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Old 12-04-2012, 03:36 AM   #11
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The batches I made with EC-1118 came out GREAT (I know what you think of it fatbloke, calm down). The batches did finish sweet, and are now just over two years old. Damned fine in a glass. I'm waiting for the blackberry melomel I made (also just over two years ago) with D47 to come into it's own. I have some I made last year with 71B that I've not sampled yet (or not in a long time). One of those goes to bottles soon (in time for the holidays). That batch is with grade B maple syrup. I have a batch that I used RC-212 with, but it's under two months old, so not even ready to think about that one yet. I do plan to make a batch with K1V soon. That way I can compare it with EC-1118 myself. I have a batch I used Eau de Vie in, that's at least another year before it gets bottled (started it just under a year ago. I also have a batch planned with WLP099, that's going to be an experiment in yeast management and pushing the little bundles of joy to their limits.

Basically, I don't think you can go wrong with selecting one of the Lalvin strains. If you want to find out what it will do, mix up a batch and see for yourself. Don't go by what others say, unless that you'll get the nastiest, funkiest, most horrible abomination from using the strain (IMO, ~0% chance with proper formulation with any of their strains).

BTW, use this calculation tool to formulate your must. Unless you can get an actual sugar concentration percentage, it should give you a good baseline. I would also advise NOT reducing the honey when using EC-1118. My batches finished above 1.020 and are GREAT. I suspect if they were to have finished off at/below 1.005 it would have been a very different story. As it stands, you get great honey flavor and aroma in the glass. Enough to make you want to drink more, IF you can handle the 18% ABV. Just glad I use 375ml bottles for most of that.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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As an addendum to Golddiggies post, I have to mail order all my "good" yeasts and I stick to the lallemande offerings (which include the lalvin brand) because they publish more data about their yeasts than any other "maker". Which gives you the best guidance for picking and choosing an appropriate yeast type and logically the greatest control over the end product.

Of course, even with the amounts of data/info etc found at places like this or gotmead etc there's still a massive amount of stuff to learn.....

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
As an addendum to Golddiggies post, I have to mail order all my "good" yeasts and I stick to the lallemande offerings (which include the lalvin brand) because they publish more data about their yeasts than any other "maker". Which gives you the best guidance for picking and choosing an appropriate yeast type and logically the greatest control over the end product.

Of course, even with the amounts of data/info etc found at places like this or gotmead etc there's still a massive amount of stuff to learn.....
How long is the shelf life of a packet of yeast? Like I said I don't have a LHB store so I have to order my yeasts. That said, paying 2.50 on shipping on a .75 cent pack of yeast seems kind of unbalanced. Can I keep it in freezer to extend shelf life?
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #14
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How long is the shelf life of a packet of yeast? Like I said I don't have a LHB store so I have to order my yeasts. That said, paying 2.50 on shipping on a .75 cent pack of yeast seems kind of unbalanced. Can I keep it in freezer to extend shelf life?
I normally see at least a full year if not two, on dry yeast packets (before they hit the expiration date). Kept in the fridge, is just fine, but you can also freeze the dry yeast if you want to. I've not felt the need to free the dry yeast since it keeps really well in the fridge, has a long viable time range, is so cheap, and is typically stocked by the area LHBS'. Since you don't have a LHBS, just add some yeast packs to an order you're placing.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:45 AM   #15
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I normally see at least a full year if not two, on dry yeast packets (before they hit the expiration date). Kept in the fridge, is just fine, but you can also freeze the dry yeast if you want to. I've not felt the need to free the dry yeast since it keeps really well in the fridge, has a long viable time range, is so cheap, and is typically stocked by the area LHBS'. Since you don't have a LHBS, just add some yeast packs to an order you're placing.
Got an idea that its couple of years generally, but it probably has something to do with legal crap depending where you live.

I just get a bit of a stock in then just use it as and when but if I notice the intended pack is out of date I just make a bit of a starter. If it shows good signs of starting ok then I just pitch that as nothing is likely to have caused it to chance -if it doesnt start nothing is lost as the old/dead yeast just becomes food for what I try next.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:52 AM   #16
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Got an idea that its couple of years generally, but it probably has something to do with legal crap depending where you live.

I just get a bit of a stock in then just use it as and when but if I notice the intended pack is out of date I just make a bit of a starter. If it shows good signs of starting ok then I just pitch that as nothing is likely to have caused it to chance -if it doesnt start nothing is lost as the old/dead yeast just becomes food for what I try next.
I think it also has to do with how it was stored for the majority of time. Kept in the right temperature range (I recall seeing under 4C being ideal) it should be good for longer. If it's stored too warm, then it could actually not be viable (or viable enough) for the job sooner.

Personally, if I have a packet that's within a month, or two, past it's expire date (for dry) I might use it. If it's 6 months out (or more) I'll probably toss it into the boil for a beer and convert it into food for that yeast. With the packets being so cheap (under $1.50 for me) I don't see the point in using old/expired yeast. Well, using it to ferment the batch that is.

I do make it a point to look at the dates on the packs before I buy them. I typically aim to have at least a year in which to use them. If it's shorter than that, I'll either dig through the fridge for fresher, or ask the LHBS guy if he's getting any fresh yeast sometime soon. Unless I NEED yeast for a batch I've already planned, I can wait a little to get good stuff. Of course, as long as the stuff I'm going to use right away is within dates, there's pretty much no concern.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:53 PM   #17
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I once used a Montrachet dry yeast packet that had been "expired" for over 25 years. My stepfather bought it with a box of homebrew equipment at an estate sale and tossed it in the garage. It had endured unknown years of 90+ degree summers and winters that dip below 0F before I found it. The wine I made turned out just fine, I didn't even need to make a starter for it.

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Old 12-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #18
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It depends on what you making. I mostly enjoy melomels and stick to K1V and 71B for a reasons mentioned above. K1V-1116 is so universal and fast, no fuss, takes guess work out, finishes fast at such a broad temperature range. 71B on the other side makes really quick meads, drinkable fast but takes forever to ferment. I choose it to ferment musts with high malic acid content such as cherry, clementine and cyzers

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