Expired Yeast and old hops

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wsmith1625

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I have a pack of WLP820 yeast with a best buy date of 4/2/22 for a marzen I'm going to brew . I was planning to brew the marzen earlier, but things came up and I couldn't get around to it. Now I want to brew a few lighter beers for summer like a cream ale and a golden ale before I brew the marzen. I'm definitely going to buy new yeast for the marzen, but wondered if I should add both the old and new yeast to the starter, or just toss out the old yeast. My thoughts are that even the old yeast can introduce additional cell count, but if the health of the yeast is poor, I don't want to cause stress on the healthy yeast.

I also have some old hop pellets in the fridge from brews which called for half ounce measures. They are in the original packages and taped shut. All of them are up to a year old, but not older since I cleaned out the fridge last summer. Are they still good to use or should I go with fresh hops?
 

marc1

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I have a pack of WLP820 yeast with a best buy date of 4/2/22 for a marzen I'm going to brew . I was planning to brew the marzen earlier, but things came up and I couldn't get around to it. Now I want to brew a few lighter beers for summer like a cream ale and a golden ale before I brew the marzen. I'm definitely going to buy new yeast for the marzen, but wondered if I should add both the old and new yeast to the starter, or just toss out the old yeast. My thoughts are that even the old yeast can introduce additional cell count, but if the health of the yeast is poor, I don't want to cause stress on the healthy yeast.

I also have some old hop pellets in the fridge from brews which called for half ounce measures. They are in the original packages and taped shut. All of them are up to a year old, but not older since I cleaned out the fridge last summer. Are they still good to use or should I go with fresh hops?

The yeast isn't that out of date yet. I'd make a stepped starter with just it and not buy new. Start with 1L, then add 2L more, then let it settle and cold crash in the fridge for a few days. Then decant and use that to make whatever starter size you normally would. Err on the side of making a lot more for lagers.

For the hops, take a look at them and smell them. If good, use them.
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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The yeast isn't that out of date yet. I'd make a stepped starter with just it and not buy new. Start with 1L, then add 2L more, then let it settle and cold crash in the fridge for a few days. Then decant and use that to make whatever starter size you normally would. Err on the side of making a lot more for lagers.

For the hops, take a look at them and smell them. If good, use them.
I've done multiple step starters in the past, but being this is my first lager, I was concerned about under pitching. I haven't plugged the numbers into my yeast calculator yet. I'll see what it says.
 

kingmatt

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I brew so infrequently these days that I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to the freshness of my ingredients, especially the yeast. I'd hate to have wasted one of the few brews I get to make because I wanted to save $8 on buying a fresh pack of yeast.
 

zackmartin939393

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I have a pack of WLP820 yeast with a best buy date of 4/2/22 for a marzen I'm going to brew . I was planning to brew the marzen earlier, but things came up and I couldn't get around to it. Now I want to brew a few lighter beers for summer like a cream ale and a golden ale before I brew the marzen. I'm definitely going to buy new yeast for the marzen, but wondered if I should add both the old and new yeast to the starter, or just toss out the old yeast. My thoughts are that even the old yeast can introduce additional cell count, but if the health of the yeast is poor, I don't want to cause stress on the healthy yeast.

I also have some old hop pellets in the fridge from brews which called for half ounce measures. They are in the original packages and taped shut. All of them are up to a year old, but not older since I cleaned out the fridge last summer. Are they still good to use or should I go with fresh hops?
Someone may have already asked this or it might be a given but is it liquid yeast?
 

Deadalus

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Someone may have already asked this or it might be a given but is it liquid yeast?
It's the Octoberfest/Marzen liquid yeast from White Labs.

I just put a pack of this yeast into a 2000ml starter yesterday afternoon and it's krausening now. Temperature is about 62F and it is on a stir plate. Best by date is 7/12/22 however. I would just recommend making the 2000 ml starter it's not even out of date. If it was old like 6-12 months I might recommend 800ml and then split that to two 2000ml. The one reference I have seen on stepping up starters is to go about 5-10x each step. Unknown though is what is really alive in the pack at the time you open it.

The company is telling you it is fine to pitch to that date into 5 gallons at under 1.050 gravity except I don't one handy where the corner is cut off but I don't think I am missing anything. Some suggest for lagers though that one use a 4000 ml starter. I rarely do that since I broke my 3000ml and only have a 2000 ml flask. I may just decant this one and then do another 2000ml to see how fast I can get my next batch going since I can log it now with my Tilt. I also want to do a double batch of Octoberfest soon after this Schwartzbier and I only have two ferm chambers.

I think you'd be just fine with a 2000 ml starter. The times I can think of where fermentation is slow are the times I kept the temp at the bottom of the fermentation range for the lager yeast (or lower when I had the range wrong).
 

Deadalus

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I brew so infrequently these days that I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to the freshness of my ingredients, especially the yeast. I'd hate to have wasted one of the few brews I get to make because I wanted to save $8 on buying a fresh pack of yeast.
Several places are charging $11.99 for White Labs and Wyeast now and some of the other brands are up there too now. The places that have it at $8.00 don't always offer free shipping. If you've got a LHBS to get it at that price great!
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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If I we're brewing this weekend, I would probably use the yeast and do a 2 step starter in my 2000ml flask, but it's going to be a while so I'll most likely get a fresh pack and do a 2000ml starter.
 
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