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No fermentation

I made the west coast ipa last night 12-23-13 I did a starter yeast for this and I used to packs of the 1272 let if ferment for 40 hour put in the fridge decanted the wert and then I added a little bit of the wort in witch I was brewing to loosen the sludge in the flask I did not let it cool after the fact I thought I may have runed the starter long story short this morning it looks like it’s not fermenting do I give it a little longer

How hot was the wort you used to “loosen the sludge”? If it was over 120 deg F there is a chance you may have killed or severely damaged your yeast supply. Also, fermentation could take up to 24 hours before you can visibly see activity. There is a period of time after you add the yeast where it is building up nutrients to support fermentation.

Just out of curiosity, you say you used 2 packs to create a starter? Did you use a stir plate? What size starter?

I’m guessing it would have been over 120 I did not use a stir plate and the starter was a 2000 ml. could I add more yeast to it?

I’m confused about exactly what you put in the fridge. There is no ingredient in any ale that should be refrigerated after yeast is pitched into wort. I’m thinking that you are keeping something (what, I don’t know) at a temperature that is way too low for ale fermentation. Your post is hard to understand. Some punctuation would be helpful.

I’m confused about exactly what you put in the fridge. There is no ingredient in any ale that should be refrigerated after yeast is pitched into wort. I’m thinking that you are keeping something (what, I don’t know) at a temperature that is way too low for ale fermentation. Your post is hard to understand. Some punctuation would be helpful.[/quote]

He refrigerated and decanted his starter. It’s hard to read with no punctuation :slight_smile:

I’m confused about exactly what you put in the fridge. There is no ingredient in any ale that should be refrigerated after yeast is pitched into wort. I’m thinking that you are keeping something (what, I don’t know) at a temperature that is way too low for ale fermentation. Your post is hard to understand. Some punctuation would be helpful.[/quote]

He refrigerated and decanted his starter. It’s hard to read with no punctuation :slight_smile: [/quote]

If that’s the case, then that’s definitely the problem. I don’t know why on earth he would have refrigerated his starter. He must have been listening to someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. The yeast would have become completely deactivated, and it will take a fair amount of time for them to wake back up. He probably needs to add some yeast energizer to the wort and give a gentle rousing, too.

I would say wait a full 24 hours and if you don’t see any signs of fermentation then you have 2 options. Make a new starter of the same yeast and pitch that, or grab a pack or two of US-05 and pitch that.

You can save money by stepping up your starters in the future instead of using multiple packs. It takes a little planning and you have to start them a bit earlier before brew day but it’s cheaper than buying multiple packs.

I refrigerate and decant my starters all the time (as do a good number of people on this site). It’s about the only way you can do a multi-step starter.

I’m pretty sure the problem is he added scalding hot water to his starter, not that he pitched cold yeast.

If I’m understanding your post correctly, you refrigerated your yeast starter, which is something you should never do under any circumstances. I don’t know where you got the idea to do that, but don’t ever do it again. Yeast will drop out of suspension and go back to sleep when you do that. Granted, that’s exactly the state it’s in when you buy it, but after you’ve pitched it into wort, you have to try to wake it back up while it’s immersed in a large volume of fluid, which is a little tricky. I’d suggest adding some yeast energizer and giving your fermenter a little gentle rousing. It’s not too late to get this fermentation going, but let this be a lesson. Whoever told you to refrigerate your starter has a whole lot to learn about brewing, so you might as well come here from now on when you have questions about the brewing process. Or just read whatever books or magazines on brewing that you have lying around.

I refrigerate and decant my starters all the time (as do a good number of people on this site). It’s about the only way you can do a multi-step starter.

I’m pretty sure the problem is he added scalding hot water to his starter, not that he pitched cold yeast.[/quote]

I’ve never heard of anybody refrigerating a yeast starter. What’s the point? Why can’t the starter stay at room temp, just like a regular fermenter? Don’t you think that the cooling and warming process adds unnecessary complexity and potential problems to the process? I’m confused.

[quote=“deliusism1”]
I’ve never heard of anybody refrigerating a yeast starter. What’s the point? Why can’t the starter stay at room temp, just like a regular fermenter? Don’t you think that the cooling and warming process adds unnecessary complexity and potential problems to the process? I’m confused.[/quote]

I put mine in the fridge for around 48 hours to get everything to settle down to the bottom so I can pour off all the nasty “beer” on the top but still keep my cell count high. This also allows you to create a new starter (or step-up starter) on top of the same “cake” to further increase your cell count for really big beers.

