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Old 07-30-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default HELP...old liquid yeast any good?

Last week I stopped in LHBS and picked up enough goodies to make a few small batches. Saturday night I made a 2 1/2 gallon batch of a basic honey brown ale, cooled it to 80 degrees, put it into my fermenting bucket, pitched the yeast (white labs, warmed to room temp for 3 hours, used whole vial), closed it all up and now the wait.

This morning there is still no activity, I pulled out the bubbler and looked in the hole and there looks to be nothing happening. While I was thinking things over, I went to the kitchen and thought I would re-read the instructions on the White Labs vial. Then I noticed the "best by" date was November 2011.

So, I am thinking I am screwed at this point? Is there any viable yeast in there? I have dry yeast, should I go ahead and pitch one of these?

Thoughts?

Thanks, Tony

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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That is some pretty old yeast to use, especially without a starter (btw, you should get into the habit of making a starter for all your brews).

However, yeast is pretty resilient, so it might still take off. Just slowly. I would wait a total of 3 days to see I there's any activity. If not, then I would pitch the dry yeast.

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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Mix up some yeast nutrient and water.
Add it to the batch
shake to mix it.
Then pitch that old dry yeast you have in the back of the reefer.
Have fun.
Heclif.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Being that I used the entire vial, I figured I had enough yeast (2 1/2 gallon batch is all) but I should have looked at the date. This is only the third time I used liquid yeast, learning as I go. It should make it (????), on White Labs' website, it says "There will be living yeast in most vials for 6-12 months". Will the yeast tough it way along and multiply like in a giant starter? My O.G. was 1.056.

Thanks, Tony

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Typically, that best by" date is usually when the yeast is 6 months old - so that vial is a good 14 or 15 months old by now. There might be a few viable cells left in there, but not many... One of the side benefits of using starters is that you have an early warning that your yeast is good or bad, before your brew day - even if you had only made a 1 pint starter in this case, that starter's lack of activity would have clued you in that something was wrong...

Anyway, I'd probably pitch that dry yeast if I were you, and then maybe mention something to the LHBS next time you're in. There's no way that yeast should've still been on their shelf.

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
There's no way that yeast should've still been on their shelf.
+1,000 Your LHBS should give you your money back and/or a free vial of unexpired yeast
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #7
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I would only count on MAYBE 10% of those cells still being viable which MAY ferment your wort but it will not be a healthy fermentation. I worked at a HBS for a little while and we would send any vials that reached the 6 month mark back to White Labs for a refund. That sucks that they had that old stuff on the shelf

I would reccomend pitching some more yeast asap to assist the little guys that are in there right now.

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