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Yeast Seems Inactive in a Caribou Slobber Brew

Hi All,

I’m new to homebrewing and after making my way around the forums I decided it would be highly beneficial for me to make an account and post my questions here.

My situation is like this: I got a one-gallon brew kit and a a Caribou Slobber recipe kit. The brew process, the sanitation, etc. all went wonderfully, but I think I may have hit a hitch with pitching the yeast. The recipe directions, which I now realize are vague and somewhat crude, called for pitching the dry yeast straight into the cooled wort, but the yeast (Windsor Danstar British Style) called for rehydrating the yeast prior to pitching it. Having dabbled in making bread before, I thought it would be best to rehydrate the yeast. I boiled a small amount of water, mixed it with a little bit of wort, let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then added the yeast. I mixed the yeast up in the rehydrating solution, let it sit for a few minutes, and then dumped it in with the wort.

24 hours later, I have seen NO activity whatsoever in my fermentor. From what I’ve read about this particular yeast and the brew recipe in general, this is the opposite of what’s supposed to happen (rapid, vigorous fermentation followed by little activity). I’m considering buying more yeast to pitch or scrapping the attempt entirely as I have my doubts over the overall sterility of the yeast mixture I added to the wort.

Unfortunately, I used my one-gallon kit right of the box which means that I don’t know the gravity of the wort or the temperatures of the wort or yeast starter. Before my next brew, I will definitely be buying a thermometer and a hydrometer.

Thanks in advance!

Do you know the temp of the water and mixed wort you rehydrated your yeast in. Could it been above 120 degrees. To hot will kill your yeast. Also most new brewers need to learn to be patient. Sometimes there is a little lag time for yeast. Another good tool is to get a hydrometer. Air lock activity is not a sure sign of fermentation. My rule is 36 hours and if there is no sign of fermentation . I test my gravity and ifis same as my Oringial gravity. I pitch new yeast. I’m not a fan of Windsor myself had nothing but trouble with it. Slow fermentation long lag time.

Thanks for the reply! My primary concern was that my temperature might have actually been too low when I rehydrated the yeast and when I pitched it. Unfortunately, I do not know the gravity of my wort. I will definitely be getting a hydrometer and a thermometer or two in the near future

Also, what constitutes air lock activity? The solution that I have in my air lock is bubblely, I just haven’t seen any movement.

One thing I just thought of what is your fermentor temp. If too cold will lag the yeast a little too. Windosor ale yeast 64 to 70 degrees fermentation temps

Airlock activity is when you airlock is releasing Co2. It will bubble and pop off co2 most time rapidly. It’s not always a sure sign of fermentation is take place when there is a lack of activity. It can still be fermenting with out activity. But for most part you will almost always see activity in your airlock. As long as its air tight and the only place co2 can escape through the airlock…

As a follow up, I did decide to pitch some more yeast late last night after seeing no activity. I rehydrated the yeast in some water that I boiled and added one of the carbonation sugar drops as a rudimentary yeast nutrition supplement. The yeast was most definitely alive and active this time around (as opposed to the lifeless solution I pitched the first time) and less than a day later I am seeing some good, healthy fermentation.

I do fully expect to have some off flavors, but at least my first attempt will still end in beer and not nasty, unfermented wort!

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