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Pitched 2 days ago--fermentation stopped, solution?

HI guys–2 days ago I whipped up a brew and pitched my yeast… when I checked the following morning there was some nice foam inside the fermenter and the airlock was bubbling. The following day, all activity had stopped and the foam subsided. I have successfully brewed this same kit before in same location and temperature.

Question: Can I drop in some new, fresh yeast and see if things start up again?

It may be done fermenting. A little more info would be helpful but what was the temperature of the wort when you pitched the yeast?

Who told you that fermentation stopped?
Mr. Hydrometer or Mr. Airlock?
One is true; one is not.

Hi Danny–thanks so much for getting back to me. The instructions said to pitch when the wort temp was below 90F. It was about 80 when I pitched.

—M

What was the ambient temperature? What yeast did you use?

If you pitched @ 80F and subsequently the wort didn’t cool much then it probably fermented very fast at very high temperatures.

Try using a hydrometer reading to determine where your beer is at in fermentation stage.

It’s best to pitch cool and ferment cool according to the recommended temperatures for the yeast you’re using.

If you don’t have a hydrometer it’d be best to let the beer sit for at least 3 - 4 weeks in the primary before bottling but beware of fusel alcohols due to hot fermentation.

Hi JD, thanks for your reply. The telltale for me was the complete lack of foam. It didn’t occur to me to take a gravity reading so soon after brewing.

Lack of krausen (foam) usually doesn’t indicate whether a beer is fermenting or not.

Depending on water makeup, fermentation temperature, yeast cell count and other factors some beers ferment with little to no krausen.

Best to use the hydrometer.

You’re also not answering my other questions, but if you did ferment hot, you might be in for a “hot” beer (a.k.a. one with a lot of fusels.)

Best to cool the wort down to mid 60’s, unless you’re using some specialty Belgian yeasts, even then pitching cool is the way to go.

Hi JD, thanks for the tip about lack of krausen–great to know! And I will def use the hydrometer as soon as I get home.

I appreciate your advice about cooling the wort–wow, I definitely pitched at too high a temperature. I was just reading about fusel alcohol. Do you think it will have a negative affect on the brew?

Thanks again, I am always excited to learn!

—M

[quote=“MCalKP”]Hi Danny–thanks so much for getting back to me. The instructions said to pitch when the wort temp was below 90F. It was about 80 when I pitched.

—M[/quote]

Those are some very bad instructions. You can get a lot of off flavors from pitching at that high a temp. Ideally, you want the wort well under 70 when you pitch.

Generally speaking, yes, it will have a negative effect. You don’t want to drink beer with higher alcohols in it. Those types of alcohols generally don’t fade over time.

If you happened to cool the wort to the mid 60’s immediately after pitching - then it may be ok, if not, then it’s definitely a hot beer and not worth pursuing.

You have two options, wait and see how the beer turns out or chalk this one up to a learning experience and brew it again.

Given the circumstances you describe it’s best to dump it and brew it again correctly.

If you do decide to brew again, be sure to start another thread and tell us what kit you are brewing and who makes it (before you begin!). The folks on this forum can then guide you as to best practices in relation to the equipment you have.

Unless you are itching to brew something else, I see no reason to dump it. Let it finish and bottle it. A lot of us made this same mistake and while it wasn’t great beer it was still completely drinkable. If you can’t stomach it after a couple weeks in bottle then dump them and start over.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“jd14t”]

Given the circumstances you describe it’s best to dump it and brew it again correctly.

[/quote]

Unless you are itching to brew something else, I see no reason to dump it. Let it finish and bottle it. A lot of us made this same mistake and while it wasn’t great beer it was still completely drinkable. If you can’t stomach it after a couple weeks in bottle then dump them and start over.[/quote]

THIS^^^. In addition, fusels will usually age out into esters.

A beginning brewing wants to wait many months or even a couple years for the fusels to maybe age out into esters?

Same suggestion I made above.

My advice however remains:

Throw it out; start over, especially if it’s average gravity and you have relatively easy access to the kit. You probably don’t want or need the headache! (literally).

A beginning brewing wants to wait many months or even a couple years for the fusels to maybe age out into esters?

Same suggestion I made above.

My advice however remains:

Throw it out; start over, especially if it’s average gravity and you have relatively easy access to the kit. You probably don’t want or need the headache! (literally).[/quote]

Maybe he wants to wait, maybe he doesn’t. I wasn’t addressing that. I was simply addressing your advice that it won’t age out. It will. And why throw it out before tasting it? It’s likely to have some issues, but we all went through that and drank the beer anyway. At the very least, he should wait and taste it.

Right, and my point is, if another kit can be brewed immediately, it’s not even worth bothering with. Especially if more equipment has to be purchased to handle/bottle the bad beer.

Now if the OP isn’t in any hurry and doesn’t mind taking up bottles with so-so beer, well more power to 'em.

My personal preference has become to dump any beer where I deem glaring mistakes are made. It’s just not worth my time/effort in bottling or kegging such a beer.

Of course when you’re as advanced as I am you rarely make mistakes! :wink:

I remember my first beer. I pitched the dry yeast around 80 or 85 and let it ferment in the low 80s. In retrospect it was a horrible beer, but I was so proud of myself for making beer. I drank every last drop of that stuff. And, as indicated it got much better over time, which wasn’t very long. Keep that brew!

Ha! That’s awesome–thanks, Man!
—M

I’m mostly in the “keep it” camp. You’ve already done most of the hard work and spent the money for the ingredient, what harm is there in leaving it for 3 weeks and then taste to deciding if it is worth bottling?

Of course, I also believe that life is too short to spend it drinking bad beer, but that’s why I learned how to brew good beer. :smiley:

I’m mostly in the “keep it” camp. You’ve already done most of the hard work and spent the money for the ingredient, what harm is there in leaving it for 3 weeks and then taste to deciding if it is worth bottling?

Of course, I also believe that life is too short to spend it drinking bad beer, but that’s why I learned how to brew good beer. :smiley:

So MCallKP you see there are at least 2 differing opinions on the subject. Neither of which is right or wrong. Just one approach vs another. It’s your beer so you get to decide how to proceed.

Bottom line is you made beer! Have fun and take notes.

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