Newbie Fermentation ?'s

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Newbie Fermentation ?'s

Postby whitehatmatt » Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:29 pm

Hi,

This forum is great. Exactly what I've been looking for. So on to my question.

I'm on my second batch of beer. Here's what I did:

1. Boiled Arrowhead Spring water (about 3 gallons).
2. Added Heferweizen malt extract from a kit purchased at Osheas brewing (love that place).
3. Added boiling hops after malt disolved in boiling water.
4. Set timer for 60 minutes and continued rolling boil.
5. At 60 minutes transfered pot to sink with ice bath and waited until temp of wort was 80 degrees.
6. At wort temp of 80 degrees I took my White Labs Hefeweizen yeast (yeast at temp of around 72 degrees), shook it up in the vile, and dumped it into the primary fermentor.
7. Then dumped wort from brew pot into primary fermentor from waste heighth.
8. Popped the lid on the fermetor, filled airlock with bleach water and popped it onto the lid.
9. Let beer sit overnight at about 68 degrees.
10. 30 hours later still no fermentation.
11. While finishing the last of the first home brews (split 7 22oz bottles of pure joy between a friend and I) got impatient and put the primary fermentor in the sink with hot water around it.
12. While primary was in sink with hot water, popped fermantor lid, starilized large stirring spoon and stirred wort in fermentor.
13. About 16 hours later wild fermentation had started. Foam coming through air lock before work. Had to clean lid and air lock with bleach water, replace lid and airlock.
14. Came home at lunch to find fermentor lid in the middle of the living room, about 6 feet from primary fermentor.
15. Sterilized lid, airlock, replaced lid and airlock, same as previously.
16. Cleaned ceiling and surrounding walls with warm bleach water. What a pain that was:) but wife is none the wiser. HA HA!
17. Came home from work that night and fermentation is solid with 1 bubble every 3-4 seconds.

So...opionions on whether or not the brew will come out?

Thanks
whitehatmatt
 
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My only observation is this

Postby Azorean Brewer » Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:37 pm

You should NEVER used bleach around active yeast cells, including the air lock. I have read that one drop of bleach is enough to kill the bacertia in 5 gallons of water. I would get in the habit of using cheap vodka in your air lock OK? I'll let others comment on the remainder as I have never experienced what you described.

Paul.
"I drink therefore I am"
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Postby whitehatmatt » Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:41 pm

Yeah, that will be the last time I use bleach. I'd never heard of using vodka before finding this forum yesterday. Thanks.
whitehatmatt
 
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No bleach...and other suggestions.

Postby Brewer2001 » Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:02 pm

matt,

I stopped using bleach quite awhile ago due to a chlorophenol problem with a batch of ale (read my post under the brewing science tab).

A second problem that you may have encountered was yeast viability.
I have never found that 'pitchable' viles to be really ready to pitch. When i went to brewing school we counted samples of yeast slurry and calculated pitching rates. Not many homebrewers even concider this problem.

Here is how you stay out of trouble:

1. Order some StarSan sanitizer - it is a phosphoric acid food grade sanitizer that works much better that subsitute non brewery products.

2. Get a gallon jug to use as a yeast brink. One day before you brew make a yeast starter of light boiled wort at an SG less than 1.030.

3. I get those small O2 cylinders (Bernzomatic) from Homedepotand oxygernate both the starter wort and the brew wort.

4. Pitch at a slightly cooler temperature toavoid shocking the yeast...they are alive!

5. Use a blow-off tube on the fermenter during primary fermentation.

Follow these steps and you should be fine....remember the key to pitching yeast is viability, VIABILITY, VIABILITY!

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Postby whitehatmatt » Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:05 pm

Thanks. A blow off tube will be standard from now on. Hops are a pain to remove from drywall once they have dried to the wall. Sorry for the dumb question, what is viability as it relates to yeast?
Homebrew if proof that god loves man.
whitehatmatt
 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:25 am

Viability....I had a post on this one before,but.

Postby Brewer2001 » Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:43 pm

Matt,

Viability is the amount of live, active yeast that are present in a volume of solution. Fact, you need live yeast to ferment (good beer). Fact, you need to have enough yeast cells in solution to carry out a strong fermentation.

Fermentation problems due to under pitching is probably the second most frequent problem that homebrewers encounter. Making a strong starter is the best way to avert this problem. A good rule of thumb is to assume that all yeast needs to be 'built' to a good pitching volume.

If you need any more info let me know.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Postby whitehatmatt » Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:45 pm

Thanks again for the info Tom. I'm starting to learn quite a bit. A few more extract batches using yeast starters and then I think I'll switch to all grain brewing. Just need to get the hardware setup.
Homebrew if proof that god loves man.
whitehatmatt
 
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