Originally Posted by cford1
You got me stumped on that one...
But the yeast should be cleared out after a "few months" don't you think? I can't imagine more fermenting after that, especially at that temp. Am I wrong?
Yeast doesn't "clear out," it maxes it's ability to process sugar into alcohol and then dies, OR if the sugar in the environment goes away or it gets to a temp below it's range, then it goes dormant.
If it goes dormant like between fermentation and bottling time, or if it was stored in a mason jar in the fridge, the minute it finds new food, it wakes up and starts eating again.
I don't know if you know the story of Charlie Papazian's yeast (White Labs "Cry Havoc") or not. He talked about it on basic brewing. The recipes in both Papazian's books, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and The Homebrewers Companion, were originally developed and brewed with this yeast. Papazian had "Cry Havoc" in his yeast stable since 1983.
He has used it nearly continuously since 83, sometimes pitching multiple batches on top of a cake, sometimes washing or not washing, etc. In a basic brewing podcast iirc last year he talked about how a batch of the yeast after a lot of uses picked up a wild mutation, and he noticed an off flavor in a couple batches.
Now most of us would prolly dump that yeast. Instead he washed it, slanted or jarred it (I can't recall which,)marked it, and cold stored it, and pretty much forgot about it for 10-15 years. He had plenty other slants of the yeast strain, so he left it alone.
Well evidently he came across that container of yeast, and for sh!ts and giggles made a beer with it. Evidently after all those years in storage, the wild or mutated yeast died out leaving behind a few viable cells of the "pure" culture, which he grew back into a pretty hardy strain...which iirc is the culture that White Labs actually used for their cry havoc...because of it's tenacity and survivability.
Yeast IS hardier than most newish brewers wanna give them props for...I mean You can't say that THIS YEAST was stored "properly" and yet, they managed to make a batch of beer with it.
45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale
If we can make beer with that....