3 year old dry yeast

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Whatsgoodmiley

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Guy gave me a bag of dry yeast satchets that he'd kept in his freezer for three years. I feel that if I take 3 satchets of Belle Saison, and make a starter, I should be fine. Any thoughts for/against?
 

RM-MN

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Refrigerator freezer or chest freezer? This makes a difference because a chest freezer maintains a nearly constant temperature and should protect the yeast better. Refrigerator freezers usually are frost free which means they warm periodically to melt off the frozen condensate and that temperature fluctuation may harm the yeast. I'd still try a batch with just one pack as mentioned above. Aerating well will allow the yeast to reproduce and you should then have plenty of cells to complete the fermentation.
 

Grod1

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please let us know either way
 

bajaedition

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make a starter, and have fresh yeast in reserve, if it goes off, what did you lose?
 
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Whatsgoodmiley

Whatsgoodmiley

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Thanks. I'll go ahead and use one satchet, but I'll probably make a starter. I'll post again with whatever happens (month or two from now).
 

ChicagoCharles

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make a starter, and have fresh yeast in reserve, if it goes off, what did you lose?
That's what I would do. If the yeast is dead, the starter activity should be minimal or non-existent. If you get activity and krausen off the starter in 12-24 hours, and it smells right, go for it.
 

Maylar

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According to Chris White (White Labs) after about 2 years yeast viability will be down to 90 or 95% (I forget which) which is his recommended minimum. But I agree with the other guys, make a starter and go for it.
 

IslandLizard

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According to Chris White (White Labs) after about 2 years yeast viability will be down to 90 or 95% (I forget which) which is his recommended minimum. But I agree with the other guys, make a starter and go for it.
That's a curious statement from someone who doesn't sell dry yeast. Was he possibly referring to properly prepared and stored frozen liquid yeast?

We know liquid yeast in general doesn't fare as well when stored in the fridge (36-38F) and far less at room temps. Dry yeasts are much more forgiving, because of their dried state.
 

Maylar

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That's a curious statement from someone who doesn't sell dry yeast. Was he possibly referring to properly prepared and stored frozen liquid yeast?

We know liquid yeast in general doesn't fare as well when stored in the fridge (36-38F) and far less at room temps. Dry yeasts are much more forgiving, because of their dried state.
I can't seem to find the reference (I read it a while ago), and I agree that it seems odd for him to comment on dry yeast. But he is a yeast guy with a PhD and his book "Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation" is highly regarded.
 

Steveruch

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I just brewed a 3 gallon batch of porter with a three year old pack of S-04. I sprinkled on top and it worked fine.
 

Bullshivit-brew

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I pitched a pack of us05 that was 3 years old just a few weeks ago. I had no problem with it.
 

doomy86

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I have read the same thing about 90% viability after 2 years. There is also the dry yeast experiment on bkyeast, i think he used an old packet and under ideal rehydration conditions the viability was almost 90%..
 
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Whatsgoodmiley

Whatsgoodmiley

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Sorry I forgot to reply but I ended up using two packets and it rapidly fermented to ~1.002 and made one of the best beers I’ve brewed so far. I agree that one packet probably would’ve been fine but I didn’t want to risk it!
 

JohnSand

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Thanks for the update. I just received some expired yeast (69c/pack) that I plan to use in a lager.
I was a little concerned because the yeast is 35 months old. I had hoped it might be just expired. But I think I'll increase my pitch and not worry. I do have some fresher yeast as backup.
 
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