Home Brew Not Working

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Mr_Fingerz, Aug 6, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Right, I recently (one week ago) set off a brewkit of bitter.

    Everything was sterilised as per.

    Everything was then rinsed to ensure that the brew could go ahead.

    I've followed the instructions on the side of the tin.

    The brew is in the kitchen, which is warm, the brew is out of the way of children and animals.

    And since then 2/3rds of 7/8ths of the square root of ****-all has happened. The brew has not started to ferment. Current temperature of the brew is 22Deg C.

    Do I bin it and start again? or can I rescue it?

    Over to you.
  2. So you sterilised everything and then promptly chucked water all over it?

    I assume it was tap water you used? Not sterile anymore after that.

    Don't know if that would make any difference but it seems a bit strange doing it in that order TBH.
  3. It has got to be dead yeast, IMHO. I'd try it with another batch of yeast, but expect it to be ruined. Maybe bottle it in disposable plastic pop bottles in case it proves to be vile.

    If the new yeast doesn't start things happening, then bin it.

    True, but the risks are introducing wild yeasts and other organisms, which would affect the taste, but shouldn't stop it fermenting.
  4. First question, what does it smell like?

    The reason I ask is does it smell acidic? If that is the case then you may well be making a gallon of top-quality malt vinegar instead of beer. Only thing to do now is wait it out, see if it tastes good. If it does, great! Prime it (boil the sugar in a cup of water first!!!!), bottle it, and let it carb. If not...you just got a whole lot of cheap, but hopefully good quality, malt vinegar. If that is the result I suggest making a salad with it, and chalking this one up to experience.

    If you ever buy a kit like this again, it's ALWAYS a good idea to buy fresh yeast. Otherwise you have a higher chance of an infected batch.
  5. Good point - it just seemed an odd order to do things in.
  6. Sounds like the yeast is at fault.
    Try stirring the bollocks out of it first and that the temperature is right. It might just be something as simple as that.
    If this doesn't work, start another yeast mix and check the temperature is correct before adding it. If it doesn't work then bin the lot and start again. It's happened to me before and I've had about a 50-50 success with restarting them after they've stopped or not started at all. Make sure the new yeast is well in date of course.
  7. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    I've been brewing since 1974. I'd say your yeast is dead, so re-pitch a fresh batch of yeast, about £1.50 for an 11g sachet. There are 2 likely reasons for failure. The dried yeast (I assume) was ancient or incorrectly stored, or you pitched it when the wort was still too hot (above 30 celsius) and you've killed it.

    It's normal to rinse out vessels after sterilisation with clean water, otherwise your beer will taste like swimming pool contents (without the little boys' urine). Though, having said that, there are some sanitation products that are no rinse, but I use thin bleach at 28p a litre which is good for about 50 gallons. The bugs present in tap-water are not the ones that turn beer into vinegar (that's done by air-borne wild yeasts) and several billion beer yeast cells soon make mince-meat of them.

    See 'jimsbeerkit' for a wealth of advice.

  8. I managed to cock up a batch once by being an impatient twunt and adding the yeast before everything had cooled properly. The yeast carked it and the sum total of **** all happened, but I managed to rescue it (sort of) by adding some baker's yeast. It turned out drinkable and fairly potent.
  9. Certainly sounds like you managed to kill-off the yeast. Pitch-in a fresh batch and see how you get on. If you're going to use dried yeast, revive it first in a little warm water.
  10. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Beer and bread yeasts are quite different. Yeast is a single cell fungus which lives in a symbiotic relationship with mankind, so the different types wouldn't exist if it were not for our baking and brewing.

    I don't know much about different bread yeasts, but there are many types of beer yeast, all of which have a significant impact on the flavour of beer produced, be it bitter, lager, stout, wheat beer or whatever.

    As an aside, I tend to re-cycle my yeast about 5 times, making it about 30p per 5 gallons for the yeast. More advanced brewers harvest yeast from the bottom of commercial ales or get it from a brewery and keep it going. Once you get into all-grain brewing you can brew beers better than most pubs sell for about 20p a pint.
  11. From Koschei & Brotherton Lads last posts, a friend wanted to start some wine, I asked what they had

    1 Demijohn
    1 bung
    1 trap
    1 sachet of Allinsons bread yeast

    I chucked some blackcurrant cordial into a pan and brought to the boil, allowed to cool and diluted with water, which also brought the temp down.

    2 days later it was very slow on the gas production. We gave it till the end of the week which coincided with me draining off my 5 gallons of Shiraz.

    I used the yeast and sediment to restart their wine.

    It is now quite potent. Bakers yeast will die quite early due to the alcohol content, brewers/wine makers yeast won't.
  12. You didn't, perchance, boil the yeast with the malt & hops?
    Once won the mess comp for brewing. It was a fairly expensive honey lager so it bloody well deserved to win. Stopped after I was married and wife objected to plastic barrel splitting and spraying fermenting beer all over the place :oops:
  13. Find some strumpet with a yeast infection, give her a good seeing to & then wash your todger in the inactive brew. Job jobbed.