I let a lager sit for 10 weeks in a secondary until it was very clear (the cold helped with clarity), and then used the yeast slurry at the bottom as a starter for another batch. I usually make a starter, but I was brewing and bottling on the same day and tried to take a shortcut.

However, three days later, there are no signs of fermentation (bubbling airlock) in the new batch. Is it likely that the yeast is so dormant that it's taking a while to reactivate, or should I go back to the local homebrew store in a few days and get some additional known-good yeast? The new batch has a fairly low OG (~1.045), but it still should have plenty of sugar to ferment. What would you do?

2 Answers 2


What temp is the beer at? it may just be slow taking off due to older yeast and low temp. When I reuse slurry that old, I "wake it up" first by adding maybe a qt. of wort to it. Since you didn't do that, you may be dealing with a low cell count and viabilty due to the age of the yeast. I'd guess it will start up sooner rather than later, but might have an effect on beer quality.


10 weeks is a long time for a yeast slurry to sit. You may want to add some additional yeast.

Brew Strong: Repitching Yeast

  • It was a pretty long time to sit, but that maibock is clear and beautiful! I had a feeling this would happen right after I asked, but I woke up this morning and there's now some slow bubbling action - looks like it just took a little while. Thanks for the link to Brew Strong episode; I missed that the first time around but I will go check it out. Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 15:25

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