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Should I pitch another dry pack?

Okay, some of you may be familiar with my NB Megalodon almost-debacle. Here is a brief history. Before I knew temperature for pitching and fermenting was really important, I pitched my yeast at about 77F and fermented for a day or so at about 72-74F. I corrected that with a swamp cooler (on advice from you all) and now the beer is between 66-68F. Also, before I knew you shouldn’t make a yeast starter with dry yeast, I did just that with the dry yeast pack that came in the Megalodon kit. Only allowed it 24 hours before I pitched though. Also, I only pitched the one packet of dry yeast when two (rehydrated) would have been better. Megalodon has an OG of 1.090.

So, here is the question; should I pitch another pack of dry yeast (same as the first) when I move to secondary, right now, or should I just chill and see what happens with my Megalodon from this point forward? I could pitch one more packet and if doing so can’t hurt I’d probably do it. If that is the case, is now the best time to pitch it, when I go to secondary in about a week, or when I bottle?

[quote=“WYCowboy”]Okay, some of you may be familiar with my NB Megalodon almost-debacle. Here is a brief history. Before I knew temperature for pitching and fermenting was really important, I pitched my yeast at about 77F and fermented for a day or so at about 72-74F.
[color=#0000BF]What yeast did you use? What is the optimum fermentation temperature for the yeast according to the manufactures site?
[/color]

I corrected that with a swamp cooler (on advice from you all) and now the beer is between 66-68F. Also, before I knew you shouldn’t make a yeast starter with dry yeast,
[color=#000080]Yes, you definitely can make a starter with dry yeast! Notice how when people say you can’t, it is because dry yeast is so cheap. Economics has nothing to do with whether or not you can make a starter with dry yeast. How did you make your starter? By making the starter you may have pitched enough yeast for the estimated 1.090 OG.

From Fermentis, "Once you have rehydrated the dry yeast (see rehydration tab in the “tips and tricks” section on www.brewwithfermentis.com), the yeast is in the same condition as any other yeast in liquid. If you do not rehydrate before you start agitating, you can end up decreasing viability due to the cell membranes of the yeast cells being in a fragile state. If you rehydrate the yeast appropriately, you can propagate the same as you would any other yeast.[/color]

I did just that with the dry yeast pack that came in the Megalodon kit. Only allowed it 24 hours before I pitched though. Also, I only pitched the one packet of dry yeast when two (rehydrated) would have been better. Megalodon has an OG of 1.090.

So, here is the question; should I pitch another pack of dry yeast (same as the first) when I move to secondary, right now, or should I just chill and see what happens with my Megalodon from this point forward?

what is the reason for using a secondary? Are you dry hopping or adding oak cubes? a secondary is not always necessary even though it is a part of the recipe. Clearing will occur just as well in the priamry as in a secondary vessel.

I could pitch one more packet and if doing so can’t hurt I’d probably do it. If that is the case, is now the best time to pitch it, when I go to secondary in about a week, or when I bottle?[/quote]

How long has the beer been fermenting?

Okay, the yeast I used was Safale US 05. The optimum temps are between 59-75F according to the packet.

I confess the reason for secondary fermentation is because that is what the directions say to do.

It has been 5 days since I originally pitched my yeast.

[quote=“WYCowboy”]Okay, the yeast I used was Safale US 05. The optimum temps are between 59-75F according to the packet.

I confess the reason for secondary fermentation is because that is what the directions say to do.

It has been 5 days since I originally pitched my yeast.[/quote]

It may, but not necessarily, be to late to pitch more yeast. You may have pitched enough yeast by making a starter. How did you do the starter?

Do NOT move to secondary until you have reached the desired FG. Let it go two weeks, then check, and if it’s still on the high side, swirl the fermenter to get the yeast back into suspension and bring the temp up to ~70F to encourage more activity. Plan on leaving it on the yeast at least three weeks total and be patient, give the yeast plenty of time to do their work and then clean up after themselves.

If the yeast is or has been actively fermenting, you shouldn’t need another pack. The flavor may or may not be OK, hard to tell with so many variables. Definitely follow Shadetree’s advice for keeping it at least two weeks in the primary. Transferring off the yeast cake early won’t do anything good.

Okay, thanks everyone. I have a plan. I will not pitch another pack and will be patient during primary. Also, I will allow whatever time to pass to get to the right FG before going to secondary. Sound good to the masters?

You might want to consider if a secondary vessel is necessary. There are no oak chips to add or dry hopping, the beer is not meant to age for four months or longer.
The beer will clear just as well in the primary as it could in a secondary vessel. The only thing that is needed is time. Three to four weeks in the primary and it should be clear, the yeast cake compacted, and ready to rack to the bottling bucket.

Thanks, flars. No secondary.

If my math is correct, today is day 10. Give it a few more days and take a sample for a gravity measurement. If the gravity is the same for a few days in a row, then it’s probably finished fermenting.

If it’s not as low as you think or the recipe calls for, then you may want to consider pitching more yeast then, as you might have a stalled/stuck fermentation. Otherwise, if it’s where it needs to be, you can let it sit for a little longer to clear/settle or you can cold crash it for quicker clearing. If you do cold crash, expect it to take a little longer in the bottles to carb up.

Templar, it is day 10. I gave the fermentor a good but careful shake yesterday to aerate the beer and get some yeast back into suspension. Things seem to be moving fairly well again. So, I think I am going to do that a few more times until there is no activity at all in the airlock. I’m keeping the temp between 66-70F. So, I’ll just let it take as long as it takes and plan on the beer being in the fermentor for about three to four weeks. How does that plan sound?

What is the SG? Aeration, at this point is oxidation of your beer, you don’t want to do that. Don’t do anything without SG reads.

Agreed with the above, you shouldn’t be shaking it at all… There’s no reason to assume it’s stuck without taking a gravity measurement. Do you have a hydrometer to measure the SG? I noticed in your OP you simply stated what the OG should be based on the recipe instructions, but you haven’t posted any gravity measurements that you have taken yet. Just curious.

If you can measure the SG, let it sit until you hit about the 2 week mark then take a sample; ale yeast from what I read usually don’t take quite that long (especially if fermented a little warmer). If the gravity is the same for a few days then it’s done and you can rack to secondary if you choose or just let it clear up in the primary.

If you don’t have a way to measure the SG, just let it sit a while and leave it alone. You can take a sample to taste and bottle it when it’s cleared up a bit. It’s not really hurting anything by letting it sit for a while…

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