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Old 09-10-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default Will my yeast still be good?

Ok here's my situation. Mid August I bought a kit from AHS with the intent to brew it a few days later. Well, life got in the way of my fun and I had to postpone my brewdate. I put my unactivated smack pack in the fridge. Now a month later I finally had some time coming up. I took them out of the fridge on a Monday evening, smacked them on Wednesday with the intent to brew Friday evening or Saturday. To my chagrin the pack did not swell up like it had always done in the past. I figured I had killed the poor fellows somehow and would have to get some new boys from my local HBS yet again postponing my beloved brew day. Don't I wake up this am and see the swollen pack sitting on the counter! My yeast went Lazuras on me & looked to be ready to go. My problem is I won't have time to brew until the weekend, 5 days away. What should I do now to keep the buggers happy? I'm thinking maybe knock out a starter quick so they have something to chew on for the next week? Suggestions are welcome.

Oh its Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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yep, starter it up. Just make sure and be sanitary about it. 1qt water in 100g DME and some nutrient. I like to cool the boiled wort(about 20 min) in the pan in a larger pan with ice water, then transfer to sanitized growler (starsan). Sanitize a piece of aluminum foil as well as the outside of the yeast smackpack. Then keep the foil loosely over the growler and shake and stir every once in awhile. They should be fine for 4 days or so.

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Old 09-10-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
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You should make a starter, but 5 days is too long for it to go. I'd either make a starter now, let it go for 24 hours, and put it in the fridge, then in brew day decant and pitch. Or put the smack pack back in the fridge and make a starter the day before.

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Old 12-30-2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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i have some dry packs of yeast that have been in my fridge for over a year and I'm curious if anyone thinks they would be good.

they are windsor & campagne yeast I plan to use for a russian imperial stout brew

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Old 12-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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Does the yeast have a best before date on it? If it's been stored properly, which for dry i think it's really just don't subject it to extreme temps, you should be fine. The s05 in my fridge says is good to 2014.

On the other hand, dry yeast is cheap, so buying new might be worth it for the piece of mind.

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Old 12-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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thanks... ill check for a date. what will be the harm in trying to use it? longer fermentation time if it doesnt fire on all cylinders?

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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If it has been stored for a long time, you'll have less viable yeast. That means fewer little yeasties will be biting off bigger chunks to ferment. It will still make beer. however, it will stress the yeast and *could* produce some off flavors such as diacetyl (buttery), esters, and fusel alcohol production.

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Old 12-31-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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thanks! i've always been curious what might happen... a quick trip to the homebrew store to replace the old yeast will be in order just to be safe.

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