Yeast Death

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Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2007
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Palmdale, CA
I recently made a cider and left in in a carboy to age for a month or so. When I bottled I added the usual amount of corn sugar to give it carbonation. I just opened the first one 4 weeks after bottling and there is no carbonation.

In this case it isn't a bad thing, my next apfelwein batch I don't think I will carbonate.

Is there anyway to tell if the yeast is dead the next time I plan on carbonating a batch or do people generally add yeast in again when aging something and if you do add yeast what type of yeast should you use?

My main concern about this is I plan on doing the 08-08-08 Russian Imperial Stout(late start I know) in the next few weeks and when I finally bottle it I don't want to open up a flat beer a few weeks later.
What temperature are you holding the bottles at? I try to hold my bottles at the ferment temperature to carbonate. 4 weeks is long, but did you hear anything when you pried the cap? Also, did you try the Cider in the bottle and if so how was it in terms of carbonation on the tongue?

I personally have never had to add yeast, even after several months of aging in a carboy. I have done it with Lagers as a security though. All you need is to sprinkle a tiny bit of dry yeast (I prefer Lager, that way it can go right into my cool cellar) into the carboy a few days before bottling.
Bottles were kept at 65-72 F. I recall a very faint psh noise when I opened. I'll try checking another bottle later tonight and report back. Thanks.
Just to test the yeast, warm one bottle up to like 80 degrees by leaving it on top of a TV or something. Then leave it at room temp for a couple more days. If there are any live yeast in there, it will be carbed. If that works out, take each bottle and invert it and swirl it to re-suspend the yeast. Then wait another week or two and try one again.
It seems to me that Cider tends to allow for more C02 to stay in the actual liquid other than forming a head. I am not sure how much sense that makes or if it is entirely true, but that is just how it seemed to me. F'instance, last year's batch I carbed by priming with more than 5 oz Corn Sugar for 5 gallons. (may have even been 6 iirc). It is well carbonated but more like a thing where you see the bubbles cascading up in the liquid and not so much as a head. In fact I don't recall anything but a faint brief head (been a while since I have had some).