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Old 09-03-2010, 04:53 AM   #1
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Default How long can you leave a yeast starter in the fridge?

I had a brew day disaster about 8 days ago and probably won't be able to try again for at least a few days, maybe another week. I originally made a yeast starter probably over two weeks ago (1 liter with liquid extract) and then stepped it up to 2 liters 9 days ago and its been sitting dormant in my fridge since then. The yeast I'm using is Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale. My question is, how long will the yeast remain viable in the fridge? Can I just step up a little to reactivate in a week or two when I'm ready, or will it be too old by then?

Also will sanitation be an issue since I only have it loosely covered with some sanitized foil? I don't want to screw this batch up since I've already invested a lot of time into it. Thanks!

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Old 09-03-2010, 01:20 PM   #2

The yeast will be fine for a couple of weeks in the fridge - much longer, actually. No worries!
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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I have seen many people recommend no longer than 2 weeks, but I once left a 2L starter for a month and had a problem-free fermentation.

I don't see how refrigerating a fresh starter is that different from buying a new tube of liquid yeast. Granted Wyeast/White Labs probably treat it in a very specific and healthy manner, oxygen free, nutrient-enriched, etc., but I'd say you're fine for a few weeks at least.
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