try and cool it off (even chucked a bit of ice in to try and get the temp back down but after 30-40 min it was still around 29c. At that point I decided to chuck the yeast in and hope for the best, as I figured if I left it any longer it would end up contaminated anyway. What chance is there that I haven't killed off the yeast (saflager, which specifies 23c +/- 3c pitching temp) or contaminated it and stuffed it completely? It's in my garage which has been hovering in the 13c-19c range lately so it should drop to a suitable temperature tonight at least.
 

Fingerlickin_B

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I predict that the only problem you'll encounter is a serious fart smell in your garage by tomorrow afternoon!

Seriously tho, you'll be fine :beer:

PZ.
 

PeterS

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SpaceMonkey said:
Put down a can of ESB Bavarian this arvo, but had a bit of a mishap. Whilst topping up the carboy and eyeing the temperature it was looking a bit on the low side so I cucked in a bit of hot water out of my kettle. Unfortunately I chucked in a bit more than I intended and the temperature of the wort shot up over 30c. I let it sit for a bit to try and cool it off (even chucked a bit of ice in to try and get the temp back down but after 30-40 min it was still around 29c. At that point I decided to chuck the yeast in and hope for the best, as I figured if I left it any longer it would end up contaminated anyway. What chance is there that I haven't killed off the yeast (saflager, which specifies 23c +/- 3c pitching temp) or contaminated it and stuffed it completely? It's in my garage which has been hovering in the 13c-19c range lately so it should drop to a suitable temperature tonight at least.
[post="70475"][/post]​
I think you will find that it was a lesson for you, never the less you should still make a beer that is drinkable, even though it might not be what you were hoping for. You have already learned not to add hot water like you did and by the way, never chuck in ice to the fermenter for fear of contanimation either. Be patient. Once the fermenter lid is closed, control the temp by outside means like cooling it down by placing the fermenter in a tub of iced water if you have not got room in your fridge. once you get it to a pitchable temperatute range like 20C you can pitch your yeast and again adjust the temp later to the recommended fermentation temp of the style of beer that you are making

Relax, have patience and have a beer in the mean time.
:chug:
PeterS....
 

SpaceMonkey

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Thanks guys, guess I'll just leave it to do it's thing and see how it goes. Peter, I take it from what you're saying that if the wort is a bit too warm to pitch the yeast it's ok to chuck the lid on and wait a while for the temperature to drop before pitching, even if it takes a while?
 

PeterS

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SpaceMonkey said:
Thanks guys, guess I'll just leave it to do it's thing and see how it goes. Peter, I take it from what you're saying that if the wort is a bit too warm to pitch the yeast it's ok to chuck the lid on and wait a while for the temperature to drop before pitching, even if it takes a while?
[post="70496"][/post]​
That is correct. There are a couple of privisos or points to note however. The quicker you can get the temp down to the desired pitching temp the better it is as bacteria an wild yeast love the hot humid areas especially if it is a sweet meal for them. The idea is that the quicker you can get those yeasts to multiply and start fermenting the better it is for your brew. (In accordance with the recommended temp rate). Once the yeast starts their active cycle, they absorb oxygen and give off carbon dioxide which is not a good thing for any other organism to live in. Once you close that lid, the only time you should open it is the time to pitch your yeast and when the fermentation is finished and it is time to either rack to another fermenter to secondary fermentation or when it is time to bottle and even than you do so with care to prevent any chance of contamination. During hot sommer days, you might have to wait overnight to cool your temp down to a suitable pitching temp if you have not got a fridge that can help you to cool it quicker. Because of the volume of worth in consideration it takes a long time to change the temperature. There are methods that helps us like wort chillers but that is another story..

:chug:
PeterS....
 

SpaceMonkey

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Ah cool, I was under the impression that tte bacteria etc would get stuck into the wort a bit quicker than that if the yeast hadn't started doing it's thing, I didn't realise I had that much time. Guess I've learned something today.
You mentioned that dropping the ice into the wort was a contamination risk, why is that? I figure that ice is just frozen tap water, ie the same stuff that I was topping the ferneter up with. I figured that it wouldn't have any more nasties in it than normal water considering that it had been sub-zero ever since it came out of the tap?
 

PeterS

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SpaceMonkey said:
Ah cool, I was under the impression that tte bacteria etc would get stuck into the wort a bit quicker than that if the yeast hadn't started doing it's thing, I didn't realise I had that much time. Guess I've learned something today.
You mentioned that dropping the ice into the wort was a contamination risk, why is that? I figure that ice is just frozen tap water, ie the same stuff that I was topping the ferneter up with. I figured that it wouldn't have any more nasties in it than normal water considering that it had been sub-zero ever since it came out of the tap?
[post="70517"][/post]​
The general idea is to try to keep your area, your worth, yourself and everything that comes in contact with the worth as clean as possible. In a sence you are correct, you want the yeast to be active as soon as possible to reduce the chance of other bacteria getting there first. Having said that, just remember that beer has been made for thousands of years in open containers and certainly before refrigeration or even before they had ways of making ice, yet they made beer. You can pitch your yeast at a high temperature and you will find that it will start its fermentation a lot quicker, the problem is that it will more than likely produce off flavours that you do not like. Therefore the answer is a compromise and follow the recommended pitching temp and fermentation temp. Whilst waiting for that temp to reach make it hard for the bacteria not to enter the wort by keeping your fermenter closed. I am no expert regarding the use of direct ice to cool, but I seem to remember that ice at that temp only puts bacteria into a dormant stage, (you can freeze ice in a plastic coca cola container and use that in the outside of your fermenter to cool though), besides everytime you open the lid you are allowing bacterai that is around you to enter the wort. Hope that helps.

