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Old 07-03-2011, 03:21 AM   #1
bhop2112
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Default Problematic Yeast Starter

Hi All,

I'm preparing to brew a Belgian Pale on Monday (1.052) so I was getting my starter ready tonight (WLP 550). I noticed when I got home from the LHBS that it had a "best by" date on it of 8/11/2011, which according to Mr. Malty means it was manufactured back in April and is at 40% viability. The recommendation was to make roughly a 3 liter starter, but I only have a 2000ml flask, so I figured I would do my best and make roughly a 2000ml starter (with a stir plate). When I opened the vial to pitch the yeast, apparently there was some pressure inside the vial and maybe a third of the liquid spewed out all over the counter, so I only got maybe 2/3 of the vial pitched.

What would you guys recommend I do at this point:

1) Go back and get another vial in the morning and pitch that into the starter as well.
2) Get another vial and pitch that into the fermenter along with the starter
3) Just let it ride

Thanks for any thoughts on this.



Brett

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Old 07-03-2011, 06:37 AM   #2
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Go there and see if you can get an exchange. They shouldn't be selling people yeast that old.

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Old 07-03-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannPM View Post
They shouldn't be selling people yeast that old.
Um...It hasn't expired yet, how is it wrong?

Besides, If you make a starter, then the age of a yeast isn't really an issue. When you make a starter, and grow it, you're replicating more yeast to make up for any loss. You're making new, fresh yeast.

To me that means it doesn't really matter the age of the yeast, because you'll be pitching FRESHER yeast, yeast you grew yourself.

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And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in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

Yeast are cannibals, those that survive will eat those that are dead. You won't notice them.

I've used over a year old jar of yeast with no issues.

I think new brewers stress the date of their yeast packs way too much. You forget that in making starters, you are GROWING YEAST.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I was probably more concerned about spilling a 1/3 of the vial than I was with the viability, but this morning the starter has a huge kreusen on it, so I'm thinking it'll be fine.

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Old 07-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy

Um...It hasn't expired yet, how is it wrong?
Thought it was from 2010 my bad
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:35 PM   #6
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Having a similar situation with WLP004. When I opened it it also fizzed like a shook soda can. Lucky for me I opened it over my funnel and it went right into the starter.

My LHBS also sells yeast at half price when it gets close to the expiration date. The one I got was to expire Friday. I am using a starter, so didn't see any issue with "older" yeast.

I also have zero activity. Imved the starter to a cooler area hoping that was the issue.

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