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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: euge on March 12, 2011, 02:48:11 AM

Title: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 12, 2011, 02:48:11 AM
I found a full vial of WLP 570 Golden ale yeast in the fridge door.  Yay! I was planning on doing one soon.

Problem is: best by Nov 2008.

Looked and smelled ok. So I made a 2 cup 1.045 starter wort, shook the sh!t out of it and pitched the yeast.

Hopefully I'll find a bit of activity when returning home. What do y'all think? First time I've tried using old liquid yeast like that.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: Hokerer on March 12, 2011, 03:10:32 AM
Only thing I would have done differently would have been for that starter wort to be more like 1.030-035 but you'll probably be ok.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tygo on March 12, 2011, 04:01:21 AM
I've never tried resurrecting one that old.  Most I've done is a year old.  But I'll bet you can do it.  I wouldn't be discouraged if there's no obvious activity from the initial step.  It'll probably be so minor that you'll miss it.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: bluesman on March 12, 2011, 04:47:46 AM
I've never tried reviving one that old either but it won't hurt to try. Let us know how you make out with it.

I think you'll be fine with the starter.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: cheba420 on March 12, 2011, 03:37:23 PM
I revived a vial of cider yeast that was about a year old. Was pretty impressed with the results. Best of luck!
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: a10t2 on March 12, 2011, 03:58:17 PM
I've built back up from stored slurry after 17 months, so if your yeast was in the fridge the whole time I'm sure you'll get some viable cells from it.

IMHO your starter is way too big though. I'd start with 50-100 mL, and step up three or four times to get to a pitchable quantity.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: denny on March 12, 2011, 06:02:24 PM

IMHO your starter is way too big though. I'd start with 50-100 mL, and step up three or four times to get to a pitchable quantity.

That's how I revived a 3 1/2 year old smack pack.  Used 1.020 wort.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 12, 2011, 08:20:15 PM
I haven't seen much activity, but this is what it looks like 24 hours later.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TXvU6O6jFJI/AAAAAAAAAn0/hTAGBrclqLg/s640/2011-03-12%2014.16.17.jpg)

Since I obviously started this off incorrectly what would be the correct course of action? Take a gravity reading and step up? I was thinking of swirling it...
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: Hokerer on March 12, 2011, 09:28:10 PM
I haven't seen much activity, but this is what it looks like 24 hours later.
...
Since I obviously started this off incorrectly what would be the correct course of action? Take a gravity reading and step up? I was thinking of swirling it...

After just 24 hours with yeast that old, it's way too soon to step up.  Give it a couple more days to "wake up".  Swirling certainly wouldn't hurt anything, though.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tygo on March 12, 2011, 11:24:29 PM
Yeah, swirl it around whenever you walk past it and give it another day or two.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tubercle on March 13, 2011, 12:02:43 AM
It will be OK, just give it time and TLC.

 Its not like you dug it out of fossilized amber or something :D :D

 Though I would like to try that 8)

 Jurassic yeast
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 15, 2011, 07:04:41 AM
So it's been more than 72 hours. Swirled it a number of times before and after it started fermenting. Never actually foamed but bubbles were vigorous so it looks like it's done. How do I make sure and how should it be stepped up from 2 cups?

I'd like to take a refractometer reading. Can I use this to calculate ABV? I remember reading somewhere that it doesn't work that way.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 15, 2011, 07:56:08 AM
I would crash cool it, then put it into a gallon of something less than 1.040.  Maybe add half a pinch of dap+yeast extract.

The problem with a refractometer reading is that the presence of alcohol interferes, and none of the spreadsheets that calculate based on OG work very well in my experience.  After you cool it and pour off the sup you can measure the FG of that.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 15, 2011, 08:30:23 AM
OK thanks Tom that makes a bit of sense. I was expecting up to 2 quarts max but a gallon? I'll do 1.030 and I'll have lot's of happy yeast for the GS.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 15, 2011, 08:40:41 AM
Well, 2 cups is a pint, there are 8 pints in a gallon, an 8x jump is fine.  If you'd like to go smaller you can, it's up to you.  Since it's shaken instead of on a stirplate you can drop it down if you like, but I wouldn't go down as low as 1/2 gallon unless you feel like the yeast really need to be babied.  I know this was an old smack pack, do you feel like you got good growth in this step?  If you're worried about it do 1/2 gallon, at this point you're in the best position to asses it.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: oscarvan on March 15, 2011, 08:48:37 PM
Jurassic yeast

You are a sick man.... I like that. ;D
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tumarkin on March 15, 2011, 09:12:18 PM
Jurassic yeast

You are a sick man.... I like that. ;D

no, no, no... tubercle ain't sick. well, maybe he is  ::)  but in this case, he's spot on.....
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-08/ff_primordial_yeast

45 million year old jurassic yeast. damn, now this guy is a yeast rancher of a whole 'nother caliber!
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tubercle on March 16, 2011, 10:55:09 PM
Jurassic yeast

You are a sick man.... I like that. ;D

no, no, no... tubercle ain't sick. well, maybe he is  ::)  but in this case, he's spot on.....
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-08/ff_primordial_yeast

45 million year old jurassic yeast. damn, now this guy is a yeast rancher of a whole 'nother caliber!

