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Old 07-26-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default Dead Yeast

So I pitched dead yeast this weekend... But, in a way that I have never seen before!

I had a Wyeast Activator pack of Euro yeast. I let it reach room Temp on thursday and smacked the pack... the Pack started swelling as normal. By Friday night the wife was affraid the pack was going to pop! Saturday, we brewed as normal and cooled the wort to 76 degrees. I then pitched the yeast and placed the carboy in the closet at 72 degrees.

The next morning all the dead yeast had settled to the bottom of the carboy and I had to run to a friends house and bum some dry yeast to pitch... the beer has now taken off and bubbling like crazy!!!

WTH? Has anyone ever heard of this? I'll answer any questions as best I can, but I will tell you that the house stays between 70 and 72 degrees, I cooled the wort to within 4 degrees so I just don't know! The only thing I could think of that would kill yeast like that was a sudden temp change.

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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So I pitched dead yeast this weekend... But, in a way that I have never seen before!

I had a Wyeast Activator pack of Euro yeast. I let it reach room Temp on thursday and smacked the pack... the Pack started swelling as normal. By Friday night the wife was affraid the pack was going to pop! Saturday, we brewed as normal and cooled the wort to 76 degrees. I then pitched the yeast and placed the carboy in the closet at 72 degrees.

The next morning all the dead yeast had settled to the bottom of the carboy and I had to run to a friends house and bum some dry yeast to pitch... the beer has now taken off and bubbling like crazy!!!

WTH? Has anyone ever heard of this? I'll answer any questions as best I can, but I will tell you that the house stays between 70 and 72 degrees, I cooled the wort to within 4 degrees so I just don't know! The only thing I could think of that would kill yeast like that was a sudden temp change.
You didn't kill the yeast. Some of it settled to the bottom, possibly, while getting ready to reproduce. But it certainly wasn't dead. Sometimes it takes up to 72 hours for the yeast to reproduce enough to start fermentation. You just didn't wait long enough before pitching the dry yeast.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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I know you said 72 yours, but it sat for 18 hours and did nothing. I figured after the way it reproduced in the slap pack it should have done something within 18 hours.

I pitched the dry yeast from fear that it would sour.

Would the beer have been ok sitting for 72 hours without fermentation?

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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Your pack wouldn't have expanded to begin with if your yeast were dead. It just went to the bottom, before it started to krausen on top.

These days yeast doesn't really "die." Most of the time the new brewer is just worried and impatient for the yeast take off, which often takes 72 hours anyway, it's pretty common, and called lag time. See this;

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/, and by visible signs we don't necessarily mean a bubbling airlock.

It IS a sticky at the top of the beginners forum for a reason, afterall.

Everything was really fine, and you really didn't need to pitch any more yeast.

But modern yeasts these days works 99.9% of the time.

Next time wait 72 hours, then before you do anything else take a hydrometer reading, don't just pitch more yeast.

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Old 07-26-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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Ok... Thanks. Like I said I was worried the wort would sour or somehow get infected. That was the first time I had seen a yeast take more than 12 hours to show some sign of working.

So, given that the euro yeast wasn't dead, I'm guessing it will take some part in the fermentation process? Will I have any issues with it competing for flavor profiles with the Muntons dry yeast I pitched on top?

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Old 07-26-2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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Will I have any issues with it competing for flavor profiles with the Muntons dry yeast I pitched on top?
Yes, and you won't know until you taste it, but your beer will likely exhibit the properties of both yeasts. There is also a chance that your liquid yeast actually kicked off before your dry yeast as well as the chance that the dry yeast did 99% of its business before the liquid yeast kicked. Let us know how it tastes.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:24 PM   #7
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Next time wait 72 hours, then before you do anything else take a hydrometer reading, don't just pitch more yeast.
Sounds like we need a Brady Bill for dry yeasts.
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