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Old 01-22-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
LouisianaVince
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Default Year-Old Wyeast British Ale WLP005

I just wanted to mention that I've had a vial of this yeast in my fridge for over a year. It was part of a Bass Ale Clone extract kit I bought from Austin Homebrew Supply. The "best if used by" date was April 24, 2011. I tried it anyway, fully expecting to have to pitch a newer vial on top. But I wanted to see if it would start. I brewed the Bass Ale Clone Saturday morning/afternoon last weekend, and pitched the yeast (at room temp) about 1:30 pm. In the kit, I added the 1% alcohol boost and a capsule of yeast fuel.

There was no activity in the airlock or in the carboy until Monday afternoon. By Tuesday morning I was getting a bubble once per second (or a little faster) and there was a good head of foam in the carboy. It is now Sunday, 6 days since fermentation started, and I'm still getting a bubble every 45 seconds or so...almost ready to rack to secondary...I'll probably do that tomorrow night, assuming the activity stops.

I was amazed that this fermentation started with such old liquid yeast, so I wanted to post and see if others have had similar experiences.

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Old 01-22-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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I've heard many cases of year old liquid yeast being used. It took several days to start up because you did not use a starter. Typically, you are going to want to make starters whenever the vial or pack is beyond the "best if used by" date. I make them for every brew and I get better results than when I didn't make starters. Just my opinion at least. Enjoy the tasty brew those yeasty's are going to make. Cheers!

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike. I keep telling myself I'm going to start using yeast starters. I think I'll try it with my next brew. Cheers!

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"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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Fermenting: AHS Bass Ale clone
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Bottled: None: Drank it all!
Next up: AHS Old Speckled Hen clone, then AHS Imperial British Red

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #4
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As the yeast gets older the viability decreases. That is why a starter is recommended once the "best used by" date has been passed. Typically, low gravity beers can be brewed without starters; you can pitch straight from the smack pack or vial. However, with higher gravity beers, fermentation can stall because there is not enough healthy yeast to produce new yeast. I have pitched straight from the smack pack on a beer with OG of 1.060 and the beer turned out great. However, when I brewed it again and made a starter, it was much better. I have followed the advice of people on HBT and make starters every time I brew now. My beers have gotten noticeably better. Hope you can find what works best for you. Cheers!

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Old 01-22-2012, 10:00 PM   #5
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I just brewed the same "BRASS Ale" as they call it , on Friday. My 2nd AG brew.

I did a starter and the date on the package was 12/13/11. It was doing it's thang in 4 hours. But I used Wyeast 1098 British Ale, ferm set @ 68,

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