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Old 02-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Is my wyeast pack still good?

I bought a wyeast pack during the month of November and I haven't had time to brew so I stored it in my fridge. I decided to take a look at the pack today and I noticed that it was swelled up. I guess someone accidentally smacked it while stocking the fridge and I don't know how long it has been like that. Maybe months or weeks? Is the yest still good for pitching?

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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What is the date on the pack?

It might be ok but you will definitely have to make a large starter first. Try making a starter and see what happens.

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #3
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If you make a starter, then the age of a yeast isn't really an issue.

Bobby M 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And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my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.

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 how old a yeast is, if it's properly stored.

Really even with "old yeast" if there is a few cells, they will reproduce. In your case it may just take awhile.

I know other folks on here who have gone a couple years with harvested yeast.

Bottom line, I think you're stressing for nothing. Just relax.

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gio View Post
What is the date on the pack?

It might be ok but you will definitely have to make a large starter first. Try making a starter and see what happens.
Damn, I just checked the exp date and it seems that I bought a pack that had expired during the month of October. I'll make a starter sometime this week and see if they're still good.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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My LHBS also does the discount for date thing, and I can usually get at least half off, sometimes 75%, and the very rare free. Always Wyeast, and with starters never had a problem. Need to plan the brew week at least a week in advance to be sure the starter gets going, but after that, it is the same as buying yeast that just hit the shelf.

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:43 PM   #6
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for a package that old I would make a starter with an og of around 1.020. Allow it to ferment 24 hours and then chill and decant. After that I would make a one liter starter with a 1.040 og and repeat the same steps. That yeast is in rough shape and that will condition it back so they're ready to fight.

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