Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Yeast activity

I brewed a Belgian Quadrupel pitched WP500 which is what the recipe called for.there is no activity after 40 hrs. My o.g. Was 1.07 Do I have a problem?

Did you pitch a starter or did you pitch the yeast straight out of the vial? Also, what temperature was your wort when you pitched?

Marty, I pitched right out of the vial. My temp. Was 72* f
Thanks for the reply

Looks like you majorly under pitched. The yeast are in a growth and reproductive phase. For you this will take longer due not providing enough yeast to begin with. Relax though because you will still make beer.

Thanks I’ll just be patient.

I agree. You’ll definitely make beer, though as holaday1185 says, you did underpitch somewhat and it’ll take your yeast a bit longer to get going. For a beer with a gravity as high as yours, a starter is definitely a good idea, or as an alternative, two vials of yeast could be pitched. In any case, good luck. :cheers:

Is it too late to add another vial?

I have never used WLP500 but if it is anything like Wyeast 3787 Trappist high gravity you will have no problem with it. So yes I would just keep an eye on it and give it a little time.

Thanks for all the help!

You could, but I tried this a while back with a tripel and it still took longer than normal to finish. I would go with Mark’s suggestion above, and just give your beer time to do it’s own thing.

There was a great article in BYO mag back in Jan/Feb 2007 issue by Mike Heniff which goes into great detail about temp control, yeast pitching rates, and pure oxygen for Belgian brews. I have made big time improvements in my Belgians now for a few years by adhearing to all his advice. I know that 1/2-3/4 gal starters seems to be a lot of yeast but it actually works, that and plenty of oxy with a stone. They seem to take longer but I have gotten rid of all adverse off flavors because of that. You can bring up BYO and look up back issues on line. There are some good reads…B.C.

There was a great article in BYO mag back in Jan/Feb 2007 issue by Mike Heniff which goes into great detail about temp control, yeast pitching rates, and pure oxygen for Belgian brews. I have made big time improvements in my Belgians now for a few years by adhearing to all his advice. I know that 1/2-3/4 gal starters seems to be a lot of yeast but it actually works, that and plenty of oxy with a stone. They seem to take longer but I have gotten rid of all adverse off flavors because of that. You can bring up BYO and look up back issues on line. There are some good reads…B.C.

Thanks I appreciate all the good info.

More problems. I had some activity for about two days now it seems to have stopped.

Its probably mostly done. Once the yeast gets going, they can finish most of the sugar in just a couple of days. I would take a gravity sample at the end of the week.

Is that possible. I pitched late Friday and saw no activity until the following Monday. The recipe calls for 21 days in the primary then a week in secondary. Thanks

You need to keep in mind that we are the ones who put out yeast time schedules, not the yeast. Yeast has it’s own schedule and we can only monitor it with our hydrometers. If for instance I notice that there is no airlock activity I start doing hydrometer readings on consecutive days and if it stays at
the same lowest reading then it’s done. If it seems abnormally high for the style then it maybe stuck.
I’ve had some Belgians active for close to 4 wks. I guess I could have helped the situation by swirling the carboy every 3-4 days to wake up the yeast but I wasn’t in a hurry either. Just me.

Thanks I appreciate that advice.

My airlock activity usually stops after 3-5 days. I don’t usually bother measuring gravity until at least two weeks are up, so I don’t really know when the gravity actually bottoms out, but it would be unusual for me to see fermentation active enough to bubble the airlock a week after pitching. The most important thing is to just wait until its done, however, long that takes. There are lots of variables that actually go into this: temperature, yeast strain, yeast health, quantity of yeast pitched, amount of nutrients and oxygen in the wort prior to pitching, quantity and type of fermentables, and so forth. For me, with my setup and the types of beer I make, a week may be common. That isn’t everyone’s experience.

Airlock activity is not the same thing as fermentation. If your lid isn’t sealed perfectly, as your fermentation slows eventually it will be slow enough that the CO2 can leak out the lid. Fermentation is still happening, but the airlock doesn’t bubble. Conversely, you can have airlock activity without fermentation from dissolved CO2 escaping, especially if the temperature or atmospheric pressure changes.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com