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Old 07-17-2012, 03:03 AM   #1
Nigel
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Default Liquid yeast and the TSA!

Kind of a weird question but has anyone taken liquid yeast successfully through airport security?! I am staying with the in laws and their LHBS is a load easier to get to than mine. I am wondering if the volume of the starter pack exceeds the 100 ml TSA limit. Also, any thoughts on the yeast being x-rayed?

Maybe I should not be so lazy and go to my local store

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Old 07-17-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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put it in your checked baggage, why make things complicated?

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Old 07-17-2012, 06:12 AM   #3
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Certainly could check it, as lowlife suggested, but I assume you're like me, and don't like to check bags unless absolutely necessary...

Your success might depend on exactly what yeast brand...White Labs vials are only like 35 ml's but the Wyeast smack packs are 125 ml, or approximately 4 oz, so they exceed the allowed 3 oz of any individual liquid container. Presumably, if you had a White Labs vial in a ziploc bag with all your other liquids/gels, you could board with it.

I have no idea what kind of x-rays are used in the equipment or whether they'd be harmful to yeast. You could possibly request a hand inspection of your liquids? I'd still never put it past the TSA to give someone a hard time with something "unusual" like brewing yeast in a vial that may look very suspicious to someone who's never seen one!

Let us know how things work out if you give this a try...

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Old 07-17-2012, 06:17 AM   #4
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Never gone through security but I fly frequently (work for an airline) and check yeast a lot in a really small cooler with ice packs. I wouldn't travel with warm yeast, but that's just me I suppose.

I can imagine TSA denying Wyeast smack packs though...

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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I generally go by the rule of never trying to take anything "unusual" through TSA security just because the minimum wage workers generally don't seem to be aware of the actual rules for what is acceptable and what isn't and they tend to use their own discretion on what to deny. I would check it.

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #6
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Buy one of those hunting belts that hold shotgun shells. Make sure it has no metals parts. Load with vials of yeast and wear it under your clothes like a money belt.

You could call and ask, but the person giving you the answer would not be the person checking your carry-ons.

Give it a try and post your results.

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kh54s10 View Post
Buy one of those hunting belts that hold shotgun shells. Make sure it has no metals parts. Load with vials of yeast and wear it under your clothes like a money belt.
Not sure if that will work with the pornoscanners, though!



Q. BTW do you know what the TSA does, if you give the pornoscanners dual one-fingered salutes?

A. Absolutely nothing.

(At least the half-dozen times I've done it, anyway.)
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #8
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<raises hand> i've gotten a wyest smack pack past the TSA. they are indeed 4.25 oz so they are over the 3 oz limit. i had my pack in my luggage, on its edge so it looked very thin to the scanner. you'll want it to look as small as possible. you don't want it flat and wide. the yeast survived the x-rays just fine as far as i could tell. starter went as expected and main fermentation took off within a few hours. i brought a tupperware container with me and once through security i got some ice from a food vendor and dumped it and the yeast in the tupperware. this kept the yeasties nice and cool until i got home.

if your airport uses the full-body (millimeter wave) scanner, you don't want to have the yeast hidden on your person. the liquid and mylar pack (or plastic white labs tube) will show up like a red flare and you'll have some serious questions to answer. if they have traditional metal detectors you might have more luck but i have no experience with those. if you do stash the yeast on your body, you'll want to get them away from you as soon as you've gotten through security. don't want to heat the yeast more than you have to.

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put it in your checked baggage, why make things complicated?
i would not check yeast unless i had to (i.e. i can't get it through as carry-on). you have no control over the temperature in the cargo hold of a plane. things can get pretty cold in there. luggage handlers aren't always gentle with your luggage. chance are things will be fine if you check them, but carrying them on means that you have control over temps, handling, etc.

so my advice it to try to carry it on. if you're busted then go back and check it. this means arriving at the airport at least an hour before your flight so you have time to go back and check your luggage if you can't get through security (most airlines cut off checked luggage 45 mins before departure).
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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i brought a tupperware container with me and once through security i got some ice from a food vendor and dumped it and the yeast in the tupperware. this kept the yeasties nice and cool until i got home.
I can't believe I never thought about that...

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i would not check yeast unless i had to (i.e. i can't get it through as carry-on). you have no control over the temperature in the cargo hold of a plane. things can get pretty cold in there.
Heh, it doesn't really get that cold, certainly not enough to cause harm unless it's a really cold winter day and you're sitting on the tarmac a long time. From what I've heard most cargo holds are heated to 45-60F. Animals get thrown in the same area as the luggage. I'd actually be more concerned about it being too warm, especially on a sunny day in the summer sitting on the tarmac for an hour, which is why I've always checked mine with ice packs in a small 5 quart cooler. I've been in the belly of a plane on particularly hot sunny days and it can be rather hot to touch. (I work for an airline in cargo/baggage)
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
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buy what you want, pack them up, and mail them to your self.

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