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Old 10-21-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
WildKnight
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Default Yeast Expiration Date

I made a saison last saturday and purchased the WLP565 for the yeast. The yeast was literally one day away from its 'best before' day, but the HBS owner said it would be ok. I made a starter for 24 hours, then pitched into wort that I aerated with a 0.5 micron stone for one hour. The beer appeared to start fermenting, as I got maybe an inch of Krausening, but then stopped. It started 1.062 and is now 1.054.

I am thinking the yeast was not very healthy. Is this something my HBS should make right since I purchased the yeast so close to its expiration date?

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by WildKnight View Post
Is this something my HBS should make right since I purchased the yeast so close to its expiration date?
In my opinion... No.

It was still BEFORE the date when you bought it, so the LHBS didn't sell you anything that was past expiration.

They did nothing wrong.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
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I should have added:

You can always tell them what happened and maybe and ask if anyone else had had a bad experience with that yeast. They might be kind enough to replace it or refund your money or something, but I don't they are OBLIGATED to do anything about it.

I got two smack packs of bad yeast from my LHBS within 2 months time last year. Neither was past expiration, but both were close to it. One of those ruined my beer - it fermented with some of the nastiest off flavors. The other just didn't do anything and I had to pitch dry yeast to get the batch moving along - it turned out fine.

On the one that was ruined, I asked my LHBS if others had reported any issues. They simply said that nobody else had reported issues. On the one that was simply dead, I didn't call them or anything.

I don't BLAME the LHBS for the bad yeast, but I also won't buy liquid yeast from them anymore. For all I know, it could have been mishandled by the delivery company that brought the yeast to the shop.

At any rate, I buy dry from them only at this point and get my occasional liquid from an online place that somehoe manages to ship to me in less than 48 hours. (That's Brewmaster's Warehouse!)

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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I've used it over a year old....If you're stepping up a starter, then the age of a yeast isn't really an issue.

Bobby M did a test on year old stored yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/test...bility-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes.

I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

With any stored, old yeast you just need first to apply the "sniff test" if it smell bad, especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.

Then make a starter, and if it takes off you are fine. The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that;s how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

Even if you have a few still living cells, you can grow them....That's how we can harvest a huge starter (incrementally) from the dregs in a bottle of some commercial beers. You take those few living cells and grow them into more.

If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't need to sweat too much about how old a yeast is, if it's properly stored.

we just need to think in terms of making starters. Viability isn't really an issue if you are reproducing a lot of healthy cells. Which is what you are doing when you make a starter.....

Really even with "old yeast" if there is a few cells, they will reproduce.

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