Uh OH...Wyeast question

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Mesa512

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Hey guys,

I seem to have a little problem. I live in CT. I am currently going to college. I placed an order to come to my house. The package got delivered when I was at school, so I just told me parents what to do. So here is my problem...

I ordered two kits...

Hank&#39s Hefe Weizen w/ Weihenstephan Weizen Wyeast Activator 3068 :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies
Amarillo Pale Ale w/Northwest Ale Wyeast Activator 1332 :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

I told them to put the yeast in the refrigerator. When I came home on the weekend I was going to start the batch. Also in the package was some Wyeast Nutrient. When my dad opened up the box he put the Wyeast nutrient in the fridge and left everything else in the box. Now the package was in the garage for a week (the temperature is about 45-50F). It was then moved to my kitchen last night where the kit sat at room temperature. I open up the box this morning to see the Wyeast Activator package in the box. I know they are supposed to be refrigerated. Do you guys think the yeast is ok?

Thanks for all your help
 

viking999

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I think the yeast is probably doing great.

Even at room temperature, the yeast will be fine for a week. I've done it myself, it wasn't a problem. At 45-50 F, it's basically refrigerated, so it's even better.
 
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Mesa512

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Really??

I am truly surprised. On the package itself it says to refrigerate (~32F), so I figure a 10-20 degree increase would have ruined them. You really think it is worth it. If for some reason the yeast isn't okay, then I would have just ruined a five gallon batch.
 

JuanKenobi

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It's probably fine. I keep my yeast in my beer fridge at 40 - 45 and it keeps fine. If you're freaking out about it, just make a starter. That way you'll know if the yeast is good without risking the whole batch. Making starters with liquid yeast is a good practice anyway.

EDIT: Here's a link to good info on starters if you're not familiar with them: mrmalty.com starter FAQ
 
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Mesa512

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Can you give me instructions on how to make a starter with liquid yeast please? Also when would I do it? For example, can I make a starter before I start boiling?
 

JuanKenobi

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You make the starter a day or more before you brew. Check out the link in my previous post. It'll tell you how to make a starter and the benefits of doing so.
 

Edcculus

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Easy steps to make a starter: Make 2-4 days before brewing.

  1. Measure out 1000 mL of water and 100 g of DME. For me, this is the easiest way to measure (10:1 ratio).
  2. Mix the DME and water together in a large pot (use a bigger one than you think you will need, this stuff boils over easily)
  3. Bring the DME/water mix to a boil
  4. In the meantime, find a container. If you don't have a flask, growlers work great. You can even get by with a juice jug or 2L soda bottle
  5. Let the DME/water (wort) boil for a few minutes
  6. Cover with sanitized foil and cool in an ice bath
  7. When cool (~70) pour into your clean sanitized starter vessel
  8. Cover the vessel with sanitized foil.
  9. Shake the bejezus out of it to aerate.
  10. Smack the yeast pack and pour into the starter vessel
  11. Cover with a new peice of sanitized foil.
  12. Leave on the counter. Shake it every time you walk past.
 
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Mesa512

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Two questions:

Just out of curiosity. What is the upper threshold limit for the Wyeast? In other words how high of a temperature can they handle? (I put a thermometer in my garage and it hasn't dropped below 60F, so I am wondering if I was too generous when I estimated the temperature)

Second: I don't have any DME on hand. Can I use something else. The only DME is the one that came in the kit.
 

Hugh_Jass

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Two questions:

Second: I don't have any DME on hand. Can I use something else. The only DME is the one that came in the kit.
Do you have any base grains?

If so, you could mash 1 lb of crushed base grain in 1.5 qts water for 45 min to one hour in a bag on your stove top or in your oven. Keep the liquid @ 150 deg. Boil that liquid after the hour, cool to pitch temp, pour liquid into sanitized starter container, shake to aerate, and add yeast.
 

Yooper

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Use 1/2 cup of DME out of your kit. You can add that to 2 cups of boiling water, and boil it for about 5 minutes. Cool in a water/ice bath, and put it a sanitized jug. Add the room temperature yeast, and cover the top with sanitized foil. Shake well, and shake it everytime you walk by it.

What strain of yeast is it? Most ale strains ferment at 65-70 degrees.
 

kuphish

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Wait, you have the Wyeast Activators, right? Isn't the point of the activator to be able to check the viability of the yeast? Let it warm up to room temperature, smack it, wait 3-4 hours and if it swells, your yeast are fine. Or am I missing something? :drunk:
 
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