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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > No yeast for a week. Is it ruined?
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:24 AM   #1
Cromwell
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Default No yeast for a week. Is it ruined?

I'm not really a nub, but I"ve never had this happen. I had made a starter for my Maibock a couple of weeks earlier, and let it sit in the fridge until I got ready to brew. It was a big starter, but it grew just fine and was only a couple of weeks old.

But I brewed last week and pitched the starter, and there was just no activity whatsoever for a full week. At first I thought it was just slow to start, then I thought it was extra slow because it was at 50 degrees. By the time I figured out it wasn't going to take off, I couldn't get more yeast for a couple of days.

But the wort stayed at 50 degrees the whole time, and was hopefully sanitary. I rack straight from a closed kettle into an almost closed and sanitized conical, so not much contact with the outside world.

What are the chances it's ok? Have people let wort sit, semi-chilled for a week and everything ends up fine?

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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For whatever reason, the last few ales I've made have had absolutely no "signs" of fermentation in the traditional sense. No real bubbling in the airlock, only a slight krausen, etc. but all have finished out in the appropriate range. Are you able to take a refractometer reading (or if you've got more wort to spare and a sanitary racking process, a hydrometer reading)?

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:39 AM   #3
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It should be fine. Only way to know for sure is take a reading. Can you see any krausen at all? I'd be shocked if properly sanitized yeast wouldn't ferment beer just from a little nap at 50 deg.

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:20 AM   #4
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Most lager ferments aren't that exciting anyway. No beer fountains from stuck blow-off tubes, etc. like you can get with ales.
So how do you tell what's going on? By taking samples.
A LOT of people underestimate the amount of yeast required to do a proper lager pitch as well. If you pitched small, the yeast may well be busy reproducing. Again, measuring will tell you what's going on.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:38 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, but no, there was no fermentation. Not just no bubbles - the wort was totally sweet. Didn't even need to do a reading, it tasted just like it was out of the kettle.

I bought new yeast on Saturday and pitched it Saturday night, and now it's fermenting just fine. So I have no idea why the original yeast died, but I guess they did.
And I've underpitched now, since I couildn't afford $20 or more for yeast and couldn't make a starter.

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