I was asked a questing I didn't know how to answer

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Diabolical GENIUS!!!
Nov 16, 2008
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Well I was starting a batch and had a friend helping me. When It came time to activate and use the yeast he asked a couple of questions I couldn't answer. Here are his questions

1) How do you know for sure that you activated the yeast?

2) how so you know you didn't kill the yeast if you don't use a thermometer.

3) how long does the it take activate.

My answer for all this was "to be honest, I don't know, But I know where to ask" that place is here. so what should I tell him?
Are dehydrating the yeast or doing a yeast starter? If just dehydrating the yeast then you really dont know if you killed the yeast unless it starts fermenting. It only takes like 10 minutes to rehydrate the yeast, If dong a yeast starter then it usually takes an hour or 2 to see some good action. If you want to know how to do a yeast starter then click on the link below. Its the right way to start a wine or beer and you know this way if your yeast is good without waiting.
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Okay so you didnt rehydrate it per the instructions on the packet of yeast I assume. If just sprinkling on top of the must then it usually will start a sizzling noise which indicates the start of fermentation(sounds like an open can of soda) and that typically happens around hour 24 but can happen earlier or up to 72 but typically doesnt take that long with a kit wine as the yeast is typically a much faster acting yeast. Some fruit wines when making from scratch can take up to the 72 hours and start to make you worry!
what we did was took about 1/4 of water and put it on the stove, (electric) and set it to lower than simmer to get it warm. then when I saw the slightest sign of evaporation I stopped the heat. added the yeast swished it around a bit then waited for about 10 mins and added to the must. that was about 21 hours ago, so I am expect to see physical signs within the next 24 hours or so. I just didn't know how to answer his question.
I hope it wasnt too hot, I think the max temp is 115* if im correct. Do you have any yeast on hand just in case? You might want to get a packet or 2, they are only $1 each and are good to keep in the fridge for times like these. I would say that if you dont start seeing any signs of fermentation in 36 hours to just srpinkle some yeast in our get yourself a thermemeter to make sure that you dont kill off the next yeast by rehydrating it. I wouldnt advise heating water again without a thermometer as thats risky, especially without a spare yeast. Sprikling it on your must dry is a safre way then that! Fingers crossed for ya!
well I didn't put the yeast in right after I stopped the heat and Let it sit for a few mins. I am out of yeast but my uncle might have some, I will ask for some just in case.
I am going to go buy a thermometer, and recreate the conditions be for I added the yest to the water. the must has been going for 2 days now, 1 day with yeast, so I think I need to know fast before to long.

I got a thermometer and I recreated the conditions, and it looks like it would have heated up to about 110*f 115 at max. So I might be safe. The reason I did it this way, Is because this is how I saw a couple others do it. But from now on I think I am going to do it a bet safer ant also let them know what kind of dangers they are putting there batch in. and now that I have a thermometer I can just had it to my friend and say...this is how. Kinda a nice moral to the story lol. I will most likely see my uncle tomorrow so hopefuly I can get a yeast pack from him seeing as all the wine stores will be closed. and if I absolutly need to I will use 1/2 a pack if *shutters* bread yeast *shutters* to hold it for a day. but that is the worst case scenario action...*shutter*
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that was about 21 hours ago, so I am expect to see physical signs within the next 24 hours or so. I just didn't know how to answer his question.

Normally you will have signs of fermentation within a few hours.

If the must was too hot you may have 'cooked' the yeast.
Room temperature is the temperature at which I would pitch the yeast.

Rehydration of yeast is the most critical part in the process, that is why a lot LHBS do not recommend it. Too much goes wrong when new-bees do it. That is why it is recommended to sprinkle the yeast on the must.

If you are in luck a few might have survived and will be able to start
a new yeast colony. But that will take considerably longer as would normally.

I would protect the must with sulphite (if not already done so), go out and buy some new yeast and make a yeast starter like I described here:


This inusres you to innoculate with a healthy yeast colony.

I would not add a bread yeast to it. If you have no visible signs of fermentation I would call your uncle and see if he has any yeast packets and not wait around. You will not be happy with using a bread yeast, it is not the same thing. If need be just wait another day and get some wine yeast.
I know about the Bread Yeast. That was kinda a joke.

I have a question, How long is to long for a must to go with out yeast, or basically just siting out. We started this batch Monday, let the campden set for a day, added the yeast Tuesday, and now its Thursday. and I have dead yeast (there are no signs). I does have a slight smell, but not the fermenting kinda smell. We made the batch by juicing our Fruit, (we have Raspberry and Pineapple)

I guess we were lucky at all the last batch even worked! I wasn't in charge of the yeast last time, and we did it the same way. Live an learn. I kinda a little embarrassed. And pissed at myself because raspberries are not cheap.
What temp is this batch at? You dont have any foam starting or even a light sizziling sound? Have you checked its gravity today, Is it any lower at all then it was when you started. Do you have a lid on this batch with a rubber grommet and airlock cause if thats what you are judging this by then that could be the problem as those rubber grommets leak so often and the airlock wont bubble.
No foam at all, no sizzle. I am going to try a warmer Temp location. It getting just a bit to cold at night and early morning. Right now I am attempting to warm it up. My uncle is out of yeast also. so this is it.
Whatis the temp of the must, if its blow 70 I would get it in a tub of water and get the temp up to around 80*. If it doesnt start after a few hours at that temp then you need to get more yeast asap!
Well it is around 75. and there are no open stores that I can get yeast. I think this one is a goner. It been sitting for just under 72 hours. There might be a chance That a Shop is open in the town 40miles south of here. but I don't know how I would get there (car troubles) I was planning on going there in a few of days but by that time it would be way to late.

well this is the last time I prepare the yeast like this. Its a Miracle that it worked the last time.
OK, I haven't read every word in this thread. But nowhere do I see mention of a specific gravity. Visual signs of fermentation are pretty much useless. What are the specific gravity readings and temperatures? This could just be a quiet fermenter.

BTW, the instructions for most kit companies say to sprinkle the dry yeast on top of the must. If you don't know why they say that, just read this thread.

This was not a kit, (I have never used a kit tbh) The SG didn't change until I moved it to a warmer location and the smell was not a fermentation kind of smell. but now that it is warmer it real jump started the possess. Now (even know signs are useless) It has all the sighs of a for fermentation. I was just dumb in my way to prepare the yeast, and also read the temp of the must wrong. This was how I was told, and shown how to set the yeast, Now that I know, its just that much more knowledge that I have for the future.

It liske the guitar. every one has there own way of learning. Lesson, self teaching, imitating others. I never found kits to interest me. I like doing it from scratch, Yes I will make more errors, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything :D

lol ps: guitar wise I was a "figured it out for myself" person :D
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My current 5 gal batch, from concentrate took 80 hours before I seen active fermentation, held at 70 dgrs. Been fizzing away now for 8 days abd is now just slowing down.
Some yeasts really make you wonder if they will ever take off, usually Red Star Cotes Des Blanc is the 1 that will have you chewing your finger nails! Have you checked the SG and is it fermenting?

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