Yeast rehydrating issues?

I just brewed a dry stout and it’s the first time I tried rehydrating the yeast before pitching. It was the Safale 04 and I followed the instructions on the NB video for rehydrating to a T but never got a “cream.” I started with 105 deg F sanitized water, and after 15 minute soak, then stir, then waited. Then stirred, waited another 5 min. And nothing creamier than just a milky kind of yeast water. I pitched it anyway. Does anyone have suggestions or thoughts about this? Thanks.

I think you’ll be fine. Is the beer showing any signs of fermentation (krausen, bubbling airlock, temp rising above ambient, etc.)?

Your beer will be fine, or at least any issues you have with it won’t be a result of this pitch.

Brew Your Own did a study awhile back with a couple different styles brewed with the same yeast (I think in most cases, neutral ale yeasts - US-05, S-04, Nottingham), same ferm temp, grain bill, etc. but each one was split into two brews, one made with rehydrated/‘proofed’ yeast and the other by just dumping the pack of yeast into the wort.

National and above-level judges were not able to tell the difference, and in fact a few preferred the beers made without proofing!

YMMV, but its not really a necessary step from my experience and that of this particular study. Not going to hurt, but ok to skip in the future IME.


Nothing yet, but it’s only been 16hrs at 68 degF. I’ll start worrying after 3 days if nothing happens. It took that long for my last batch. I was hoping by rehydrating I’d get some quicker response. Hope I didn’t inadvertently destroy the yeast. If nothing happens, I should be safe adding another yeast packet, right? Maybe I’ll stick to pitching dry. Or use a starter from now on. It was just weird to me because I never got a creamy consistency like the video showed, and it also didn’t say how long to expect to wait to get that consistency.

Last batch I made was three gallons of 1.093 barleywine using S-04. I cooled the wort to 62 and pitched the yeast straight from the fridge at 46. It showed signs of fermentation in about three hours.

A friend of mine today said he didn’t think S-04 should be rehydrated, just pitched dry. After no signs of life, I went ahead and pitch another S-04, this time dry. We’ll see what happens.

Your friend know something the manufacture doesn’t? ... FA_S04.pdf

You didn’t hurt anything by adding a 2nd pack but your wallet.

In my experience the rehydrated dry yeast has always taken 5-8 hours longer to start fermentation than the direct pitch dry yeast.

Thanks for your input. As for my friend, I think he said not to rehydrate the S-04 because the only instructions on the packet were to sprinkle on wort. I did see the rehydration instructions on the website after I talked to him. Anyway, I really think I screwed the yeast somehow when I did that. Being a new homebrewer, there could have been several reasons. I also think I started with a higher than expected OG. It was 1.060 and should have been 1.050. There was just no activity at all in the rehydrated yeast. They basically sunk to the bottom and did nothing for about 30 minutes, no froth or creamy appearance at all after stirring. Then after about 2 days of wort not fermenting, I did sprinkle a new pack in there (I already had an extra), and in about 5-6 hours we are back in business. Maybe I didn’t have to do that, but I was starting to worry after 2 days of flat wort just sitting there. So maybe it would have taken off eventually, but I at least got the piece of mind out of the extra pitch. I think I’m going Wyeast next time.