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The Lounge>Home brew
Dartgod 10:46 AM 01-16-2005
I know there are some other home brewers on here; Bwana and TJ for starters.

I'm brewing my first batch ever today. It's a German wheat. Looking forward to tasting this bad boy in about a month! :-) :-) :-)
[Reply]
mlyonsd 07:27 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
Still nothing this morning. I'm starting to get very discouraged. I guess I'll throw in another package of yeast if it's not happeneing when I get home tonight?
You're sure you don't have an air leak around the air lock?

How long does your recipe say to let the fermenting process go?
[Reply]
Dartgod 07:35 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by mlyonsd:
You're sure you don't have an air leak around the air lock?

How long does your recipe say to let the fermenting process go?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure, although I have no way of actually testing it. I'm confident that's not the problem.

Nothing definite on fermentation time. Depending on the temperature, anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. From what I've read, that's pretty much the case with any brew. The only thing I've done wrong so far (that I'm aware of) is put it in too cool of a room the first day. The wort had cooled to 62 degrees when I got home last night. I put it in a warmer room and this morning the side of the fermentor felt slightly warmer to touch so I assume it's warmed up. If nothing has happened when I get home tonite, I'll measure the temp again to be sure.
[Reply]
mlyonsd 07:42 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
Yeah, I'm pretty sure, although I have no way of actually testing it. I'm confident that's not the problem.

Nothing definite on fermentation time. Depending on the temperature, anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. From what I've read, that's pretty much the case with any brew. The only thing I've done wrong so far (that I'm aware of) is put it in too cool of a room the first day. The wort had cooled to 62 degrees when I got home last night. I put it in a warmer room and this morning the side of the fermentor felt slightly warmer to touch so I assume it's warmed up. If nothing has happened when I get home tonite, I'll measure the temp again to be sure.
It sounds to me like you've figured out the problem. Any brew that could ferment up to two weeks is not going to show much action at all. If it did the alcohol content would be astronomical. If it were me, I wouldn't touch it for quite a while. It sounds to me like you did everything right and I've never heard of a bad batch of yeast.

My last brew didn't bubble at all, it just moved the vodka in the air lock to the exhaust side. I was worried about it but it turned out fine.
[Reply]
Rukdafaidas 07:58 AM 01-18-2005
What kind of dry yeast did you use and how much? The best advice I could give a starting homebrewer is to use liquid yeasts and make starters. Keep bumping the starters up until they're about a half gallon for a 5 gallon batch.
When you get several batches under your belt and you get to the point where you are wanting to buy more and more stuff (guaranteed to happen), make one of your first purchases a stainless aeration stone and oxygen setup. When pitching your yeast, pure oxygen really speeds up the process.
Nasium, we probably have some all grain equipment we might want to sell. Like I mentioned in a previous thread, we have built a brewery and will have our old equipment available pretty soon.
[Reply]
Dartgod 08:04 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Rukdafaidas:
What kind of dry yeast did you use and how much? The best advice I could give a starting homebrewer is to use liquid yeasts and make starters. Keep bumping the starters up until they're about a half gallon for a 5 gallon batch.
When you get several batches under your belt and you get to the point where you are wanting to buy more and more stuff (guaranteed to happen), make one of your first purchases a stainless aeration stone and oxygen setup. When pitching your yeast, pure oxygen really speeds up the process.
Nasium, we probably have some all grain equipment we might want to sell. Like I mentioned in a previous thread, we have built a brewery and will have our old equipment available pretty soon.
I didn't use the dry yeast that came with the kit. I bought a vial of White Labs Hefeweizen yeast and used it. I wish I had made a starter with it, but was told that wasn't necessary.

What did you mean by this?
Originally Posted by :
Keep bumping the starters up until they're about a half gallon for a 5 gallon batch.

[Reply]
Radar Chief 08:06 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
Still nothing this morning. I'm starting to get very discouraged. I guess I'll throw in another package of yeast if it's not happeneing when I get home tonight?

Iíve had this exact problem and hereís what I did to jump-start the fermentation.
Go to your local brew store after work, if youíre in KC thereís one called Bacchus Barleycorn thatís well equipped, and get some Yeast Nutrients.
Create a new pitch by first boiling about 2 cups of water. After the water reaches a full boil, remove it from the heat, cover it with tin foil and poke your thermometer through the foil (the foil is just to keep spores, dust and wild yeast from getting into your pitch).
Once the temperature is below 110 Deg. F , closer to 90 would be OK also, add yeast nutrients, dry yeast and recover with tin foil allowing the dry yeast to reconstitute.
Now allow the pitch to cool to around 70 Deg. F or about room temperature and within an hour or two you should start seeing yeast activity in the pitch.
Now youíre ready to re-pitch with an active pitch and once added to your fermenter, you should start seeing activity within a couple of hours.
Since Iíve had problems getting yeast to start, I do this for every batch and havenít had the problem since.
These guys have a cool solution to the same problem; itís called a ďsmack packĒ. The yeast is contained inside a capsule and surrounded by yeast nutrients, so all you have to do is take the pack and smack it with the heal of your hand to break the capsule. Within 24 hours the pack will swell up until it looks like itís gonna burst, then itís ready to pitch and you know youíre pitching an active yeast.
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Dartgod 08:12 AM 01-18-2005
OK, so the dry yeast that came with the kit is a Nottingham Ale Yeast. How is that going to work with a wheat beer? I bought the hefeweizen liquid yeast because I was told that would be better for the type of beer I was brewing. Is the liquid yeast wasted now? Or will they work together once fermentation starts?
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Radar Chief 08:14 AM 01-18-2005
Something you could use instead of yeast nutrients is to siphon off some sweet wort out of your fermenter and create a new pitch using it.
I personally like adding the yeast to a pitch like this, either with sweet wort of yeast nutrients, so I can see yeast activity and know itís working before pouring it into the wort.
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Radar Chief 08:19 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
OK, so the dry yeast that came with the kit is a Nottingham Ale Yeast. How is that going to work with a wheat beer? I bought the hefeweizen liquid yeast because I was told that would be better for the type of beer I was brewing. Is the liquid yeast wasted now? Or will they work together once fermentation starts?
Not wasted just dormant. You could add some yeast nutrients without creating a new pitch, Iíve had that work before also.

