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Old 01-23-2013, 11:25 PM   #1
nate_e
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Default Frozen, 1 mo. old yeast pack for a OG 1.078?

My ingredients to make Denny Conn's rye IPA recipe (AG) arrived today, which has turned out to be the coldest day of the winter in RI thus far. The Wyeast smack pack (Denny's Fav. 50) was pretty much solid out of the box and the mfg. date is 12/10/12. I should say that this is my first lick at a "big beer" and doing a starter.
So here's what I know:
The Mr. Malty yeast calc estimates 66% viability based on the mfg. date and predicts 294 billion cells needed for 5.5gal of 1.078 wort. The suggested starter size is 2.98L for a single yeast pack.

Here's what I need help on:
- Are these calculations underestimates since my yeast were frozen and as a result, probably less viable than 66%? Any suggestions on a viability for frozen yeast?

- Given that I only have a 2L flask, I'll have to do a stepped starter. Where can I find guidelines for the subsequent starter sizes required to get me to 294B cells?

Thanks!

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Old 01-23-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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http://yeastcalc.com/ Try this. Post the full recipe on here and I'll throw it in BeerSmith if that doesn't work for you.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:41 AM   #3
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If that smackpack was frozen solid, I'd say you have zero percent viability.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:00 AM   #4
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I'm sure that the yeast in in bad shape from being frozen. But I have heard of people still having sucess at growing what little is left. I would plan to make a 1 liter starter to to test viability and take it from there.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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I left the pack in the fridge to slowly thaw over night and then took it out around 7am this morning (~12hrs in the fridge). It's been sitting out for about 3 hours now and has actually puffed up a fair bit, enough to spread the bottom fold by about 1/2" or so. I haven't broken the nutrient pillow yet either.
I'm not entirely sure what this means, but I'm going to assume something is still kicking in there. I think I'll activate the package around noon and see how much swelling I get by the evening.
So here's the plan:
If this package gets completely inflated, I'll go for a 1L starter and follow it with a second 1L starter resulting in over 300B cells even if the initial viability is ~50%. If not, I think I'll go for a 1.5L starter at the second stage which will get me to 300B cells even if the initial viability is around 33%.
This leaves me with a question about pitching rate: What sort of impact would over-ptiching by 30-50B cells have on the final product?

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepaholic View Post
I'm sure that the yeast in in bad shape from being frozen. But I have heard of people still having sucess at growing what little is left. I would plan to make a 1 liter starter to to test viability and take it from there.
+1. A starter will tell you what shape your yeast is in. It may take a bit longer to ferment, but I suspect you wil still get what you need. Look at it this way: only the strongest cells will survive. You might just end up with a super strong strain!!!

{the last statement was a joke. I do not advocate freezing yeast. Please don't flame me. I have a sense of humor. Do you?}
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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Activated the smack pack ~3 hours ago and by the time I came back, the thing had fully inflated! Behold, the power of yeast!

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