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Old 02-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
mikecshultz
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Default Old yeast

Hi all. So yesterday I picked up some supplies from my HBS. when I got home I realized that the yeast was old, from last October. I was already planning on making a starter, but when I plugged in the date and everything into the mr malty yeast calculator it said I needed this huge starter with like 4 packs of yeast. I made a 2000ml starter last night. I used an anti foam drop (the name escapes me right now, I think they are called ferm s something). The stater has been going for 14 hours and I don't see any difference. Also I was using a smack pack and even after about 5 hours it never really inflated. Is my yeast no good, or should I try to crash this starter and use any yeast to make another one? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.



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Old 02-02-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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It should be fine. My LHBS sells old yeast at 75%. When I make a starter with old yeast I will start about 2 days before brew day. If making a 2L starter, I will start with 1L of wort and let it go for 24 hours. Turn off the stir plate for a couple of hours, decant liquid off the top and add enough wort to make 2L and let it go another 24 hours. As you started with 2L of starter, it may just take longer and since you added some fermcap, you make not see any krausen anyway.



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Old 02-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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I made a small starter once for some 2 year old dry ale yeast & it worked great. This last brew,I was using up some odds-n-ends,& didn't take notice that the 2 7g Cooper's ale yeast packets were 2010 & 2011. Rehydrated them & got a really good yeast cream at 90F for 30 minutes. So they can be revived.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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Mr. Malty is a great resource but some of us are beginning to question it's premises as it calculates some really huge starters with yeast that is a bit past its best date but when you use less than Mr. Malty says you still can make excellent beer.

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Old 02-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Mr. Malty is a great resource but some of us are beginning to question it's premises as it calculates some really huge starters with yeast that is a bit past its best date but when you use less than Mr. Malty says you still can make excellent beer.
I don't trust the viability calculations in Mr.Malty. When I first noted it said slurry only has a 10% viability after 2 months, I gave up trusting it. It might be right for yeast stored at room temperature, but I think it is way off for properly stored yeast.

To the OP: You should be fine. Being a little old, it could take 24 to 48 hours to get going.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the quick responses. I am thinking I will run the stir plate for 24 hours. Is there any way running it for that long could be harmful?

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Old 02-02-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Here's what Ken Shales said about making yeast starters in Brewing better beers (1967). He assumes that you are starting with a single ~12 oz bottle of naturally conditioned beer.

  • Let the bottle stand undisturbed for 2 - 3 days to let the yeast settle at the bottom of the bottle.
  • Pour out the beer (except for the last 1/2 inch which contains the yeast).
  • Add about 6 oz sterile wort (1 tbsp LME + 1 tbsp table sugar + 6 oz water + pinch citric acid, + pinch ammonium phosphate + vitamin B tablet
  • Add an airlock, and keep it warm for 3 - 4 days, then pitch.
I don't recommend doing this, but that's how I started, and I made some surprisingly good beers back in the 70's and 80's. I also used a beer that was over 12 months old to make the starter (I know this, because I had to go back to the UK to get a six pack with a suitable yeast), and it still worked.


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Old 02-08-2013, 02:41 AM   #8
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I just kegged a brew using a White Labs yeast with an expiration of March 2012 (I looked at the date quickly when I bought it and assumed it was 2013---won't mention where I bought it but it was local to me) and with a big enough starter it was fine, FG was spot on.



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