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Fermentation not starting?

Brewed yesterday, very happy that I got great results for expected vs real gravity. Pitched yeast, but have not seen any fermentation yet. I have a Tilt in there, so I can see that the gravity is the same right now as it was last night. I’m assuming the yeast was just bad or dead.

I have more yeast coming, but won’t be here until Wednesday. If I wait that long, with the beer sealed in a fermenter, am I running the risk of oxidation? I’ve only read that exposure AFTER fermentation starts is the killer, no one ever mentions if the fermentation hasn’t even started. I imagine it’s still a big risk, but checking here to see what others think.

What type/form of yeast? Dry/liquid/saved slurry± starter? and how old?

Dry yeast. Probably 6 months old but stored in the fridge until the morning of brew day. Safale US05

Been 0.9 days, 0% attenuation. I don’t mind waiting until Wednesday for new yeast (or to maybe see the current yeast finally start) I just don’t want to risk oxidation. I have a different dry yeast I could use in a dire situation but I’d rather use the right kind

That stuff (dry yeast) is pretty much bulletproof…even way longer than 6 months or even expired(I’m guessing your dry yeast wasn’t actually expired). Even pitched straight up(no rehydration, recent studies have indicated not necessary) into proper temp wort, you should still be good. I say give it more time.

Unless your dry yeast package was really abused…temps up to 114* F are tolerated during shipping…unlikely.

The only thing I can think of is… I recently moved. Which meant I needed to move the contents of the fridge. So it definitely went through a cold-to-warm-to-cold, maybe it was shell shocked?

Regardless, I will need to wait no matter what. Let’s say that the yeast is somehow bad/dead… Is oxidation a real risk? Or is that really only a risk once fermentation really begins? If fermentation doesn’t start within the next day, am I screwed?

Yeast SHOULD have time before it takes off… lag time… its on the internet… It usually takes up the O2 and prepares for budding (making daughter cells).
Dry yeast is very good stuff to tinker with… Perhaps next time, try to rehydrate before using a packet… warm water, 1/4 cup, in the mid 70’s, then add the yeast, allow it to hydrate, after 15 minutes, gently stir it up to make a creamy concoction… (this all comes from the yeast book)…
You probably read the stories about yeast taking right off… I’d be willing to bet a bottle of brew, its been started way before… first pitch or 5th pitch…RDWHAHB! ( huh, new computer and now my beer mugs clanking disappeared) :rolling_eyes:

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I have read about lag time, but I’ve been brewing for 7 years now and have never had a fermentation take 24+ hours (we are currently at 23 since yeast introduced). No matter what, I need to wait. I ordered some new yeast, and the only local HBS aren’t open until Wednesday. I did this just to be safe, rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

but back to my original question. Let’s be hypothetical and say that the yeast is no good. That means no fermentation has occurred, thus not creating CO2. That means the headspace is the same oxygen that was there since I closed the lid. Is that oxidizing my beer? Or is it safe because fermentation hasn’t started? is 70ish hours too long to wait before introducing more yeast?

I don’t want this brew to go to waste, so I will keep monitoring and trying to fix if necessary. Just not sure if such a hypothetical scenario would give that cardboard taste

O2 problems show up after fermentation is done… seeing as yeast need O2 for fermenting…
I’ve had a few take close to 3 days to start up… turned out like… beer! I believe your still safe…

I predict your yeast will jump start the minute you get your new yeast


Haha that’d be just my luck, but as long as it all works out, I don’t care. I knew yeast needs O2 to work, I just wasn’t sure if extended exposure before fermentation would ruin it. I’ve had a few brews get oxidized and it’s such a bummer.

I will obviously continue to monitor, if the gravity is still the same after ~76 hours I’ll pitch another pack (bedtime on the third day)

The slow start won’t cause oxidatioin the worry would be something wild getting a start. But since you sanitized everything and covered it up probably not a problem. I’ve had yeast take a couple days to show. It’s probably fermenting slightly

How warm was your wort when you pitched and what’s the current temperature?

I bet it starts before your new yeast even gets here unless you pitched at a crazy high temp. I only get concerned after three days of lag. Oxidation isn’t a concern in long lag times but infection or wild yeast infiltration is.

I am quite sure I sanitized everything. I sort of overdid it, to be honest. Doesn’t mean I didn’t pick something up between sanitizing time and moving into fermenter time, but I’m fairly confident in my process there. Hopefully everything was spic n span.

Pitched at ~72 degrees F, currently sitting 62. It dropped down to 60 at one point so I moved it into a room that should get warmer, in an attempt to jump start the yeast.

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Low 60s is perfect. It’ll kick in soon.

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I have had dry yeast take 48 hours to show signs. Also US-05. Be patient for a while longer.

@GoBlue59 so what’s the verdict?
If it hasn’t started by now that would likely be a problem

So it DID finally start, about 35 hours after pitching. Sorry I didn’t update, I was running around like crazy yesterday.

Sometimes my tilt stops logging, and I have to go turn on the app on my phone to restart the log. As of 7am this morning I am at 33% attenuation, so it’s moving. As mentioned earlier, of course it started around the same time the other yeast showed up. But I will keep it for future brews or in case this fermentation gets stuck.

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My only thoughts on how to avoid a slow start in the future would be careful attention to aeration, cool but not too cool fermentation temps at pitch/first 48 hours*, and considering rehydration(if you didn’t) of the dry yeast. I always do and I feel, FWIW, that this reduces lag time.( Controversial, many opinions, and all that rot, I know, I know).

*A problem for you folks up north would be too cool of ambient temps inside during winter for the ale to ferment properly.

I did rehydrate, and my basement is finished so it keeps the beer between 60-70 degrees almost always.

I have never paid much attention to aeration, mostly because I don’t know HOW to pay attention to it. Just give it a little slosh once the yeast is pitched, that’s my only technique. Haha

Another topic with multiple opinions. I use a wine whip on a Dewalt Drill and froth the heck out of it prior to pitching… works for me. I just can’t wrap my head around the Deutschland Low Dissolved Oxygen crowd and their techniques.

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