Author Topic: Frozen Yeast  (Read 1514 times)

Offline dls5492

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Frozen Yeast
« on: January 02, 2021, 08:18:28 am »
I got my order and the yeast were in a bag along with the hop packets. I tossed the bag with the hop packets into the freezer. 4 days later, I check the bag and discovered that I did not remove all of the yeast. The White Labs WLP833 in the PurePictch was also in there. It was frozen solid, hard as a rock.
I have thawed it in my refrigerator.
Is there any hope?
Thanks in advance.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline allenhuerta

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 09:04:39 am »
So, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this, I get tired of it as well but Brülosophy froze some yeast, made a beer, and it was indistinguishable from the non frozen yeast beer YMMV. I wonder about some of the things but I haven't tasted their beer, just reading an article, so what do I know.

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Offline denny

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 09:06:51 am »
Not to mention that was a single trial, not a scientifically valid conclusion.

I'd say there's at least a chance it might work.  Make a starter and that will tell the story.
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Offline spurviance

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 09:30:38 am »
Apparently it depends.....  https://aem.asm.org/content/aem/63/10/3818.full.pdf   If it were me I'd take Denny's advice and make a starter
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 10:55:38 am »
Freezing won't kill all the yeast. Just make a starter it will most likely be fine.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 11:15:49 am »
I've had Wyeast Smack Packs left outside in a cold snap that got slushy (although never frozen solid), that I smacked a few days later after thawing. They puffed up like normal and  worked just fine.

Add me to the "make a starter first, but it will probably be fine" list.

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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 02:45:38 pm »
So, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this, I get tired of it as well but Brülosophy froze some yeast, made a beer, and it was indistinguishable from the non frozen yeast beer YMMV. I wonder about some of the things but I haven't tasted their beer, just reading an article, so what do I know.

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Yes, this is a single data-point, but there is no evidence to indicate this is not repeatable.

I might try freezing a harvested slurry, keep it for 6 months, and then proceed to brew with it. As an experiment, to get another single-data point on the success or non success of this approach.

And if it pans out, I would consider freezing more yeast that I wish to store for extended periods.
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Offline denny

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 02:51:36 pm »
So, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this, I get tired of it as well but Brülosophy froze some yeast, made a beer, and it was indistinguishable from the non frozen yeast beer YMMV. I wonder about some of the things but I haven't tasted their beer, just reading an article, so what do I know.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

Yes, this is a single data-point, but there is no evidence to indicate this is not repeatable.

I might try freezing a harvested slurry, keep it for 6 months, and then proceed to brew with it. As an experiment, to get another single-data point on the success or non success of this approach.

And if it pans out, I would consider freezing more yeast that I wish to store for extended periods.

There is no evidence either way....there's a reason that yeast is frozen mixed with glycerin
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dls5492

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2021, 03:45:34 pm »
Thanks for the advice. My standard procedure is to make a starter. I like using the Propper Starter.
Cheers
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2021, 05:43:03 am »
Thanks for the advice. My standard procedure is to make a starter. I like using the Propper Starter.
Cheers

I save some wort from the previous brew, and use that for a starter to feed yeast that is dormant. No, it is not as high in sugar content as making a starter using DME, but it does work. I boil the wort for 15 minutes, chill it to 70 degrees, and then add it to my yeast slurry. Works like a charm. And it is free...sort of.

Looking forward to freezing some yeast, just to see what happens.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2021, 07:54:50 am »
Thanks for the advice. My standard procedure is to make a starter. I like using the Propper Starter.
Cheers

I save some wort from the previous brew, and use that for a starter to feed yeast that is dormant. No, it is not as high in sugar content as making a starter using DME, but it does work. I boil the wort for 15 minutes, chill it to 70 degrees, and then add it to my yeast slurry. Works like a charm. And it is free...sort of.

Looking forward to freezing some yeast, just to see what happens.

If you don't have the "Yeast" book by White and Zainasheff it's worth the read and will tell you how to freeze yeast with glycerine (IIRC) but if you want to just freeze yeast for the hell of iot well, why not? Yeast survives freezing temps otherwise wild yeast wouldn't thrive anywhere except the tropics. The problem with freezing is that the water crystals act like tiny shards that break the yeast's cell membrane -glycerine fixes that problem. I'd put money on some survival, probably won't be in great health though.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 07:56:23 am by majorvices »

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2021, 08:01:58 am »
The thing that one has to worry about with freezing are cell walls bursting.  Anyone who has frozen water knows that is expands when frozen.  Part of the yeast freezing process is adding a cryoprotectant, usually glycerol. 

That being said, I am willing to bet that more than a few cells survived the ordeal.  I would pitch the yeast into a 1L 1.030 starter and see if it starts within 24 hours.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 05:20:29 pm by Saccharomyces »

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2021, 11:43:25 am »
The thing that one has to worry about with freezing is cell wall bursting.  Anyone who has frozen water knows that is expands when frozen.  Part of the yeast freezing process is adding a cryoprotectant, usually glycerol. 

That being said, I am willing to bet that more than a few cells survived the ordeal.  I would pitch the yeast into a 1L 1.030 starter and see if it starts within 24 hours.

I suppose that's why fresh beef, and fresh fish is always better than frozen.
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Offline denny

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2021, 11:54:44 am »
The thing that one has to worry about with freezing is cell wall bursting.  Anyone who has frozen water knows that is expands when frozen.  Part of the yeast freezing process is adding a cryoprotectant, usually glycerol. 

That being said, I am willing to bet that more than a few cells survived the ordeal.  I would pitch the yeast into a 1L 1.030 starter and see if it starts within 24 hours.

I suppose that's why fresh beef, and fresh fish is always better than frozen.

Not necessarily with fish and many veggies.  Frozen is often as good, if not better.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Frozen Yeast
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2021, 04:22:12 pm »
The thing that one has to worry about with freezing is cell wall bursting.  Anyone who has frozen water knows that is expands when frozen.  Part of the yeast freezing process is adding a cryoprotectant, usually glycerol. 

That being said, I am willing to bet that more than a few cells survived the ordeal.  I would pitch the yeast into a 1L 1.030 starter and see if it starts within 24 hours.

I suppose that's why fresh beef, and fresh fish is always better than frozen.

Not necessarily with fish and many veggies.  Frozen is often as good, if not better.

Slightly off topic, but having done a lot of fishing on the Canadian border over the last 45 years, and catching awesome Walleye Pike, I can testify that the fish we catch and eat right away is far better than what we freeze and then vacuum seal, and eat at a later date.

Your experience may differ.
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