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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Should I rehydrate yeast?
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
Tbnguy
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Default Should I rehydrate yeast?

I am brewing my first beer tomorrow, and just had a question about the yeast. I've read a lot of things that say to rehydrate the yeast first, but the directions that came with it (Brewers Best IPA) say to just sprinkle the packet on top of the wort once it is all in the fermenter, and stir it in. Does it make a big difference? Any advice for a first timer?

One more question if you don't mind. I don't have a basement and figure the best spot for the fermenter (bucket) is in my bedroom closet. I have been keeping the AC at about 72 degrees and the temp in my bedroom has been reading about 75. Is this going to be a problem?

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Old 07-26-2011, 01:59 AM   #2
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yes, rehydrate the yeast. i'm not an expert on the subject, but i seem to recall that you'll kill about half the yeast if you sprinkle on the wort.

and yes, you need much cooler temps to ferment clean. the ambient temp is going to be about 5-10 degrees cooler than the temp of the actual beer due to heat produced with fermentation. you can use the swamp cooler principle to keep your bucket within good fermentation temps.

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Old 07-26-2011, 02:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbnguy View Post
I am brewing my first beer tomorrow, and just had a question about the yeast. I've read a lot of things that say to rehydrate the yeast first, but the directions that came with it (Brewers Best IPA) say to just sprinkle the packet on top of the wort once it is all in the fermenter, and stir it in. Does it make a big difference? Any advice for a first timer?

One more question if you don't mind. I don't have a basement and figure the best spot for the fermenter (bucket) is in my bedroom closet. I have been keeping the AC at about 72 degrees and the temp in my bedroom has been reading about 75. Is this going to be a problem?
What ever the yeast package says just go ahead and do it, if it says hydrate go ahead. If it says just sprinkle, do that. I have sprinkled when it says hydrate and it was fine.. 75 may be a bit warm, do ya have a fridge ya can control the temp? if not a ice bath works well to, just get a rubbermaid container and fill with water, put ice in as needed...ya should be okay though, would suggest a blow off tube for the first few days if your closet is carpet just in case..
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:00 AM   #4
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here's a good link that describes the swamp cooler method.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/swamp-cooler-199965/

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Old 07-26-2011, 02:02 AM   #5
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and here's a little more info on rehydrating yeast. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/do-y...y-yeast-39949/

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Old 07-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. I think that I will rehydrate, and looks like I will be making some sort of swamp cooler. I hve a bunch of large empty rubbermaids so I'll double stack them and see how it goes. I just hope it doesn't get too warm on days where I am gone for 8 hours and can't add ice.

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Old 07-26-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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You'll be fine whether you rehydrate or not. I would be more concerned about your fermenting temps than the yeast. The swamp cooler works great. Maybe add an extra frozen water bottle when you leave for the day. I would rather have the temp get a little lower and then rise back to the desired temp, than to have it rise above it. If your closet stays at 75 I would bet (guesstimate) that the most it would rise would be 3-4 degrees over 8 hours.

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Old 07-26-2011, 01:43 PM   #8
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I've found that re-hydrating does make dry yeast take off a little faster. Not as fast or vigorously as a starter,but def better than pitching dry. It's just another way to make sure the yeast is viable,woke up,& ready to rock,ime.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Rehydrating dry yeast is almost always a good idea - assuming of course that you are sanitary and careful about your process. The homebrewing instructions on the packets are intended as the simplest, you-can't-screw-this-up procedure. But if you look at the same yeast manufacturer's websites for professional brewers, they all recommend rehydrating the yeast. Sprinkling the yeast directly on the wort certainly works, but rehydrating the yeast will give you a healthier fermentation.

As for the swamp cooler - you shouldn't need to worry about leaving it unattended for 8 hours - the thermal mass of the water in the cooler plus the liquid beer should be enough to maintain a cool enough temp (once you've gotten the temp down). Especially since your ambient air temp won't be drastically higher.

Good luck!

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Old 07-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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good practise to follow the yeast manufacturer's instructions, not the kit instructions. Also the yeast manufacturer's product sheet instructions (available on their website usually) could be different than what's printed on the package (can only fit so much info on the package). Best practise is to find out what the product sheet says, then do that--both in terms of pitching rate and in terms of whether or not to rehydrate (i.e. sometimes the manufacturer says rehydrating is not necessary depending on wort temperature). Also consult Mr. Malty for proper pitching rate--sometimes you need two packets.

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