I brewed up a big ESB Saturday, gravity at 1.066. My yeast, WLP005 was three weeks past it's expiration date, but it had spent it's entire time in my fridge. I pitched it anyways thinking it couldn't have gone south that fast. 48 hours later on Monday I finally had some activity in the form of the airlock moved up. No bubbles, no more movement. I even took the airlock off and replaced it just to make sure I wasn't seeing things, it took about a day to go back up. Has anyone had a successful beer after a slow start like this? I'm going to wait a week and see where its at and reassess.
I've had successful beers after a slow start but what you outlined but unless you have a krausen at this point (72 hours later) I suspect your yeast was dead... and that could be because it was past its due date or could be that it had been dead all along... In either case a starter would have been advisable with the size of the beer and it would have given you an indication if the yeast were still viable.
BEER, a mixture of malted grains, water, hops and yeast, that is transformed through the course of fermentation that transcends the simplicity of those basic ingredients, fundamentally into the drink of life. turbo_ale