Old yeast

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152Sumo

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I have two yeast 3711 smackpacks in my frig that are dated April 2010. I have already searched and I guess they are okay to use. What I didn't get from a search is to do a starter or not. Is it okay to just follow instructions, or do I open them up and make a starter?
 

0110x011

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I'd definitely make a starter, but you might want to step it up. I'd do 500ml @ 1.020 to revitalize the yeast, rebuild their glycogen reserves, etc, and then go to the standard 2000ml @ 1.040. The lower gravity first step puts less osmotic stress on the yeast, which aren't in very good shape after sitting in that smack pack for that long.
 

wolverinebrewer

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I have two yeast 3711 smackpacks in my frig that are dated April 2010. I have already searched and I guess they are okay to use. What I didn't get from a search is to do a starter or not. Is it okay to just follow instructions, or do I open them up and make a starter?
You definately need a starter. Since you didn't say what size brew you were doing, I went in there and punched in 1.050 and a date of April 2010 it says you need 175 billion cells. Without a starter it says you would need 17.5 of those yeast packs without a starter. I guess that means from the 100 billion cells in that were in that pack, you are down to about 10 billion.
Even doing a starter, it says you would need 6 packs to get to the number of cells you need.
Mr. Malty is a handy tool to play around with.
 
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152Sumo

152Sumo

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Thanks everyone!! A starter it is. Can someone give me a good resource on making starters? I have read about it here and there, and understand the purpose, but I have never done it.
 

Golddiggie

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Depending on the brew, 1/4-1/2 cup DME in 1 quart water, boiled and then cooled to safe pitching temp works well. Usually make larger starters for bigger brews...

I would warm the smack packs as close to 70F, pop the nutrient pouch and let it swell... Once they puff up nicely you can put them into the starter. I would look at the reference on Wyeast's site for how long to let them swell... Really old yeast can need a healthy amount of time before they really puff up...

"Activator™ packages that are 4 months old or older may require additional time to swell after activation."
 
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