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I'm brewing a coopers ginger beer kit but over the past week the yeast didn't seem to activate particularly well. There has been no krausen and over the past couple of days there have been a few bubbles on top but that's it. I have done a couple of coopers kits but ordered these from a different supplier. I decided to give Amazon a try as it was cheaper but I think that the yeast might have been mistreated. Is it possible to abuse dried yeast? I just sprinkled my dried yeast over the top when the mixture was around 21 degrees.

The kit has an expiry date of the February 2016.

Is there anything that can be done to save the batch? Such as just leave it to ferment for longer as there is less yeast?

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    I would highly recommend that your read up on re-hydrating yeast. Yeast is your worker in beer. If you prepare them for the job ahead, then your beer will be better. – Atron Seige Jun 6 '15 at 17:35
  • @AtronSeige Not necessarily; some dry yeast pack instructions clearly say to NOT rehydrate. – Robert Jun 8 '15 at 3:19
  • Does the airlock bubble? Does the airlock smell like fermentation or yeast? – Robert Jun 8 '15 at 3:21
  • @Robert Yes it does but took a while to get going, approx 3-4 days after I did pitched the yeast. – Dean Jun 8 '15 at 7:48
  • @Robert, I have never seen those. What brand is that? – Atron Seige Jun 8 '15 at 8:50
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I don't think that Ginger Beer has the same proteins that barley/wheat beer does so it possibly won't get the same amount of froth. If there is a big layer of yeast at the bottom, then it may already be finished. You could pour of a very small sample and taste it. If it is sickly sweet, then the fermentation hasn't started. If it is dry, then perhaps it is finished.

21 degrees is on the cool side for a dried yeast. If you can get the temperature up it may help. It also helps if the mix is well oxygenated before adding the yeast. I use a BIG whisk. The yeast use oxygen during the initial process in order to multiply numbers. By the end of that step, there are too many yeast cells for an infection to take hold.

One thing you don't want to do is allow bacteria to get into the brew. If there has been some CO2 being produced and you have a fermentation lock then it should be protected at the moment. Two things to avoid when you have a stuck fermentation at this point are lifting the fermenter by the top (ie handles) and pouring a sample too quickly. Both will suck air into through the air lock and whilst I cant prove it will be a source of infection, it defeats the purpose of the air lock.

Perhaps try warming it up first. Adding some more yeast may help if the fermentation is stuck, but get it started in a cup of body temp water with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Wait until it is foaming well. Yeast don't like big changes in temperature either as it reduces their vigour.

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  • 21 Is not cool for all dried yeast. Adding oxygen to a beer that has started fermenting (with a few exceptions) will cause off-flavours. – Atron Seige Jun 6 '15 at 17:26
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I have had ninja yeast and frat-boy yeast. :p

I would let it go for one weeks after pitching the yeast, then take a reading. Taking a reading is the only way of finding out if something is happening.

If there is no difference between your OG and a reading after a week, then add some new yeast.

Good Luck.

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