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Old 08-25-2010, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default Old Wyeast - use it anyway

Stopped by a home brew store that I had never been to before. Basically a guy running a shop out of a house. He had a good selection of grain, so I filled my grain bill and used his grinder. His hops did not look like they were sealed very well but they were in a freezer and they were cheap so I got a couple of ounces. Then I looked at his yeast, they were in a fridge but the liquids were old. He gave me a smack pack of Wyeast 2112 that was dated December 09.

Should I use it?

I am thinking about making a small starter, then after gradually add more wort until it is a couple of quarts then pitch it.

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Old 08-25-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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You can use them a lot older than that. Just smack it and let it go for a few days then step it up 2-3 times and you're good to go.

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Old 08-25-2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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Go ahead and use it. I'm pretty sure that they don't "spoil", there are just less active yeast in the pack now. You should be fine if you make a starter.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:28 AM   #4
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I've used yeast that have been that old after making several starters.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:43 AM   #5
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If you're stepping up a starter, then the age of a yeast isn't really an issue.

Bobby M did a test on year old stored yeast here;

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my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.

With any stored, old yeast you just need first to apply the "sniff test" if it smell bad, especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.

Then make a starter, and if it takes off you are fine. The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that;s how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

Even if you have a few still living cells, you can grow them....That's how we can harvest a huge starter (incrementally) from the dregs in a bottle of some commercial beers. You take those few living cells and grow them into more.

If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't need to sweat too much about how old a yeast is, if it's properly stored.

we just need to think in terms of making starters. Viability isn't really an issue if you are reproducing a lot of healthy cells. Which is what you are doing when you make a starter.....

Really even with "old yeast" if there is a few cells, they will reproduce.

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