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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Are my yeast cells dead?
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Are my yeast cells dead?

I have a few batches that I am trying to knock out as I have had them since last July. I had some family emergencies came up around that time, so I had to put brewing on the back burner (<---- LOL ).

Anyways.


The last two starters I have had good luck with, but this last one I'm worried a bit. I've kept the yeast in the fridge until I was ready to use it. I took the pack out and smacked it and let it set for a few hours, then made my starter wort, cooled it, then pitched the yeast. With the last two starters, I noticed it would be "fizzy" when I would shake the flask and there would be sweat bubbles around the neck, but I didn't see anything different this go around. No sweat bubbles or fizziness at all when I shook it. I don't smell alcohol in it either. Matter of fact, it smells exactly like the Wyeast pack itself The yeast is Wyeast 1335 if that helps. My last two that did good was the 1056.

I have a feeling I may have to buy another pack of yeast, but I thought about cold crashing to see if I have a good sediment layer, then maybe step it up to see if that layer has increased after cold crashing the second time. around.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:08 PM   #2
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Another thing I remembered. When I bought these kits and finally got around to brew them, the two 1056 packs were swollen when I pulled them out of the fridge to warm to room temps. The 1335 was still flat. It never swelled last night when I smacked it.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:14 PM   #3
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Are the yeast packs from July (It wasn't clear if the yeast was fresh or if you bought them with the kits. If the yeast was purchased last July it would not be at all unusual for the starter to be slow to start. You can expect that only about 10% of a yeast pack from last July is still viable so you should start small and step it up a couple times. Also, every strain is a little different. Some are naturally slow starters.

If this is fresh yeast then just give it another day or so and see what happens.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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Agreed. Keep them at room temperature and use a stir plate if possible. Let your starter sit another 24 hours and if still no activity (after 72 hours or so) then you'll probably want to pitch an additional yeast pack.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:59 PM   #5
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I bought the yeast last July with the kits from Northern Brewer. It sat in the fridge since then til last night when I made the starter. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier. The starter is a little over 12 hours old. So, just leave the flask out today with occasional swirling (I don't have a stir plate yet) throughout the day? Should I do another starter wort for it tonight or wait a couple more days? if I need to get a second pack, could I pitch it to my current starter or would I have to start over with the new pack?

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Old 02-09-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
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It's going to take at least 2 days for this starter to finish because of the low pitch rate. If you have quick access to a fresh smack pack I would go ahead and pitch it into the current starter. No need to do a new one.

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Old 02-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #7
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I don't have a fresh smack pack on me. I may just buy the dry yeast equivalent to save money unless the 1335 is that better of a yeast. It's for Dawson's Multigrain Red from Northern Brewer. I've made it before with the dry yeast and loved it.

Also if it's just a matter of time to build the yeast back up, I can do that too. I don't have to brew this batch anytime soon. I've waited 8 months. What's two-three more days? How many times would I have to step it up?

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