HELP first time brewer!!

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

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HELP first time brewer!!

Postby adrucker » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:25 pm

So last night I brewed my first beer, a 5 gallon batch of American wheat, from a kit that I purchased from morebeer.com. I used the White labs California ale (liquid yeast). After boiling and cooling the wort to 75 degrees, I poured it into the carboy, pitched the yeast, then added the other 2 gallons of water. Mixed it all up, put in the stopper and airlock then put it in my closet. This morning I went to look and nothing!!

The temperature dropped overnight so Im thinking that maybe the temperature dropped too cool. So I just placed it in the bath tub of an upstairs room in a warm water bath to hopefully kick things off. Is this something that could get it started, or should I be worrying, trying another plan of attack?

thanks!
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Oh the stress

Postby brewmeisterintng » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:23 am

By the time you read this your worries may be over. I remember when I first started brewing and anxiously waited for the first sign of life in the airlock.
If you pitched the yeast directly from the vile into the fermentor you have no idea if the yeast it dead, tired or ready for their mission. The only sure way to know is to make a yeast starter a couple of days before hand. The two benefits are you will validate the yeast and get more yeast to ferment with. Brew Your Own magazine has an article on it in the current issue. There are also plenty of threads on the subject. So, rap the fermentor in a blanket and relax and wait. If you go past 36-48hrs with no activity detected
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A bit too warm

Postby slothrob » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:18 am

This time of year it's doubtful that you're going to drop too cool for that yeast. It will ferment down into the high 50's.

On the other hand, the mid 70's are a bit too warm for that yeast, especially if you want to make a clean beer like an American Wheat. I would shoot for something in the low 60's, if you can.

Keeping the yeast cool initially is the most important. At this time the yeast is multiplying and during this phase it can throw a lot of esters if too warm.

Pitching a single vial, without a starter, is about half the yeast you would ideally want to use for this beer, as brewmeisterintng said. The yeast is just taking a little longer than it might to begin fementing; I wouldn't worry for at last 24 hours. If you do find that you need to repitch yeast, a pack of dry yeast called US-56 will give you a virtually identical beer with about twice as many yeast cells as the tube.
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About US-56

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:22 am

Not to hijack the thread, but US-56 is now called US-05. Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone goes looking for it. It's an excellent yeast and has replaced WLP001 as my mainstay yeast.
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US-05

Postby slothrob » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:48 am

I've got to get used to calling this US-05.
Thanks for the clarification, ColoradoBrewer.
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Thanks for the update

Postby billvelek » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:11 pm

Thanks for letting us know of the change; to remind me in the future, I have just edited the names of both yeasts to indicate that change.

Cheers.

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