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lane7505

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I brewed a batch of hefeweizen 2 days ago. I used Wyeast 3068 with the smack pack inside. I popped the pouch inside and let it sit at about 72 or so degrees for about 5 hours before I pitched it. The package said to let it sit for at least 3 hours at that temp to where I should start to see it swell up. It never did, but I pitched it anyway. 36 hours later there is no activity in the fermenter. I'm confident that I didn't contaminate the wort and used all of the proper sanitation. My question is, what should I do? I don't want to waste all of the money or time invested. I don't have a local homebrew shop, but I ordered some new yeast to try to pitch. It'll be 2 days before it arrives. Can I put my beer in the fridge until the new yeast arrives and let it warm up or maybe try boiling the contents of my fermenter on the day the yeast comes, cool it to pitching temp, pitch, and then see what happens? Any other suggestions welcome!
 

Soulshine2

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your yeast works between 68-75*F so if you let it set at 72 it should have been good.
I had a similar problem the one and only time I used a liquid smack pack myself, so I no longer use liquid yeast . Besides it coming almost 3 days later than expected(ice packs were warm) For all I know it was in a postal vehicle en route and it got above a temperature that would kill it. Maybe the Postal worker stopped for lunch and it was hot out. They have no idea whats in the box. For whatever reason, I've read more than a few instances where this lag or lack or activity has happened. I'll stick to my dry packet yeast, it works.

FWIW, when I make my hefs I use WB-06 (dry) and adhere to the working temps on the packet without any problems. I get good clove/banana balance.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Well, even old yeast would eventually become active. Is it possible your yeast became too hot during shipping? Was it still cool when you unpacked it? That would be the likely scenario that I can think of for totally inactive yeast. Purchasing dry yeast during the hot months might be a good strategy depending where one lives.
 
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lane7505

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your yeast works between 68-75*F so if you let it set at 72 it should have been good.
I had a similar problem the one and only time I used a liquid smack pack myself, so I no longer use liquid yeast . Besides it coming almost 3 days later than expected(ice packs were warm) For all I know it was in a postal vehicle en route and it got above a temperature that would kill it. Maybe the Postal worker stopped for lunch and it was hot out. They have no idea whats in the box. For whatever reason, I've read more than a few instances where this lag or lack or activity has happened. I'll stick to my dry packet yeast, it works.

FWIW, when I make my hefs I use WB-06 (dry) and adhere to the working temps on the packet without any problems. I get good clove/banana balance.
Thanks for the yeast recommendation. Mine came pretty warm and with ice pack with nothing but water in it. It was a very small ice pack that was sent with it too. Probably the last time I order from this particular company as I had other issues with my order too and their customer service wasn't very good either. Any thoughts on pitching yeast when the new packet arrives? Chill or maybe boil the fermenter contents again?
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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If you are sure your yeast is coming in 2 days you should be able to let it ride, just keep the fermenter sealed up. I have had yeast lag as much as 3 days for seeing activity, it may cause a little bit of nail biting, but should be fine at indoor temperatures. With that said if you have the means to keep it cool it won’t hurt anything to do that. The only reason I would pasteurize it is if it became contaminated... like a bug got into it.
 
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lane7505

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that's encouraging to hear. I hope I'll see the activity start when I get home this evening and go from there, but I ordered some yeast that says it will arrive on Thursday that I can pitch if there is still no activity. Thanks for the input.
 

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Any thoughts on pitching yeast when the new packet arrives?
Is that also liquid yeast? You may have similar problems. What made you think it wouldn't this time?

That's why it's advised to always make starters with liquid yeast. It a) proves viability (it's a-live!) and b) ramps up cell count, necessary for a proper pitch. A fresh pack has around 100 billion cells, which is skimpy for most beers, especially when older and/or mishandled (e.g., overheated or frozen during shipping).
 

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Is that also liquid yeast? You may have similar problems. What made you think it wouldn't this time?

That's why it's advised to always make starters with liquid yeast. It a) proves viability (it's a-live!) and b) ramps up cell count, necessary for a proper pitch. A fresh pack has around 100 billion cells, which is skimpy for most beers, especially when older and/or mishandled (e.g., overheated or frozen during shipping).
This plus having one or two us05 or your favourite dry yeast of your choice in the fridge just in case... They will last ages in the fridge and the one day your mash is already mashing and you discover that your starter is basically dead, you will be really happy to have it.
 