You get very little flavor from the yeast, itís probably better to use the White Labs stuff, itís better quality yeast anyway, but the ale yeast that came with your kit will work also with little noticeable difference.
Dry yeast is created from a strain of yeast that works after being dried and possibly heated and cooled several times while in the warehouse waiting for sale. The White Labs liquid yeast is created from a strain that works best for that type of beer and the creators donít have to worry about how hardy it is.
[Reply]
Rukdafaidas 08:25 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
I didn't use the dry yeast that came with the kit. I bought a vial of White Labs Hefeweizen yeast and used it. I wish I had made a starter with it, but was told that wasn't necessary.

What did you mean by this?
Forget about the starter part, let's make this simple and get your beer going.
Is there a certain kind of wheat beer that you're shooting for? Are you wanting a beer that tastes like an American Wheat (Boulevard) or are you wanting a Hefeweizen?
If you're wanting a beer similar to Boulevard's Wheat, dump in the Nottingham it's be great. If you're wanting a Hefeweizen, the yeast is very important. Hefeweizen yeasts impart a clove and banana flavor that comes directly from Hefeweizen yeasts.
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Dartgod 08:27 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Rukdafaidas:
Forget about the starter part, let's make this simple and get your beer going.
Is there a certain kind of wheat beer that you're shooting for? Are you wanting a beer that tastes like an American Wheat (Boulevard) or are you wanting a Hefeweizen?
If you're wanting a beer similar to Boulevard's Wheat, dump in the Nottingham it's be great. If you're wanting a Hefeweizen, the yeast is very important. Hefeweizen yeasts impart a clove and banana flavor that comes directly from Hefeweizen yeasts.
At this point, I just want beer.

Keep in mind that anything you suggest, I can't do until around 6:00 p.m. when I get home from work.
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cdcox 08:31 AM 01-18-2005
If it is a true German Hefeweizen yeast it will impart significant flavor to the beer. One of the characteristics of Hefeweizen is an aroma of cloves and/or bananas and this character comes predominantely from the yeast strain used. If you want this authentic character to the beer, you should try to get the current yeast going. If you do add a different yeast, the most agrressive strain will probably dominate (which in this case would probably be the dry yeast since the liquid yeast is slow going). It won't ruin the beer by any means, but you will miss out on the authentic character of a true German Hefeweizen.
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cdcox 08:32 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Rukdafaidas:
Forget about the starter part, let's make this simple and get your beer going.
Is there a certain kind of wheat beer that you're shooting for? Are you wanting a beer that tastes like an American Wheat (Boulevard) or are you wanting a Hefeweizen?
If you're wanting a beer similar to Boulevard's Wheat, dump in the Nottingham it's be great. If you're wanting a Hefeweizen, the yeast is very important. Hefeweizen yeasts impart a clove and banana flavor that comes directly from Hefeweizen yeasts.
Uh, what he said.
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Rukdafaidas 08:34 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
At this point, I just want beer.

Keep in mind that anything you suggest, I can't do until around 6:00 p.m. when I get home from work.
I'm guessing that it'll be going by the time you get home. If not, pitch the Nottingham, preferrably two packs. If you like Boulevard Wheat, the Nottingham will actually get you closer than the Hefeweizen yeast anyway.
If it is going when you get home, I would caution you not to let it get too high in temperature or it'll taste like banana laffy taffy. I've found the higher end of Hefeweizen yeast produces more banana flavor and the lower temperature range produces more of a clove flavor, which is much more subtle than the banana.
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Radar Chief 08:40 AM 01-18-2005
Originally Posted by Rukdafaidas:
I'm guessing that it'll be going by the time you get home. If not, pitch the Nottingham, preferrably two packs. If you like Boulevard Wheat, the Nottingham will actually get you closer than the Hefeweizen yeast anyway.
If it is going when you get home, I would caution you not to let it get too high in temperature or it'll taste like banana laffy taffy. I've found the higher end of Hefeweizen yeast produces more banana flavor and the lower temperature range produces more of a clove flavor, which is much more subtle than the banana.
Ok, just for ďwhat ifísĒ, what would you do if the Hefeweizen is preferred but the yeast wonít start? Aerate using an oxygen stone? Add some yeast nutrients? Or something else that hasnít been mentioned?
Iíve had this problem before so Iím curious what more experienced brewers think.
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