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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > whoops, my yeast cells may be dead!
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:48 AM   #1
flyfishnc
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Default whoops, my yeast cells may be dead!

So, I brewed an AG on Friday. I bought my recipe from AHS and they shipped my stuff to me pretty quick. It was shipped out last Monday. I did decide to get the 'cold' pack thrown in with my yeast to keep them fresh. Maybe I was dreaming, but I figured they'd put it in a little dry ice container to keep them cool. That dang cold pack isn't worth two cent when it takes 5 days to get your recipe... in the summer.

Anyhoo... lesson learned, buy the yeast local...

So, I had an OG of 1.055 (shooting for 1.060) after it was all said and done. Brew session went great and chilled the wort w/ a counterflow chiller down to 78 - 80 degrees. I pitched the yeast, sealed my bucket and put it in the closet. It's been 75 in there for almost 5 days and very VERY little airlock activity. So, I called AHS today and they "yeah, your yeast cells are probably dead". They then suggested that I take another gravity reading to see if there was a leak in my fermenting bucket. For the record, there wasn't a leak in my bucket; the seal was pretty good.

I took a sample just a few minutes ago and my gravity is still at 1.055. There is a little off smell, not really a rotten smell but kinda like old, stale, nasty smelling beer coming from my sample. Now, I have never smelled any beer / wort before it has finished fermenting so this may be normal....

My question is if I go buy a new yeast vial and pitch it, what can I expect? Should I make a starter for it? Should I dump the batch because of this old / stale odor? I'm not real sure so I look to you guys for help.


Eric

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Old 07-07-2010, 03:14 AM   #2
Beernik
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If it was me, I'd get new yeast and pitch it asap.

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Old 07-07-2010, 05:26 AM   #3
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Did you taste it? I'd be leary at 5 days in the mid 70's with an off smell that you have contamination. If it tastes fine then go ahead and repitch. If not I'd dump it and start again. Sorry.

You should also keep some dry yeast around in your fridge for situations like this unless you have a LHBS close by.

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Old 07-07-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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I did taste it and it didn't taste like it did when it was put in the bucket. It was bitter and a little hoppy (but it is an IPA) and had a wang kinda to it. I guess there isn't a real way to tell if it's infected, is it?

I do have some dry yeast at home, but was going to run by the LHBS during lunch and buy a new vial of White Labs and pitch it when I get home today.

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Old 07-07-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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At this point you're probably better off using the dry yeast.

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Old 07-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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I'd pitch pack of us-05 ASAP. You didn't mention a starter in your post. This should always be done especially if the vial wasn't under optimal conditions for some while.

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