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Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP

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I received a Northern Brewer ingredient kit for Christmas from my wife.  It shipped with a Wyeast 3538 Leuven Pale yeast pack with the standard refrigerate ASAP package.  Unfortunately, my wife left the gift in a spare room for about a month without knowing that the yeast should be refrigerated,  I'm now trying to get a starter going, and it doesn't seem to be taking off.  It's been 18 hours or so.  Is the yeast DOA?

I wouldn't say it is a goner but the starter may  take longer than you're used to.  If you aren't using a stir plate (I don't have one but they were all rage last year) swirl the jar a coupel of times a day.  If you don't see any activity in 48 hours I'd be picking up some new yeast.


*** edited to fix typo... again.

I've used a Wyeast pack over 8 months old with good results. I had the pack refrigerated, so that helped it I'm sure. It never appeared to do much of anything when I made a starter, but I tasted it and fermented out. I'd say it took over a week. I would have made a 2nd starter, but ran out of time. The yeast did so well it came out the airlock with a healthy blowoff. It climbed out of a 6.5 gallon bucket on a 5 gallon batch. I'd recommend giving it a few days and then checking the gravity or giving it a taste test. That yeast may surprise you yet.

I wouldn't assume it's dead. Remember, yeast stay active and alive in your beer at room temperature for weeks, even months depending on how you store your beer and how long it takes for you to consume it. Yeast live in the wild in conditions far less hospitable.

Give it some time. Add some yeast nutrient if you have some. Continue to aerate well. It will likely come around.

Viability doesn't drop much in a week out of the fridge, but I've never tried a month.  It could work, but will take some time to get going.


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