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Gregory T

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I just received 2 packs of WLP500 from MoreBeer. both were manufactured 12/19/18 I am brewing a Tripel O.G. 1078, 5.5 gallons. I prefer a 1.25 pitch rate as I'm doing a series of Tripels and pitch rate is a part of that. The calculators on viability go from 31% to .4% Ironically MoreBeer's calculator is the lowest at .4% I have 2 2 liter flasks, but only 1 stir plate.

Does anyone have experience with which of these is more realistic?

I'm considering making 2 starters to try to get up around 500 billion cells, but to use the stir plate I'd have to make one then the other as more yeast dies each day.

I'm also concerned about the effects of starting with a bunch of dead yeast

I know it will make beer, regardless. But I am working on tweaking a recipe and concerned this will bring in unintended consequences
 

hottpeper13

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first off--.4 is 40%, so not that dead after all. Personally I do starters so I only have to buy 1 pack of yeast. If I need more then my 2L flask will hold I make a small beer (5 gal batch) , repitch that yeast and instead of tossing the starter beer I drink it. My last Triple was repitched from a Blonde Ale.
 

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I have a hard time believing the viability is .4% on a year old packet of dry yeast. That would mean that essentially all the yeast have died.
 

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I've always used HomeBrewDad's, which says 12/19/2018 is 35%, and it's never let me down

And I fully realize that without a microscope and a hemacytometer (counting chamber slide), I am without solid, factual, supporting data.
 

EnglishAndy

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I have a hard time believing the viability is .4% on a year old packet of dry yeast. That would mean that essentially all the yeast have died.
It's liquid yeast and it's a shade under 5 months old.
 

Andre3000

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Make a starter. Doesn't matter if my yeast is two days old or two years old, I always make a starter.

You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If it's dead, the starter won't go and you've saved yourself the stress. If it does go you can brew your beer!
 

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Did you buy the yeast with a heavy discount? If you did, then the disclaimer would have mentioned it was past its before date.

If you paid full price, why not contact the shop, keep the already dead yeast and ask them nicely to send proper, fresh yeast which you paid in full for? Isn't that how things are supposed to go down in such cases? I think the shop would care, if they are serious enough.

5 months old yeast is not dead and you will certainly make a healthy starter from those 2 packs. If I were you, I would not want to use yeast that is more than 1-2 months old, especially when paying full price.
 
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Gregory T

Gregory T

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Did you buy the yeast with a heavy discount? If you did, then the disclaimer would have mentioned it was past its before date.

If you paid full price, why not contact the shop, keep the already dead yeast and ask them nicely to send proper, fresh yeast which you paid in full for? Isn't that how things are supposed to go down in such cases? I think the shop would care, if they are serious enough.

5 months old yeast is not dead and you will certainly make a healthy starter from those 2 packs. If I were you, I would not want to use yeast that is more than 1-2 months old, especially when paying full price.
I paid full price for the yeast. There calculator says .4 viability then say .4 billion cells if it were 40% that would be 40 billion
 

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thehaze

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Calculators are not precise, hence it's hard to " predict " anything, but I would bet that, unless the packs are physically damaged, they still have some viable yeast in there. Just contact Morebeer and present them the situation as is. I am sure they will find a solution to your dilemma.
 
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Gregory T

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I was shocked to get a package that old. I did contact MoreBeer, they told me to pitch a starter yada yada yada.


The problem is the monks over pitch and under oxygenate. Like 5 to 1 over pitch. I was trying to pitch at 1.5. I can t do that with .4 billion cells

I guess I’ll buy more yeast. Not a happy camper
 
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Gregory T

Gregory T

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Calculators are not precise, hence it's hard to " predict " anything, but I would bet that, unless the packs are physically damaged, they still have some viable yeast in there. Just contact Morebeer and present them the situation as is. I am sure they will find a solution to your dilemma.
I did. they didn’t. I also bought a March pump plus fittings. This was a $300 order, but apparently it’s ok to send me 2 packs of yeast their very own website says will have 0 cells tomorrow

I’m sure there are enough yeasties to make a beer. But I don’t homebrew to make beer. I homebrew to make good beer.
 

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I did. they didn’t. I also bought a March pump plus fittings. This was a $300 order, but apparently it’s ok to send me 2 packs of yeast their very own website says will have 0 cells tomorrow

I’m sure there are enough yeasties to make a beer. But I don’t homebrew to make beer. I homebrew to make good beer.
Exactly! I would not, and will not, be doing business with MoreBeer after that encounter. You did not pay $16 or so to be told that you need to now do a starter! They are off my list.
 

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What is the best by date on the pack?
 
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Gregory T

Gregory T

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What is the best by date on the pack?
The Best Buy date is June 17th. However per the MoreBeer’s own viability calculator all yeast are dead in 2 days. As mentioned above, I did not pay over $16 for 2 packs to pitch at .35. I paid full price for good yeast and got old junk.

