During my most recent brew session I may have been a little too relaxed, and had a few too many homebrews during the process.

I feel like I did everything right and kept everything sanitary, but was too drunk by the end of the boil to move my beer to a warm place. So, it sat in my cold (mid-low 50s) basement overnight and through the morning.

I moved it to a warmer (high 60s/low 70s) environment the next day but that was two days ago and there's still no sign of fermentation. No krausen, no bubbles, nothing.

Can I make a new yeast starter and pitch, or should I wait a little longer to see if they little guys wake up?

Assuming I can salvage the batch, what effects will this have on my beer?

  • I've had Wyeast 1084 (Irish) routinely take 3 days to start. The beer turns out fine, but the same can't be said for my nerves.
    – mdma
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 19:39
  • giving the bucket or carboy a good swirling to rouse the yeast up off the bottom of the fermentor will also to help wake it up if it's gotten too cold.
    – Mattress
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Lots of people cool their wort overnight, so that should be ok as long as it was in a sanitized container and was covered. Did you take a gravity reading of the cooled wort? If so, you should check the gravity now to confirm that it's not fermenting.

Pitching more yeast sounds like a good plan if there really is no fermentation. But I'd use a dry yeast at this point, as a liquid yeast starter will take a few days to prepare and every day your wort is unfermented you risk infection. Use two packets for a strong (I.e. over 1.060 starting gravity) or one for a normal gravity beer. Rehydrate as per the manufacturers instructions and pitch.

You should consider getting the equipment required to oxygenate the wort before pitching. Yeast use oxygen to reproduce, so an oxygenated wort provides a higher cell count. I use a welder's O2 tanks and an aeration stone.

Good luck.

  • I was going to pick up some additional yeast on the way home from work today, but got home and the yeast were feasting... I guess I should have been more patient. Thanks for the advice! Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 4:48

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