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I've been reading the How To Brew book, and it (amongst other sites) recommends rehydrating yeast before pitching it.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html

Some sites suggest adding a teaspoon of sugar with the yeast, others just seem to recommend hydrating. All of them seem to suggest that after 30 mins or so, you should see some visible bubbling etc in the yeast.

I've done about 9 extract brews so far, and tried rehydrating the yeast on the last 3 or 4. However, whenever I try this I never get any response from the yeast - it just sits there looking exactly the same as when I first put it in the water. (Have tried with and without adding sugar). Usually after an hour or so, I'll give up and pour it into the beer which so far has worked fine every time anyway.

Is this step worth doing? Should I be seeing more happening in the yeast than I am? Or am I just not being patient enough?

Cheers

Dave

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Re-hydrating is definitely worth doing. Usually there are better directions on the package or at the manufacturers website. The process you described though is a good rule of thumb and its what I do.

I do it without sugar, and I feel that's sort of a bad idea. Just use water. The foaming the some people describe is not any type of yeast activity its just what happens as the yeast rehydrate. Depending on your waters conditions you may or may not get much foaming. I get just a little 1/4 inch layer that dissipates rather quickly.

If you put dry yeast in water and 20 minutes later there are no granuals and its a tan creamy latte like color through out, you've done it right. Which is what it sounds like you've been doing; so keep it up.

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To be honest, most of it seems to just sink to the bottom of the bowl and sit there as a thick sludge. If I mix it up, it goes latte colored though. Does that sound normal? –  smylie Jul 13 '10 at 23:54
    
Sounds perfect. The little yeasties have mass and they will settle out. As long as it doesn't look like dry granuals you are good. (which is impossible I think) –  brewchez Jul 14 '10 at 13:51
    
Cool. Thanks for the answer =) –  smylie Jul 14 '10 at 23:37
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