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Noob78

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Hi all. Glad to be a part of this group. I have just started brewing with a basic mangrove jacks kit and can’t seem to get it right. My first batch a blonde larger that came with the kit only got down to a FG of 1.015 should have been 1.005 but I bottled and hoping for the best. My second batch a pale ale had OG of 1.0042 and never started fermenting. After 2 days with still no activity I pitched a second yeast. Another 2 days and still no activity. I have my fermenter in a wine fridge set at 18c which should be well within the right range for fermentation. After 4 days and 2 lots of yeast I decided to remove from the fridge which got it going. I had good fermentation for a day or 2 then nothing again. Took a reading and it only got to 1.028 well short of the 1.012 I should get. Sorry for the long post just want to give all the info.
 

carrobrew

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Hi all. Glad to be a part of this group. I have just started brewing with a basic mangrove jacks kit and can’t seem to get it right. My first batch a blonde larger that came with the kit only got down to a FG of 1.015 should have been 1.005 but I bottled and hoping for the best. My second batch a pale ale had OG of 1.0042 and never started fermenting. After 2 days with still no activity I pitched a second yeast. Another 2 days and still no activity. I have my fermenter in a wine fridge set at 18c which should be well within the right range for fermentation. After 4 days and 2 lots of yeast I decided to remove from the fridge which got it going. I had good fermentation for a day or 2 then nothing again. Took a reading and it only got to 1.028 well short of the 1.012 I should get. Sorry for the long post just want to give all the info.
Hey mate. When you say no activity do you mean that there was no bubbling in the airlock? This does not necessarily mean there is no activity. Are you getting Krausen/foaming top of the wort or up the side of the fermenter?

Also it is pretty common for not much activity to occur for 12-36 hours before the yeast really gets going depending on the yeast. First it is multiplying and adapting to the conditions of the wort. Are you aerating your wort before pitching the yeast?

Also with your first brew what was the starting gravity and how long after brewing did you bottle? I usually leave mine at least 2 weeks in the fermenter sometimes 3 to let it condition.
 

MHB

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Just the really odd one first, you are using your hydrometer not a refractometer to get your FG aren't you?
Clearly some fermentation is happening, once fermentation starts its usually harder to stop it than to have it finish. Two main causes would be -
Temperature, either too hot (+35oC) or too cold for the yeast. The other thing that can upset yeast is sudden changes. Coming from someone that is usually saying to put beer in a fridge, try doing one on the bench, might not be as good as it would be in a fridge that's working properly but if yours is swinging all over the place it could be confusing the yeast.
Contamination with some sanitisers will cripple yeast, leaving lots of what most people think is a no rinse sanitiser could be screwing the yeast, try giving all your equipment a final rinse with boiled water (just boil the jug, wait till its cool enough to be safe)
Mark
 

Noob78

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Thanks for the response guys. Being a noob brewer I forgot to take an OG reading on the first batch. I am going off hydrometer readings for fermentation and the first batch had a constant reading for 3 days so I’m guessing it was no longer fermenting but was still well short of the FG it should have been. The second batch after 4 days in the fridge at 18c was still at its OG so that’s when I removed it from the fridge. I’m just not sure if I should be using the fridge now as the yeast for the second batch had a optimal fermentation temp of 15c - 22c so the fridge should not have been too cold but I’m concerned that by leaving it out on the bench it might be too hot as up in NQ the temps have been about 30c.
 

carrobrew

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Thanks for the response guys. Being a noob brewer I forgot to take an OG reading on the first batch. I am going off hydrometer readings for fermentation and the first batch had a constant reading for 3 days so I’m guessing it was no longer fermenting but was still well short of the FG it should have been. The second batch after 4 days in the fridge at 18c was still at its OG so that’s when I removed it from the fridge. I’m just not sure if I should be using the fridge now as the yeast for the second batch had a optimal fermentation temp of 15c - 22c so the fridge should not have been too cold but I’m concerned that by leaving it out on the bench it might be too hot as up in NQ the temps have been about 30c.
That temp range is pretty ideal around that 18c. For the second batch I would think the gravity would’ve dropped a bit even without proper aeration etc unless you pitched it above 30c or something. What temp was the wort when you pitched the yeast?

What yeast are you using? Sometimes the kit yeast can be dodgy. I would try repitching some fresh yeast into both and seeing what happens.
 

Noob78

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The wort was down to about 26c - 28c when I pitched the yeast however that’s relying on the accuracy of the temp sticker on the side of the fermenter. I used a Morgan’s kit for the second batch which came with a seperate premium ale yeast packet to use instead of the one on the can.
 

carrobrew

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The wort was down to about 26c - 28c when I pitched the yeast however that’s relying on the accuracy of the temp sticker on the side of the fermenter. I used a Morgan’s kit for the second batch which came with a seperate premium ale yeast packet to use instead of the one on the can.
That’s on the high side for pitching yeast, did you get it down to 18 fairly quickly?

Where did you have the yeast before you put it in the wort? In the fridge? I’ve heard extreme temp changes can shock the yeast and may have affected it?
Hard to say really.

Try getting some fresh US 05 from your LHBS or online and re-pitching, hasn’t been too long so hopefully should be able to save it if the yeast was the issue. I have never tried the Morgans premium ale yeast but with any it depends on how it was stored and for how long before you got it that could of killed it.
 

carrobrew

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Hey Noob78, how did this brew end up?
Did you re pitch more yeast?
 
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