I was at a LHBS at the end of March. I hadn't been there in a while and their cooler had been out for (they said) about a month. They had all of the hops and yeast on a shelf. The hops were still full price but the yeast was free. I was skeptical but thumbed through the free yeast for giggles. They had an activator pack of Wyeast Abbey II. This caught my eye because I'd been wanting to try it and hadn't seen it when I'd been in any of my three LHBS. I say local but they're all 40+ minutes away. Once home I smacked it, threw it on the counter, and waited. Three days later it started to swell so I prepared a one liter starter. It fermented that fine, within a couple days, so I stepped it up to two liters and made a Dubbel.
1lb. two row
.5lb. Special B
Mini-mash at 151 degrees
6lbs. light DME, four lbs. late addition
1 lb. pilonchillo
1oz. EKG 4.9% at 60 and 20 minutes
Left it in primary for four weeks. Held temps at 66 for three days then let it rise. It never got above 70 on the temp. strip. I wanted to bottle after three weeks but didn't have caps.
Sampled the first one today, about a week in the bottle. It's a plum and raisin bomb in a good way. The free yeast held court and made a very tasty beer. Gonna be fun to watch this one age. FG was 1.020. I washed the yeast and am very much looking forward to working with it in the future. I also shared a jar with a fellow HBTer.
I guess the moral is that we're all held hostages by our yeast. Treat them right and they'll reward you.
Looking forward to brewing some beer