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Old 10-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #11
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With Wyeast you enter the date on the package. When using White labs enter the date four months prior to the package date.
Good point! Though using that White Labs method I've occasionally ended up with yeast from the future
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:02 PM   #12
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1.36L

1.065 wort, 5 gallons, 75% viability, stir plate, ale yeast.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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Good point! Though using that White Labs method I've occasionally ended up with yeast from the future
Edit: ? I'll have to think about that. Wyeast is 6 month expiration from date of packaging.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #14
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Edit: ? I'll have to think about that. Wyeast is 6 month expiration from date of packaging.
I think that's more of a guideline than a hard line. Especially since I just used yeast that was about 8 months old (with the stepped starter mentioned earlier).

I have some WLP099 vials that I plan on using soon. Those are about the same age (will have to double check them) but I'll make at least a couple of starters for the brew. IF the first starter step does nothing at all (given enough time) then I'll pretty much know the yeast has expired and won't be viable. I'm pretty sure, though, that there will be enough yeast cells left alive to at least get the first step going, so that I can do another step, or two, to get the cell count needed.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:15 PM   #15
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I used a packet of yeast dated February (2012) with the brew I made last weekend. I used yeastcalc.com to find what size starters to use (two steps) to get my yeast cell count needed for the brew. I had enough time to get the starters made, with enough cold crash time between them and have it cold crashed before needing to pitch it. Fermentation went active within the normal amount of time (~12 hours from pitching).

I use a stirplate for my starters, so I can make significantly smaller ones (than without a stirplate). With a two step schedule, I only needed to maker a 1.5L and 2L starter to get the cell count needed.

Moral of the story, you're better off with a stirplate and using a good calculation tool/site. Planning far enough ahead to be able to make a two, or even three, step starter will get you where you need to be much easier. Plus, you'll use less DME with that combination (stirplate and more than one starter step for older yeasts).
Can you explain how you use less DME using 2 starters than you use with 1? I may be able to figure it out later in the day, but it is early yet.
Thanks
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:58 PM   #16
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Can you explain how you use less DME using 2 starters than you use with 1? I may be able to figure it out later in the day, but it is early yet.
Thanks
Easy... To get the same cell count from my 1.5L and 2.0L starters, as a single starter, it would have needed to be 21.5L in size. That's using a stirplate too. So, making my 1.5L and 2.0L starters used all of 350 grams of DME. Making a 21.5L starter would have used 2150 grams of DME. You use 100 grams of DME per 1L of starter.

Use the yeastcalc.com site/calculation tool to figure out up to three starter steps. While it will take you more time, with DME costing what it does, it's a better method, IMO/IME. With a stirplate, I can typically get a starter to finish in under 36 hours. That's for the initial step for older yeast packs. The second step is often finished in under 12-18 hours. I simply cold crash for about 12-24 hours between steps in order to get the yeast to gather at the bottom of the flask. I can then decant the spent starter wort off of the cake and add fresh starter wort to it. Then it goes back onto the stirplate.

BTW, do NOT use an airlock on your starters. Also don't close/seal them off. Use either a piece of sanitized aluminum foil to keep things from falling in, but promote gas exchange (CO2 out, O2 in) or use one of the foam stoppers sold for flasks.
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