View Full Version : Stupidly pitched into cold must

12-07-2010, 01:43 AM
Okay, so I was following the recipe for Fall's Bounty Cyser in Ken's book, and I was being all low key--just how Ken seems to be about this one. I didn't take any gravity readings, I just threw it all in. Well, I shouldn't have been so hasty.

I was running lean on any D47, so I subbed with K1V. I know it's not the greatest substitute, but I had two packets of it and K1V is such an easy yeast to use...
To get to the point:
I pitched the rehydrated yeast into the must, when the must was only 59F. It's been about 14 hours and absolutely no activity, which is unusual from my experience with K1V. I'm used to seeing activity in about an hour or so, so I'm kinda thinking that I killed most of the yeast when I pitched into that cold of a must.

My question is: if there continues to be no activity, I assume that I should just pitch more yeast. The problem is that I now live far, far, away from any K1V yeast source. I have plenty of other yeast with EC-1118 being the strongest fermenter of the bunch. How long should I wait to pitch, and should I switch yeast strains? Or, can it hold off long enough that I can get an order of yeast via the mail?

Sorry, about the scattered writing. I just finished an amazing bottle of last year's Ranier Cherry mead (last bottle:().


12-07-2010, 02:12 AM
My experience so far... Give it time... Let it get a few degrees (at least) or into the middle of it's thermal range, and then give it a while... It could take a couple of days to kick into gear, to the point where you actually notice...

Do you have an airlock on this, or are you using the towel cover method? If you had taken a gravity reading before pitching, you'd know (now) if anything was going on... You might want to take one anyway (sanitize everything that will touch the must, so you can put it back in)... Then check it in another day or two...

BTW, K1V has a thermal range of 10-35C (50-95F) so you should be ok (didn't kill the buggers, probably just spazzing about going into the chilly pool)...

Chevette Girl
12-07-2010, 02:13 AM
How long has it been? I've had things take 24 hours to get going... and a cool must won't kill yeast, it just might make them think twice about breeding till the temperature's more comfortable... I mean, who likes a cold bed? :)

12-07-2010, 02:27 AM
You should be fine. K1V is pretty hardy. I'd say, after 48 hours it hasn't started, then there might be a problem. Also try warming it up if possible. If you can, try taking an SG reading. It'll help give you an idea of what the yeast is dealing with, osmotic pressure wise. Plus, you'll know when to add more nutrient and when to stop aerating. Always a good idea, IMHO.

12-07-2010, 02:33 AM
You might have shocked them with a large temperature change. What was the temp of the rehydrating yeast when you pitched it?

Some yeast should have survived, but if you have another pack I'd go ahead and add it if you don't see anything going on by 36 hours.

Medsen Fey
12-07-2010, 12:53 PM
BTW, K1V has a thermal range of 10-35C (50-95F) so you should be ok (didn't kill the buggers, probably just spazzing about going into the chilly pool)...

Actually you can kill a lot of freshly rehydrated yeast with temperature shear. That's why they recommend not pitching if the yeast temperature and must temp are more than 15 degrees different. Acclimating the yeast to must temperature by a series of small additions will prevent this and have a big impact on shortening the lag time.

Nevertheless, in this must, some of them will have survived, and they will need to multiply to get enough biomass to start producing visible signs of fermentation. That growth process will be very slow at 59F, so it could take 48 hours (or even a little more). I'd aerate it well in the meantime.

12-07-2010, 01:02 PM
Medsen, Isn't the temperature difference spec's listed someplace for the yeasts? I thought the target difference was supposed to be under 10F...

I will say that any time you can learn from something, it's not a bad thing... Yeast is pretty cheap, so as long as it won't F up the final product, you could always pitch more in... IF the little buggers aren't going at it like gang-busters :o and it's just taking longer before they open the door so you can see what they've been doing. :eek:

12-07-2010, 05:02 PM
As I figured, some have made it through, but it's a pretty weak showing for K1V.

The temp. of the rehydrated yeast was about 81F. I normally pitch when I'm just about 10 degrees different. Normally, my must is room temp, but I just spaced it that I was pulling the cider out of the fridge. I was trying to be low key, and be natural, i.e. just do the Schramm thing and throw it all together and pitch the yeast. No serious measurements, no starter, etc. I just got a bit ahead of myself.

Since, there is a little activity, I'm just going to order some more yeast online. When it gets here, I'll make sure to use some must to acclimatize the yeast before pitching more of them. No need to kill off anymore. Oh, by the way, the must temp was up to 70F, this morning (oops, I like to be a wee bit lower).

Thanks, everyone for getting me through the paranoia stage. I was just worried that if almost all of the yeast got killed, I didn't want some wild yeasties to take over--I'm not ready for one of those batches, yet.;D

Medsen Fey
12-07-2010, 09:33 PM
You won't need to add more yeast if you have visible activity now. Just aerate them so they can reach maximal biomass.

12-08-2010, 12:43 AM
I had been wondering about that. I didn't know if just giving them enough oxygen would inspire them to keep budding, or if I needed to repitch to boost the numbers.

Thanks, that keeps me from doing an emergency order tonight. Unfortunately, that means that I can't use the excuse of needing more yeast to order some other things, too (because, who'd order just yeast?).


Chevette Girl
12-08-2010, 12:56 AM
Unfortunately, that means that I can't use the excuse of needing more yeast to order some other things, too (because, who'd order just yeast?).

....aaaand another one has been bitten by the mead bug... :)

12-08-2010, 02:55 AM
Unfortunately, that means that I can't use the excuse of needing more yeast to order some other things, too (because, who'd order just yeast?).

You ALWAYS need to have yeast on hand... Consider it an 'what if' supply... Or ICE (In Case of Emergency)... ;D

I'm keeping two packets of dry yeast in the fridge at all times for exactly those reasons... Never know when you'll need to use some. Better to have already ordered it, and have it on hand, than need to scramble to get it (paying too much for shipping, or needing to run out in a rush)...

12-08-2010, 03:54 AM
At any given time I probably have 10-20 packets of yeast around in my closet, I have to inventory it from time to time. My LHBSs only have a very small selection, so when I do an order through morewinemaking.com I stock up pretty good.