Joined: Sep 06, 2015 Posts: 1 Location: SF Bay Area
Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:44 pm Post subject: My Yeast is Dying or Not Activating at All
I'm looking forward to being here and learning better techniques on home brewing root beer. I'm on my 4th or 5th batch of home made root beer, but I've been having some trouble recently and was hoping to get advice. I make everything from scratch, use maple syrup (sometimes with barley malt syrup) as sweetener, and champagne yeast, fermented in amber glass w/ EZ Caps/clamps. I use a candy thermometer to make sure the brew is less than 90 degrees before adding it to the bottles.
The first few batches I added less than 1/16th tsp of yeast to the whole batch (2.5 Qt), before bottling. Fermented them for 3-4 days, before refrigeration. They pretty much all over-fizzed when opened.
I changed tactics on the next batch and added approximately 25 tiny grains of yeast to each bottle. Fermented for 48 hrs, before refrigeration. This gave me the best results. No over-fizzing at all. However, using this same technique of adding yeast to the bottles, on the 4th and 5th batch, they're all completely flat! No fermentation at all.
I've also used the same sanitation method for all batches: very hot water in the sink, with added distilled vinegar (about 2-3 Tablespoons). I want to avoid chemical sanitation or sterilization--but some of you might suggest otherwise. The vinegar method worked fine on the first few batches though.
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