My bad for buying Yeast from MoreBeer. Will not happen again. If they keep ticking me off I may just send the $500 or so worth of stuff I’ve bought in the last 60 days back at them
 
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Gregory T

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Lots of dead yeast at the bottom of my starter which hasn’t kicked off yet by the way. I guess I’ll buy new yeast somewhere esle. Any recommendations for yeast less than 3 months old?

Glad I mill my own grains. If I had crushed grains waiting for yeast. Well never mind
 

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I like MoreBeer. Yeast is a tough one. Homebrew shops hate dealing with it and is more of a risk than other items. Some guys at my LHBS told me that White Labs forces them to buy from a distributor, so the yeast is at least 1 to 1 1/2 months old when it arrives at their store. The yeast has a stated six month shelf life but we all know how important it is to be on the front end of that time period. Upon reading the thread I expected to hear the outcome you experienced. If yeast is within the six months window it is sellable. I had a shop sell my out of date yeast. When I noticed the starter was dead I looked on the package and found the expired date I took it back to them. They himmed and hawed and really did not want to do anything about it until I started getting pissed. Then they pulled some more for me.

Why should I ruin my batch because WL has an inventory system that sets up the LHBS to fail? It is a bad situation but yeast are at the heart of it all. Over time I always check on the date and if ordering specify to look for it.

As a side note: The same guys at the LHBS told me that Omega is approaching the market with direct shipping and growing up order per order from homebrew shops. Basically call up, order, they make it and ship it. Plus they have 150 million cell packs. Might be worth some support.
 

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I just received 2 packs of WLP500 from MoreBeer. both were manufactured 12/19/18
Been there done that...

I don't like to mail order liquid yeast but my local shop was closed on Easter Sunday when I wanted to go shopping so I ordered from MoreBeer...it looks like I got a pack of WLP500 from the same batch (mfg 12/19/18, best 6/17/19). I am used to getting much newer packs from my local store and I assumed that MoreBeer would turn over their inventory pretty fast.

I ended up taking my chances and direct pitching into a 2.5 gal batch of a Dubbel...it was likely a mistake as the beer took around 40 hours before I saw my first signs of fermentation bubbles. It then brew out my blow off tube, settled down, and has picked up. I took a reading at 7 days after pitching and it was still at 1.029, but I suspect it has dropped quite a bit from then.

I am told that underpitching Belgian yeasts can give more character, so hopefully this beer turns out fine.
 
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Some guys at my LHBS told me that White Labs forces them to buy from a distributor, so the yeast is at least 1 to 1 1/2 months old when it arrives at their store.
I work at a homebrew store, We order directly from White Labs. Most of our yeast is at most 2 weeks old the moment it comes into our store. It would cost a LHBS more to order from a distributor rather than directly from white labs. The only reason they would order yeast through a distributor is to reduce the amount of shipping they pay per unit by throwing it onto a pallet from someone else. White labs doesn't force you to order through a third party as a LHBS.
 
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Gregory T

Gregory T

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I like MoreBeer. Yeast is a tough one. Homebrew shops hate dealing with it and is more of a risk than other items. Some guys at my LHBS told me that White Labs forces them to buy from a distributor, so the yeast is at least 1 to 1 1/2 months old when it arrives at their store. The yeast has a stated six month shelf life but we all know how important it is to be on the front end of that time period. Upon reading the thread I expected to hear the outcome you experienced. If yeast is within the six months window it is sellable. I had a shop sell my out of date yeast. When I noticed the starter was dead I looked on the package and found the expired date I took it back to them. They himmed and hawed and really did not want to do anything about it until I started getting pissed. Then they pulled some more for me.

Why should I ruin my batch because WL has an inventory system that sets up the LHBS to fail? It is a bad situation but yeast are at the heart of it all. Over time I always check on the date and if ordering specify to look for it.

As a side note: The same guys at the LHBS told me that Omega is approaching the market with direct shipping and growing up order per order from homebrew shops. Basically call up, order, they make it and ship it. Plus they have 150 million cell packs. Might be worth some support.
I liked MoreBeer as well. I will tell you this is the last perishable thing ai buy from the,
 
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Gregory T

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Been there done that...

I don't like to mail order liquid yeast but my local shop was closed on Easter Sunday when I wanted to go shopping so I ordered from MoreBeer...it looks like I got a pack of WLP500 from the same batch (mfg 12/19/18, best 6/17/19). I am used to getting much newer packs from my local store and I assumed that MoreBeer would turn over their inventory pretty fast.

I ended up taking my chances and direct pitching into a 2.5 gal batch of a Dubbel...it was likely a mistake as the beer took around 40 hours before I saw my first signs of fermentation bubbles. It then brew out my blow off tube, settled down, and has picked up. I took a reading at 7 days after pitching and it was still at 1.029, but I suspect it has dropped quite a bit from then.

