How Long Do I Wait?

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Last night (about 10pm) i put down a very simple brew - a Pils fresh wort with the San Francisco liquid yeast (WPL810) . The yeast is a lager yeast but has a temp range of 15deg to 18deg and I've been told it should be OK for an Ale.

This morning (about 6am) I checked and have abosolutely NO action. I have check that the lid is on tight etc etc. I did a hydrometer reading and got 1046 which is the SG.

I pitched @ 23deg and can comfortable maintain the temp range required.

My questions

Is the yeast a dud?

How long do I wait before taking action?

What action do you suggest - just pitch again?

Or am I simple being an impatient *******?

Probably the later, I have a new keg system bustin' it's balls to be filled !!

Seriously though - any help is appreciated as usual

Don't panic quincy. Some yeasts take a while to kick in.

As long as you aerated the brew and pitched an adequate size starter it should be away within 24 hrs.

Report back if it isn't!

Thanks TDA

Well aerated.
Pitched a full vial.

Hopefully will be OK as I was hoping to get some starters from the remaining trub.

hi quincy,

i found with the vials that tho they say they are pitchable (with the lagers) they take their time getting started. it took around 24+ hours for my san francisco yeast to get going.

in my dodgy opinion, next time with your saved trub starter, build it up and then pitch that. someone had a good post about doing this somewhere here, just search for yeast starters and go from there.
Thanks Bonk

I have found that thread and just finished reading it. I have pretty much concluded that I need to be a bit more patient this time and will plan to build up any starters as per the advise found in this thread.

I love this site !!!!!

I don't wanna bring the party down, but your beer may be contaminated if the yeast takes off too slowly. :(

I had an issue with a Whitelabs Budejovice yeast. It started too slow and the beer was bad (tasted like a wild yeast infection - phenolic). What a shame, and a waste of 2 beercomp prizes (Muntons Pils kit and Whitelabs yeast).

All other things being equal, I was in too much of a hurry to make a starter and build up the yeast. I may have had it out of the fridge too long before pitching into the wort.

No one to blame but the brewer ;)

It's all part of the learning curve. As Doris day sez: Que Sera Sera
Good point Weizguy and I agree that you really need to make a starter from these vials.

Assuming the yeast does eventually take off and ferment out, make sure you taste/smell a sample from the fermenter b4 bottling/kegging. This should be a good guide, tho if you suspect an infection but tastes OK - then drink in hurry b4 the infection takes hold.

OK Her's the deal.

Its now been 36 hours since pitching. Dead as a dodo !!!

Here's my plan:
1. Current temp is 18deg. Whack a belt on to bring temp up a bit. Should get maybe 23-25deg. See what happens.
2. If nothing, repitch at the higher temp (using say S04 instead of "wasting" more liquid yeast). See what happens.

After that, I'm in the hands of those more knowledgeable than my humble self. :(

Any advice greatly appreciated ?????

I strongly recommend that you run your wort from the first fermenter into a second one.

It is plenty warm enough for a lager yeast and heat is way over-rated in bringing a yeast "alive" Aeration will do a better job. then if no action, pitch a packet of 34/70 tonight

Assume SG is still 1046?

Jovial Monk

When I run the wort into another fermenter, should I "splash" it around a bit to help aeration or should I connect tube on the tap and gently run it in like I would if I was racking?

It's sitting on a bench at the moment, so if I need "splash" should I put the new fermenter under the tap and let her go?

By the way, still 1046.

Allow it to splash around, and make sure you stir the first fermenter with a sanitised spoon to get the yeast back up into suspension at the same time.

Just to make sure that it is dead, are you using the airlock bubbling as your guide to activity? This is a trap for newer brewers.

If there is foam and scum on the surface, it is working but your fermenter is not sealed. If there is no scum, and the wort looks the same as when you pitched the yeast, it is dead.

After 36-48 hours, go to your back up yeast.

Usually, with a good yeast, you will be seeing activity 12 hours after pitching a vial.

The wort is exactly the same as when I pitched. Flat as a tack - zero activity. Looking very much like a dud yeast !!!

I will spalsh into another fermenter and see. If nothing pitch again.

Shame really, my first liquid yeast ;)

Buggers wont beat me - as I've read many times on this site - you live and learn.

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Yes, it is a shame that your first use of liquid yeast is a bad one.

What was the date on it?

If it is getting close to the use by date, they can be a bit slow.

Be assured that as your brewing knowledge increases, you will love using different yeasts. They are the soul of the beer.
Not sure of the expiry date. Will check when I get home. My HBS guy threw it in free when I bought a couple of hundred bucks worth of gear - maybe he had it for a while. I then left it in my fridge for 3 weeks or so before using it.

Here in lies the mystery?? <_<
Latest Update.

Called past HBS yesterday arvo and collected some 34/70. Went home knocked off the missus's wisk, sterilised it, and wisked the sh@t out off the wort (Didn't have a spare fermenter to transfer to.) Pitched the trusty 34/70 and waited.

Woke this morning to absolutely nothing. :eek:
By this stage quincy beginning to think he's killed a chinaman in a previous life. :(
Rang home earlier to find I have 20 litres of pure joy going full steam ahead !! :D

Praise be to the beer gods.


PS. Thanks everyone for their help.
Quincy said,
My HBS guy threw it in free when I bought a couple of hundred bucks worth of gear - maybe he had it for a while. I then left it in my fridge for 3 weeks or so before using it.

I am sure that no-one would have knowingly given you a dud liquid yeast. All of the HBS people I have had the pleasure of meeting, would have thrown it in, but if it was getting close to the use by date, they would have told you.

I always keep a couple of packets of safale and saflager in the fridge in case a starter is sus, or the need to brew strikes and there is no starter ready.

As was already said by Weizguy, there is definitely a big risk now that it has been infected due to long lag time. So be ready to drink it sooner rather than later.
Now you do realise Quincey that this beer will be your very best beer ever and oneday you will want to reproduce it.

Question is did the liquid get going or was it the dry or are they happily making beer for Quincey together.

:D :D :D

Don't let it mess with your head for too long. :)


hehehehehehe oh we have all had those moments :)

remember, heat does little, aeration raises Lazarus (running slowly from tap of fermenter 1 into fermenter 2)

Remember to check manuf date/expiry date of yeasts. Even old liquid yeasts will work, given time, but a starter will be essential.

In well aerated wort the yeasty beasties will be budding off new yeast cells in a frenzy and won't even think about fermenting untill all the O2 is used up

Jovial Monk
Thought I would give an update.

Fermentation started 25/11. Not sure which yeast did the work (probably a bit of both) but anyway racked on the 4/12 and just for the hell of it steeped 20g of saaz for a bit of fun.
Kegged on 12/12 (my first keg). Tasted 13/12 and love it!!
Sent message to brother - "It's in the Keg"
Reply - "See u in 5 mins"
10 schooners or so later and we both agreed that this brew was pretty damn good.
Mind you by then our judgement had been somewhat clouded. :rolleyes:
Will "test" it agian tonight just to make sure :D


Latest posts