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Old 11-18-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
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Default how big a starter with a REALLY old smack pack?

going to brew a two hearted clone next week, splitting the 10 gallons between us-05 and irish ale yeast. the irish ale yeast was produced in march of 07. according to mr. malty, i need 36 packs of yeast and 3 liters of wort.

a bit much?

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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Get it in a 2 liter starter and see how it reacts. More than likely, you will have to step it up a few times to get a sufficient amount of slurry.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:37 PM   #3
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i activated it last night. hopefully i'll see some swelling tonight. that would be a good sign.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:39 PM   #4
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That yeast is probably not viable. Why risk it? I'd buy some new fresh yeast.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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That yeast is probably not viable. Why risk it? I'd buy some new fresh yeast.
??????????????? What makes you think that???????????????????????

Bobby M recently did a test on year old stored yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/test...bility-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

You just need first to apply the "sniff test" if it smell bad, especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.

Then make a starter, and if it takes off you are fine. The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that's how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't

dcbeerboy is on the right track in wanting to make a starter. Just start small and build it up incrementally and you'll be fine.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
??????????????? What makes you think that???????????????????????

Bobby M recently did a test on year old stored yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/test...bility-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

You just need first to apply the "sniff test" if it smell bad, especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.

Then make a starter, and if it takes off you are fine. The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that's how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't

dcbeerboy is on the right track in wanting to make a starter. Just start small and build it up incrementally and you'll be fine.
OK then follow the mr malty chart and use 36 smack packs and make 3 liters of starter.

Or you can under pitch with your 3 year old barely viable yeast and deal with those problems.

Or you can culture yeast from the 3 year old smack pack and step it up several times until you have the proper cell counts for a 5 gallon fermentation.

Or you could do things the easy way and just buy a new pack.

The choice is yours. Personally, I like to start with fresh yeast, make the proper sized starter and pitch the proper amount of healthy, active cells. I find this produces the best results. But if you want to dick around with old yeast and under pitching, have at it.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #7
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OK then follow the mr malty chart and use 36 smack packs and make 3 liters of starter.

Or you can under pitch with your 3 year old barely viable yeast and deal with those problems.

Or you can culture yeast from the 3 year old smack pack and step it up several times until you have the proper cell counts for a 5 gallon fermentation.

Or you could do things the easy way and just buy a new pack.

The choice is yours. Personally, I like to start with fresh yeast, make the proper sized starter and pitch the proper amount of healthy, active cells. I find this produces the best results. But if you want to dick around with old yeast and under pitching, have at it.
If he steps it up several times it will be fine and there will be no under pitching. I have done several batches with yeast harvested from bottles of Saison Dupont and Hennepin.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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1.025-1.030 wort costs about nothing (if you brew all grain)

Smack packs are $7

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:23 PM   #9
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If he steps it up several times it will be fine and there will be no under pitching. I have done several batches with yeast harvested from bottles of Saison Dupont and Hennepin.
Sure that was option 3 on my list. I guess my point was there are several ways to get r done but just pitching that old pack or using it in a big 3L starter ain't gonna work well. The original question was how big a starter? And it's not that simple with old yeast. If you want it that simple, do like me and start with some fresh yeast. The alternative is slowly growing it up or just under pitching what you got.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:31 PM   #10
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1.025-1.030 wort costs about nothing (if you brew all grain)

Smack packs are $7
You make starters with all grain?

A new smack pack may cost 7 bucks but the time saved may make it worth the price. It's your call. I prefer to spend the extra 7 bucks. Not only to save time but to ensure that I start with good yeast.
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