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Old 11-03-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default How long does liquid yeast stay viable for use?

Have vial of White Labs Belgian liquid ale yeast WLP550, been in refrig since delivered Jun-06-12, "best before date" reads Sep-04-12. Is this date "bible"? I'd like to brew tomorrow but if this yeast shouldn't be used I'm SOL cuz brew store isn't open til Monday. Any input would be greatly appreciated...

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Old 11-03-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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The actual manufacturing date is 4 months prior to the best by date. If you are making a 5 gallon batch you should have already made a starter. The older the yeast the larger it needs to be.

If it were me I would make a starter and put off brew day until it is ready.

Mrmalty.com and yeastcalc.com are good sources of information on starters and have calculators to determine how much yeast you will need.

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Old 11-03-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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I had some White Labs vials in the fridge, that was dated for use by March 2012, that I used this past weekend. I made three starter steps to get the cell count where I needed. After pitching the slurry, I had full activity in under 12 hours (going through the blowoff assembly)...

With a starter, or a couple of starter steps, you can use rather old yeast.

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