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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Problems with Red Star yeast or maybe the mail?
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:43 AM   #1
Jkalotai
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Default Problems with Red Star yeast or maybe the mail?

I got 10 packets of Red Star Champagne yeast through Amazon. I tried using this yeast in two batches of cider. In both cases the yeast never took after 48 hours. I used Lalvin 1118 in previous batches and got fermentation and bubbling in the airlock in 6-8 hours. Oh, and the two batches that the Red Star didn't catch? Well I added the Lalvin and it started to bubble away a few hours later.

The Red Star came via USPS and the Lalvin via UPS. So the question is could it be a victim of irradiation?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irradiated_mail

As far as specifics on the recipe-

2 Gallons Musselmans
1 12oz Seneca AJC
1 Cup Brown Sugar
Yeast nutrient
SG 1.060

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Old 01-04-2014, 02:01 AM   #2
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Thats a new one to me, but I don't buy yeast or food products through the mail. Yeast is cheap enough to just buy locally and it supports your local home brew shop. I'd contact the seller and see what they can do for you.

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Old 01-05-2014, 03:59 AM   #3
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At the time I did know about a local brew store unfortunately. It was also convenient to get everything from amazon as I didn't have drive the 30 miles to buy $5 worth of yeast. but that's beside the point. I'm sticking with the Lalvin and waiting for the vendor to answer my email.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:34 AM   #4
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Try 'washing your yeast'. I think you can get 2-3 generations out of it without adverse affects, and will save you this problem in the future. you can also only buy from a vender that does ups shipping. may cost you a buck more, but I don't think they eriticate mail like the usps does.

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Old 01-05-2014, 07:28 AM   #5
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Did you look for an expiration date on the packets? I keep my yeast in the fridge that I use to lager, it stays at 27° - 30° for months on end without any negative effects on the yeast.
My guess would be that they sold you old yeast, did you try to hydrate it before pitching it?

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Old 01-05-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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Make a starter, 2 cups water at 105F, 2 tablespons of sugar, teaspoon of nutrient, quarter teaspoon of acid blend, add your yeast to the top and let it rehydrate without stirrign it up, if that doesnt wake up your yeasts and show you its alive in a few hours you got a problem. Calling the supplier to tell then their yeast doesnt work and all you did was dump it in doesnt tell anyone much at all. Test it to be sure its alive first, yeasts dont all act the same and there can be different lag times for each yeast. WVMJ

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Old 01-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinman2012 View Post
Did you look for an expiration date on the packets?
6/15 so it should be viable

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
Make a starter, 2 cups water at 105F, 2 tablespons of sugar, teaspoon of nutrient, quarter teaspoon of acid blend, add your yeast to the top
Something for me to try next time if I try to use the Red Star again.

I think I'll stick to the Lalvin for now. I have a local source and I know it works
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:38 PM   #8
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Dont blame Red Star, nothing wrong with their yeasts, yours may have been handled wrong or got to hot or cold in the mail, but dont blame Red Star. But if you mixed up that little starter mix and added a pack of yeast you would find out if its your yeast is bad or something wrong in your must. WVMJ

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
Dont blame Red Star, nothing wrong with their yeasts,

I'm not casting aspersions on Red Star. If you look at my original post I was wondering about how it's handling in the mail may affect the yeast. Red Star is not carried by my local brew shop. They primarily sell White Labs and Lalvin and it comes UPS or Fedex to their shop.

I do know that I got consistent result with the Lalvin. Maybe when I have the time I'll experiment with the Red Star again.
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