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mgortel 11-21-2012 10:29 PM

Older Yeast
 
I have a pack of Wyeast 1099 (Whitbread) that I just bought at LHBS.....was the last one they had and I didn't have time to order online, etc....so I bought it.

Problem is it is dated April 10, 2012.

Going to use it for a Sweet Stout Saturday, 1.060 OG......1.023 FG

My concern is the age....I was planning on a 1 litre starter......

Beersmith says the viability is only 16% for this yeast with the date I enter......which puts it at 16 billion cells....and calculates a starter size required of 2.72 litres.....

Sound right to you guys....is that overkill....do you think I could get away with a 2 litre starter?

Any advice appreciated...

BTW....am I right in my understanding that a 1 litre starter is of course 1 litre of water and 1/2 cup DME???

dcarter 11-21-2012 10:36 PM

All that I can tell you is that I used yeast that I reclaimed from a batch that was about 65 days old, kept in my fridge in a mason jar and it lagged and allowed my beer to sour. 25 gallons down the drain. I now use fresh yeast only. I would go with Beersmith and use 2.7 because I know how much it hurts to dump a beer batch...

Ladd 11-21-2012 11:12 PM

I would start that yeast out in 500 mL of starter wort then step it up two or even three times incrementally until you get to the 2L volume (which should be fine). I have a lager going right now with a yeast that expired in Jun 2012 that I started this way and it is going great! It took about a week and a half to get my starter finished though so make sure you allow for that time before your brew day! Also don't be concerned with a long lag time when first pitched (mine took about 48hrs), with yeast that old it will have low viability and will take a while to reproduce enough to show visible signs of activity. Good luck! :mug:

mgortel 11-21-2012 11:13 PM

So to do that....since I am new to yeast starters......with the exception of the 1 litre starter I did last week......

Tonite:
1 litre water with 1/2 cup dme, boil 15 minutes, cool to 70F, pitch yeast

Thursday (24 hours later)
Decant starter
Add another fresh batch wort (same process as tonite)

Friday (24 hours again)
Repeat thursday activity...

So I end up with a 3 litre starter......

Sound right?

Ladd 11-21-2012 11:29 PM

I think this would be a realistic schedule:

I would start with 1/2 liter water with 1/4 dma, boil, cool and pitch.

Very likely you won't see any activity until this time Friday due to yeast age. Let it ferment out and put it in the fridge (likely Saturday eve) to crash it overnight.

If it has all settled out Sunday, decant, boil up a 2 L starter, cool and add it to your slurry.

Leave it for a few days or so to ferment out, crash it again in the fridge (likely Wednesday) when its done.

Decant (Thursday/Friday) and you are ready to pitch the slurry into your next weekends brew.

Cheers!

mgortel 11-21-2012 11:36 PM

Crap....I posted that after the latest response.......so a no go for this weekend......

mgortel 11-22-2012 04:03 PM

Man this stuff is toast.....pitched it in starter last night and 24 hours later now....no activity at all.....S.O.B.!!!!

Wanted to brew Saturday....so now I gotta drive an hour to a REPUTABLE HBS to get (2) packs of fresh yeast! Never going to the LHBS again.....pissed me off.....

chitowngator 11-22-2012 05:12 PM

I'm currently stepping up a starter of WLP860 with a 4/4/11 date on it. There was no activity for 2.5 days then it took off. I would give it another day or two before you throw in the towel.

Some yeast don't have a lot of activity in a starter, so it could be working and you just can't see it.

mgortel 11-22-2012 05:39 PM

Yeah I just dont want to risk ruining a batch of beer....

I mean there is absolutely no foam when I swirl it........i.e. I assume to CO2 production...so no activity.

Revvy 11-22-2012 05:45 PM

It may be slow to start, but that doesn't mean it's toast. And the only way to gauge starter activity is whether or not there's a band of yeast in the bottom of the vessel. Nothing else.

People have used several year old yeast with no problems, that's what starters are for. But they may be slower to get going.


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