I am told that underpitching Belgian yeasts can give more character, so hopefully this beer turns out fine.
Underpitching is a strategy. It’s not one I employ. It is believed that u deep itching can create more esters. My strategy was to over pitch and under oxygenate
 

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I work at a homebrew store, We order directly from White Labs. Most of our yeast is at most 2 weeks old the moment it comes into our store. It would cost a LHBS more to order from a distributor rather than directly from white labs. The only reason they would order yeast through a distributor is to reduce the amount of shipping they pay per unit by throwing it onto a pallet from someone else. White labs doesn't force you to order through a third party as a LHBS.
Good to know. I wonder why my LHBS is in that situation?
 
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Gregory T

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Ok I found a shop that guarantees 3 month old or younger. Unfortunately they only have 1 Wyeast 1214. Not ideal but I’m running out of choices here

How do I make a step starter?

By that I mean can I make a 2 liter starter decant and add to another 2 liter starter or does the second starter need to be bigger

1.078 OG. 5.5 gallons looking for 1.5 preferably or 1.25 minimal pitch rate

I have 2 each 2 liter flasks and 1 stir plate

I usually just pitch 2 different starters, but obviously can’t do that with 1 package of yeast
 

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EDIT - Whoops, missed that in the opening post.
 
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Gregory T

Gregory T

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I like MoreBeer. Yeast is a tough one. Homebrew shops hate dealing with it and is more of a risk than other items. Some guys at my LHBS told me that White Labs forces them to buy from a distributor, so the yeast is at least 1 to 1 1/2 months old when it arrives at their store. The yeast has a stated six month shelf life but we all know how important it is to be on the front end of that time period. Upon reading the thread I expected to hear the outcome you experienced. If yeast is within the six months window it is sellable. I had a shop sell my out of date yeast. When I noticed the starter was dead I looked on the package and found the expired date I took it back to them. They himmed and hawed and really did not want to do anything about it until I started getting pissed. Then they pulled some more for me.

Why should I ruin my batch because WL has an inventory system that sets up the LHBS to fail? It is a bad situation but yeast are at the heart of it all. Over time I always check on the date and if ordering specify to look for it.

As a side note: The same guys at the LHBS told me that Omega is approaching the market with direct shipping and growing up order per order from homebrew shops. Basically call up, order, they make it and ship it. Plus they have 150 million cell packs. Might be worth some support.
Damn I read this too late. I was switching from a pound of Munich to a pound of Vienna to dial in. Next time I’ll try omega. Thanks for the tip
 

lump42

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I just received 2 packs of WLP500 from MoreBeer. both were manufactured 12/19/18 I am brewing a Tripel O.G. 1078, 5.5 gallons. I prefer a 1.25 pitch rate as I'm doing a series of Tripels and pitch rate is a part of that. The calculators on viability go from 31% to .4% Ironically MoreBeer's calculator is the lowest at .4% I have 2 2 liter flasks, but only 1 stir plate.

Does anyone have experience with which of these is more realistic?

I'm considering making 2 starters to try to get up around 500 billion cells, but to use the stir plate I'd have to make one then the other as more yeast dies each day.

I'm also concerned about the effects of starting with a bunch of dead yeast

I know it will make beer, regardless. But I am working on tweaking a recipe and concerned this will bring in unintended consequences
You could try a "shaken, not stirred" starter that Denny Conn has recommended on Experimental homebrewing podcast. 1 L starter in a gallon jug, pitch, cap, and shake the holy heck, until it's mostly foam and let it sit. Supposedly this creates a high air to liquid ratio for the yeast to grow in. Never tried it but your could do a side by side to give it a shot.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24447.msg311550#msg311550
 

Bassman2003

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Damn I read this too late. I was switching from a pound of Munich to a pound of Vienna to dial in. Next time I’ll try omega. Thanks for the tip
I guess this is not true for all homebrew shops about White Labs but probably true for Omega.
 

Bassman2003

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For lagers I usually do a 2L starter, siphon off the beer and add another 2L of wort. Adding 4L would be best for making new yeast but my container would not work with 4L :) I also add pure O2 with my starters to goose them up a bit.
 

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I don't see the big deal. It's prior to the "best if used by" date. I've used plenty of WL packs/vials that were 3-5 months old (and older). I make a starter for all yeast and have never had one crap out on me. I even grabbed a 1-yr old pack of 530 for free and stepped it up and it performed fine in a light Belgian Pale. Of course, I live within miles of a WL lab and usually get very fresh yeast (from the local brew shop) and prefer that; however, I've never noticed a huge difference. Using Homebrewdad at 35% a proper-sized started should get you the yeast needed.
 

