Did I kill my yeast?

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gratefuldisc

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I got all my ingredients from the LHBS on my way from my first job to my second last night. It was pretty warm out so I took the smack pack in with me and threw it in the mini-fridge at work.

5 hours later I go to leave, grab the yeast out of the fridge and the edges of the pack are crunchy, grainy feeling but the middle was still liquid. Pretty sure the yeast was partially frozen. The packaging says "Do Not Freeze."

Go get a new pack of yeast or RDWHAHB?
 

marubozo

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Freezing is not good for live yeast, but if it wasn't completely frozen solid I'm guessing most of the yeast survived. You should be making a starter anyway so you'll know if they were dead or not once you get the starter going. In fact, you'll also have signs of viability once smacking the little nutrient packet inside and it should still puff up some if the yeast are good.
 

Pappers_

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+1 ^ You can make a starter and check to see if the yeast is working. Plus, it will increase the number of yeast cells, which will help your fermentation. If you don't know about yeast starters, you can read all about it at www.mrmalty.com
 
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gratefuldisc

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I have made starters before, but was not going to this time. My LHBS told me that because this was a low gravity pale ale (1.050) that a starter would be overkill and a waste of time and materials. I planned on brewing tomorrow AM, so I dont think I have time for a starter anyway. I would have time to go pick up another smack pack today though.
 

Pappers_

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Your lhbs's advice is perhaps not the best advice. You can brew without a starter, and your beer will be fine. But a starter is a "best practices" procedure for any liquid yeast. If you're not going to make a starter, I think its better to go with a good quality dry yeast, which doesn't need a starter. Lots of info about this if you do a search here for starters or browse the yeast and fermentation thread.

As for your brew today, if it were me and I couldn't make a starter to make sure the yeast were still viable and active, I would probably buy another packet of yeast. I suppose the other option is to use the yeast you have and wait for 3 days - if there's no signs of fermentation, then get some more yeast and pitch it then.
 

mk78

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i've thrown liquid yeast right into the fermenter, but my results have been much more tasty since i began making starters.

to commiserate, i also recently froze a yeast pack. i'll probably do the same..smack the pack, make a starter, hope for the best. if it looks dead i'll try another pack. not sure there's another way around it, although people do report saving them, so there's hope!
 
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