Little / no fermentation in my small batch. Please help :(

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Jonny the Brewer, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Jonny the Brewer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Hi everyone

    During the lockdown, I got into brewing small batch 1g and thanks to all the wonderful help on this forum, I got some pretty decent results.

    After a few months off brewing I decided to brew on Saturday but it was/is a disaster and I wonder if you can help me salvage it.

    In a nutshell, my brew is not fermenting. I got an OG of 1060 and I pitched an entire packet of WHC labs liquid yeast but really not much happened. I noticed after a day there were some bubbles in the demijohn as I've seen before where it looks like a surge of bubbles up from the bottom, but then it stopped. There were never any bubbles into the blow off tube and my half glass of sanitiser.

    I thought it might be because the room is too cold. It's a fair bit cooler now in the UK than three months ago, but my stick-on thermometer says 68f which I think should be ok? I am unsure of the accuracy and I still wonder if it's temperature related as the room does feel cool.

    I did wonder if the yeast might have died as it was out of the fridge all day when it arrived the day before my brewing.

    So last night (Tuesday) I pitched another entire pouch of WHC yeast. It's now been over 24 hours since then (and 4 days since the brew) and there is still no obvious fermentation action at all. The second yeast was manufactured in May 2020 so I do worry also that it's dead.

    My two choices now to get a demijohn heater and/or to pitch a third packet of yeast. This time I was thinking of using some dried yeast I've had unopened in the fridge for a few months.

    My recipe was

    900g Maris Otter
    100g Torrified Wheat
    150 Malted Oats

    15m into the boil I added 21g of grapefruit peel I'd been soaking in vodka. ( I think I rinsed off the vodka but I can't remember). And I also added 11g mosaic in the whirlpool and 11g more peel.

    I would be grateful to hear if anyone has any views as to what might have happened please.

    Many thanks

    Jonny
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,672
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Have you taken a gravity reading? Even an uncorrected refractometer reading would do, since all you're looking for is change.
     
    BOB357 and Zambezi Special like this.
  3. Jonny the Brewer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    I could do but what's the point? It's clearly not been fermenting as no CO2? I will try to take one tomorrow though as you suggest. Thanks
     
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    2,984
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Never assume anything, it might have or it might not have taken off yet.
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,701
    Likes Received:
    6,904
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I suggest doing as Nosybear suggests, take a gravity reading. The "point" is so that you know that there has been no fermentation. Right now you "think" that there has been no fermentation.
     
    Josh Hughes, BOB357, Trialben and 2 others like this.
  6. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2018
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    South Central Pennsylvania
    Save your next yeast pack and let this batch ride...right now you have a $20 gallon of beer...maybe. What about the temperature delta between the yeast and the wort at pitch time? Did you shock it? Check dates on the yeast pack...did they sell you a bum herd...or 2?

    At the worst you have a dumper and a lesson learned! Hell...I'm still trying to figure out a dumper I had from 3 years ago!
     
    BOB357 and Trialben like this.
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,672
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I'm guessing gas leak, the most common cause of no visible sign of fermentation followed by fermentation done.
     
    Josh Hughes, BOB357 and thunderwagn like this.
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    You need to get a gravity reading. An entire pitch of yeast in a gallon of wort at 68F could easily reach final gravity overnight. YOu may have just missed all the excitement and have been pouring yeast on finished beer, clouding things up.
     
    BOB357 and thunderwagn like this.
  9. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2019
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    479
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    In the hot Zambezi Valley
    Yep, gravity reading.
    It may well have finished!
    I've never (well, hardly ever) seen bubbles with my 10 ltr bucket fermenter.....
    (I have with my 30 ltr one)
     
    BOB357 and Trialben like this.
  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,453
    Likes Received:
    9,525
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Any krausen ring thats another check point. Taste it- well that'd go Take hydro sample then taste.
     
    BOB357 likes this.
  11. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    845
    Likes Received:
    1,936
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    KY
    This was me earlier this week. It was rolling, no airlock action. Get a reading like Nosy said. You may be fine.
     
  12. Jonny the Brewer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for all the responses. Well, I've just taken a reading like you guys suggest and it's 1020! Somehow in 5 days it's gone to 5.25% without any visible action. It tastes decent (needs bottle conditioning) as well.

    Is that possible? I am not worried I misread the OG but I cant see why it wouldn't have been correct. How can a beer go to 5% in under a week?!
     
  13. Jonny the Brewer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    I never really saw the rolling at all. Maybe some minor rolling for a brief period (few hours tops)
     
  14. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    7,311
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    Whatever you're fermenting in probably isn't a tight seal allowing gases to escape and not providing a lot of action through the air lock as it's taking the easier ways out.
     
  15. Jonny the Brewer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks. it's possible - it's the same demi and screw cap as my avatar. I wonder if it's not the tight seal it once was...
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,672
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Of course it's possible! If you have a gas leak, and many of my fermentors do, the gas will escape there and your airlock will sit there still and happy. That's why I asked about the gravity reading. If you mix yeast and sugar you will get fermentation. You'd actually have to try pretty hard to prevent it, say, by pitching way too hot (above 95 degrees F) or using absolutely dead yeast. Yours was a fairly common question so we are lined up to answer it and most of us will answer it the same: Take a gravity reading. The airlock is not a trustworthy gauge.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,672
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    #17 Nosybear, Oct 23, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2020
    Bot? The link suggests spam. I wouldn't click the link.
     
    Jonny the Brewer likes this.
  18. Jonny the Brewer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah I wouldn't click that!
     
  19. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    845
    Likes Received:
    1,936
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    KY
    I didn’t mean literally rolling just that it was fermenting
     
    Jonny the Brewer likes this.
  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    2,984
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I've had more than one beer ferment out in under 3 days, so it can absolutely hammer on quickly.

    No worries, just let it go for a while longer to finish out and when your gravity is stable bottle that bad boy up.

    Congratulations! You have beer!
     
    Jonny the Brewer likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white