Revived old mail order yeast, yeast pack severely swollen, stepped starter advice

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rtstrider

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Hey all! I just received a pack of West Coast Ale II Omega yeast (aka Wyeast 1272) from an online retailer. The MFG date was Sep 20, 2021 and the package arrived warm/severely swollen. I've already contacted the mail order company and they have agreed to send a replacement if this does not fire off. I was thinking about babying this yeast with a stepped stir plate starter such as

500ml 1.020
1L 1.040 (or 2L 1.040 depending on the performance of the 500ml 1.020 starter)

The end goal is this will be going straight to the freezer bank. I want to make sure there are good healthy cells before banking this up. Typically I'd run a 1L 1.040 starter, let that ferment out, decant, and bank the slurry in test tubes with a water/glycerin mixture. Is this a good plan or should I just shoot for a 1L 1.040 starter and see what happens?
 
Just pitched the yeast into the starter. It looked, smelled, and tasted fine! Probably could’ve done a 1L 1.040 starter no problem. Ended up going with 500ml 1.020 for insurance. Next step up will be 1L 1.040 the. It will be cold crashed and banked from there
 
Just pitched the yeast into the starter. It looked, smelled, and tasted fine! Probably could’ve done a 1L 1.040 starter no problem. Ended up going with 500ml 1.020 for insurance. Next step up will be 1L 1.040 the. It will be cold crashed and banked from there
Sounds like a winner. I've just revived 6 strains. Three were 'expired' by 6-9 months, three were refrigerated samples from over-built starters, two of which h were generation 1 and one was a 4th generation pitch of A09 Pub. Did the 500ml 1.020 starter followed by two successive boosts with 1.040 SG wort. Every one produced very good results except the 4th Gen Pub. Five of six is pretty good in my book for reviving nearly year old yeasts. Four of the six were 'vault' yeasts that are not to be found even though they are currently 'in season'.
 
Sounds like a winner. I've just revived 6 strains. Three were 'expired' by 6-9 months, three were refrigerated samples from over-built starters, two of which h were generation 1 and one was a 4th generation pitch of A09 Pub. Did the 500ml 1.020 starter followed by two successive boosts with 1.040 SG wort. Every one produced very good results except the 4th Gen Pub. Five of six is pretty good in my book for reviving nearly year old yeasts. Four of the six were 'vault' yeasts that are not to be found even though they are currently 'in season'.

This responded almost immediately. So much so I doubt it’ll get stepped up to 1L 1.040. It’s most likely going to get cold crashed tomorrow and banked up in water/glycerin Wednesday. Then it’s time to bank up wlp802, wlp838, and wlp840! Will order wlp800 and wlp940 next month to cap off my lager yeast bank. Brewing quite a few lagers this year to learn the strains :) Shouldn’t really need any liquid strains for a VERY long time after this year! This is such a fun and rewarding hobby!
 
My efforts were spurned on mostly out of curiosity and proof of concept. For a number of reasons, I haven't brewed since last July, and my 'refrigerator bank' had gotten quite long in the tooth. Most were either common, easily replaced samples or ones that have been frozen and are being stored already. But $5 worth of DME and half an hour of my time was a small investment to revive some samples, most of them either original pitches or overbuilds from original pitches.

The resultant 'saves' are 2L of WLP-860 and 1L each of WLP-835X, Imperial A62, WLP-833 and WLP-838 that are now crashing in the beer fridge before decanting. I treat them like 1st generation original pitches with expiration dates 5 months from when they were crashed.
 
I wonder about decanting most of the water and freezing yeast slurry samples in ziplock bags. I keep my dry yeast for extended periods in the freezer. I'm not sure if freezing a liquid slurry would hurt it.

I'll have to give it a try.

I did an autolysis experiment once that went really well.
 

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