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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > When to give up on Yeast?
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #1
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Default When to give up on Yeast?

I started an Oktoberfest Ale on Saturday. I rehydrated the Nottingham dry yeast and pitched it, but I have seen no activity as of today.
This is my 6th beer and on all my other ones, I have seen krausen start to form and airlock activity(yes I know within 24-48 hours, so I am a little worried about this one. This was a Brewers Best Extract kit.
My SG was dead on at 1.52.
At what point to I start suspecting that the yeast was no good and I repitch?

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Old 08-25-2009, 06:54 PM   #2
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Are you sure it isn't fermenting right now? Have you taken a hydro reading?

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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Are you sure it isn't fermenting right now? Have you taken a hydro reading?
agreed take a hydro reading before you get worked up.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:02 PM   #4
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I have not took a hydro reading yet. I checked on it again this morning and still nothing.
I will give it one more day and take a hyrdo reading.
Shouldnt I atleast see something when the yeast starts working? Krausen on top or something?

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Old 08-26-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
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Usually you will see a krausen, but it might be small, and fall quickly. The ONLY way to tell is to take a hydro sample! If the gravity is the same as the OG, add more yeast. If it has dropped, it is fermenting.

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Old 08-26-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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Would it help if I swished the carboy around to suspend the yeast and maybe get it going again?

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Old 08-26-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Not if you've still not taken a gravity reading. Like said above, fermentation could have been small and quick and you just missed the kraussen. Doesn't mean it wasn't there.

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Old 08-26-2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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Did you take a hydrometer reading? Inquiring minds want to know

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Old 08-26-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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As you can see, you don't give up on a yeast, you don't swish yeast, you don't re-pitch yeast, you don't worry about yeast UNTIL, you take a hydrometer reading...

That's first and foremost of anything you do, or think of doing, including posting a "what to do thread" online.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligantly away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years....

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....

Your hydrometer is not your LAST resort in your mind after the thought of pitching more yeast, or shaking or doing anything...It should be the first thing you grab, if you are worried about your beer...even before posting an "is my beer ruined thread, or asking if something is wrong on here.

Unless you bought liguid yeast through the mail in the heat of summer, or added your yeast into boiling wort. your fermentation will happnen.

Yeast just don't not work anymore, that is an idea that came from the bad old days before homebrewing was legalized in 1978 when yeast came in hard cakes that travelled in hot cargo holds of ships and may have sat on a store shelf for god knows how long...But since 1978 yeast science has been ongoing and the yeasts of today, wet OR dry are going to work in 99.9% of the situations we have, if you give them the time to do so.

If you look at ALL these supposed stuck or not started fermentation threads you will see that over 90% of them are REALLY threads were the brewer equated airlock bubbling with fermentation, OR didn't wait long enough.....AND didn't use his hydromter to see what was going on....and over 90% of them, when the brewer took a reading he then was relieved to see that fermentation did indeed happen.

Your hydromter is really the only answer to knowing what is going on, and you will find you will have less worries when you use it, and trust that the yeast know what to do...and are in charge.

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Old 08-26-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
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Well I came home today and saw a very light layer of krausen on top and the airlock starting to chug. So once again, I started to worry for no reason.
This fermentation just took double the time than my previous 5 did.
Thanks to everyone for the tips. I just need to remember RDWHAHB!

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