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Old 11-30-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default How long can yeast be stored?

I'm sure this is in here somewhere else, but I have searched and can't find it. I have three stored batches of yeasts in the fridge. They were put into sanitized mason jars right after the beer was taken off for bottling. They all settled nicely and there is a couple inches of wort on top of the yeast. They haven't been touched for about a month and a half, maybe two. Smelled them today and they still smell like beer. How long can they stay in this fashion? Of course a starter would be needed before pitching. Just wondering how long they can stay in the fridge before they are of no use.

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Old 11-30-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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Bobby M recently did a test on year old stored yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/testing-limits-yeast-viability-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And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my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.

Same with jarred yeast.

With any stored, old yeast 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.

Even if you have a few still living cells, you can grow them....That's how we can harvest a huge starter (incrementally) from the dregs in a bottle of some commercial beers. You take those few living cells and grow them into more.

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 need to sweat too much about yeast viability....

we just need to think in terms of making starters.

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