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Dead yeast?

So last week I brewed up a 5-gallon batch of “Holiday Cheer” (Recipe from the Joy of Homebrewing Book) I used a Safale US-05 for my yeast because the guy at the local brew shop recommended it. Being that i’m new to homebrewing I opted to go with his suggestion.
So on brew night i was not able to pitch the yeast until approx 4 hours after the boild was complete.I pitched the yeast when the temp finally got down to 75 deg. After i pictched it i put the carboy with blowoff hose (hose is submurged in a bucket of sanitized water) into a downstairs dark closet and the temp of the closet dropped to 60 deg over night. By lunch time the next day nothing was happening, so i called the local brew shop to see if i killed the yeast pitching at 75 or what. and the guy said warm it up and if that doesn’t fix it come on back and get another bag of yeast and pitch that.
So i put the carboy in a container filled with water with a fish tank heater and attempted to dial the heater in at 70 deg. i left for a few hours to go back to work and when i came home my water temp was at 80 deg, but my yeast was starting to activate. However i readjusted the thermostat on the heater and now for the last 5 days it’s been right on at 70 deg.
So my question is, i’ve been watching the fermentation process the last few days, but i have not seen much action since day 1 or 2, however i can hear a bubble every once in awhile. It hasn’t quite been a week yet and as a rookie homebrewer i’m a little nervous. my plan right now is to wait a full two weeks and then take a hydrometer reading and see where i’m at, If i had to pitch a new bag of yeast at that time my beer would still be alright, right? other than having a crap ton of yeast in it now.

Any suggestions/ideas would be appreciated.

You were right to want to regulate temperature, but that hot then cold then hot then cool is not good for the yeast. Did a ring of krausen form at all at the top of the wort? If so, it may have fermented out already…but the only way to tell is to take a hydrometer reading. If it isn’t at your expected final gravity, then you may need to pitch some more yeast (it happens with sometimes when insufficient yeast is pitched, for example). My guess is that it will be okay in terms of fermenting, because US-05 is a solid performer. As to taste - that is another matter entirely. You have the concepts correct, but you need to calibrate things a little better.

Ultimately, relax, don’t worry and let your yeast do your work by pitching sufficient amounts and fermenting at a nice cool temperature (except for Belgians, which like it warm).


I would say a good ring of krausen did occur at the top of the wort. However by day 3 that ring has shrunk down to almost nothing.
After i got home from work tonight i checked on it again and c02 is still bubbling out of the blow off tube every 10 seconds or so.
At this point i think i need to relax, not worry about it (for now) and have a homebrew. Thankfully batch #1 of Northwest Pale Ale turned out amazing.
Thanks for the feedback.

It should be fine. You had it right, wait two weeks, take a reading and then another after 2-3 days.

Next time, try to keep your temps in the low to mid 60’s throughout the process

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