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Fermentation Slow Start- Help Needed Please!

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Mark Van Moolenbroek

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Hoping for some help / guidance in the next step with my slow to no fermentation start!

After about a dozen successful AG brews, always using Wyeast smack packs either with or without starter. I am experiencing a slow to no start for a weissbier I brewed and put down on Wed night. While the wort was cooling I smacked the pack, after about 4 hours noticed there was only a small ammount of swelling of the pack. Once wort was cooled I pitch the yeast anyway only to find the nutrient pack appeared intact, flat but the majority if not all the nutrient was still in there. Pitched the yeast and nutrient anyway hoping for the best, fridge initially set at 17 but put up to 18 degrees after 2 days.

There has been little to no air lock activity in 3 and a half days, there is a layer of small white krauser dots across the surface of the wort, I think they have been increasing but that could be wishfull thinking.

I dont have enough experience to know how long the wort will last in this stalled state and whether the final result will now be achievable with a reasonable beer

Options?

- be patient wait and hope

- pitch another yeast, have a Safbrew wb06 or otherwise a 1056 american ale

- chuck and move onto next brew

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated

Regards,

Mark
 

QldKev

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Measure the Gravity, it may be moving along more than you expected. If the Gravity is still virtually the initial OG, I would give it a quick stir and throw in 1 drop of olive oil (I'm not joking about the oil)

QldKev
 

Mark Van Moolenbroek

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Measure the Gravity, it may be moving along more than you expected. If the Gravity is still virtually the initial OG, I would give it a quick stir and throw in 1 drop of olive oil (I'm not joking about the oil)

QldKev

Thanks for your quick reply QldKev, OG was 1.044, now 1040, gave it a few good swirls and there was plenty of froth and gas giving off so hoping this might kick start something. Umm a bit apprehensive about the oil but will give it a try.

Markvm
 

odo5435

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Please excuse my newbieness, but what is achieved by adding the olive oil and how does it do that?
 

QldKev

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Olive oil helps when dissolved oxygen levels in the wort are low. Unless you are shaking the crap out of it for 100 years (exaggeration) or using a O2 tank you can never get a decent level.

Detail (doco was published on this site, can't remember by who)
View attachment hull_olive_oil_thesis.pdf

QldKev
 

Mark Van Moolenbroek

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Summary
Olive oil helps when dissolved oxygen levels in the wort are low. Unless you are shaking the crap out of it for 100 years (exaggeration) or using a O2 tank you can never get a decent level.

Detail (doco was published on this site, can't remember by who)
View attachment 58266

QldKev
I'm convinced, drop of oil in, will let you know how it goes!


Cheers
 

odo5435

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Mmmm, interesting. I must admit the download was a little TL;DR (I finished with school about 40 years ago), but I think I got the gist of it.

The addition of olive oil to storage yeast in this study showed that consistent, complete fermentations of acceptable flavor quality and improved flavor stability can be achieved. However, these test fermentations were slower and produced an increased amount of esters compared to the controls. Although the finished product was significantly higher in ester content, it was not determined to be out of specification and was actually preferred by the internal flavor panel. The goal of improving flavor stability was achieved but at the cost of increased esters and slightly slower fermentations.
[Emphasis added]

I'm intrigued. It'd be appreciated if you'd let us know if there's any change in a couple of days @Markv, if it's not too much trouble. I'd also love to know what the finished product tasted like and how it compares.
 

Mark Van Moolenbroek

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Mmmm, interesting. I must admit the download was a little TL;DR (I finished with school about 40 years ago), but I think I got the gist of it.

[Emphasis added]

I'm intrigued. It'd be appreciated if you'd let us know if there's any change in a couple of days @Markv, if it's not too much trouble. I'd also love to know what the finished product tasted like and how it compares.

no problem will do
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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no problem will do
Hi Markv, any result from the olive oil?

I have just put down a lager using a 4.5l starter from a wyeast 2007 pilsen and not a lot of action after 2 1/2 days. There is some krausen on top and looks like lots of yeast at the bottom and the gravity has only dropped 2 points if any at all.
 

Mark Van Moolenbroek

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Hi Markv, any result from the olive oil?

I have just put down a lager using a 4.5l starter from a wyeast 2007 pilsen and not a lot of action after 2 1/2 days. There is some krausen on top and looks like lots of yeast at the bottom and the gravity has only dropped 2 points if any at all.

Good news! first 6hrs since I gave the tub a swirl and added the oil not too much change but some sweet aromas when I openned the fridge so there was some improvement, gave another gentle swirl after 24 hrs since oil addition/swirl and the krausen foamed up pushing out the airlock so thought it best to leave as is. Yesterday evening (Tues), I noticed the air lock going off almost constantly, this was a full 6 days after pitching the yeast. Was it the oil or the swirling? probably both?(cheers Qldkev). It will be interesting to taste the final results of this delayed fermentation as not experienced it before and not sure what it will do to the flavours. I suspect cause was possibly reduced available cells, (pack was dated March'12), and lack of starter of any kind meant the yeast needed some time and oxygen to get going. One of the more experienced guys might have a better idea but I need to read and understand a bit more about yeast and fermentation, have the books but not had time to get through them.
In the end best advice would be not to panic and have patience, something I generally struggle with, and ask for some help. Will post the results of this brew for those interested.

Cheers,

Markvm
 

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