IslandLizard

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I urge you to check out a yeast calculator, such as HomebrewDad's, to get an idea of yeast age, viability, cell counts, and how to make more yeast. It's easy.

A vitality starter is the least you should do, but if it doesn't take off, you have a fermenter with wort and not much yeast to pitch.

Having a few dry yeast packs in the freezer is good insurance. Frozen and unopened dry yeast even keeps a few years past expiration date. Using a dry yeast instead, the brew may not be exactly what you intended, but at least you'll have beer.
 

kh54s10

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What was said above about making starters. I know the package says that it is good for 5 gallon batches. But, IMO, it is not. Maybe if you were at the door of the lab, took the yeast home and pitched it the same day as it was packaged. Liquid yeast cells start dying off right away so by the time you get the package who really knows how many cells are left alive.

Wyeast advises that sometimes the package will swell some even before breaking the nutrient pack and that sometimes it will not swell after breaking the pack and still be good. That is another reason for making at least a vitality starter. With doing that you will know if the yeast is alive before pitching it into the wort.

That said, 36 hours is a bit on the short end to decide you have a problem. Have you taken a gravity measurement to know that there is no fermentation?

I would hope that it goes, keep the vessel sealed with airlock in place, pitch the new yeast when it arrives if you don't have activity by then. I would not go through cooling, boiling, cooling then pitching. If your sanitation was good that should not be necessary. If I was to go the route of trying to stop any infection, I would just cool to 40 -50 degrees, then warm it back up to pitch the new yeast.
 
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lane7505

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Is that also liquid yeast? You may have similar problems. What made you think it wouldn't this time?

That's why it's advised to always make starters with liquid yeast. It a) proves viability (it's a-live!) and b) ramps up cell count, necessary for a proper pitch. A fresh pack has around 100 billion cells, which is skimpy for most beers, especially when older and/or mishandled (e.g., overheated or frozen during shipping).
I'd ordered liquid again, but from a place that I trust much better than where I got what was messed up from. I ordered some dry as backup after Soulshine2 recommended WB-06 as a dry option.
 
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lane7505

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What was said above about making starters. I know the package says that it is good for 5 gallon batches. But, IMO, it is not. Maybe if you were at the door of the lab, took the yeast home and pitched it the same day as it was packaged. Liquid yeast cells start dying off right away so by the time you get the package who really knows how many cells are left alive.

Wyeast advises that sometimes the package will swell some even before breaking the nutrient pack and that sometimes it will not swell after breaking the pack and still be good. That is another reason for making at least a vitality starter. With doing that you will know if the yeast is alive before pitching it into the wort.

That said, 36 hours is a bit on the short end to decide you have a problem. Have you taken a gravity measurement to know that there is no fermentation?

I would hope that it goes, keep the vessel sealed with airlock in place, pitch the new yeast when it arrives if you don't have activity by then. I would not go through cooling, boiling, cooling then pitching. If your sanitation was good that should not be necessary. If I was to go the route of trying to stop any infection, I would just cool to 40 -50 degrees, then warm it back up to pitch the new yeast.
With no krausen or airlock activity, I didn't check the gravity. I figured I would this evening. I was a little short on time for being able to make a starter for my yeast and with the lower expected OG of my hefe I figured it would be fine. Lesson learned there.
 

Miraculix

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I'd ordered liquid again, but from a place that I trust much better than where I got what was messed up from. I ordered some dry as backup after Soulshine2 recommended WB-06 as a dry option.
Wb06 is falsely advertised as German wheat, genetic tests showed that it is more of a Belgian yeast, but anyway, it will certainly make beer!
 

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Either pitch the WB-06 or make a "vitality starter" with the liquid yeast. Look up "shaken-not-stirred" starter, it's a good alternative to a stirplate starter, but does need some periodic attention (shake) every few hours. Give it 4 hours minimum. Oh, you'll need 100 grams of DME to make a liter of starter wort.

Once you verified fermentation hasn't started by the time the new yeasts arrive, the safest is to pitch the WB-06.

