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Old 11-15-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
ShaLaH
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Default Yeast Starter Storage Problem

Hey ya'll,

I plan on brewing tonight but am concerned about my yeast starter. I made 1L starter on Saturday (Wyeast 1388) - I had it on a stir plate for about 42 hours and then cold crashed it in my fermentation fridge. The only problem is my ferm fridge is a wine chiller so it doesn't get as cold as a normal fridge. The starter has been stored in there for a week at 45 - 55 degrees F. Do you foresee any problems storing the yeast at those temps? The wyeast site says 34 F is ideal, but a normal fridge temp of 40 F is good too. My biggest concern is bacteria growth and the health of the yeast. What would you do?

(The reason for the 10 degree differential is my ranco is not kicking the compressor on when it goes past my 3 degree differential, which is a whole different problem…)

My options are:
1) Pitch the yeast and hope for the best.
2) buy 2 packs of new yeast and over pitch, (another $12)
3)???

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Old 11-15-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
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I'm sure that more qualified people will answer this in due time, but I think 45F should be fine. That's way below the active fermentation temp so the yeast should be pretty inactive. The only thing you might gain from a lower temp would be better flocc. The week of storage has probably helped it settle out. If you had a lager yeast that would be a different thing though.

I'm interested in seeing what the pros say.

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Old 11-15-2013, 04:33 PM   #3
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you will be fine! if you had kept the yeast at room temp for a week they would be fine, and keeping them a bit chilled is fine, indeed as mentioned above good flocculation is desirable. although i won't argue against 'hoping for the best' in your situation you can do better than that! maybe 'persuing the best' is more appropriate

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
you will be fine! if you had kept the yeast at room temp for a week they would be fine, and keeping them a bit chilled is fine, indeed as mentioned above good flocculation is desirable. although i won't argue against 'hoping for the best' in your situation you can do better than that! maybe 'persuing the best' is more appropriate
Sweet. Thanks for the encouraging words guys. I'll let ya know how it turns out and if my little yeasties take off during fermentation. I researched on this forum and elsewhere and really couldn't find a scientific answer. Everyone mentions putting the yeast into the fridge after the starter is done stirring/fermenting, but there is no definitive fridge temp - I'm sure there's quite a range of fridge temps depending on what the fridge is used for.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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Well, assuming the yeast was not contaminated due to the less than desirable storage temp for a week, I'd say they're pretty healthy. I pitched around 2:30 AM Friday night and when i checked the fermenter at 8:30 am Saturday it was bubbling full throttle. I let it go for 3 days, after high krausen, and added 1 lb of Belgian Candi Syrup and it took off again.

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Old 11-21-2013, 10:00 PM   #6
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I'm late to the party (story of my life), but so long as you sanitized your starter properly the storage temperature shouldn't be an issue. Cold storage preserves the maximum number of yeast and helps with sedimentation. Proper starter preparation and a clean work environment are what keep your starter/beer infection-free.

Bryan

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