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Old 05-25-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default Oh Snap!! Froze my yeast!!!!!

I was going to brew tonight (now) -- took the wyeast smack pack out of the beer fridge in the garage, it was in the back of the fridge where I am now reminded that things get a bit cooler, had ice on it and was partially frozen. Am I screwed???? I ran some water on it smacked it and it is balooning some just wondering if I should set aside brew plans and get some more yeast

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Old 05-25-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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The yeast will come back if you make a starter, but that will take a few days.

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Old 05-25-2012, 11:03 PM   #3
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I'm a big advocate to making a starter anyway, especially when using liquid yeast. If you make a starter, there just isn't the uncertainty that you have when using liquid yeast from the package, even if you use a smack pack.

Also, when I started using starters for my batches I think it was the single best improvement to the overall quality of the beer I produced. Just something to think about.

Back to your question though, was the liquid inside frozen or was there just ice on the outside of the package?

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Old 05-25-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
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a litlle crusty inside but not totally frozen

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Old 05-25-2012, 11:21 PM   #5
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Well, if there were ice crystals then there is a chance you lysed some of the yeast. It's really impossible to tell how much the yield was decreased by the freeze/thaw, but is is promising that the package expanded when warmed.

My advice would be to use another package of yeast if you can get one, and just pitch both packages. It is entirely possible that you still have plenty of yeast in the package you have, but for my time and money a few extra dollars is worth it to prevent a possible slow/stressed fermentation. If you don't have access to a LHBS and you want to go ahead with your brew day as planned, that's definitely an option as well. Just pitch the yeast you have and keep your fingers crossed.

Good luck!

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