View Full Version : Stuck fermentation?

09-11-2004, 06:15 AM
Greetings everyone!

Just carboyed 5 gallons on the morning of 9/10/04 and it's now 9/11/04 at 5pm PST. My yeast is doing nothing.
I had ordered by mail Whitelabs champagne yeast and used that and am concerned that the heat wave we had might have cooked my yeast in the mailbox.
Standard 11lbs of honey and some fruit.
Should I continue to wait and see if this thing takes off or should I try some dry champagne yeast come Monday??


09-11-2004, 06:25 AM
I would suggest waiting for at least two days after you have pitched the yeast. In addition, high gravity must can take a while to start. I had a high gravity batch of imperial stout that took two days to start. But once it did.... Oooh boy! It was the most violent fermentation I have ever seen!

Give it a bit. It'll probably be OK.


09-11-2004, 10:05 AM
I agree. Give it at least 48 hourse, and if nothing happens you may want to re-pitch with a more aggressive yeast like the Lalvin K1-V1116 or EC-1118.

How did you rehydrate your yeast? Or, did you make a starter?

You can also shake the living heck out of your must to get the yeastie-beasties agitated and moving if they're being lazy.

Keep us abreast of what happens.



09-11-2004, 09:03 PM
Thanks for replying guys.
Sunday am and still nothing. The Whitelabs yeast was already liquidfied in a vial, I just poured it in and mixed it up.
When I used to make beer, all I did was use dry yeast, sprinkle it on top an dmix. No problems.
The yeast strains you mentioned, are they dry or liquid?

Thanks again.

09-11-2004, 10:42 PM
A couple of things.

How hot was it, and how long was it in the mailbox?

Did you follow the White Labs instructions for their pitchable yeasts? I've used their yeasts before and you really need to on top of how they recommend to use their liquid yeasts. See link below:


Can you post the exact recipe please? You mentioned fruit also, what kind, what quantity and how was it added/prepared?



09-11-2004, 11:00 PM
Hi there.
Well, it was at least 100 degrees for the last few days before and the day I recieved the yeast in the mail. I got it from a local shop (about 20 miles away) so they were in the heat wave too. I noticed when I opened the package how hot it was and was wondering if I was going to have a problem.

I let it get to room tempature before pitching.

11 lbs of honey, 1 orange, 1 lemon, some cloves, 1 cinammon stick.
That's about it.

09-11-2004, 11:40 PM
it sounds like your yeast may have gotten cooked in transit. did you heat pasturize your must? and if so are you sure it was properly cooled before adding your yeast? also, if you still have the yeast vial you may want to check the "best if used by" date. i had a beer that took 4 days to start once and i later noticed that the homebrew shop sent me a vial that was 10 months past its use by date. the yeast strains that Oskaar mentioned are dry yeast cultures. typically liquid yeast cutures start faster than dry yeasts beucase the liquid yeast are delivered to the must/wort in an active state whereas the dry yeast are dormant. however, EC-1118 is a particulrly aggressive strain and usualy will starts up with no problems...just realize that with 11 lbs of honey in 5 gallons and a yeast like EC11-18 you will end up with a very dry mead.

09-12-2004, 12:57 AM
Thanks for replying guys.
Sunday am and still nothing. The yeast strains you mentioned, are they dry or liquid?

Thanks again.
They are dry yeasts by Lalvin. You rehydrate for 15 mins in tepid water and then pitch. Usually start up same day.

09-12-2004, 04:29 AM
Thanks everybody.
I'm getting more yeast tomorrow.
The best by date was November of this year I believe.
It has to of been the heat wave. I had cooled the wort down for hours and dumped it into the carboy with the other room tempature water so it should of been fine.
I'll consider this case closed and let you know what happens after tomorrow night!!!

Thanks again to everybody.

09-12-2004, 09:30 AM

Sorry I just noticed that I didn't specify that the Lalvin yeast was dry and not liquid, but Joe and Joe picked that up.

It seems like you were shooting for a dry mead anyhow using the Champagne yeast which will tolerate 17% according to White Labs, I've had it above that in a couple of batches.

Which yeast did you end up ordering?? Enquiring minds want to know!


09-12-2004, 08:48 PM
Whoa! ;D
I just saw it bubble.
Looks like it's starting this am. I can't remember what the hell I bought in the way if the Whitelabs yeast but it was labeled champagne yeast.
It's at about 1 bubble per minute. Hoping it's not some wild strain taking over..........................
Found what yeast I used

Description: Classic yeast, used to produce champagne, cider, dry meads, dry wines, or to fully attenuate barley wines/strong ales.
Alcohol Tolerance: 17%.
Attenuation: >75%
Flocculation: Low.
Optimum Fermentation Temp: 70-75 F.
Wyeast Equivalent: 3021 Champagne

09-12-2004, 10:32 PM
One thing to watch is your temperature range of the yeast you used. It is 70 - 75 degrees F, so you'll need to monitor your temperature and keep it within that range to ensure complete fermentation and no premature die off of your beasties.


09-13-2004, 12:06 AM
11am PST
Looks like everything will be fine.
I'm up to 3 burps a minute on my airlock.
A little slow taking off I guess............

Thanks for all the help everyone.