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Old 12-16-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
LansingX
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Thought I would share a success story on reviving a 13 month old Wyeast 1056 American Ale. Not sure how or why I ended up with this old packet of yeast, but I was planning an Ale this weekend and figured what the heck, I will try a starter with it and see if it works. It was showing signs of life about 24 hours later.

I recently made a home made stir plate with a cigar box and an old computer fan. Not sure why I waited so long… that thing is something else and is definitely a great addition to my home brewery. And the idea for a cigar box stir plate was found on this great forum! Thank you to all you innovative souls on this forum.


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Old 12-18-2012, 03:21 AM   #2
CryoEng
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I'd be interested in knowing how the starter behaved and how a brew turns out.

Hopefully, the beer will be simple enough to judge the yeast without too many other aromas and flavors to complicate the analysis.


Please, as you go, take a minute and post any further results.

Cheers



 
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:57 PM   #3
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I used year old 1762 to ferment a dubbel and I regret it. I treated it very well, grew it up a lot, gave it lots of nutrients, stir plate, plenty of oxygen in the wort, and I only got 72% attenuation. The beer was tasty, but could have done with another 8-10 points of attenuation. I will never use old yeast again. While they obviously have the ability to ferment, how healthy are they?

 
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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I regularly use 12-24 month old yeast from my "yeast farm". I've never had a problem. I make sure to use a good healthy starter.

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Old 12-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzimonson View Post
I used year old 1762 to ferment a dubbel and I regret it. I treated it very well, grew it up a lot, gave it lots of nutrients, stir plate, plenty of oxygen in the wort, and I only got 72% attenuation. The beer was tasty, but could have done with another 8-10 points of attenuation. I will never use old yeast again. While they obviously have the ability to ferment, how healthy are they?
If you read the published attenuation rates for beer yeast they generally range at approximately 72-75%. That performance IMHO does not indicate anything but a healthy beer yeast. If you want higher attenuation, you would go to a Wine or champagne yeast.

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Old 12-18-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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With older yeast its usually a good idea to do a stepped starter (2-3 steps) so that you get the cell count needed. Easy to do with yeastcalc.com's site. I've used 10+ month old yeast like that so far. Might even use a pack from Sept 2011 that way.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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To clarify about my dubbel, I did do 3 steps of starters to grow the old yeast up, with lots of nutrients, oxygen, and a stir plate each time.

Also, my dubbel recipe was fairly standard with about 8% crystal malt, some wheat, munich, and base malt, and 10% sugar. So I expected something more like 78-80% attenuation. Maybe 75% at the veeerry lowest.

In Jamil and Chris's Yeast book, they talk about successive generations of yeast that experience sub-par oxygenation. By the fifth batch the attenuation was a full degree plato higher than normal, and it took an extra day to finish fermentation. I liken using old yeast to this situation - subpar yeast will definitely still ferment something, but how well? Vitality is just as important as viability.

 
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzimonson View Post
Also, my dubbel recipe was fairly standard with about 8% crystal malt, some wheat, munich, and base malt, and 10% sugar. So I expected something more like 78-80% attenuation. Maybe 75% at the veeerry lowest.
YEAST STRAIN: 1762 | Belgian Abbey II™

An excellent yeast strain for use in Belgian dark strong ales. This strain has a relatively “clean profile” which allows a rich malt and distinctive ethanol character to shine. Delicate dried fruit esters can be produced when used at higher fermentation temperatures or in a high gravity wort.

Origin:
Flocculation: medium
Attenuation: 73-77%
Temperature Range: 65-75° F (18-24° C)
Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 12% ABV

Your expectation of 78-80% was a bit overzealous.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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As I understand, those attenuation ranges are for all-malt worts. So theoretically if I make a 1.060 all-malt beer and achieve 75% attenuation with this yeast, I'll have a FG of 1.015. If I were to add enough sugar to this wort to make it a theoretical OG of 1.072, the beer would still ferment to 1.015 because the yeast would consume every bit of the sugar. 1.072 to 1.015 is about 80%

 
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzimonson View Post
As I understand, those attenuation ranges are for all-malt worts. So theoretically if I make a 1.060 all-malt beer and achieve 75% attenuation with this yeast, I'll have a FG of 1.015. If I were to add enough sugar to this wort to make it a theoretical OG of 1.072, the beer would still ferment to 1.015 because the yeast would consume every bit of the sugar. 1.072 to 1.015 is about 80%
Theory is a wonderful thing that sometimes has no application to reality.


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