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No fermentation. Not enough oxygen?

I just brewed a 1 gallon batch of Dry Irish Stout. Like all my previous brews, I followed all instructions to the letter. Once I got my wort chilled to 68 degrees F, I strained wort into my Little Big Mouth Bubbler. Everything was carefully sanitized with Star-San.

I aerated with my aeration stone system (the one with the fish tank air pump and in-line hepa filter). The problem is I could only aerate for about 1 minute, after which everything foamed up to the edge, so I had to unplug. I’ve had success before just using the air hose without the bubble stone, or alternatively controlling some of the foam with fermi-cap, but this time I didn’t want to use fermi-cap. Given how much foam was produced, I hoped 1 minute was sufficient for oxygenation. I then poured 1/2 packet of the included dry yeast, as instructed.

After 10 days there has been no sign of fermentation whatsoever. Is this because of inadequate oxygenation? If so, what should I do? Should I cap the bubbler and just shake it for 5 minutes like you do with the starter kits? Or is the brew a lost cause by this point? It’s just sitting there like a neglected jug of coffee at this point.

The temperature of the room is about 68-70 degrees F.

Dry yeast, you really don’t need to oxygenate or aerate. Is there a ring of gunk around the fermenter? With half a packet of yeast in a 1 gallon batch, and the fairly low starting gravity of an Irish stout, you could have missed fermentation at those room temperatures. Can you take a hydro measurement? Can you sneak a sample and taste it?

Okay, I did that. Unfortunately, I do not have a starting hydrometer reading for day 0. But the hydrometer sample I just took (at about 68 degrees) reads a specific gravity of about 1.01

There is a ring of gunk above the wort, but I think that may have been from the foam-over when I used the air stone.

I also tasted the sample. It doesn’t taste sweet. Maybe if I taste three more samples and get buzzed, then I’ll know for sure.

Maybe fermentation was over and done with the first day while I was away? But absolutely zero activity after that, not so much as a single CO2 bubble through the air lock. All of my previous brews had at least some slow fermentation and air lock activity afterward.

Yep, it’s done. 1.010 is completely reasonable for a terminal gravity. The directions had you overpitch the yeast by about 3x what you really needed, and then with the aeration they just went nuts. The temperature was probably a bit too high, but what’s done is done. I’d give it a few more days to a week, check it again, and if you’re at the same gravity bottle away.

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Wow, that’s awesome, I’m glad it’s okay and not ruined. I can’t believe it completed the entire process so fast. I turned my back for a day, and all done. A stealth brew.

Thanks for the info. :+1:

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Hmmm… a Covert Celt… :smirk:

I’m assuming it’s extract so your starting gravity should be what was predicted in the recipe. I agree just shake it no need for the aerater. Temperature is reasonable for an English ale yeast IMO

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