Lack of activity...

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Reborn627, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Reborn627

    Reborn627 New Member

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    Good morning again folks,

    I'm pretty new to the homebrew scene and I'm still learning the basics. I've brewed my first perry about 4 weeks ago, a Mangrove Jack's Pear Cider kit that I picked up from glutenfreehomebrewing.org, that turned out pretty well and continues to get better as I leave it to age. Last night I tackled my first gluten free beer, I Chocolate Porter that I found on this site. The process went very well and by the time that I got it into the carboy I was pretty confident that I'd made a reasonable porter, great color and terrific porter aroma, and it hasn't aged yet! I'm looking forward to enjoying it at Thanksgiving with my family.

    So, the reason I'm posting this morning. My brother gave me a brewing kit for Christmas, time passes too quickly these days. Anyway, 2 weeks ago I went ahead and finally gave it a shot. I'm sure you're saying "Oh boy, he let it sit for a 8 months, I'll bet he had problems!" So yeah, I think maybe I ought to just toss what I've made. The big mistake that I made is that I didn't store my yeast properly. The kit sat in the box that it came in for all of this time but I went ahead and used it all anyway. The boil portion went just fine, though 5 feet of tubing is not near enough, my poor bamboo floor, but the fermentation seems to have been a little bit weird. First, I did not re-hydrate the yeast, a rookie mistake but the kit didn't instruct me to and, until a week or so ago I didn't know any better. Anyway, I pitch the yeast, did a little shake, and set it in the basement to do it's thing. For a week and a half it did little to nothing. At a week and a half I suddenly had what looked like a foamy head, a bit brown, on the brew but any bubbling of the airlock and stopped as quickly as it may have started. I never saw any activity from the airlock, I pretty much let it be after the first 3 days thinking it was likely dead yeast.

    So, my question, did the yeast suddenly wake up after a week and a half and now I can let it sit for another week or 2 before I bottle it and give it away to a friend, gluten sensitivity keeps me from enjoying the fruits of my labor. Or do I run the risk of poisoning my friend with a nasty concoction? Is there any way to tell if it's actually beer or is it a matter of giving it a taste and hoping for the best? I've certainly learned my lesson but I just want to know if I should just dump this in the compost pile. I've attached a pick of what it currently looks like. Not sure if you can tell, the head has since dissolved.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for any advice that you can offer!

    Peace,
    Ray
     
  2. Michael_biab

    Michael_biab Member

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    Do you have a hydrometer or can you get one? Sometimes fermentation can happen very quickly, in as little as 24 hours. The only real way to tell is to check the reading. The kit should have an estimated starting gravity. So, relative to that you can determine it ending gravity. If you take a couple/three readings and they stay the same, you're ready to bottle (usually a week or two after fermentation has stopped). Without a hydrometer it's a bit of guess work. You can taste it and see if it tastes like flat beer.
     
  3. Reborn627

    Reborn627 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! Yes, I do have a hydrometer, I'll give it a shot. Is it normal to sit with no activity for a week and a half and then suddenly do its thing. It seems odd but I don't have any real experience with this. The GF Porter that I made last night was bubbling in less than 12hours. I think all yeasts work differently but a week and a half seems like a long time. Sorry, I'm getting repetitive.

    Thanks for the help!

    Ray
     
  4. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    The old yeast probably took some time to get started. There might have been too few cells left alive so they had to reproduce before they could get started fermenting. Or they were just used to sitting dormant and had to build up the strength to get to work. Either way it seems they got going eventually. Also do you know what the temp is? Cooler temps suppress activity. You said it was in the basement, its possible it was on the cold side for an ale yeast.
     
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  5. Reborn627

    Reborn627 New Member

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    Ok, it'd be great if that's the case. Basement is between 67-73, it's actually pretty consistent this time of year.

    Ray
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #6 J A, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    Plenty warm for fermentation. Dry yeast will usually go just fine even if you didn't rehydrate. If you stored the ingredients in a hot place, the yeast may have been compromised but they're usually pretty bullet proof.
    After 2-3 weeks it either made beer or not and you can sample to see if it tastes good. If there are no sour, acidic or particularly off flavors, it's fine. It's pretty hard for beer to turn into anything harmful as long as you sterilized the wort before fermenting. Should be fine.
     
  7. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    I know many people don't rehydrate even when they know it's an option so no worry there. 10 days of lag time before any activity is a bit long but possible with the old yeast. I would be more concerned about the flavor impact of age on the hops and extract (especially if it was liquid extract). Won't be harmful, just might not taste so great and it'll likely be darker than expected.

    Definitely worth measuring, smelling, and tasting to see how it turned out though. Good luck!
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Brulosophy podcast 53 all about dry yeast will answer any sprinkled vs rehydration question.
     
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  9. Reborn627

    Reborn627 New Member

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    Fantastic!! Thank you for all of the help, I really appreciate it. I'll take a listen to the podcast Trailben, thanks!!

    Ray
     
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