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Did I just ruin my Brew?

Okay…newbie here, don’t know anything about how yeast works or brewing at all yet.
Please don’t laugh or critize my dumbness and screw up too much.

Got a brewing kit as a xmas gift. Did my first brew early February (the Irish Red Ale) which
i guess is the easy starter brew. It was ready end of March and came out great.

Girlfriend got me the La Petite Orange Extract Kit w/Specialty Grains - I tried brewing it over the weekend. The yeast was in the fridge for about a month when it arrived at my door.

I totally missed the part in the directions about taking it out and “activating” it 3 days before brew. I didn’t read ahead prior to brew day and made the dumb mistake of assuming it was like the first beer i brewed and you just put in the powder yeast at the end.

so what i did was dump the yeast packets that came with this, both liquid packets (the inner and outer packets) into my wort. Then assuming this wasn’t gonna do what it is supposed to do, I had some packets of active yeast around for baking (bread/pizza dough yeast) and i dumped that in.

Any shot this will come out like beer at all?? or it is screwed up so much I should just dump it and move on???

I’m pretty pissed at myself cause this brew sounded like it was gonna taste awesome. so pissed if i screwed it up and wasted it.

You will still make beer. It just might turn out tasting very bready. I have done this before. You might like it. In the future you should keep some extra ale yeast (like US-05) in the refrigerator for emergencies.

Sounds like you don’t know how to use a smack pack. Yeah, a few days ahead of time, just smack it to activate the yeast and then it will swell up and be ready for you on brewing day.

And even if you don’t smack it, it’s still fine to use. All the smack pack does is release a small amount of nutrient that activates the yeast (wakes it up). As the yeast eats, the pack swells. All this does is insure you the yeast is alive and kicking. BUT it’s not a necessity to smack the pack. The yeast will still wake up and do their thing once pitched into your wort.

My SOP is to smack the pack either the night before or morning of a brew day. It usually only takes a few hours to start swelling up. And again, smacking the pack isn’t a necessity. It just gives you piece of mind that you’re pitching active yeast.

I have no idea what bread yeast will do. Can’t help you there, but am kinda curious how the beer turns out.

Thanks for the reply. good to know it isn’t a total waste. i was wondering if i would wind up making beer with bread in it or not!

so 3 days before brew you activate the yeast and then leave it at room temp or still in the fridge?

ale yeast for emergencies sounds like a good move.


No need to activate it three days ahead of time. 12-24hrs is plenty. If it’s an older pack (2-3 months) then maybe you want to activate it earlier, but at that point you should probably be making a starter. That’s a whole other conversation.

Funny story… my last brew, I didn’t have any activity three days in, so I told my wife I was going to run and pick up more yeast. She offered to pick some up for me, which seemed awfully nice, but I told her I would do it after work. Good thing… she was planning on stopping at the grocery store for bread yeast.

A couple of extra packets of dry yeast is probably a good idea… I never manage to think that far ahead, and I’m spoiled by having the St. Paul Northern Brewer a fifteen minute drive away.

Not sure there is any need for extended warmup time at all. Wyeast recommends 3-5 hours. … oductID=16

Not sure there is any need for extended warmup time at all. Wyeast recommends 3-5 hours. … oductID=16

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