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Old 06-15-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
neilb
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Default My Wyeast is dead!

Did a wonderful brew of IPA yesterday. Got Wyeast 1318 for it, and after some trouble smacked it so the inner packet broke.

It puffed up slightly, but no where near what it should've. I didn't have any other yeast so I figured maybe we're looking at a slow starter and pitched it anyway (the inner packet was broken).

24+ hours now and the only sign of fermentation is some condensation. No krausen, no scum ring, no air lock activity, nothing.

Needless to say I'm pretty pissed off that liquid yeast has let me down like this. Never had any problems with the Coopers yeast I've used before. Was thinking this "upgrade" in yeast would be even better.

Hopefully it will kick in....but I'm not optimistic. The IPA smelt and looked so good too. I feel like crying.



ps. I know.....make a starter.

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Old 06-15-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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Good thing I read the post script. That being said, you shouldn't be pissed at the Yeast for letting you down. Since you knew you needed to make a starter, you let yourself down. Liquid Yeast is an "upgrade", you just have to follow directions.

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Old 06-15-2008, 07:31 PM   #3
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If it began to swell, it's alive. You underpitched, and it'll take a couple days to get going.

That being said, you might get some funky esters, give it a little extra time in primary to let the yeast reabsorb it.

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Homebrewer View Post
Liquid Yeast is an "upgrade", you just have to follow directions.
Well, technically he did follow directions. I wish they'd stop advertising liquid yeast as "directly pitch-able," as you really do need a starter to guarantee good results. Almost every time I'm at my LHBS, I see a newbie getting setup with a hardware kit and ingredients, and they always push the smack-packs...with no mention of making a starter. I always feel like telling them "Hey, is this your first batch? Try a packet of Nottingham!"

If it still hasn't started after a couple of days, I'd suggest sprinkling in a packet of Safale S-04, that ought to give results similar to the Wyeast strain you used. It will take off right quick, I promise you that. Try to always keep a few packets of dry yeast around, just for such occasions. I keep Nottingham, US-05 and S-04 in my fridge at all times.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:41 PM   #5
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I beg to differ good Sir. On the front of the Wyeast Propagater (Smack Pack), it says, "Pure Yeast for propagation before brewing" and, "Designed for propagating to larger volumes". Then on the back, it describes in detail how to make a starter.

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Old 06-15-2008, 09:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Homebrewer View Post
I beg to differ good Sir. On the front of the Wyeast Propagater (Smack Pack), it says, "Pure Yeast for propagation before brewing" and, "Designed for propagating to larger volumes". Then on the back, it describes in detail how to make a starter.
That's just the propagator smack pack. The more commonly sold activator pack is advertised as "designed to inoculate five gallons of wort (up to 1.060 SG) providing the pitching rate recommended by professional brewers." But in actual practice, it's often not up to the job, and should always be used with a starter. The same holds true with the White Labs vials, which they claim are "designed to be used directly in 5 gallons."

Since the OP pitched directly, I assumed he was using an activator pack. Maybe he can clarify.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:57 PM   #7
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Yeah, it was the activator pack. My OG was 1.040 and I'm only brewing a 20L batch.

The package did swell, but very slightly. Don't know how much of that was any progress or whether that was the package coming up to room temperature.

First time using liquid yeast, and I am still new to this so I try to introduce one new thing each time. I'm just gutted because this is the best smelling brew I've done so far and I was really optimistic for an excellent brew.

Hopefully it will start.....hopefully.

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Old 06-15-2008, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilb View Post
The package did swell, but very slightly. Don't know how much of that was any progress or whether that was the package coming up to room temperature.

First time using liquid yeast, and I am still new to this so I try to introduce one new thing each time. I'm just gutted because this is the best smelling brew I've done so far and I was really optimistic for an excellent brew.

Hopefully it will start.....hopefully.
You'll know when they activate correctly...it will swell so much that you're sure it's going to explode!

Your beer will be alright. Just be ready with that dry yeast in the event that your other yeast fails to get going. All will be well!
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:27 PM   #9
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If there wasn't active yeast in the package then it wouldn't have expanded at all. What's your hydrometer reading at? While fermentation usually produces krausen, it's not an absolute.

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Old 06-16-2008, 12:05 AM   #10
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Will take a reading tomorrow evening if still no signs.

Lesson from this brew (and there always is one I find) is to keep dry yeast around - I have none!

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