Fermentation not starting?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Browmore5, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Browmore5

    Browmore5 New Member

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    This is only my 4th batch but is the first time I have not seen any bubbling in the air lock by the next morning. It's a 3 gal. batch of Scotch Ale and I used 2 11gm packets of dry Nottingham yeast (exp. dates 10/19 &1/21). I activated according to Palmer 15/15m in boiled water cooled to 70, and aerated with a pump/air stone for 8 mins. before pitching. This is the first time I have used Nottingham (anybody have experience with this yeast starting slow), it's package said to activate with warmer 86-92 water but I missed that going with Palmer which worked great on all the other batches. I'm using a stainless steel fermenter so I can't really see what's going on inside. I kept it cool at about 64 the first night, but have since moved it up slowly to 68 and plan to go to about 70 to see if some activity will start showing in the air lock. I did take a gravity reading before pitching so I have a base to check from, but what to do next? Wait - how long? See if bring up temp works- how long again? Order a different yeast and get that in there asap? I'd like to save the batch if I can, it's the first one where the gravity numbers looked close to what the recipe called for.
     
  2. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Relax , ignore the airlock .
    If you take a hydrometer sample I'd be surprised if it hasn't already started dropping .
    If after 36/48 hours you have no gravity change then I'd repitch .
    Most of the time it's a small leak around the airlock / grommet / lid .
     
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  3. Shepington

    Shepington Member

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    yeah Like Mark said I've had a leaky bucket lid i pressed around he lid and fount the leak and boom airlock activity, released the lid and it stoppped I set something hevy on it to help seal but i dont think its required beer turned out great.
     
  4. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    If you are that concerned, take a gravity sample to assure yourself and confirm fermentation has already started. Then, if the gravity has dropped, you can look into why the airlock is leaking for the next brew.
     
  5. Browmore5

    Browmore5 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the quick feedback. Probably the only thing that didn't go right with this batch was putting the gasket back on the fermenter lid after it sat in the sanitizer. Seems like it stretched out and wouldn't stay in place. I put on the lid and clamped it down to get the gasket to seat all the way around before I made the wort transfer. Thought I had it but listening to everyone's advice, sounds like it be a leakin' - I already changed out the airlock thinking that was the problem. Is it worth the risk to take the lid off and try for a better seal or should I just leave it? Or another way to ask what's the bigger risk of contamination - a leakin lid or a re-seat attempt? Since I don't have a replacement gasket, not sure it will get any better with a re-fit attempt - it's only a couple of months old so it's not old and worn out like me!
     
  6. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    As we don’t know when you pitched the yeast, we don’t know how far along active fermentation is (or isn’t). Assuming it should still be fermenting and you are around 50% fermented, openning the lid won’t hurt as there’s a layer of CO2 on top of the wort/beer. But if you open the lid and see no fermentation at all, be prepared to pitch the yeast at the same time.
     
  7. Browmore5

    Browmore5 New Member

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    @Mase - it's only been little over 24 hours since the yeast was pitched, so I don't know how much CO2 has built up. If I wait another 24hrs. do you think that should give it enough time? - it's a 3 gal. batch in a 7 gal. fermenter so there is a lot of head space. So far the temp at 70 didn't change anything on the airlock activity and all past batches had very active bubbling within this time.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You added yeast to sugary solution. It will ferment. Don't mess with it, it will ferment. What's likely happening is you have a gas leak somewhere in the system allowing the CO2 to escape without going through the airlock. Unless you pitched at 105 degrees, the yeast will be fine. The mantra: RDWHAHB.
     
  9. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    A 3 gallon batch in a 7 gallon fermenter leaves a lot of head space. It's got to fill all the space before you see gas coming out. I think you are fine.
     
  10. Browmore5

    Browmore5 New Member

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    @Nosybear great advice! - I'm taking it. Pitched @ 70 wort so all things should be a go. I keep seeing the mantra RDWHAHB, but have no idea what it stands for! LOL figure it's keep it simple stupid. I'm not touching for a couple of weeks, then sometime I'll take a gravity reading to see what's happened inside that mysterious SS fermenter. I thinking it will be fine as I've been really enjoying my first brews and my process just keeps getting better. @Hogarthe, glad you also agree, I'm just use to seeing those happy bubbles but I can live w/o them for now. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks how I made out, thanks again to all....
     
  11. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    RDWHAHB stands for" relax don't worry have a home brew." Charlie Papazian's saying from "The Joy of Home brewing" book.
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah ^^^^ and I'll have one too! Oh heck everyone here's a toast to brownmore's brew may it be a prosperous one!
     
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