I brewed a Vienna Lager on 2/22. My hydrometer was broken but I followed my usual recipe and process for this beer. The last time I brewed it OG was 1.054. I figure it was within a point or 2 of that.
For yeast, I racked a plis off the yeast cake, poured half the cake into a 2nd bucket and pumped 5.5 gals well aerated 54f vienna into each bucket. Put them in swamp coolers and maintianed 54 degrees. Peaked under the lids daily over the next few days and no signs of fermentation. No krauesen, no foam...nada...flat looking wort.
2/26 I let the temp rise a little overnight to 56 then 58 today...still no signs of fermentation. I don't mean no bubbles in the airlock. I mean I looked under the lid...nothing happening.
Took a gravity reading just now to confirm suspicions. 1.054
The yeast started out as wy2001 smack pack, really fresh, I did a shaken 3L starter followed by a shaken 6L starter per brewersfriend for 5.5 gals of 1.058 pilsner Jan 11. It fermented to 1.011 and I'm drinking it now. It's quite good if I do say so myself.
The yeast cake got another 5.5 gals of 1.058 pilsner Feb 1 when I kegged the one I'm now drinking. 3 weeks later I racked that pils, now 1.012 off and split the yeast cake for the above mentioned vienna lager. It looked like pretty clean yeast and smelled fine. The 2nd pils tasted fine out of the fermenter.
I'm stumped. I dont' get why the yeast apparently just crapped out. I ran this scenario through brewers friend and I should have had 1811B cells for a beer that required 833B. Massive overpitch. Seems like it should have kicked off fermenting in minutes and chewed through that beer with no problem.