Then save the pouch of liquid yeast (in the fridge) for another brew. And prepare yourself to make starters from now on when pitching liquid yeast. You should start starters from "unknown quality yeast" (shipped through mail/UPS/Fedex, etc.) about a week before brewing. The best thing about making larger starters is, you can save some out for a next brew, and then again, and again. That alone saves money, and not having to deal with shipping yeast during hot or frozen seasons.

No LHBS in your area?
 
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I don't order liquid yeast online during the late Spring through the Fall for the reasons mentioned above. Even when I use locally purchased liquid yeast (I prefer Wyeast) I always make a starter based on the calculator in BeerSmith.
I've been using the Propper canned wort of late and its works great, too.
I do use dry about 50% of the time. London ESB, Belle Saison, US-05/04, BRY-97.
 
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lane7505

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Either pitch the WB-06 or make a "vitality starter" with the liquid yeast. Look up "shaken-not-stirred" starter, it's a good alternative to a stirplate starter, but does need some periodic attention (shake) every few hours. Give it 4 hours minimum. Oh, you'll need 100 grams of DME to make a liter of starter wort.

Once you verified fermentation hasn't started by the time the new yeasts arrive, the safest is to pitch the WB-06.

Then save the pouch of liquid yeast (in the fridge) for another brew. And prepare yourself to make starters from now on when pitching liquid yeast. You should start starters from "unknown quality yeast" (shipped through mail/UPS/Fedex, etc.) about a week before brewing. The best thing about making larger starters is, you can save some out for a next brew, and then again, and again. That alone saves money, and not having to deal with shipping yeast during hot or frozen seasons.

No LHBS in your area?
I usually make starters and use a stir plate, but just didn't have the amount of time I usually do and with the lower OG to start, I expected to be fine. Which I guess I would have, if the yeast was in good shape. Likely no more liquid yeast will be ordered by me in the colder months. I'd have to drive about an hour and a half each way to get to a homebrew shop. Not a problem on the weekends, but through the week not so much. Thanks for all of your input.
 

Soulshine2

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Thanks for the yeast recommendation. Mine came pretty warm and with ice pack with nothing but water in it. It was a very small ice pack that was sent with it too. Probably the last time I order from this particular company as I had other issues with my order too and their customer service wasn't very good either. Any thoughts on pitching yeast when the new packet arrives? Chill or maybe boil the fermenter contents again?
as long as you boiled it and chilled it , and are keeping a seal ...it should be fine. Might want to rock the fermenter a little to get some aeration before pitching .
 

Soulshine2

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Wb06 is falsely advertised as German wheat, genetic tests showed that it is more of a Belgian yeast, but anyway, it will certainly make beer!
whatever it is advertised as. I've used it in hefs and have had a hef when it was done.
 

Soulshine2

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This plus having one or two us05 or your favourite dry yeast of your choice in the fridge just in case... They will last ages in the fridge and the one day your mash is already mashing and you discover that your starter is basically dead, you will be really happy to have it.
I agree. I ordered dry pack yeast in multiples last fall . I think I have 2 to 4 packs of something appropriate should I happen to forget .
 

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I usually make starters and use a stir plate, but just didn't have the amount of time I usually do and with the lower OG to start, I expected to be fine. Which I guess I would have, if the yeast was in good shape. Likely no more liquid yeast will be ordered by me in the colder months. I'd have to drive about an hour and a half each way to get to a homebrew shop. Not a problem on the weekends, but through the week not so much. Thanks for all of your input.
Yup, definitely make starters from shipped yeast unless you're certain there was no way it could have been exposed to extreme conditions from a yeast's point of view.

Since we really don't know her whereabouts, I make it a habit to always make starters from new yeast packs, whether shipped or bought in my LHBS, which stock an unbelievable selection of yeast, pretty much a full line of White Labs, including their seasonals. Average age is around 3-4 months. A single sleeve of 3 months old Alt yeast (WLP036) took 3 rounds to grow enough for two 5 gallon pitches plus stowing away a decent reserve.

Driving 3 hours RT for brewing supplies makes no sense unless you stock up for a year, or have other business there. :)

Colder months... ?
 
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lane7505

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Yup, definitely make starters from shipped yeast unless you're certain there was no way it could have been exposed to extreme conditions from a yeast's point of view.

Since we really don't know her whereabouts, I make it a habit to always make starters from new yeast packs, whether shipped or bought in my LHBS, which stock an unbelievable selection of yeast, pretty much a full line of White Labs, including their seasonals. Average age is around 3-4 months. A single sleeve of 3 months old Alt yeast (WLP036) took 3 rounds to grow enough for two 5 gallon pitches plus stowing away a decent reserve.

