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Old 04-30-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
geer537
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Default yr old yeast didn't swell- should I make a starter?

Afternoon!

I took a chance on a year old smack pack of cider yeast. I smacked it and it has been on the counter for a few days. The bag never swelled. Is it worth it to make a starter to see if the yeast is still viable or would the smack pack have been enough to tell me there is not any left.

I have made starters in the past from old yeast just never from an old smack pack and would rather not waste time if I don't have to. I have some S-05 I can use in it's place.

Cheers

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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You could try, who knows if it'll work. Might wanna start at a lower gravity than the normal 1.040. If it was properly stored you should have some viability, but FWIW Jamil's calculator says a 1 year old pack has a viability of 1% so you'd need a gigantic starter. Not sure how well his calculations work when you extrapolate it out that far...

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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From the horse's mouth.

Quote:
From the Wyeast FAQ website:

3. Does the package need to be fully swollen before pitching?

No, The package can be pitched before activating, or at anytime during the activation process. The activation process "jump starts" the culture's metabolism, minimizing the lag phase.
Smacking though fun, is never really necessary.

Making the starter is all that matters, not whether or not the pack inflating. It's fine!!!
There's no need to start with a smaller starter or anything. Just proceed as normal.

Heck I rarely even bother waiting for it to inflate, I pop the nutrient pack, give it a shake, and dump it into my starter wort. Saves waiting.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! I typically don't wait for the pack to swell but given the age, I was hoping for a sign of viability before I tried stepping it up. I'll give it a shot tonight and if my hydrometer moves, the yeast lives. If not, S05 to the rescue.

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