HELP please - 72 hours in and fermentation has no signs of starting

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jollster101

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So on Thursday morning I pitched a Bavarian Weizen FWK with Wyeast 3068 yeast as recommended by my LHBS. I followed the same rigorous sanitation process that I have for the other 6 or so brews which all came out good. This is the first time I have used liquid yeast and didn't make a starter which again was the advice of the LHBS. Smack pack was activated and then left out at room temp for 3 hours before pitching.....one thing I noticed was that there wasn't much swelling of the pack. Yeast mfg date was May 19 so it's not overly old.

The wort is in my fermentasaurus with a heat belt on and temp set to 18.5C (controlled via an STC-1000). The fermentasaurus has the pressure kit on minus the PRV as I usually choose to ferment with a standard airlock which I swap back to the PRV come cold crash time.

All of the yeast appears to have floc'd and is sat in the bottom of the vessel and the collection bottle. I haven't popped the lid at all and haven't removed the airlock so its the same situation from when I first pitched.

I am just wondering what are the options I could try to see if I could wake the yeast up from their slumber. Is one option to remove the collection bottle and then repitch that from the top? If this was an option then would I be wise to keep the 'saurus butterfly valve closed to try and keep all the yeast up top for a bit?

I don't have a second liquid yeast but could maybe get one tomorrow if needed.

While the temp probe is attached to the side of the main vessel I wonder if the temp in the collection bottle is a little lower which is why things are a bit sleepy. Would I be better to have the heat belt at the bottom of the fridge so the heat is rising up and then hopefully ensuring the collection bottle is warmer as well?
 

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I would take a hydrometer reading before I did anything. Even a small drop in gravity will let you know if its going, if it is turn it up a couple of degrees. I have just started using liquid yeast but my advice was to always do a starter, I use a bit of Imperial yeast lately and don't do a starter with that but it's 200 billion cells.
 

Garfield

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Yeast can take many days in the adaption phase before visible signs of fermentation
 

jollster101

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SG is the same at pitching, 1.046. I have been able to check regularly as there is a Tilt hydrometer inside. Understand about the starter but the guy at grain and grape said in this instance it wasn't needed because of something to do with the esters and making a starter would do something undesirable.
 
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stuartf

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I've never been able to watch my yeast ferment but it sounds unusual for 3068. I would ferment around 20-21C but dont think 18.5 should cause it to drop out. Can you take a hydrometer reading to check its not the tilt reading wrong?
Even without a starter it should be fermenting. Low pitch rates produce more esters which is probably why the guy at g&g was saying not to do a starter for this yeast. If you can repitch without risking infection id try that but if no sign if activity after that I'd be getting new yeast.
 

jollster101

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I've never been able to watch my yeast ferment but it sounds unusual for 3068. I would ferment around 20-21C but dont think 18.5 should cause it to drop out. Can you take a hydrometer reading to check its not the tilt reading wrong?
Even without a starter it should be fermenting. Low pitch rates produce more esters which is probably why the guy at g&g was saying not to do a starter for this yeast. If you can repitch without risking infection id try that but if no sign if activity after that I'd be getting new yeast.
That was the reason, he said this type of beer lends itself to more esters.

I think I could repitch from the collection bottle. If I do then would I be wise to leave the butterfly valve closed so the yeast remain in the top of the Saurus?
 

TwoCrows

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If you repitch and replace the collection bottle , turn it on and let the O2 out thru the wort .
Should be ok.
 

jollster101

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If you repitch and replace the collection bottle , turn it on and let the O2 out thru the wort .
Should be ok.
Thanks. I am just sanitising the spare collection bottle and will switch it over.

One last thing for the seasoned brewers out there, I have the heat belt half way up the body of the 'saurus which has me thinking about the heat transfer and general temp of the wort. Given the conical shape and narrow neck that the collection bottle attaches to, would it be fair to assume that the heat the belt generates wouldn't necessarily flow all the way down and into the bottle itself?

I am just thinking that maybe the temp in the bottle is slightly lower than that of the main vessel where the bulk of the liquid is. The heat rises and so straight out the top of the headspace and therefore the yeast that has dropped would struggle to wake up? I am not a scientist by any means so if this logic is flawed then happy to be corrected.

If however my logic stacked up then would I be better to have the heat belt lay on the bottom of the fridge generating radiant heat around the fridge itself to give a more even heat distribution?

Just curious.........
 

kieran

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Mmm. Ideas. Rouse the yeast and raise temp. Pump oxygen into it, even straight air (take care not to pump unfiltered air in as you may pump your wort full of wild yeast). At a pinch you can rouse and oxygenate in one step by dumping the wort (with lots of splashing) into another vessel and then back again (with lots of splashing) into your fermentasaurus).. that'll get plenty of oxygen in and shake the yeast up into solution. Keep your area sanitary though (do it in a closed clean area with minimal air movement).. add more yeast too.
 

Outback

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A quick check online reckons your yeast pack had about 30-35% viability, looking at G&G website it looks like your FWK has and OG of 1.050.
My guess is you haven't underpitched to stress the yeast, and a result is you will get more esters, but rather you've way way underpitched and it's crapped out.
 

jollster101

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A quick check online reckons your yeast pack had about 30-35% viability, looking at G&G website it looks like your FWK has and OG of 1.050.
My guess is you haven't underpitched to stress the yeast, and a result is you will get more esters, but rather you've way way underpitched and it's crapped out.
The advice taken was based on the guy from G&G. Maybe the yeast were hibernating as once I repitched the collection bottle from the saurus, a day later fermentation kicked it. It has been a very sedentary fermentation all up though with little krausen having formed.

Either way, gravity dropped, finished and the wort is cold crashing at the moment ahead of kegging tomorrow.

I tasted the beer when I swapped the collection bottle before cold crashing and it tasted good. It's been a learning curve with my first foray into liquid yeast and also wheat beer.
 

hoppy2B

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You should smack the Wyeast pack a couple of days before adding it to the brew. That gives it plenty of time to swell and you will have confidence pitching it.
 
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