Driving 3 hours RT for brewing supplies makes no sense unless you stock up for a year, or have other business there. :)

Colder months... ?
Oops! I knew what I meant, but I typed it wrong. Warmer months, obviously. :) I'm happy to report that the beer is officially showing signs of life with a little krausen and airlock activity to boot! Now to wait the extra fermentation time that I wasn't expecting. Oh well. At least I've learned from it and that's key. Cheers!
 

IslandLizard

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Oops! I knew what I meant, but I typed it wrong. Warmer months, obviously. :) I'm happy to report that the beer is officially showing signs of life with a little krausen and airlock activity to boot! Now to wait the extra fermentation time that I wasn't expecting. Oh well. At least I've learned from it and that's key. Cheers!
Ah, good to hear she's working. No need to pitch more now.

Raise the temps a few degrees when she starts to slow down to keep her engaged.
 

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Morebeer is a good option for liquid yeast if you're in the US. I don't love ordering liquid during summer either but I haven't had issues the times I've done it with them, although I pay the extra $4 for the insulated shipper with 2 ice packs. They have distribution centers in CA and PA and usually get your stuff to you in 2 days.
 

kh54s10

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Morebeer is a good option for liquid yeast if you're in the US. I don't love ordering liquid during summer either but I haven't had issues the times I've done it with them, although I pay the extra $4 for the insulated shipper with 2 ice packs. They have distribution centers in CA and PA and usually get your stuff to you in 2 days.
Look carefully for in stock or out of stock on your particular coast. There was a recent thread with an order that included yeast. It was going to the east coast somewhere and the OP expected it from PA. They were out and it was shipped from CA without any notice that was going to happen.

I don't know how good they are at notifying you of which branch an item will ship from in an out of stock at one branch situation.
 

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Look carefully for in stock or out of stock on your particular coast. There was a recent thread with an order that included yeast. It was going to the east coast somewhere and the OP expected it from PA. They were out and it was shipped from CA without any notice that was going to happen.

I don't know how good they are at notifying you of which branch an item will ship from in an out of stock at one branch situation.
When you checkout it tells you where it's shipping from and when they expect it to be delivered(typically 2 days for me), before you have to submit your order. It's pretty transparent and easy to figure out if it's a good decision or not. I saw the other thread and the user must've just not paid attention in the checkout window.
 

Gregory T

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Morebeer is a good option for liquid yeast if you're in the US. I don't love ordering liquid during summer either but I haven't had issues the times I've done it with them, although I pay the extra $4 for the insulated shipper with 2 ice packs. They have distribution centers in CA and PA and usually get your stuff to you in 2 days.
I received morebeer yeast that was 5 months old when I got it. 2 packs at full price. just say no to morebeer liquid yeasts
 

Gregory T

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you might add some dry yeast to help out sounds like your yeast might have some viability issues. this could create issues reaching FG. you might wanna make a starter in the future.
 

VirginiaHops1

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I received morebeer yeast that was 5 months old when I got it. 2 packs at full price. just say no to morebeer liquid yeasts
The few issues I've had with MB they've made it right. If that yeast didn't work well I'd bring it up to them and they'd probably be willing to do something. Unfortunately I hate my one close LHBS so I order most of my stuff online. AIH is another place I like that has really good customer service, although I've never ordered liquid yeast from them. I like supporting the independent ones over Northernbrewer/Midwest if I can help it.
 

Gregory T

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The few issues I've had with MB they've made it right. If that yeast didn't work well I'd bring it up to them and they'd probably be willing to do something. Unfortunately I hate my one close LHBS so I order most of my stuff online. AIH is another place I like that has really good customer service, although I've never ordered liquid yeast from them. I like supporting the independent ones over Northernbrewer/Midwest if I can help it.

They eventually refunded my money. The problem is I am never gonna pitch 5 month old liquid yeast in my beer. If they are willing to send me 5 month old yeast, I’m not going to buy their yeast
 

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Boiling and cooling if you still have no activity when your yeast arrives is a good idea. No matter how clean your brewing is, there is most likely some bacteria in there and its going to have a 4 day start on the yeast.
 

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