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Quick question from a brand new brewer

Just got my essential starter kit from Northern Brewer. I am about to start my first brew day, the SMASH American Session Ale came with Danstar Bry-97, on the pack it says I need to rehydrate, is it necessary?

Thanks in advance!! :cheers:

You’ll get different advice on this (and really any) topic. But considering the low OG (1.044), I’d just pitch it as is without rehydrating. But if you want to rehydrate, it wouldn’t hurt. I just don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

welcome to the hobby! (slash obsession)

as Dobe points out, differing viewpoints, studies, articles, etc. on this topic, many of which state that from a taste standpoint, rehydrating is not necessary at all.

One thing I would emphatically recommend for a new brewer: buy a $0.79 spray bottle and fill it with sanitizer (buy Star San if they didn’t give you any). Sanitation is a huge part of brewing good beer, and this simple tool makes it a lot easier. Starsan needs to be on the surface for just 30 seconds to kill all active bacteria/microbes that could really negatively impact your beer.

Thank you both, I really appreciate it and will let you know how it turns out in a few weeks!

Here’s another question, My brew has been in the fermenter since Friday at 3:30 PM, typical start time for the yeast is 24-48 hours. I put the little bit of water in the air lock on my bucket, the only thing I noticed it has done is move a little bit, doesn’t look like any bubbles or krausen. Should I open the lid and check or just let it be? I do not have a hydrometer, should I buy one?

You could look in the bucket or hold a flashlight to the opposite sde of the bucket to look for krausen above the liquid level. Darken the room first. Spray the outside top and lid with Starsan if you are going to lift the lid.
Yes, get a hydrometer. Stable Specific Gravity readings are the only way to tell if you have reached Final Gravity and the fermentation is complete. Then allow time for the yeast to clean up.
Be sure to control your fermentation temperature. Fermentation produces heat. The wort can be 3° to 10° higher than ambient air temperature depending upon the Original Gravity.

On the topic of rehydrating or not rehydrating dry yeast. The first time I used dry yeast I did not rehydrate. I sprinkled the yeast through the mouth of the carboy onto the wort. I had aerated well and had about 4 inches of froth at the top. Six hours later I had a small mound of active yeast sitting on top of the froth. I swirled it into the wort and soon had an active fermentation.

After that I always rehydrated the dry yeast to be able to pour it through the froth formed by aerating the wort.

Aerating the wort or not aerating when using dry yeast is another topic. I aerate because it is just simple to do.

I only made three extract brew before going all grain. I don’t have my notes near by so I can’t check what the gravity of the beer was. But I do remember that I pitched two of them dry, one I re-hydrated. Being a rookie brewer, there was no method to my madness when I made those (still isn’t). But I did not notice any difference in the beers. I had nice fermentation using both methods. As mentioned above, sanitize everything. Starsan is great stuff(IMHO). When I work with yeast I sanitize the yeast packet and the scissors I use to cut open the packet. I sanitize anything I use that will contact the wort after the boil.
You came to a good place using this forum for gaining advice and knowledge about this hobby. This forum is packed full of great brewers that will give you sound advice. Always willing to help. Get your hands on Palmers How To Brew and Charlie Papazian’s Joy of Home Brewing books. They will shed light on the beer making process.
Welcome to the hobby/obsession!
Buying a hydrometer. Personally, I would. That can give you better indication when the fermentation is done. You can also figure your ABV using the numbers you took from the hydrometer.
One more thing. Get your self some really cheap vodka and use that instead of water in your air lock. Starsan works too.

I ALWAYS rehydrate the yeast. Boil water in a pyrex cup, cool to about 95º, sprinkle yeast on top, cover and wait 15 min, stir and recover, wait at least another 15 min before pitching. This was John Palmers advice as well. I also try to match yeast temp to wort temp; usually about 70º

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