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Did I kill the yeast?

Started my first brew this past weekend and followed the instructions that came with the recipe as well as the DVD except for one thing . . . I rehydrated the yeast based on what I read in the book “How to Brew” by John Palmer. He says in the book to have some hot water set aside for numerous tasks when you are brewing, and suggests using the water to rehydrate the yeast prior to piching. Well, in the recipe for Caribou Brown Slobber, it says to pour the yeast into the wort once it cools to 78 degress. I am pretty sure the water I rehydrated the yeast in was much hotter than that! So it’s been a few days and nothing, no bubbles, no foam. I am wondering if I may have killed the yeast? Any suggestions?

If you used dry yeast (which one did you use?) and don’t have active fermentation after a day then something bad has happened. When I’ve used the Safale dry ones they usually kick off within hours. (This is assuming a 5 gallon batch.)

Also, for the dry yeasts there are a lot of differing recommendations on pitching, and I guess they all work. But one of the yeast manufacturer’s websites tells you to either rehydrate in warm (not hot) water, or pitch directly onto the wort. I’ve pitched directly onto the cooled wort and have had great results. Didn’t want to introduce another potential step with risk of infection.

You have to define “hot” - killing yeast requires temperature around 130F. If it was above that, then I’d say go buy a new pack of dry yeast ASAP and pitch. If you mean more like 100F - then I think you may be ok. In any given case, hoewver, if you don’t see any activities in two days, then you should consider using a new pack of dry yeast.

One more thing - I’ll just say, the best way to brew your beer is using liquid yeast with a big starter. That way, you don’t have to worry about dead yeast, while you end up with better beer.

[quote=“robbatnewyork”]You have to define “hot” - killing yeast requires temperature around 130F. If it was above that, then I’d say go buy a new pack of dry yeast ASAP and pitch. If you mean more like 100F - then I think you may be ok. In any given case, hoewver, if you don’t see any activities in two days, then you should consider using a new pack of dry yeast.

One more thing - I’ll just say, the best way to brew your beer is using liquid yeast with a big starter. That way, you don’t have to worry about dead yeast, while you end up with better beer.[/quote]

I believe the threshold for temp is more like 115F, not 130.

And liquid yeast will not necessarily make better beer.

[quote=“Denny”]And liquid yeast will not necessarily make better beer.[/quote]+1 Beer made with dry yeast, for certain styles, is just as good as that made with liquid. If I’m in a hurry or sneaking in a quick brew day, I’ll pitch US-05 into anything hoppy with no reservations.

To the OP - if after 48 hours you don’t have any signs of fermentation, go ahead and pitch a fresh package of yeast.

I would suggest checking your seals on the Ferm. Mabey you have a leak causing you to think no activity.

Thanks fellas, checked again today, seals are good and still nothing. Yes I believe the temp may have been above the 115 and even 130 when I rehydrated. In hindsight it’s obvious that I messed that up. Do you think my wort is still good at this point? It’s in a cool and dark place (basement), the temp is 72. I’ll go buy some new yeast in the morning, any suggestions?

Carribou Slobber? Get a dry pack of US-05. You can rehydrate but there’s enough yeast in the pack to do a good job on that brew without.

Also you should buy atleast an extra pack of yeast to prevent anything like this from happening again.

Was about to add yeast and when I went down to the basement it was bubbling! What the heck? Guess sometimes it takes a few days to start? The temp of the brew is 72 is that means anything. So I guess now I wait a week to see what happens? I know the hydrometer will be the real judge of things.

72* is a bit on the high side.

A tub with water and some frozen soda bottles will help keep the temps in the mid 60’s.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=103505&p=917359&hilit=swamp+cooler#p917359

Yeast are pretty tough customers, so you probably just killed 75 or 80% of them. The longer lag time would be consistant with this theory because underpitching causes a longer lag time as the the yeast need to replicate more to begin fermentation. Long story short, you’re probably fine so relax, and enjoy the show. In the future, rehydrate with 95-100 degree water. Don’t pitch dry yeast directly as this kills up to 50% of them. They are designed to be rehydrated before piching. Dry pitching only works because even 50% of a yeast pack is enough to ferment most beers. But with step as simple as rehydration, why skip it and kill 50% of them???

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