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Old 01-24-2013, 12:26 AM   #1
Dec 2011
Posts: 26

Hey, I just received a fairly big Midwest ingredient/equipment order via FedEx today.. with a daytime high temperature of 15°F, of course. Immediately opened the box to to locate my two Wyeast Activator packs (American and London) and found them in what I would describe as a state of slush. Not rock solid, but not the usual.

To compound my concerns, the American Ale pack looks and feels slightly swollen compared to the London. Now I am wondering the internal pod busted and leaking due to freezing in-transit or if something else altogether. It doesn't appear to be swelling much more.

I have both in the fridge right now and will be reaching out to Midwest in the morning, but does anybody have thoughts on what to do? It's not the end of the world and I can hit my LHBS and get replacement yeast, but that's not the point. I'd prefer not to waste $12.

Thanks in advance for the replies.

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:36 AM   #2
Apr 2009
Posts: 89
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I would think you are okay. The American Ale pack is likely swollen due to a C02 leak. I would let them get to normal temperature and keep them in the fridge and make starters with them, and I would say you're a okay.

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
patthebrewer's Avatar
Sep 2012
, allenwood, nj
Posts: 693
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Call midwest and ask them what they think. You paid for it, if there is the possibility of it not being viable you'd be out. I'd bet they'd either explain to why it's still okay or they'd stand behind their product and replace them for you.
Manasquan River Brewing LLC

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
Jan 2013
Posts: 1,224
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You could also call Wyeast directly if you need to.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
Clanchief's Avatar
Sep 2011
Chicago, IL
Posts: 300
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I'm actually worrying about the same thing. I ordered from Northern Brewer, and have my stuff arriving today. Including two smack packs. It's currently 5° here in Chicago, and I think that by the time I get home my yeast may be frozen. I was hoping to make a starter with one of them tonight too...
Three-Fold Brewing

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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Apr 2010
Damascus, MD
Posts: 1,800
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I would put the packs in room temp water so they can slowly dethaw. Back when I lived at home, I got a delivery and told my mom to put the hops in the freezer and yeast in the all went in the freezer. White labs tube of solid frozen yeast. I dethawed it in the manner I describe and made a 2 L starter which I used for a pale ale....came out great! You def will have lost some cells due to bursting, but you should be able to revive enough to ferment

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
Aug 2011
webster, ma
Posts: 133
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I've had this happen a couple of times. I just thawed them out and made starters for them. They performed just fine. I never noticed anything different about those batches.

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
Dec 2011
Posts: 26

Talked to Midwest today. The yeast providers assure them that their product remains viable even after freezing in transit.

Also to note on the puffy American Ale smackpak, I was told that all of them this year have been that way due to excess co2 and that they get hundreds of calls regarding it.

Midwest is pretty solid I must say.

Thanks for all of the responses!

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
Mar 2009
Newbury Park, CA
Posts: 1,649
Liked 37 Times on 33 Posts

Yeah I have noticed the packs I am getting from my LHBS have been puffier than usual lately

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