Author Topic: Must refigerate?  (Read 469 times)

Offline pinnah

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Must refigerate?
« on: January 01, 2014, 09:31:35 AM »
Wondering specifically about yeast cakes and starters?

-Sometimes I rack and just leave the cake...with a thin cover of beer..in the carboy for a few days before I harvest it and transfer to mason jar for the fridge.

-A few weeks ago I made a starter, got busy, and forgot about it in the back room where it still sits in the flask with "beer" on top.

I imagine that temperature is key...that room stays about 60-65 this time of year.
What do you folks think?  Am I OK with this rather laggard treatment of my yeast or am I actually harming the yeast and risking something foul? 
Is actual refrigeration critical in the above cases? 

Thanks for your thoughts.

Offline bigchicken

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 09:53:39 AM »
I used to think that some beer left on yeast would protect it some. I wouldn't rinse yeast real well and would refrigerate yeast with a layer of beer in mason jars. I had one grow mold on top of the thin layer of beer even though I was extremely careful with sanitation and boiled all rinsing water. Yeast I've left with no beer on top has never become infected.
I would think that as long as there's nothing wrong with the appearance of your starter you should be fine. I would cold crash it and decant though. Anymore I never leave yeast in a carboy for more than a day if I plan to reuse it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 10:00:56 AM »
I used to think that some beer left on yeast would protect it some. I wouldn't rinse yeast real well and would refrigerate yeast with a layer of beer in mason jars. I had one grow mold on top of the thin layer of beer even though I was extremely careful with sanitation and boiled all rinsing water. Yeast I've left with no beer on top has never become infected.
I would think that as long as there's nothing wrong with the appearance of your starter you should be fine. I would cold crash it and decant though. Anymore I never leave yeast in a carboy for more than a day if I plan to reuse it.

I have stored yeast in the fridge with beer on top hundreds of times and never seen mold or an infection.  I have to believe it was due to something other than leaving yeast under beer.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 03:17:16 PM »
I used to think that some beer left on yeast would protect it some. I wouldn't rinse yeast real well and would refrigerate yeast with a layer of beer in mason jars. I had one grow mold on top of the thin layer of beer even though I was extremely careful with sanitation and boiled all rinsing water. Yeast I've left with no beer on top has never become infected.
I would think that as long as there's nothing wrong with the appearance of your starter you should be fine. I would cold crash it and decant though. Anymore I never leave yeast in a carboy for more than a day if I plan to reuse it.

I have stored yeast in the fridge with beer on top hundreds of times and never seen mold or an infection.  I have to believe it was due to something other than leaving yeast under beer.

+1 - I call this kind of yeast sample a "bottle of beer" ;D
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Offline bigchicken

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 03:33:18 PM »
I used to think that some beer left on yeast would protect it some. I wouldn't rinse yeast real well and would refrigerate yeast with a layer of beer in mason jars. I had one grow mold on top of the thin layer of beer even though I was extremely careful with sanitation and boiled all rinsing water. Yeast I've left with no beer on top has never become infected.
I would think that as long as there's nothing wrong with the appearance of your starter you should be fine. I would cold crash it and decant though. Anymore I never leave yeast in a carboy for more than a day if I plan to reuse it.


I have stored yeast in the fridge with beer on top hundreds of times and never seen mold or an infection.  I have to believe it was due to something other than leaving yeast under beer.

I really need to check my notes from that beer and see what it was. I may have been experimenting with spices and it may have inflected the batch. I just drank it too fast to notice. The yeast was in the refrigerator longer than it should have been, I'm sure.
TJ Cook
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Fermenting: Soon, very soon.
In bottles: El Chupacabra Hybrid Wheat, Northern Brewer Munich Helles, Snow Eater Winter Warmer 2012

Offline pinnah

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 06:49:58 AM »
So I am thinking no one thinks storing ale yeast under beer in ambient reasonable temperatures could be detrimental to the yeast?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 08:36:14 AM »
So I am thinking no one thinks storing ale yeast under beer in ambient reasonable temperatures could be detrimental to the yeast?

sure it's detrimental. but will it make everything go pear shaped? no. your viability will be very negatively affected though. any contamination that is in there that likes temps ~65 but hates them lower than 40 will grow much faster. The Yeast themselves are more active and there for will starve faster when they don't have any food left.

But that doesn't mean you can't use the yeast. On the couple weeks old starter at room temp I would remake the starter before using it though.
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Offline denny

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 09:07:07 AM »
So I am thinking no one thinks storing ale yeast under beer in ambient reasonable temperatures could be detrimental to the yeast?

I wouldn't do it for more than a couple days.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 09:24:26 AM »
A few extra days is unlikely to destroy the yeast unless your idea of ambient temperature is over 100F. Or 100C.
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Offline euge

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 11:08:36 AM »
I'm assuming autolysis occurs at warmer temps without a foodsource. To me this includes room temp. At this point it's better to make a starter out of it (the cake) rather than a repitch. Less chance of off-flavors developing.

BTW what does "refigerate" mean?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 02:39:36 PM »
The yeast was in the refrigerator longer than it should have been, I'm sure.

Time shouldn't matter.  I've stored yeast slurries for 6 months or more with no issues.  I have to burp my containers every so often as the yeast seems to continue producing CO2, which probably helps create an unfriendly environment for other things to grow.
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Must refigerate?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 03:09:58 PM »
sure it's detrimental. but will it make everything go pear shaped? no. your viability will be very negatively affected though.

Ohh nooos....pear shaped!! ;D 

I had not thought about the starving aspect or the autolysis.  I suppose I will step it up tonight and give it some food.

BTW what does "refigerate" mean?

Wow :-[. Guess I need to refiger my spelling.