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Old 10-18-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
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Default Dead yeast?

It's been 24 hours and no sign of life...no krausen...no bubbles...no nothing.

Question: Is my yeast dead? Should I repitch more yeast? If so, how would the dead yeast cells already in the beer affect the beer?

Here are the key facts:
- wyeast 1056.
- its a 2d generation yeast: i harvested it from my pale ale.
- the yeast has been sitting in the fridge for about 4 mos.
- I was able to brew an IPA with that same harvested yeast about 2 mos. ago so I know that at least that batch was ok. (the yeast, at that time, was sitting in the fridge for 2 months)
- I made a starter (1/2 cup dme and 1/2 liter of water) and let it do it's thing for about 24 hours. (I aerated it by shaking it as often as I could)
- it's a pumpkin ale.
- FG was 1.072 (I added some amber candi sugar for flavor).

Thanks everyone.

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:19 AM   #2
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You made a starter, therefore you proved your yeast isn't dead.....

REgardless of whether it's your own yeast or commercial yeast the sticky still stands.

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

After 72 hours take a grav reading like you would do any other beer.

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:30 AM   #3
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I'm confused. How does making a starter rule out the possibility of the yeast being dead? I made the starter, but never saw any bubbles, krausen, etc., which from your post I understand now to not be dispositive. I never took a gravity measurement from the starter. So, how does making a starter mean that your yeast is, therefore, viable?

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:38 AM   #4
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Did you have a band of yeast at the bottom? You rarely see krausen or get "activity" in a starter, usually all you get is yeast at the bottom of the vessel. Why would you pitch a starter if you didn't think the yeast was alive? The whole point of making a starter is to wake up the yeast and to grow more...and THAT proves viability.

Activity in a starter really only means one thing and one thing only.

It doesn't matter one blip in your fermenter or your starter flask if the airlock bubbles or not (if you are using an airlock and not tinfoil if you are using tinfoil, you aren't getting bibbling anyway,) or if you see a krauzen. In fact starter fermentation are some of the fastest or slowest but most importantly, the most boring fermentations out there. Usually it's done withing a few hours of yeast pitch...usually overnight when we are sleeping, and the starter looks like nothing ever happened...except for the little band at the bottom. Or it can take awhile...but either way there's often no "activity" whatsoever....

I usually run my stirplate for the first 24 hours, then shut it down, if you are spinning your starter it is really hard to get a krausen to form anyway, since it's all spinning, and there's often a head of foam on it from the movement.


All that really matters is that creamy band o yeast at the bottom.





This is a chilled sample so it's flocculated, but even with an unchilled sample you should see a band of yeast at the bottom. Here's an unchilled version



Same thing, a band.

As it is I've only ever seen two or three krausens actually on my starter (one blew off a bunch of krausen and knocked the tinfoil off the flask,) and the evidence of one on the flask at the "waterline" once. But I've never not had a starter take off.

Look for the yeast at the bottom, don't worry what it looks like on top.

If you have yeast on the bottom....that's all you really need.

And like I said...it's still too soon to worry....take a gravity reading at 72 hours...

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Old 10-18-2011, 02:05 AM   #5
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Ahh! Thanks! I did see that band. Thanks for the pics.

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Old 10-19-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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and 48 hours later, i see bubbles and krausen!

Is there any correlation between the amount of time the yeast spends in the fridge (approx. 4 mos.) and the time it takes for fermentation to kick in (approx. 48 hours)?

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Old 10-19-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphops View Post
and 48 hours later, i see bubbles and krausen!

Is there any correlation between the amount of time the yeast spends in the fridge (approx. 4 mos.) and the time it takes for fermentation to kick in (approx. 48 hours)?
There may be, but 48 hours is a perfectly normal amount of lag time.
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