Fermentation stopped after 24 hours??

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

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Fermentation stopped after 24 hours??

Postby RonChito » Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:36 am

Hi all, I'm on my first batch of home beer and have a question -- any info/advice would be much appreciated. First of all, I'm making a stout -- not sure if that makes any difference. It's currently in the fermentation bucket. The fermentation really took off initially -- the airlock thing was flying after only a couple of hours. However, by the next day, there's no movement in the airlock -- looks like everything has stalled. Is this a yeast issue? temperature issue? any thoughts on what I should do to get this going again? Thanks for any help...

Chris
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Few suggestions

Postby Team Beer » Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:07 am

First thing to check is airlock itself. If you had a strong fermentation it is possible that the head of the beer may have plugged up the airlock. Be very careful and sanitary at this point. If the airlock is plugged chances are there will be a lot of pressure being built up. Secondly temperature can stop fermentation however unless your beer ( ale yeast ) dropped below 68 degrees or went over 80 I wouldn't worry too much about that. Aeration is key for a good fermentation. if you did not aerate properly the yeast may be stuck try shaking the fermenter vigorously to get more oxygen into the wort if that doesn't work try another addition of yeast. But before you purchase more yeast take a gravity reading to ensure your beer is not finished. Though I find it hard to believe a beer can be fully fermented in 24 hours, I have had some aggresive yeast strains that did finish in three days.
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thanks

Postby RonChito » Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:34 am

Thanks for the suggestions. I cleaned out the airlock (just to make sure -- didn't look particularly clogged) and shook the fermenter around to maybe get the yeast moving again. How long should I wait to see if this has taken effect? And, if this doesn't work, what kind of yeast do I need to get (and how much should I use?) to give it another shot? I'm working from a kit so the yeast was pre-packaged. Thanks for all your help.

Chris
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Make a starter batch!

Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Jul 22, 2002 1:41 pm

Chris,

Yeast pitching seems to be a big issue for home brewers. There have been some recent posts on the subject, go back through the last month or so and read Eric's (Mesa) and mine.

The main thing is viability, live yeast cells. Dry packet yeast is 'energized' to start quickly and requires rehydration before pitching. Liquid yeast (tube or 'smack pack'), dispite claims, should be grown to pitching volume and viability. This is almost manditory if you pitch into high gravity wort. In reguard to high gravity wort 'more is not always better'. The yeast need to adapt to the high volume of 'sugar' present in the wort. They do this in two stages, growth and division. In the starter wort of lower gravity the viable yeast cells grow become health and multiply to occupy their space (like Gold fish). When pitched into the higher gravity wort they have the vitality and numbers to restart the colony, they need to stay a little hungery or they shutdown on their pathways (sugar intake modes).

The best way to pervent this is to start with a good yeast stock, grow it to pitching volume and pitch at high krausen. I make a a starter, 1 quart of wort SG 1.020 - 1.026, yeast nutrient and oxygen, in which I pitch my slurry or store bought yeast. This method has greatly improved my fermentations. I suggest that you do this if you find you need a second yeast addition.
FYI:Brew pubs and Micros generally use a method of pitching known an cone to cone in which they transfer yeast from a unitank fermentors cone of a previous batch to the new batch. They use the most viable yeast, adding oxygen at knock-out (transfer), which keeps lag time to a minimum and produces an active lasting fermentation.

The bottom line is yeast preperation. Yeast is a living organism give them a nice environment with gradule changes you will both be happy.

Good luck and good brewing.

Tom F.
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