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Weak (if any) fermentation

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Elderfi, 24/7/17.

 

  1. Elderfi

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    Posted 24/7/17
    Howdy,

    Been a while since I've posted here. Hope everyone is going well!

    I've put down an Aussie Pale Ale (fresh wort from All in Brewery). Did all the correct stuff, except all the things I did wrong:

    * Totally forgot about the Canberra water temperature - for those who don't know, polar bears would approve.
    * Realised today that the ring that locks the lid on the cube fell into the FV with the wort.

    Apart from that, I did everything right. In fact I gave my FV and equipment the most thorough clean since I started in the game.

    So anyway, as the title of the post suggests. The fermentation is weak, there is next to no krausen (there's some, but as far as krausens it go it's nothing to write home about).

    Now, I know what you're thinking.. relax, see how the dice fall ect. And that is exactly what I am going to do. But, the last brew I did, about a year ago (I had a break, see) did something similar - next to no signs fermentation. I rolled the dice on that one, bottled it and let it sit for 6 months. When I did get around to drinking it, it was, well, it was flat. That is the best way to describe it. Flat, no fizz, no crispness, no magic yum yum yummy beer. So - and I hate to admit it - I dumped it (I was moving state too). But I just didnt think there was any coming back from that either.

    Has anyone had anything similar happen? More to the point - how does something like this happen, and is it possible that it has happened again?

    I guess time will tell - could it be I need a new FV?
     
  2. Rocker1986

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    Posted 24/7/17
    Have you taken a gravity reading to see if or by how much it has dropped? What temperature is it sitting at?
     
  3. Mr B

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    Posted 24/7/17
    Possibly two different issues.

    So you have pitched yeast into your FWK, it started a bit cold. It needs to warm up to ferment temps, probably about 18 deg Celc. Dont worry too much about the oring.

    When its at about the right temp, it should start fermenting well.

    From there, it will take about 2 weeks to ferment out. You will want to check the gravity at this point to see if it has. Looking for something around 1.012. Thats the first issue - a good fermentation.

    Then you bottle it, adding priming sugar either to each bottle, or doing a bulk prime (look it up if necessary). Clean bottles and containers if used are good.

    Then, let the bottles sit at about 18 degrees for about 2 weeks to prime up. When you seal them, crimp, then turn bottles a half turn and do again to make sure you have a good seal. Thats the second one. If there was not yeast in the bottles (carryover from fermentation), if the bottles didnt seal, or if they were too cold to ferment (the last one is unlikely for 6 months), then that may explain flat beer.

    All going well with the above, you should be good.
     
  4. Elderfi

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    Posted 24/7/17
    Starting gravity was 1.059 - haven't taken one since. The stick on thermo is reading a range between 16-18c

    I just moved it to sit on top of the water heater - good move?
     
  5. Rocker1986

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    Posted 24/7/17
    18-20C is probably a better temp than 16-18 so moving it somewhere warmer isn't a bad idea. How long has it been since you pitched the yeast into it?

    I'd expect it would be at FG sooner than two weeks though... ales usually only need about a week to reach FG, but it doesn't hurt to leave them sit a bit longer before bottling or kegging.
     
  6. Elderfi

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    Posted 24/7/17
    I pitched the yeast ~24 hrs ago. I've moved it back to where it was, as I also prefer dry clothes - the water heater is next to the dryer. I've reached the point of let the chips fall as they will now :D
     
    Gigantorus likes this.
  7. mtb

    Beer Bod

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    Posted 24/7/17
  8. Rocker1986

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    Posted 24/7/17
    Ok, yeah 24 hours at lower than preferred temperatures, no wonder the krausen is hardly anything at the moment. I reckon in another day it'll be thicker. It may not need heating at the moment because the fermentation will generate heat itself, but towards the end of fermentation when it slows down you will need to keep the temp warm and not allow it to drop.
     
  9. Elderfi

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    Posted 24/7/17
    She is a rip roaring along - well more of a steady ferment. Which I associate with a good sign. I'll let this sit for a fortnight then load er up with 60grams of Galaxy. :overhead:
     
  10. Elderfi

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    Posted 13/2/19
    Bringing up an old thread - similar issue, completely different set of circumstances!

