Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yeast Failure, changing gears.

I checked in on the Pilsener Tuesday evening, and there was nothing going on with the fermentation. I suspected that the fermentation may be stuck as a result of underpitching the yeast. My suspicions were confirmed after I took the gravity reading. It was stuck at 1.044. It had been almost 72 hours and nothing was happening. Red flags are now popping up all over the place and I needed to make a decision. Ditch or pitch?
When brewing beer it is paramount that one pitch an adequate amount of viable yeast. In this case the yeast I used was obviuosly not adequate enough to jump start the fermentation process.
Ideally, one would like to see the fermentation lag phase commence within four to six hours of pitching the yeast. Three to fifteen hours is considered acceptable. Anyting longer than that and your risking uninvited guests to your fermentation party. Since I had already invested around six hours in this brew session, I decided to go for it and pitch more yeast.
The only hitch was that I didn't have enough viable lager yeast to pitch into this brew. Instead I pulled out theWLP 565 (Saison strain) and pitched it. This essentially will change the characteristics of my beer. Instead of a crisp clean lager, I'm now making a light farmhouse ale.
Ahhh....Alchemy at it's best. Well fermentation blasted off within a few hours, and it is bubbling away.
I'm taking a gamble here and hope it pays off. Best case scenario I'll make some fine beer. Worst case, I'll have wasted six hours of my time, a few dollars in material and have to pour some beer down the drain. Only time will tell.

1 comment:

Joel said...

So, this dude says to me RDWHAHB. Enjoy.