From the HBD Archive
From: ferguson%X102C@HARRIS-ATD.COM (ferguson ct 71078)
Subject: Homebrew Digest #196 (July 07, 1989)
Date: 1989-07-11 14:16:39 GMT

Darryl Richman <> writes:

>10 hours is just fine. Sometimes conditions aren't so good and it
>takes longer (24...48...even more). Usually this results from
>underpitching, because the yeast don't move onto their fermentation
>phase until they have reached a level of about 10^7 cells/ml.
>Homebrewers are notorious underpitchers because nobody wants to
>hassle making a starter several days ahead.

I had a some slow start on a batch of homebrew but I attributed it to
the inability of the dry yeast to penetrate the foam barrier on the
top of the wort. I could see the powdered yeast just sitting there.
I was tempted to rouse or stir the wort in the fermenter but decided
not to. It eventually took off and turned out OK.

Nowadays I re-hydrate dried yeast with a cup or so of tap water prior
to pitching. The liquid yeast penetrates the foam barrier and
disperses instantly causing fast starts. I wonder whether the slow
starts you have witnessed are due to homebrewers using dry yeast
rather than inadequate yeast?

Chuck Ferguson Harris Government Information Systems Division
(407) 984-6010 MS: W1/7732 PO Box 98000 Melbourne, FL 32902
Usenet: uunet!x102a!x102c!ferguson

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