I’ve never heard of this causing stress to the yeast but it’s possible.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“deliusism1”]
I’ve never heard of anybody refrigerating a yeast starter. What’s the point? Why can’t the starter stay at room temp, just like a regular fermenter? Don’t you think that the cooling and warming process adds unnecessary complexity and potential problems to the process? I’m confused.[/quote]

I put mine in the fridge for around 48 hours to get everything to settle down to the bottom so I can pour off all the nasty “beer” on the top but still keep my cell count high. This also allows you to create a new starter (or step-up starter) on top of the same “cake” to further increase your cell count for really big beers.

I’ve never heard of this causing stress to the yeast but it’s possible.[/quote]

I guess it just seems unnecessary to me to refrigerate the starter to get the yeast to settle to the bottom of the vessel. The yeast will do that anyway, when the fermentation process is finished, right? I’m also seeing a real potential for the yeast to get thermally shocked from the process of going back and forth between cold and warm temperatures rapidly. I don’t see any reason why refrigeration is necessary or beneficial in this process overall, but if you’ve been doing it for a long time and it works for you, then who am I to question? We all have our own ways of doing things. My main concern with this original post was that this person seemed to be a newbie, and he didn’t seem to understand that taking his yeast directly from the fridge to the fermenter was not a good idea. He also didn’t seem to be using an especially complicated regime for his yeast propagation, so I thought it best to advise him against the process of automatically refrigerating his starter unless it was a part of more advanced process. If all you’re doing is making a starter and pitching it directly into the fermenter, I still say there’s no point in ever putting the starter in the fridge.

I was told to refrigerate (from the guys at Northern Brewer)to get the yeast to settel and make it easy to decant. I do have some yeast energizer that I could add. I don’t have access to any US-05. Sorry about the punctuation.

I’ve been doing the same thing, even using a bit of the fresh wort to “loosen the sludge” (but I, do it after the wort is at pitchable temperature.)

I normally see very active fermentation before the next morning, and often signs of bubbling before bedtime on brew day.

Of course I pull the starter out of the fridge as we’re beginning the brew, so it has a few hours to warm slowly, I’m not mixing 35F yeast with 70F wort.

Now that you mention it, it does seem like it over complicates things. I just never thought about it. But If I do a starter Thursday, I can put it in the fridge Friday. We often “plan” to brew Saturday, but if it gets put of until Sunday, I don’t worry.

+1 to this. I pull it out of the fridge first thing in the morning when I wake up and am usually pitching by late afternoon early evening so it’s had plenty of time to warm up. I also leave a little bit of liquid in there when decanting for the sole purpose of sloshing it around real good to get everything off the bottom.

Actually, I think the majority of modern brewers like to cold crash their yeast starters in order to decant the spent and oxidized wort. That’s a pretty common step, so you did that part right.

As for temperature fluctuations, there’s been quite a bit of discussion about “cold pitching” the yeast. Here’s a link
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=117742&p=1029866&hilit=+cold+pitching+#p1029866
to one such thread. Do a search and you’ll find a lot more.

You’ll find conflicting points of view about many brewing practices, so I suggest you do some forum searching and reading up before you decide what’s right for you.

Like others have said, you probably killed your yeast when you racked the hot wort into your flask to loosen it up. You would have been better off chilling down a quart or so of the fresh wort, and adding that to your starter (as JMcK described in his post).

You could pitch a pack of dry US-05 to get your fermentation going. Always a good idea to have a few packs of dry yeast around. Good luck.

Well, I guess I stand corrected about the whole not refrigerating yeast starters thing. Apparently, this is a fairly common practice, much to my surprise. I’m still not at all sure that I see the point of doing it, as it seems to cause more problems than it solves, but if that’s what seems to work for you…

Pitched a naugtingham american ale yeast it was my only option avalible. Hope it works!!

Should work fine for you. Good luck, and look at the bright side: you’ll never make that mistake again.

Well, I guess I stand corrected about the whole not refrigerating yeast starters thing. Apparently, this is a fairly common practice, much to my surprise. I’m still not at all sure that I see the point of doing it, as it seems to cause more problems than it solves, but if that’s what seems to work for you…[/quote]
It does seem to be quite common. And while there is a definite advantage to pitching an actively fermenting starter into your wort (the yeast metabolism is at peak at pitching time), if you let it drop through chilling or just giving it time, it is equally dormant by the time you pitch it. My experience is that pitching temperature of the starter doesn’t seem to matter to any noticeable degree, so these days I can be pretty lazy about warming the yeast ahead of time or simply pulling it out of the fridge just before hand.

Of course, like most things in brewing, any single non-optimal practice may not have a noticeable effect on the finished beer, but multiple ones may add up.

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