Underpitched yeast

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by gokcenami, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    I brewed a batch of pale ale yesterday. I was little bit more than half a gallon off my target volume,
    It gave me an OG of 1061, which I was expecting to be around 1055-1056. I surprisingly had more efficiency and the miscalculation of the sparge water resulted in a more intense wort.

    My problem is, I had 1x MJ's M44 dry yeast and it's enough for less than 1060 OG. I still had to pitch it, but there's no sign of fermentation yet. I aroused it a little bay shaking the bucket but still no bubbling. I know we need to give it 12-36 hours to understand if it's stuck or not, but I want to make sure it works somehow. What do you guys recommend? Is there anything I can do before 36 hours? Or what can I do if it never starts?

    I can't buy another yeast at the moment, I
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    You should be just fine. Quick starts aren't characteristic when direct pitching dry yeasts. Not odd to go between 24 and 36 hours.
     
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  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I definitely disagree with that. Most dry yeasts will kick much sooner than that, especially if rehydrated properly. Yeasts like US-05, S-04, etc are showing signs of activity the day after pitching and almost invariably sooner than 24 hours. I've used MJ Saison and Wit yeasts and they behave similarly.
    M44 is different though, and is responsible for my first dumped batch in several years of brewing. It seems to be a slow starter, unlike other dry yeasts but the one time I used it, the wort was completely inactive and clear as a bell over 2 days after pitching. The yeast seemed dead even with rousing a couple of times. I repitched with US-05 but it was too late and the batch had been contaminated/infected and had strong off flavors.
    I'll never use M-44 again.
    @gokcenami , you aren't underpitched enough to be a problem, at least in terms of pitching as directed. I suspect though, that real viability in M-44 yeast is low and the advertised cell count isn't accurate. You don't mention temperature and if your wort temp is below 20C/68F, it could have a slowing affect. Nothing you can do but wait and hope.
     
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  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I did say, "direct pitched", which I assumed he did, and I agree, properly rehydrated yeasts generally do show signs of fermentation in less than 24 hours. I've seen many posts about BRY-97 taking close to 48 hours though, and many other about various yeasts taking close to 36, most with happy endings.

    I really can't see speculating as to the viability and/or cell count of a yeast strain based on one bad experience. I've had nothing but great results with M44, and have used it several times. Who's to say whether or not there was a problem with the handling or storage that greatly reduced the viability of that, and likely other packets.
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Can't fault that thinking...For me it's "once bitten, twice shy". Too much anecdotal evidence available about M44 lagging as if it's a lager yeast pitched cold. I just don't need to take a chance on losing a batch when there are much more dependable options.
    With any luck, our OP will have an experience closer to yours than to mine. ;)
     
  6. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    I pitched the yeast at 25C, which should be the optimum yeast starter temperature.
     
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  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That's definitely on the warm side. Personally, I don't trust any yeast that doesn't get busy in a hurry when subjected to those conditions. o_O
     
  8. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    Well I rounded it up, it was 24.6 when it started running off. I predicted it should be a little lower when it reached the bucket. It shouldn't be that high, right?
     
  9. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, hope he does.
     
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  10. HunchOnBeer

    HunchOnBeer New Member

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    Anymore I did a yeast starter, not necessary, but it always gets going fast. Makes be feel good.
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I don't like to pitch anything over 20C/68F and prefer lower for most ales. Yeast health shouldn't be compromised at anything in the mid-70F range, but you wouldn't want to keep it that warm for fermentation. It would likely really get going and create a lot of exothermic action and get into the range where harsh off-flavor esters could be produced.
    A thought occurs...is lack of bubbling the only symptom for no fermentation? Have you peaked into the bucket and found no evidence of light foaming or krausen?
     
  12. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    #12 gokcenami, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    I gave it a hopeless vulgar shake today and It started bubbling after like 37-38 hours. I brewed 10 extract 8 all grain batches so far and it's the first time I saw fermentation lag this late. Weird!
     
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  13. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    There was only foam leftovers from the aerration.
     
  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    So you havnt thought of pitching more yeast? Might be time to start thinking on that option.
     
  15. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    Should I? It bubles fine atm. I got a spare US-05 that I can squeeze in, but hesitated to open the bucket when it already started fermenting. I had a stuck fermentation before (underpitched MJ Californian Lager, my first all-grain) but it's bubbling was way weaker than this so I thought maybe M44 can make it.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If it had any foaming after settling overnight, it probably had yeast activities. It's very common to see this sort of lag time with lager yeast and it's not cause for concern. M44 seems to be the only ale yeast that's so slow but some folks seem to like it. If it works and gives you good beer, great.
    If you're bubbling and have krausen activity, leave it alone. Save your US-05 for another batch.
     
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  17. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    OK, thanks for all the information!
     
  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yep I thought signs of life was still absent at 36hrs. Carry on:)...
     
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  19. gokcenami

    gokcenami New Member

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    It's really weird. This is the it started like 39 hours after pitching. It went super vigorous for a day, which I've never seen before, very frequent large bubbles. Then the next day it dropped to small bubbling once in 8-10 seconds and it's going like that since then. I mean I know I can't do anything about it, but is this usual for this strain?
     
  20. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    sounds like fermentation to me.......they all do what they are going to do....nothing we can do about it......
    I aerate, rehydrate or use a pure pitch liquid yeast, pitch a few degrees warm, and let the fermentation chamber do its job.....

    after that it is up to the yeast to get me the rest of the way. I use the Cold Crash Guardian from Bobby at brewhardware, 2 days in, i check to see if the bag has CO2, if it does great, if not I wait 2 more days.

    let it ride for 5-7 days from active ferment, then check a sample
     

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