How long will white labs vial last?

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sconnie

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I've wanted to try White Labs WLP515 for a while now to make a Belgian-style session ale (think a Belgian kolsch). The strain is only out in September/October, so I bought a vial, but I would rather wait until early spring to brew it. If I make a decent sized starter, would the yeast still be good?
Any experiences/opinions would be appreciated.
 

Revvy

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Bobby M recently did a test on year old stored yeast here; https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/testing-limits-yeast-viability-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

You just need first to apply the "sniff test" if it smell bad, especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.

Then make a starter, and if it takes off you are fine. The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that;s how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

Even if you have a few still living cells, you can grow them....That's how we can harvest a huge starter (incrementally) from the dregs in a bottle of some commercial beers. You take those few living cells and grow them into more.

If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't need to sweat too much about yeast viability....we just make starters.


Hope this helps.
 
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sconnie

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Thanks Revvy. That's basically what I assumed, I just wanted someone else to say they had done it successfully to give me some encouragement.
 

JKoravos

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I was in my LHBS the other day buying yeast, and I bought a few of their 'expired' tubes a t a discount rate for slanting. These vials 'expired' in June, but the LHBS guy mentioned that he's revived vials up to 3 years old.
 

mordantly

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If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't need to sweat too much about yeast viability....we just make starters.
um this sound slike jarrasic park did it first. ill read it now. the guy did it at calpoly in slo. crazyness. im 30 miles away.
 

david_42

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especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.
Sounds like someone has "special knowledge".;)
 

Munsoned

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My LHBS just gave me expired vials for free. They expired in June I think. They told me to make a starter, but since it was a brett. strain, I decided just to pitch it directly on a gallon of an already fermented beer. Since it was free, and it's only a gallon, I'm not hugely invested at this point. We'll see.
 

homebrewer_99

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Quote:
especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.
Sounds like someone has "special knowledge".;)




I'm still trying to figure out how he knew the gorilla was only 1 week old???:drunk:
 

PWalk

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This past August I found a White Labs 004 vial in the back of my fridge that expired in March of this year. I completely forgot it was back there and figured I'd see if there was anything left in there. Made a starter and through the yeast into it and about 12 hours later it was bubbling. I then through it into a christmas stout I was brewing and so far the beer tastes fine 2 months in the bottle.
 
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