:chug:
PeterS....
 

SpaceMonkey

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Ah ok. The ice went in straight after I topped it up (ie bofore the lid went on for the first time) so I don't think it really raised my contamination risk much if any. I kept the lid on for the period while waiting for it to cool so I don't think I'll have too many contamination worries, I'll just cross fingers and hope the whole thing doesn't taste too off. The temperature was down to about 24 las time I checked so it's at least going in the right direction.
 

ryanator

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In my last brew, I added Safale S-04 yeast at 29 degrees. It started fermenting after 6 hours or so with no problems. There wasn't an egg smell or anything.

Put it into secondary a couple of days ago and had a quick sample. Tasted brilliant. I'd say your brew should still be ok.
 

SpaceMonkey

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ryanator said:
In my last brew, I added Safale S-04 yeast at 29 degrees. It started fermenting after 6 hours or so with no problems. There wasn't an egg smell or anything.

Put it into secondary a couple of days ago and had a quick sample. Tasted brilliant. I'd say your brew should still be ok.
[post="70584"][/post]​
Nice, that eases my mind a lot. It hadn't really got going when I lesft for work this morning but the temperature was down to 15 degrees, so it mgiht take a little while to do it's thing. I'll cross my fingers and have another look when I get home from work.
 

Bazza

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SpaceMonkey said:
Ah ok. The ice went in straight after I topped it up (ie bofore the lid went on for the first time) so I don't think it really raised my contamination risk much if any. I kept the lid on for the period while waiting for it to cool so I don't think I'll have too many contamination worries, I'll just cross fingers and hope the whole thing doesn't taste too off. The temperature was down to about 24 las time I checked so it's at least going in the right direction.
[post="70549"][/post]​
Hi SpaceMonkey
I sometimes use ice for summer brews (instead of chilling water which can be difficult re fridge space). I boil water and then put that directly into sterilised plastic containers (e.g 300mL tupperware boxes with lids) and freeze them. When ready to brew I sit the containers in steriliser solution to melt the edges, then dump the ice in the hot wort and stir it gently til it melts. Cools down the wort from 80*C to 20*C or so in a few minutes. Haven't had any infections either.
Cheers
Bazza
 

SpaceMonkey

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Well it's been fermenting slowly at 15c for the 3 days now so all looks ok. It's hardly bubbling away like your normal kit beer would at 20c plus, but I guess you get that with the temperature. Guess I'll just let it do its thing for as long as it takes!

Update: 9 days now and it's down to 1011 so everything seems to be going fine, tastes pretty decent too! should be ready for bottling in a few more days :)
 

SpaceMonkey

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Anyone got an idea what I should expect the final gravity of this brew to be? Made up to 22.5l as per the instructions, also steeped 1 bag of light grain and strained that into the wort. I'm guessing 1008-1009 or thereabouts?
 

pint of lager

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You may find no-one will give you the expected gravity. It depends on so many variables. Make sure your sg is stable over 3 days, leave it another couple of days somewhere cooler, then it is ready to bottle or keg.

Next time you use any sort of grain, the resulting wort must be boiled before adding it to the fermenter. Do not boil the grains, just the runoff wort. Boil it for 15 minutes, then add it to the fermnter. Grains are well known to have lots of wild yeasts and bacteria on the husks, that can give rise to infections.

Keep an eye on your brew after it is bottled, if it sows any signs of overcarbonating, or being sour, drink them quickly.
 

SpaceMonkey

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pint of lager said:
You may find no-one will give you the expected gravity. It depends on so many variables. Make sure your sg is stable over 3 days, leave it another couple of days somewhere cooler, then it is ready to bottle or keg.

Next time you use any sort of grain, the resulting wort must be boiled before adding it to the fermenter. Do not boil the grains, just the runoff wort. Boil it for 15 minutes, then add it to the fermnter. Grains are well known to have lots of wild yeasts and bacteria on the husks, that can give rise to infections.

Keep an eye on your brew after it is bottled, if it sows any signs of overcarbonating, or being sour, drink them quickly.
[post="72334"][/post]​
Damn, which the HBS had told me that about the grain, they were giving it away free with the ESB kits and I just followed the instructions on the packet (drop the grain into boiling water, take off the heat, stand for 20min then strain into fermenter when adding the kit). Hopefully it's not a problem. Re the SG I guess I'll just wait for it to stop dropping and bottle it after a few days as you suggest- although I don't know where I can put it that's any cooler than my shed where it currently is as it's been fermenting in the 12-16c range anyway.
 

pint of lager

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Your brew may be ok. Steeping in boiling water does sanitise to a certain extent. There is no gaurantee. Even boiling for 90 minutes is no gaurantee, this kills all living beasties, but does not kill all spores.

When using specialty grains, it is best to steep at 40-60 degrees, then boil the resulting fluid. Husks often give up nasty astringenct flavours when exposed to really hot water.
 

SpaceMonkey

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I'd assumed it was pretty safe just following the instructions, the HBS suppliers wouldn't specify doing it that way if it was going to cause any significant percentage of brews to spoil or they'd lose business pretty quickly, you'd think.
 

SpaceMonkey

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Well I cracked open the first bottle of this brew tonight and I've got to say it tastes fantastic, way better than the Coopers kit & kilo jobs I'd done previously!!! Will definitely give this one another run, maybe with a bit of extra malt or something this time though as it came out a tad on the light side (4.2% abv), but a very satisfatory drop nonetheless.
 

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