Does white labs deteriorate? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Does white labs deteriorate?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #1
JONNYROTTEN
Recipes 
 
Nov 2009
Long Island, State of Confusion
Posts: 1,663
Liked 321 Times on 234 Posts



just got white labs yeast.on bottle it says it expires in 2 weeks.does it deteriorate with time or is it just as good as the other bottle i have that expires in 2 1/2 months.Lhbs guy says its just as good

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
eriktlupus
 
eriktlupus's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Cereal City, USA
Posts: 2,618
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts


from the moment they put yeast in a bottle it starts losing cells to age. the 4 month mark on WL products is a best by date. ie use before will be consistent from month 1 to month 4, now if your making starters (you should be) the 4 month date is very arbritary and i've revived vials that were in my fridge for 8mo or more with no problems. the guys who plate their yeast do even better since they have more control over bugs getting into their strains.
__________________
primary1 :UTOPIA BABY(still searching for it)
secondary:middling bastard ipa
kegged:simcoe blonde, crystal pale ale, yellow jacket golden ale, lemon shandy blonde
DRINKIN DAWG BREWERY
LET'S GO RED WINGS


join michigan mashers here

extraction calculator
grains in pounds(G) X 36(average points per gallon of grains) / batch size in gallons(g) = maximum efficiency(ME)
OG / ME = brewhouse efficiency

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #3
Palefire
 
Palefire's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2009
SF, CA
Posts: 1,124
Liked 12 Times on 9 Posts


As long as you make a sufficient starter, you should be fine. I'm not speaking from personal experience, but there are lots of threads here where people have used long-expired yeast and it's worked great (Revvy has lots of posts about that). I have used washed yeast that's a few months old, and it's been fine.

If you're really worried, you can make a starter 4-5 days in advance to make sure it ferments; if it doesn't, then go pick up some new yeast.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3198 Times on 1886 Posts


Bobby M recently did a test on year old store yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/test...bility-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

I don't know if you know the story of Charlie Papazian's yeast (White Labs "Cry Havoc") or not. He talked about it on basic brewing. The recipes in both Papazian's books, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and The Homebrewers Companion, were originally developed and brewed with this yeast. Papazian had "Cry Havoc" in his yeast stable since 1983.

He has used it nearly continuously since 83, sometimes pitching multiple batches on top of a cake, sometimes washing or not washing, etc. In a basic brewing podcast iirc last year he talked about how a batch of the yeast after a lot of uses picked up a wild mutation, and he noticed an off flavor in a couple batches.

Now most of us would prolly dump that yeast. Instead he washed it, slanted or jarred it (I can't recall which,)marked it, and cold stored it, and pretty much forgot about it for 10-15 years. He had plenty other slants of the yeast strain, so he left it alone.

Well evidently he came across that container of yeast, and for sh!ts and giggles made a beer with it. Evidently after all those years in storage, the wild or mutated yeast died out leaving behind a few viable cells of the "pure" culture, which he grew back into a pretty hardy strain...which iirc is the culture that White Labs actually used for their cry havoc...because of it's tenacity and survivability.

It really to me, just goes to show once again how really hard it is to f up this beermaking, and that to give the yeast the props they deserve.

If you slant and freeze them, or if you jar them and store them, as long as you make a starter, and provide a sniff test, to catch those rare times, you will be fine.

__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 08:57 PM   #5
Zen_Brew
 
Zen_Brew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2009
Seattle
Posts: 1,864
Liked 23 Times on 23 Posts


It is not that it deteriorates, but that the yeast cells begin to die. The bottle that expires in 2 weeks should definitely be used first. There will be less viable yeast in the older vial and it will benefit from a larger starter before use to build the colony size and get the yeast health back up.

If you go to the mrmalty pitching calculator you can change the yeast mfr date and see how the starter size requirement increases. You should always try to buy yeast with a fairly recent mfr date, or a longer date to expiration.
__________________
Primary: German Hef, Belgian IPA, Scottish 80, Belgian Dubbel
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dark Strong, Munich Dunkel, Dunkel Weizen, Oktoberfest, Bock, IPA, Black IPA, English IPA, Pale Ale

Using the mind to look for reality is delusion. Using your senses to look for reality is awareness.

"One time I was so desperate for a beer I snuck into the football stadium and ate the dirt under the bleachers." Homer Simpson

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hoppiness

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
White Labs 002 = US-04? Benny Blanco Recipes/Ingredients 7 09-12-2011 05:00 AM
white labs delweaver Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 04-21-2008 05:36 PM
white labs Dannyc31 General Beer Discussion 20 10-04-2007 04:37 AM
White Labs shbrewer General Beer Discussion 12 03-07-2007 02:40 PM


Forum Jump