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Old 01-15-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default Slushy yeast in smack pack

So I ordered my ingredients from Midwest last week when it was 40 degrees. Little did I know that this freeze was on the way for this week. So I receive my ingredients today and take the yeast (Wyeast 1214 Smack Pack) out of the box and it's slushy inside....not frozen, but slushy. So I smack the pack and let it at room temp. So my question, if it does expand, does this mean I can make my normal sized starter(2L) or should I make a smaller starter and step it up? I'm making Jamil's Belgian Blond that calls for 81% AA that calls for a 1.5L starter. I'm just afraid it won't get the attenuation like I need if some cells died.

Also, when ordering yeast during the winter, do you do anything differently when ordering(not sure what they could do really?) or use dry yeast. I could see this being a regular problem this winter. Guess the 50 mile roundtrip to LHBS will be in order. Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-16-2009, 01:12 AM   #2
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Hmm. Go ahead and smack the pack. Let that sit for a while and then make a starter. Making a starter is really the only way to see if the yeast is still viable. Sometimes the packs don't swell, so don't use that as a guide. Also, you might want to get some Nottingham on order in case your yeast is dead. I always keep some dry yeast on hand just in case.

I'm betting the starter will revive it. As for shipping yeast in winter...I don't really have a solution.

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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I have this same concern, I placed an order with Midwest that should be here tomorrow and it is currently -16F everywhere between here and St Paul. If it is frozen solid should I just throw it out and not even bother with a starter or should I let it thaw gently in the fridge and then smack it?

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Old 01-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
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I hate to look like a douche by replying to my own post, but for anyone else wondering this is what Wyeast says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyeast
Thaw out in fridge. Activate and assess the time that it takes to swell. If there is no activation within 24 hrs, do not use. If there is activation, make a starter to revive culture.
I guess I will just wait and see how they arrive and try out what they say.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:36 PM   #5
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Your best bet would be to make a starter. I've revived old yeast from a smack pack. The pack never swelled, but the starter kicked off in about 12 hours.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:00 PM   #6
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make a starter whether it swells or not. those yeast are pretty hearty little ****ers. i'll bet you your starter gets going just fine.

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #7
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Follow-up...I smacked my pack yesterday and I have some swelling, about 1/2 the normal size. I would imagine some are alive and some dead. I'm a little concerned if the dead yeast will give off some off flavors if they are revived. However, I think I'll make a starter tonight and still run to the LHBS and grab a vial and add it, just to be safe. If I wasn't looking for 81%AA I would probably see what the starter does, but I really want a dry finish. I won't be getting yeast in the mail again this winter...maybe it's time to start re-using!!

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:26 PM   #8
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the dead yeast will be cannibalized by the live yeast and provide nutrients. don't worry about it.

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Old 01-17-2009, 01:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertz View Post
maybe it's time to start re-using!!
Nail on the head.
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