no fermentation

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

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no fermentation

Postby desldan » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:15 am

:(
I made a dark porter sun 1/25, I used wyeast 1056 liquid ale yeast, after 48 hr still no frementation. Can I repitch or is my wort ruined
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fermentation.

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:33 am

A few questions to ask yourself....

1. Did you get enough air into the wort after putting it in your fermentor. This is key to having lively yeast.

2. Is your fermentor completely sealed? If not, you have an air leak.

3. What temperature did you pitch yeast at and how hot was your wort?

Chances are your beer is fine if you had a good seal on it. Yes you can repitch, but I would do it as soon as possible. 1056 has always been a very good yeast for me in the past...so my guess is you either didn't activate it right, or didn't aerate your wort sufficiently.

This has happened to me and all I had to do was shake my fermentor to get it going.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:27 am

or pitched too high and stunned the yeast, or pitched to low and shocked them. Did you let the yeast get to room temerature before smacking the nutrient pouch? Did the activator pack inflate (verifying viable yeast)?

From Wyeast
Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C for 1056.

Did you check your gravity reading? You may have a leak. If it looks like there was no activity then southern has the right idea, pitch some fresh yeast as soon as possible.
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Postby desldan » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:40 am

Wort temp at pitching was 70deg, well areated wort prior to pitching yeast, Was not a smack pack just a tube of wyeast 1056 warmed to 70deg (room temp), no air leaks in fermenter, fermenter at 66deg. may repitch and see what happens
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:10 pm

Wyeast don't make tubes. Was this something you saved from a previous batch?

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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:24 pm

I don't believe white labs even makes a 1056 yeast. I could be wrong though as I don't use it often. When I see 1056, I think American Ale from wyeast.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:26 pm

1056 Wyeast American Ale
WLP001 White Labs California Ale

I believe they are both from the same strain (ballatine?)
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Postby desldan » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:14 pm

The yeast was white labs CA ale WL051. Had to look at the vial. 52 hours nothing happening!
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Other possibilities for slow start

Postby billvelek » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:38 pm

I'm going to chime in here, although I'm not sure whether I could be right or not.

First, regardless of any leaks -- which would cause the air lock to not bubble -- you should have krauesen by now if it is fermenting. I'd say that if you don't have krauesen, then you definitely have a problem; it you DO have K, then I wouldn't worry about it and just check the gravity in a few days because you have an air leak and you'll need to monitor the gravity to see when fermentation is finished.

Second, if your wort is not fermenting by now, what is the cause? Most of the possibilities have been covered except for too much sanitizer in your fermenter; did you rinse your fermenter well before adding the wort and yeast. If this happens to be the problem, then adding new yeast isn't going to do any good. The only other possibility that occurs to me is that you underpitched into a wort which was so well aerated that the yeast have remained in a reproductive stage for all of this time. Granted, there is still some slight amount of fermentation occurring (the 'crab tree' effect), but I think, if I understand correctly, the amount of fermentation during the aerobic stage is fairly insignificant, so you might not see krauesen or any noticeable amount of CO2 during the aerobic reproductive stage. And if you couple that with the low temp (66F is definitely on the low side for an ale although well within range according to the post from Jawbox re Wyeast), I still think that everything probably progresses more slowly, including reproduction. This is just some speculation on my part. I _always_ make a starter first, including when I use dried yeast, but _especially_ when I use a vial or smack pack. Also, you didn't indicate the age of the vial, and from what I've read, you didn't "proof" it. Sooo, ... if you used a vial had a lower than expected yeast count (was expired or nearly expired), ... pitched it without a starter, ... into a relatively cold but very well aerated wort ..., then I suspect the small number of yeast are probably engaged in a slow orgy rather than fermentation.

Third, as old as your wort is at this point, I would taste it before I spent any more time messing around with it; the reason for pitching sufficient yeast is so that they out number bacteria and take control. If they have been slow in doing this ... as in this instance ... the bacteria have probably ruined the wort. If your wort has soured or has been spoiled with other bacterial tastes, it is beyond salvage and should be dumped unless it is mild enough that it might be something like a lambic. Taste it and if you think it is salvageable, then by all means, pitch more yeast as soon as possible, just as 'southerncomfort' suggested.

I might be completely wrong, but if not, I hope that helps.

Cheers.

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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:38 pm

how old was the yeast? There should be a date on the vial. This is why I only use white labs when making a starter.
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Rule #1

Postby brewmeisterintng » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:31 pm

When using liquid yeast, ALWAYS proof your yeast. There is nothing more discouraging then brewing wonderful wort only to find that the yeast was poor to dead. Making a yeast starter a few days prior will ensure that your yeast is ready for business.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:59 pm

I would follow bill's advice make sure your beer hasn't soured. Which if you had everything santized and airlock in place I think you would be ok. To save a little money Safale US-05 would be an acceptable substitute for the white labs.

Looks like you are at the low end for the yeast WLP051

WLP051 California Ale V Yeast
From Northern California. This strain is more fruity than WLP001, and slightly more flocculent. Attenuation is lower, resulting in a fuller bodied beer than with WLP001.
Attenuation: 70-75%
Flocculation: Medium to High
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 66-70°F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium-High
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Postby desldan » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:09 pm

I purchased the yeast from Midwest supply experiation date on the vial was May 19 2009. Perhaps the yeast had been previously frozen? or just bad. I will taste the wort if good I'll repitch with something else.
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Postby bfabre » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:35 pm

I had the similar problem once, or I thought I did. The fact was the yeast took off rather quickly and left little to no clues that it did its thing. But in fact it did. I checked the gravity and found the yeast had done what it was suppose to do. Bill hit the nail on the head "check your gravity". Remember to be sanitary.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:35 pm

It coils have froze during transportation. I know we have had some -20F days here in IL
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