Co-worker's first batch

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A co-worker of mine decided to also get into home-brewing after I mentioned
that I was.  He obtained his equipment sooner than I was able to, and has
already boiled his first batch.  I stopped by his house while he was in the
middle of boiling, and he has now informed me that he's not quite sure he
did it properly.

*  He boiled 3 gal water, then added (1) can of hopped Bavarian Lager LME
(not sure of brand), 2 lbs of light DME, and boiled for another 45-60
minutes.
*  Cooled in an ice bath down to 95 F, poured into fermenter (6.5 gal
plastic bucket) with fresh boiled water (still at 110 F).
*  Pitched (1) pkg of rehydrated yeast.  He transferred solution back and
forth and shook, to produce oxygen for the yeast.
*  Took a hydrometer reading of 1.036 (I believe temp conversion should be
1.0411).
*  Added lid and air-lock, and placed in bathroom closet to sit.

It has been one week since I witnessed most of the above, and he has told me
that he thinks it's ruined.  He told me that after 24 hours he did NOT see
any real bubbling in the airlock.  He let it go until yesterday (still with
NO activity).  He took off the lid to investigate, and did not see any signs
of fermentation.  He replaced the lid and returned it to it's place until he
could figure out what to do.  Today, he called and said that the airlock is
"bubbling slightly, at a rate of approximately 20 per minute, and now has a
slight odor".

Is it possible that the batch has bacteria in it now, and is ruined?  Or
since the batch was relatively warm it used up all of the oxygen and him
opening the lid allowed more oxygen to be supplied, and has now reactivated
the yeast?

I told him to let it continue, but am unsure as to how much longer (complete
time etc..).  He's concerned that there may be bacteria, and don't want to
risk it.

Any suggestions?



Re: Co-worker's first batch


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It sounds like he did pretty good.  My only comment would be that he should
have waited for things to cool more before pitching the yeast.  I typically
wait until the temperature is below 85 F.  If it went a whole week before
bubbling, it is possible that much of the yeast got killed by the high
temperatures, and it just took a week for the survivors to replicate enough
times to begin serious fermentation.  Either that, or he didn't pitch enough
yeast.  It sometimes helps to use two packets of yeast instead of one.  It
is also possible that it could be bacteria.  The only way to find out for
sure is to wait about a week now and then open it up, smell it, taste it.
If bacteria have gotten in there it will be utterly nasty stuff.  It could
taste like vomit or worse.  Hopefully it will taste just like a good beer
and everything will be fine.  I'm guessing the yeast just got off to a late
start, either because of high temperature or not enough yeast cells pitched.
Time will tell.

--
Dave
"Just a drink, a little drink, and I'll be feeling GOOooOOooOOooD!" --  
Genesis, 1973-ish



Re: Co-worker's first batch
Stone-ok wrote:

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There's nothing wrong with it, he just forgot to aerate the chilled wort for
the yeast to get a good strong fermentation going from the beginning.  
-gcitagh

Re: Co-worker's first batch

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sure
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for





Thank you for such a quick response, he'll be happy to know that there's
nothing wrong with it.  Should he aerate it any more, or is what been done
sufficient?



Re: Co-worker's first batch


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No, don't aerate it anymore!  If it is bubbling then it's fine.  At this
stage of fermentation, aeration could oxidize the beer and make it taste
like crap.  Just let it run its course, everything should be okay.

--
Dave
"Just a drink, a little drink, and I'll be feeling GOOooOOooOOooD!" --  
Genesis, 1973-ish



Re: Co-worker's first batch
Stone-ok wrote:

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Well, it's up to you.  It'll get the job done this way, but will take longer
and thus a higher chance of infection.  On the other hand, opening the lid
introducing oxygen and sloshing it around with the lid back on also
increases the chances of infection.  If it's really annoying about how slow
it's going I'd go ahead and open the lid to get more oxygen in there; also
make sure that the air is free of dust and smoke.  If yeast is cheap, your
friend could prepare a small yeast starter of corn sugar and warm water to
repitch the yeast or could take some of the wort stuff in the fermentor
adding sugar and beating it with an egg whippet and letting that rest until
it foams up good and pitching that back into the fermentor.  Another thing
would be to warm the fermentor with a heat pad near the bottom on the side.
This could be due to it being too cold.  Hope all is well,
-gcitagh

Re: Co-worker's first batch

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If he pitched the yeast into 110F wort, then he may well have killed his
yeast.



Re: Co-worker's first batch

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mentioned
has
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I thought that too, but like I mentioned in the original posting - he called
and said that the airlock is "bubbling slightly, at a rate of approximately
20 per minute, and now has a slight odor".

Has the yeast somehow reactivated, or did the hot wort (in a sense) steal
the oxygen that was introduced from the aeration, and since he opened the
lid it allowed more oxygen to be supplied?




Re: Co-worker's first batch


said in alt.beer.home-brewing:


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The hot wort may well have killed the yeast and what he's seeing now
may well be bacterial or wild yeast action.  Also, pitching dry yeast
into wort isn't the healthiest thing for the yeast - it should be
rehydrated first.

Pitching ale yeast should be done at around 68 degrees - certainly no
higher than 70 degrees - that's getting into "off flavor" range.

The only thing he can do now is let it ferment out and taste it when
it's done.  It may surprise us all and turn out very good.

Re: Co-worker's first batch



It sounds like he just killed some of the yeast to me and it has taken a
while for the remaining live yeast to build up enough force to actually make
enough of a difference.
It sounds fine.  This Odor your talking about.. have you smelt it? I
remember my first batch because of the strange smell I thought it was off..


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