first time brewer... I stuffed up and added yeast to just boiled water with the malt and sugar. Is there any chance the yeast will have survived or should I just bin it and start again? Thanks!

  • I just did same thing to my first batch, so dont feel too bad. Im off to buy more yeast and get it to the wort ASAP.
    – user6197
    Dec 27 '13 at 21:00
  • Seems like a lesson that intermediate brewers can take away from this is to have a versatile, backup yeast option in the fridge - either a dry yeast like S-04 or US-05, or liquid yeast. Even if you don't boil your yeast, other mistakes can happen. Dec 28 '13 at 3:28

In this situation, brew it as normal and get it into the fermentor. The wort should be fine for a day as long as your initial sanitation was good. I routinely do lagers this way. Make the wort, transfer to carboy and chill it overnight, pitching the yeast in the morning.

Put the fermentor of wort in the coolest place in the house or basement. Make it a priority to get a fresh pitch of yeast from the brew store the next day.


Not a chance that your yeast survived boiling water, but continue the brew and then cool it normally. After you have done that, pitch new yeast or whatever drips you can get out of your first container into the wort and see what happens--no reason to throw it out.

Alternatively, if you only have your empty yeast container (and not an extra new container full of yeast) then put about a cup of water at about 105 degrees F into a sterile container and mix in about a teaspoon of sugar. Then add what ever drops of yeast you can squeeze out of your empty container. Give it a couple of hours. There is a chance that the yeast will take off in there. After a couple of hours, just pitch it into your wort.

Good luck!

  • 1
    +1 on not throwing it out and using a new pitch of yeast, -1 on trying to propogate enough yeast from whatever is left over from the original pitch.
    – tallie
    Jan 3 '12 at 7:35
  • Well, thanks tallie, but have you not ever had a situation where you were stuck without extra yeast? This is a first time brewer so what are the odds that he will know how to keep it properly sterile until he can get new yeast? Wouldn't it have been at least better to try my suggestion rather than risk letting bacteria take over his batch? Jan 3 '12 at 14:29
  • I understand the sentiment, but with that little yeast, I can't fathom there would be enough to stave off any significant bacteria or wild yeast anyway. Nevermind the massive underpitch likely leading to associated off flavours. I was mainly trying to emphasise that a new pitch would be a far better option than the alternative. Having not been in that situation before, I can only guess I would be trying all the shops and fellow brewers I could find to get some more yeast, possibly using bakers' yeast as a last resort! Cheers.
    – tallie
    Jan 3 '12 at 22:38
  • Not going to vote up or down but baker's yeast?? YUCK! ;) To any n00bs reading DO NOT do that. You will make terrible-tasting vodka! Tallie, you are/were correct. Fresh yeast IS preferable. Hopfully this fella figured it out. Cheers! Jan 4 '12 at 0:54
  • Yes, in hindsight, I probably wouldn't use baker's yeast (although, it might be a good experiment!) and I certainly don't recommend it as a viable option. My last resort would be more like what brewchez suggests (I no-chill in a cube anyway, which, among having back-up dried yeast, is why I've never faced this problem before).
    – tallie
    Jan 4 '12 at 2:04

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