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Old 01-22-2014, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default White Labs vial froze solid = dead yeast?

Yesterday I received a delivery from a mail-order Homebrew shop I use. However, the package was delivered during the day, and I didn't get home until suppertime. The temperature here yesterday was -13° F. When I opened the box, the vial of White Labs yeast (WL007 Dry English Ale) was frozen solid. I put it in my refrigerator to slowly thaw it back out.

My question is: Will having been frozen dramatically adversely affect the yeast's viability? Of course I'll still do a starter anyway, but how well do yeast typically survive being frozen in the vial like this?

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:47 PM   #2
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Chris White of White Labs had said freezing of the yeast in shipping may reduce viability by 10% due to some cells being killed.

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flars View Post
Chris White of White Labs had said freezing of the yeast in shipping may reduce viability by 10% due to some cells being killed.
This exactly. Make a starter.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:35 PM   #4
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Freezing damages/burst the yeast cell walls, the reason dry yeast can be out in the freezer is because of exactly that, it's dry. Think about if you put a glass container filled with water I'm the freezer, the ice will expand and break the container. I imagine it's the same thing with the yeast cells. I would consider making a simple starter, then if it shows activity I would wash it and that way you'll have a slurry of healthier yeast.

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Old 01-22-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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Make a starter. Even if it truely is only a 10% viability drop, you can't be sure if the vial froze and thawed a few times.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:38 PM   #6
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And the 10% rule applies to each cycle of freezing and thawing. So you have to keep that in mind.

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