Bad/inactive yeast?

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bendog15

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Brewed a grand cru yesterday. My yeast starter I had made 24 hours previous (wlp500) seemed to be pretty dead. I went ahead and pitched it anyways, cuz I don't have any other yeast. Checked my carboy today and it has about 1/2 inch of Krausen on it, no visible airlock activity.
It's possible that I may have got an old or not-so-fresh vial. Will the yeast cells regenerate in my beer and multiply like crazy? Or are we talking a half-ass fermentation that will stop before target gravity.
Also, I've got another vial coming in a couple days. Should I pitch the new vial into the carboy? Or is that asking for trouble?


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fartinmartin

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You doubt your yeast , but you have half inch of krausen? I wonder what's causing that then ? Tongue is firmly in my cheek.
 

hercher

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There is no need to pitch any additional yeast. Don't worry about whether you see visible airlock activity -- that means absolutely nothing whatsoever. In all likelihood, CO2 is escaping around the stopper, lid, or somewhere else. Also remember, CO2, like liquid, will follow the path of least resistance. Your krausen is the sign of fermentation. If you doubt it, take a gravity reading. If specific gravity has dropped, you are fine. If not, you'll want to take another reading when your new vial arrives.
 
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bendog15

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Thanks fartinmartin. I doubt the yeast because I've used the same strain in the past and the result was a vigorous fermentation. Massive Krausen head and airlock going crazy. Maybe this vial is off to a slow start.


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fartinmartin

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The brew, the temperature when pitched, the temperature now, the airation and loads of other things will affect it. The vigorous ferments with massive foam are not necessarily good signs, when happens to me I am sure that is due to poor temperature control and the brew is too warm. That frantic first day or two for me is really unwanted. I would keep your brew coolish 60-64 and just watch it progress. I wouldn't pitch any more yeast yet. I would take an SG reading after seven or eight days and hope to be pleasantly surprised .
 
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