Fermentation concerns

Brewed last Saturday. When I opened my dry yeast I spilled a little. Didn’t seem like a lot. But. It seemed to get off to a slow start. About 26 hours in it got active. The temperature got up around 70 so I put my fermenter in a swamp cooler set up. I got the TEMP in the low 60’s. Now I have little to no activity. Should I pitch more yeast or ride it out and hope for the best?

Hopefully others will weigh in but I would think it’s probably not done but, you should take a hydrometer reading. If it’s not done and your readings aren’t changing after a couple days, you might want to pitch some more.

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If you check your gravity and fermentation is not complete, I would try warming it up a little. Yeast don’t like temperature drops, so it’s possible that they might have fallen out of suspension. Once it hits the high temperature, the damage is kind of done, so there’s not much harm in letting it get back to where it was. Let it warm up a few degrees, gently swirl the fermenter, and see if you can get some new activity.

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How long was your beer in the primary fermentor when you noticed diminished activity?

Are you fermenting in a bucket? (Bucket lids don’t seal well. That is not a problem but CO2 will escape around the rim while active fermentation is still ongoing.)

What was your recipe?
Which yeast?

Was a NB SIERRA MADRE Pale Ale AG kit. Yeast was safale US-05 Pale Ale. Been in fermenter 4 days.

3 days. Day 2 was strong.
And I do use buckets.

My last batch was very active for 3 or 4 days.

I bet it’s fine but if its driving you crazy add more yeast

I always try to have some spare US05 on hand for emergency use. If you only spilled a little this may not be an emergency though. Is there a Kraeusen ring inside the bucket? Pop the lid and take a quick look.

This is where a hydrometer is most useful. The FG should be somewhere in the 1.01X area. If it is, no worries, it is done. I will bet it is.

Checked it last night. FG was 1.022. Seems to have a suspended haze about midway. Sitting at 64*.
The ring is very lite.
I do have a pack of US05 handy.

I’m more concerned about carbonation when I bottle. I tasted it when I checked t he gravity, it tasted good. No off flavors. I may pitch a half pack of US-05 for good measure.

An under pitch will take longer to finish but it should be alright. It shouldn’t affect bottling. Adding a half pack wouldn’t hurt anything. I might hydrate it

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Being new, I must ask the best method of hydration.


An SG of 1.022 isn’t near what a pale ale should finish at. This being an all grain brew could your mash temperature have been in the range of 156° to 158°F? High mash temperatures will create unfermentable sugars.

Pitching more yeast will not cause any problems even if the mash temperature was high.

It actually was a tic low. Had to bring it up to 152. I spilled some of the yeast upon opening. I thought to be a small amount. May have been more than I thought.

I do it in the micro wave. I heat the water a little at a time and keep checking it with my stem thermometer until its 105eg. Then sprinkle the yeast on top then let it sit for 10 or 15 min. Stir the yeast until it gets creamy then pitch it.

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Much appreciation for the advice…

Use good ol’ fashion tap water. RO or distilled is completely void of minerals and will cause the cell walls to rupture.

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For yeast hydration? Or whole batch. I used distilled for brewing.

From Danstars site on rehydrating dry yeast.
“We do not recommend to use distilled or reverse-osmosis water because the yeast would be damaged by osmotic pressure. Tap water contains minerals which lower the osmotic pressure on the yeast.”

This is only for rehydrating dry yeast before pitching.

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