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Old 01-09-2007, 08:04 PM   #1
Nov 2006
Posts: 12

I'm going to be brewing up a Red Hook clone this afternoon and just noticed that my White Labs CA pale ale yeast has a "best by" date of November 2006. I figured I'd pitch it anyways and give it a day or two to see if it takes off. If not, get fresh yeast and re-pitch. But now the internal peanut gallery is going bananas and I'm wondering if old or expired yeast will give the beer any off flavors, or worse, ruin it???

Thanks for your input.

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Old 01-09-2007, 08:06 PM   #2
cweston's Avatar
Feb 2006
Manhattan, KS
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I'm sure it's fine.

One advantage of the Wyeast smack packs is that you know the yeast is good because the bag puffs up. Of course, if you make a starter, that also assures you that the yeasties are viable.


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Old 01-09-2007, 08:09 PM   #3
Cap'n Jewbeard
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Apr 2006
Posts: 924
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Yeah, my thought is, if you don't mind a small wait, put together a quick starter- if it takes off, you're golden; if it doesn't, you don't have crap in your brew.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:11 PM   #4
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
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You might want to make sure that it is good before brewing. If you cannot wait then give it a shot and get some US-56 for these uncertain situations. Good Luck ....I like Redhook ESB. Is that what you are trying for?

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Old 01-09-2007, 08:39 PM   #5
Nov 2006
Posts: 12

Yes, its a Red Hook ESB clone and I am extremely looking forward to it!!!

To clarify though, the yeast is not a smack pack, it's one of the WL liquid tubes. As long as old yeast doesn't give off flavors I can manage to extend my patience a few days...

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Old 01-09-2007, 08:42 PM   #6
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Aug 2006
People's Republic of Cambridge
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Just make up a starter and you should be fine.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:21 AM   #7

Man I LOVE Red Hook ESB!
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:36 AM   #8
Torchiest's Avatar
Nov 2006
Houston, TX
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I used a White Labs Trappist Ale that was about three weeks past the best by date when I pitched it, and it had a massive, out of control fermentation. I did make a starter. You're more than likely fine, if it's been kept refrigerated the entire time.
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