starting a yeast


I'm new to this, so this may be a silly question...
I'm using a Woodforde's Norfolk Ale kit. The instructions say to rehydrate the yeast in a little cooled boiled water before adding it to the wort.
I did so, but there was no sign of life from the yeast when I added it. What sat in the cup was just a pinky-grey liquid, with no signs of bubbles or foam as I would have expected.
I've added it to the wort and am waiting with baited breath for action. In the meantime - am I wrong to expect the yeast to 'wake up' and foam in water only?
Reply to
Pete

When you cooled it down, it was at what temp when you added yeast? You should rehydrate in warm (think body temp) water. Too cold and it won't reactivate; too hot and you kill it.
Reply to
msclvr

No, there's usually some activity in water alone, but much more in a starter solution. At about 5-10 minutes after putting it in warm water there should be a bumpy surface of yeast on the water, and a little foam develops, in an hour or two this sinks to the bottom and there is little activity (in plain water). Dry yeast will remain active for a very long time in the packet, but poor storage conditions, or a small hole in the foil can shorten the life. Likewise, putting it in water that is too hot will kill it. Lukewarm water is about right.
MHO better to start in a weak wort rather than water and start well before pitching to give the yeast a head start.
The question is how long in the fermenter and is there any activity? At 12 hours I'd worry about it; at 20 hours with little or no activity, I'd go for some fresh yeast.
Any yeast (even baker's yeast) is better than weak or dead yeast. Baker's yeast may be your last resort, but it will make beer.
I'm bound to be castigated for that statement, but I had to try it and frankly couldn't really tell a difference from tried and true Nottingham ale yeast in the finished product. The fermentation was faster and it smelled more yeasty while fermenting.
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Thanks for the info - I think I must have killed the yeast, as there's no sign of life in the wort after 6 hours. Can I just add the contents of a spare sachet to the wort now?
Reply to
Pete

You can add dry yeast at any time (some recipes even call for a second pitching a week into the fermentation). The question would be: do you trust the yeast? If you believe it to be viable yeast you can either rehydrate it or pitch it dry into the fermenter.
If you are working with a carboy, I'd pitch it then rock the carboy. With a plastic bucket, scatter it over the whole surface and close the lid and wait.
One assumes you read up on the craft and know enough to cool, aerate, and thoroughly mix the wort before pitching the yeast . . . Wort that isn't aerated or mixed well will be slow starting.
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Yes, I read the books first and aerated the wort with a (sterilised) whisk first. But I think I made a basic mistake and killed the original yeast by not waiting lonmg enough for the rehydrating water to cool.; You live and learn, unlike the yeast....
Reply to
Pete

=----
6 hours is WAY too soon to be worrying about it...
--------->Denny
--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

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Reply to
Denny Conn

On Tue, 05 Apr 2005 10:05:24 -0400, default said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
Let's not be so sloppy with terms. About 68-70 degrees is right. My "lukewarm" could be your "cold".
Read the info any yeast company gives out for free. Rehydrate dry yeast in water - wort can damage cell walls in dry yeast. Then, if you want to make a starter (not needed with dry yeast - there are enough cells in the packet for even a 10 gallon batch), start in wort of the same general kind (if not exactly the same wort) as the yeast will be fermenting.
Nah - any homebrew that isn't spoiled is better than tossing 5 gallons of spoiled wort.
Reply to
Al Klein

On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 09:12:19 -0700, Denny Conn said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
Yep. I've had good beer that didn't start for over 24 hours. One or two of those erupted like Vesuvius later. Many of them started slowly and fermented slowly for longer than usual. The only thing that matters is what it tastes like after it's finished, carbonated and chilled.
Reply to
Al Klein

OK "lukewarm" is barely warm to the touch or slightly above 98.6 F. I'm not recommending fermenting wort at that temperature just getting the yeast started. 105 is probably starting to kill off some yeasts (some baker's yeast will tolerate 115)
When "starting" (as opposed to rehydrating) yeast, the idea is to get the cell count up, get the dry yeast used to the new living conditions and ready to go. The end objective is fast fermentation when pitched to avoid a wild yeast or bacteria getting established. The ideal starter (and conditions) is not the ideal brewing temperature. Different goals.
best idea, probably kills more cells then it helps, but one can use a little bit of sugar to speed it up (or rehydrate and then put in starter wort - but that requires two boiled liquids and is more time consuming and uses more energy). Just rehydrating will work - but I want to see the bubbles and smell the yeast before committing it to the wort.
I do what works for me - pitching rehydrated or dry yeast is always slower fermenting than my starter. My goal: blow-off in less than 6 hours, bubbles in >Baker's yeast may be your last resort, but it will make beer.
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Reply to
default

when i use an original yeast i tend to add it to low temperature water, with corn sugar. sometimes i will add a B vitamin to it. rare yet an idea to consider.
the urge to get a molten vat of broth and convert it into beer is slightly overstated.
technology evades some.
a cool wort is good for you. bacterial infection is becum a big thing
i use only high temp components in my beer. you got a balloon you got an unused condom (non lubricated) then you have a stopper for accidental infection.
my yeast uis built the day before i make beer, i happen to keep it beside my sour dough yeast.
things grow in the fridge not neccesarily good for yeast.
that green thing on the second shelf should be caught, shot or trapped.
rip off your condom or balloon or whatever, and give your jug the fully active yeast.
Reply to
dug88

Don't forget to save some trub in a beer bottle for your next batch to brew or a couple of bottles while your at it. Yea, I've had good beer that hasn't started for over 24 hours too.
Reply to
G_Cowboy_is_That_a_Gnu_Hurd?

On Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:16:16 -0500, G_Cowboy_is_That_a_Gnu_Hurd? said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
Or a few pounds in the fermenting bucket. :)
*There's* one way to get fermentation to start fast.
Reply to
Al Klein

they pack it with nutrients aka sugar to get it hopping things not to do do not stick a yeast pack on the dash of your car in the blazing sun. never buy economy for fast sale yeast. and if it does not have an expiry date on the pack it is already expired. cooled boiled water, always sounds awesome. try cold to fingers water. hey dude if you can drink the cold water so can your yeast. g luck dug88
Reply to
dug88

Pete, Contrary to what some people say, all yeast should be "woken up" by putting it in a starter batch 1-3 days before you actually brew, but again, it's a matter of preference. Keep in mind too, depending on the strain of yeast it can take 2-24 hours for it to do anything, you won't see instantaneous action.
Some people like to make a starter from liquor & DME boiled for 20-30 minutes (don't forget to remove the pot from the heat before adding the DME to prevent scorching) and cooled to pitching temp (each yeast is different so pay attention to the package). Unless you have a thick check book, this can get expensive since DME is rather pricy.
Others, like myself, prefer to keep in my tradition of all-graining by brewing a mini batch of the beer I'm making and pitch it in there (flavor continuity). Once you see your yeast starter bubbling, you know you have potent yeast and you can start brewing the full batch.
To make my mini batch I mash 1 lb of base malt grain + a sprinkle of each specialty grains/adjuncts in 1 1/2 US Quarts of liquor at 150-160F, sparge with 3/4 QT 160F liquor, boil for 30 minutes or until the total volume is under 1 QT, cool, pitch yeast and wait.
I once read the analogy of hiring people off the street to build your house....or hiring a licensed contractor to build your house. Thats the difference of sprinkling dry yeast into your wort vs. using a yeast starter that has been bubbling a couple days before you pitch it.
Try it once, brew a 2 gallon batch, split it into 2 primary fermenters, pitch some dry yeast in one and pitch your 2 day old yeast starter thats bubbling like crazy and watch the difference. You'll be amazed.
You don't need a lot of extra equipment to do this, I recycled an empty US Quart sized vinegar jar with the small mouth, purchased a small rubber stopper that fit it and an airlock all for less than $2. Works great. Make sure your starter wort is cooled before adding it to a glass jar or bad things happen. Also make sure the starter jar is sanitized properly as well and aerate, aerate, aerate!!! Another option is getting a canning jar, lid & lock, drilling a hole in it to accomodate a grommet, pop your airlock in there and go, go, go!!
There's always a good chance that the yeast included in most kits is dead, splurge on a pack of Muntons or Safale (Not bad for dry yeast), or if you're doing an English try Nottingham or Winsor. It never hurts to have an extra pack of yeast on hand either in the event you get a stuck or slow fermentation or the pack in the kit truly is dead.
Liquids are a whole other story, to me are very expensive but worth the price since you can always recover them after primary and save them in their original tube. There are so many out there and each one is specifically tailored to a style or type of beer. Again, personal preference. I've never had a bad batch of beer from dry yeast, but they can all taste the same even with different ingredients, I have had batches that failed or flat out did nothing with liquid yeast, I should have just tossed the $7 out the car window as I was driving home. In my opinion, yeast is 75% of brewing, 24% is sanitation and that last 1% is ingredients.
Sorry this was so long, but I wanted to cover as much as possible to give you some extra info rather than just throw random, garbled and fragmented sentences at you.
Kent
Reply to
blah

On Sun, 24 Apr 2005 00:45:15 GMT, "blah" said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
Contrary to what you say, there's no need to "wake up" dry yeast.
The ONLY reason to make a starter with liquid yeast (aside from seeing if it's still good) is to allow it to multiply. Since there are about 9 billion cells in a packet of dry yeast, there's no need for that.
There *is* reason to hydrate it, though. Wort tends to puncture cell walls if they're dry.
For 4 ounces? If you can't afford that (about 75 cents), stick to drinking water. Or, at least, to using dry yeast - or learning to freeze your yeast.
Reply to
Al Klein

Whoa, easy there killjoy, we're all supposed to be helping each other out here. I didn't exactly see you offer up any constructive help. It's pant loads like you that make me give up hope on the human race.
Notice the quotes...I was quoting his words, I know why starters are done.
I do drink water, but it's usually got a little beer in it. And since my local brew shop doesn't sell dime bags of DME, it does tend to get expensive. Besides, why would I wanna drink from a baby bottle when I can drink from the fire hose like a big boy. And...didn't i mention something about recovering my own yeast...oh yah I did. Now do us all a favor get over yourself and learn some social skills and tact.
Reply to
blah

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