    I had a tin of coopers pale ale lying about which I decided to put down. Which I did with some hops, some LDM and some crystal grain. Just your standard kit and kilo approach. When I pitched the yeast the wort was probably still too warm, I think the outside thermometer read about 24-22 degrees (I pitched US-04 as I had this laying around).

    It's been just under 24hrs and there is signs of activity, but no krausen, looks like there was a ring once but it has all but dropped away (if it ever was there). Peeking in the top the wort looks busy though, it looks like it is moving around and there is a lot of airlock activity.

    I reckon I've cooked it, but I guess I'll just wait and see. The saving grace here is it really was a "I've got left overs so lets use them kinda brew"
     
  11. brewgasm

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    Posted 13/2/19
    Probably fine mate don't worry
     
  12. Paddy Melon

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    Posted 13/2/19
    Hi Guys, this is my first post. I've been following conversations on here for a while and finally joined up. this particular threat was timely as my last batch, which I'm bottling today, got "stuck", I tried reading as much about it as I could and could only put it down to not enough aeration at the beginning. I'm a bit anal about getting everything right so am pretty sure I didn't stuff anything up. Hydrated the yeast, shook up the fermenter, correct temperatures etc. After one day was bubbling like crazy, after two days it got stuck. I agitated the fermenter raised the temp then added some more yeast, still no more movement, the OG was 10brix (1.040) the FG was 7brix (1.030). I decided to pursue with the brew and after two weeks cold crashed it for 4 days. I will bottle it today but halve the priming sugar hopefully this will prevent any over gassing if it starts to ferment in the bottles. Finally my question is, could the cause of this situation have arisen because I added an extra 500grams of Dry Wheat Malt? Or is there something else I am missing.
     
  13. Milhouse

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    Posted 14/2/19
    Welcome to the forum Paddy.

    I don't think it is lack of aeration and there is no chance it is due to adding extra dme.

    What sort of yeast did you use? If it is a pack taped under the lid of a kit it is rubbish yeast anyway and likely to have been treated poorly. Even if you bought a commercial yeast it could have been treated poorly. Yeast is a living organism after all.

    If you can elaborate a bit more on your ingredients and process it might shed a bit more light.

    Also if you are using glass bottles be extra careful and store them somewhere the mess and broken glass isn't going to be too much of an issue or end up in someone's foot.
     
  14. gap

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    Posted 14/2/19
    Are you using a hydrometer or a refractometer to measure your gravity.
     
  15. Paddy Melon

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    Posted 14/2/19
    I used the packet yeast but re-hydrated it and got it churning before introducing it into the wort. within 24 hours it was really raging then stopped. I used a can of Morgans golden sheaf wheat beer and 1.5kg of dry wheat malt. that was it. I use a refractometer.
     
  16. Paddy Melon

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    Posted 14/2/19
    Thanks Milhouse, I've stored them inside eskys, just in case.
     
  17. Elderfi

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    Posted 15/2/19
    Not to hijack Paddy's post - I just thought I would update all on my brew, and ask for some advice. I took a hydrometer reading today, 1020ish and OG was 1050. I really took a lazy stance to this, didn't really mix the DME in just gave it a couple of stirs. When I took the hydrometer reading, little chunks of what I think was malt came out. So my guess is that those clumps didn't get mixed in properly - I always thought the yeast would eat it anyway? It tasted OK so that was relief, but my question is should I let it run for another week or so, or should I pitch another packet of yeast?
     
  18. gap

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    Posted 15/2/19
    You do know that if you use a refractometer to measure gravity of fermenting wort you have to use a conversion table to find the correct gravity. Alcohol distorts the refractometer reading.
     
  19. Paddy Melon

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    Posted 15/2/19
    I use the Northern Brewer Refractometer calculator. I think it has been pretty accurate so far. My refractometer has both Brix and SG scales and the readings on both scales have aligned with the calculator.
     
  20. Paddy Melon

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    Posted 15/2/19
    I'm starting to think that it might have been the yeast but don't understand how it could just stop after it had started so well? I had it in a fermenter fridge at the recommended temperature, but nothing happened even after adding more packet yeast. Could both packs have been faulty?
     

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