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Old 03-23-2013, 07:44 AM   #1
JuanMoore
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Default Year old yeast

I have a few vials of white labs yeast that are 10-11 months old. I plan on making a starter to see if they're still viable, and then stepping them up if so. My question is what size starter should I use for the first step? There seems to be a lot of conflicting and unsure information about long term yeast viability, and I want to make sure the inoculation rate isn't too low for the first step. Or does it even matter for the first step?

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Old 03-23-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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Yes there are many schools of thought on this one but I suspect whatever path you take will get a result.
If you believe YeastCalc then you have only around 1% viability while Mr Malty suggests 10% viability.
Some who have conducted their own tests suggest these figures are too conservative and the figure would be significantly higher.

If I was aiming for around 200Bn viable cells.

If there is in fact only 1 Bn viable cells as YeastCalc suggests then I would probably do it in 3 steps
0.5L , 1L then 2L

If I believed Mr Malty's suggestion of 10Bn cells then I would probably still start with 0.5L then a 2L.


It would be great if you tried different options of starter size and SG of wort and report back the results. I for one would be most interested.

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Old 03-23-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Calculate the efficiency of the yeast. That will help you determine it's viability.


I personally would go straight to 2 L starters and castle based off a 1050 brew.

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Old 03-24-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I used a 1L starter for the first step on the first vial, and it started to take off at the 30hr mark. That kind of lagtime tells me I should have started smaller. I think I'll start with 500mL for the others, and then step up from there.

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