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First… Just do a nice fatty starter. If there's one live cell in there, it will do the wild thing and eventually you'll have everything you need.

Secondly... If you brew enough, consider starting your own yeast bank. Or a community slant bank with other brewers in your area. It's not difficult or expensive at all. I got sick and tired of buying near dead yeast. I figured if I have to always do a starter anyway, i'll bank everything and save some $ down the road. The last straw for me was a $17 pack of giga kolsch yeast. Took that thing a couple weeks to come back to life on the stir plate.
 
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Gregory T

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I don't see the big deal. It's prior to the "best if used by" date. I've used plenty of WL packs/vials that were 3-5 months old (and older). I make a starter for all yeast and have never had one crap out on me. I even grabbed a 1-yr old pack of 530 for free and stepped it up and it performed fine in a light Belgian Pale. Of course, I live within miles of a WL lab and usually get very fresh yeast (from the local brew shop) and prefer that; however, I've never noticed a huge difference. Using Homebrewdad at 35% a proper-sized started should get you the yeast needed.
maybe you could email MoreBeer and offer to pay full price for all their 5 month old yeast that way people who do care wont get it. that is a win win win.

I have no interest in pitching a tripel at 35%[/QUOTE]
 
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Gregory T

Gregory T

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For lagers I usually do a 2L starter, siphon off the beer and add another 2L of wort. Adding 4L would be best for making new yeast but my container would not work with 4L :) I also add pure O2 with my starters to goose them up a bit.
OK!! thanks for the info! 2 liters then add another 2 liters. there is very little info on steps. I will check a calculator for size, but this will help a lot. I aerate my starters as well. Its my understanding that oxygen is a main ingredient for yeast propagation
 

brownni5

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First… Just do a nice fatty starter. If there's one live cell in there, it will do the wild thing and eventually you'll have everything you need.
Is asexual reproduction really that wild?

At any rate, I'm not here to tell anyone what yeast they want, but to offer a reminder that calculators are really just guides. Why, just tonight I took a starter I made with "0%" viability Wyeast 3739 off the stir plate - fresh yeast in there.

While I too would wish for fresher yeast when paying full price, it is still within the manufacturer's window, and that is the risk we take with online shops and perishable items.
 

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Lots of dead yeast at the bottom of my starter which hasn’t kicked off yet by the way. I guess I’ll buy new yeast somewhere esle. Any recommendations for yeast less than 3 months old?

Glad I mill my own grains. If I had crushed grains waiting for yeast. Well never mind
Give it a little time. It will wake up and rock your starter. That isn’t old at all IMO.
 

CWood

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maybe you could email MoreBeer and offer to pay full price for all their 5 month old yeast that way people who do care wont get it. that is a win win win.

I have no interest in pitching a tripel at 35%
It wont be 35% after a giant starter. This isn't rocket science. If a starter is done correctly, even with a reduced number of cells to begin with, you can easily achieve the proper number of yeast. If anything, the manufacturers dates are conservative IMO, as described by Dr. White himself. I've been brewing for 25 years and have a few WL vials/packs under my bealt. I realized long ago worrying doesn't make yeast grow., it sure makes the hobby less fun, though. Cheers!
 

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I like MoreBeer. Yeast is a tough one. Homebrew shops hate dealing with it and is more of a risk than other items. Some guys at my LHBS told me that White Labs forces them to buy from a distributor, so the yeast is at least 1 to 1 1/2 months old when it arrives at their store. The yeast has a stated six month shelf life but we all know how important it is to be on the front end of that time period. Upon reading the thread I expected to hear the outcome you experienced. If yeast is within the six months window it is sellable. I had a shop sell my out of date yeast. When I noticed the starter was dead I looked on the package and found the expired date I took it back to them. They himmed and hawed and really did not want to do anything about it until I started getting pissed. Then they pulled some more for me.

Why should I ruin my batch because WL has an inventory system that sets up the LHBS to fail? It is a bad situation but yeast are at the heart of it all. Over time I always check on the date and if ordering specify to look for it.

As a side note: The same guys at the LHBS told me that Omega is approaching the market with direct shipping and growing up order per order from homebrew shops. Basically call up, order, they make it and ship it. Plus they have 150 million cell packs. Might be worth some support.
Agree on the Omega yeasts, I have been buying them more lately from my LHBS when they have strains for what i'm brewing. I like they start with 150 as opposed to the 100 from others. Makes worrying about the date seem less important. I will also always try to overbuild to make 2 batches out of 1 pack (sometimes more splits if i like how the yeast perform/taste) . Plus, Omega has ventured into the canned wort starter arena. Not to start the whole time vs cost discussion on starters, but it makes things a lot easier to make overbuilt starters. So far have tried their Voss Kviek, Saisonstein Monster, and brewing with their Tropical IPA hopefully this weekend.
 
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