 Oooooo....I'd like to have some of that. There might be a cell floating around in the bottle. Just need 1 ;D

Has anybody tried this?
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: bluesman on March 16, 2011, 11:48:01 PM
I haven't seen much activity, but this is what it looks like 24 hours later.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TXvU6O6jFJI/AAAAAAAAAn0/hTAGBrclqLg/s640/2011-03-12%2014.16.17.jpg)

Since I obviously started this off incorrectly what would be the correct course of action? Take a gravity reading and step up? I was thinking of swirling it...

Do you see the very thin layer of white yeast above the brown layer. I believe that is new growth. I suggest decanting the wort and adding some fresh 1.020-1.030 strength wort and shake intermittently for a day or two and repeat.

You're golden is golden.  8)
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 17, 2011, 03:59:52 AM
I crash cooled for 24 hours and decanted per Tom's advice. Made up 3 qts of 1.033 wort with 3/4 tsp yeast nutrient.

Recalling back I just used RO water for the initial 2 cups. No calcium etc... This time I diluted the RO with some unsoftened  tap water to get minerals in there.

So the grower is 3/4 full and hopefully will be a bubbling when I get home...
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 17, 2011, 06:11:59 AM
And she is! There is some real movement in the beer. I haven't seen anything like that since using carboys back in the early 90's.

Measured the decanted liquor. Came in at 1.020 which isn't too shabby considering the circumstances. Probably would have finished if it had set for another day or so.

Excited. I guess ya'll will see a new convert to making starters. Another piece of the puzzle slots into place...
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 17, 2011, 06:46:14 AM
Made up 3 qts of 1.033 wort with 3/4 tsp yeast nutrient.
:o
That's at least 3x what I meant when I said "half a pinch"!  I'm sure it will be fine though. :)
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 17, 2011, 09:35:31 AM
Made up 3 qts of 1.033 wort with 3/4 tsp yeast nutrient.
:o
That's at least 3x what I meant when I said "half a pinch"!  I'm sure it will be fine though. :)

I got big fingers!

Naw really the the packet of nutrient said "1 tsp per gallon".
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: denny on March 17, 2011, 04:07:27 PM
Made up 3 qts of 1.033 wort with 3/4 tsp yeast nutrient.
:o
That's at least 3x what I meant when I said "half a pinch"!  I'm sure it will be fine though. :)

I got big fingers!

Naw really the the packet of nutrient said "1 tsp per gallon".

Wow.  The Wyeast nutrient recommends 1/8 tsp.for propagation and 1/2 tsp. for 5 gal.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 17, 2011, 04:58:29 PM
This is the problem with "yeast nutrient", it's non-specific.  At that rate euge, I suspect the yeast nutrient you have is simply dead yeast, aka yeast extract, yeast hulls, yeast ghosts, etc.  You definitely wouldn't want to use that much dap.  I'm sure it's fine though.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 17, 2011, 05:51:08 PM
It's just a starter not going to drink it. LOL though I did taste the first one. Hmmm Duvel anyone...?

The nutrient is a white granular substance. In the future I will add just a pinch- to keep the little buggers happy.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 17, 2011, 06:45:59 PM
The nutrient is a white granular substance. In the future I will add just a pinch- to keep the little buggers happy.
Really?  That sounds like diammonium phosphate.  Are you sure the directions didn't say 1 tsp per 5 gallons?  What brand is it?
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 17, 2011, 06:54:03 PM
The nutrient is a white granular substance. In the future I will add just a pinch- to keep the little buggers happy.
Really?  That sounds like diammonium phosphate.  Are you sure the directions didn't say 1 tsp per 5 gallons?  What brand is it?

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_7QgdMVFUuKs/TYJYIWOeKDI/AAAAAAAAAC0/rVcx0imD6yk/s640/2011-03-17%2013.49.21.jpg)

Could be that it is an inadvertent typo.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 17, 2011, 07:12:40 PM
It sure looks like DAP, but is probably a blend of DAP and urea.  Nothing to worry about.

For comparison:
northern brewer sells DAP with directions to use 1/2-3/4 gram per gallon for wine, mead, and cider
morebeer sells "Yeast Nutrient" (DAP) with directions to use 1/2-3/4 gram per gallon or 1/2 tsp for 5 gallons.
northern brewer also sells "Yeast Nutrient" that is a mix of DAP and urea and says "One teaspoon per gallon recommended for wine, mead, and cider"
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: euge on March 24, 2011, 05:50:26 PM
Pitched the 3 quart starter into the 2.5 gallons yesterday around 1300. When I got home at 0200 the Golden Strong was at high krausen.

I've made starters before but reviving a vial that old is a first for me. Now I feel like a new phase in my brewing is beginning. I'll be stepping up my vials from now on. Thanks for the advice guys!

BTW I crash cooled the 2-cups but didn't for the 3 quarts. I just let it settle out on the counter for a couple days since it wouldn't fit in the fridge. JP advises adding more wort to revive activity in this circumstance. Doesn't seem necessary to me.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 24, 2011, 07:08:22 PM
Necessary is a strong word ;)  Potentially helpful though.
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: denny on March 24, 2011, 09:16:51 PM
Necessary is a strong word ;)  Potentially helpful though.

Dude, you are becoming a Jedi of the Pragmatic Method!
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: tschmidlin on March 24, 2011, 10:07:15 PM
Necessary is a strong word ;)  Potentially helpful though.

Dude, you are becoming a Jedi of the Pragmatic Method!
;D
Title: Re: Best by date
Post by: Mark G on March 24, 2011, 10:35:31 PM
Necessary is a strong word ;)  Potentially helpful though.

Dude, you are becoming a Jedi of the Pragmatic Method!
The Force is strong in him.