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Old 12-20-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Tips for getting old yeast to start?

So, I got a deal on some lager yeast that expired in August 2012.
Not really that old, so I thought making a starter and put it on the stir plate it should take off. After 4 days nothing. Is it dead and thats all she wrote?
Let me also say I did this with 4 different yeasts, all expired. Two white labs and 2 smack packs, the smack packs did not inflate after 3 hours, but I tried anyway, no good. Is there anything to add to the starter to help revive it or is it dead in the pack/vial already?
I do a 2l starter at about 1.040 using DME

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Old 12-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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After a few days, let whatever yeast did propagate settle out, decant the beer on top, then add more wort solution (chilled of course). Over a week or so, you should start seeing more activity. This is good practice for me lager yeast strains anyway (if using a normal 2L flask). Cheers!

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Old 12-20-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufitfn View Post
So, I got a deal on some lager yeast that expired in August 2012.
Not really that old, so I thought making a starter and put it on the stir plate it should take off. After 4 days nothing. Is it dead and thats all she wrote?
Let me also say I did this with 4 different yeasts, all expired. Two white labs and 2 smack packs, the smack packs did not inflate after 3 hours, but I tried anyway, no good. Is there anything to add to the starter to help revive it or is it dead in the pack/vial already?
I do a 2l starter at about 1.040 using DME
Take another gravity reading - if its less than 1.040 then the yeast is still viable.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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During the initial stage, before the exponential growth phase, there is very little activity. The gravity may only drop a couple of points. With old yeast it can take some time to get going. If it is also low viability then it will take quite some time to grow as well. It's not un common for old yeast to take a week to show signs of activity. (That's even on a stir plate or with intermittent shaking)

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
After a few days, let whatever yeast did propagate settle out, decant the beer on top, then add more wort solution (chilled of course). Over a week or so, you should start seeing more activity. This is good practice for me lager yeast strains anyway (if using a normal 2L flask). Cheers!
Maybe I was impatient, I thought there may have been a little more yeast after settling, but because I did'nt see any activity I did'nt take a reading. I have one going now, I'll step up what does grow in a week or so.
Thanks
Thanks also Woodland brew, you are the yeast doctor!
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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3 hours to get a smack pack to inflate? That's awful quick. Mine take 1-4 days depending on the age.

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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Most healthy smack packs will inflate in 3 hours or so, I think I was impatient with the old stuff

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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Thanks also Woodland brew, you are the yeast doctor!
Thanks! I'm curiose as to how they turn out.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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Most healthy smack packs will inflate in 3 hours or so, I think I was impatient with the old stuff
You must be getting them super-fresh. Mine always take at least 24 hours to inflate.

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