Author Topic: "Best By" Date  (Read 3157 times)

Offline KellerBrauer

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"Best By" Date
« on: September 01, 2021, 10:03:20 am »
It seems the yeast manufactures are now placing a "Best By" date on the packaging as opposed to the "Made on" or "Packaged On" date that I'm use to seeing.  I fully understand the reasoning.  However, how is the age of the yeast entered into BeerSmith?  I believe BeerSmith calculates yeast viability based on "Packaged On" date.  So, I have been simply backing up the "Best By" date by 6 months and using that date in BeerSmith.  But is that the best way to calculate the age and viability?  I'm curious what other brewers are doing?
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Offline denny

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2021, 11:05:46 am »
Personally, I'd say why bother.  There's more to yeast viability than simply age.  BS is just guessing, amd you can do that too.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2021, 04:24:39 pm »
The "best buy" date is a date guarantee.  A culture can remain in viable form for a long time after the "best by" date.  However, after a point, it becomes a case of resurrecting the culture than propagating it.  That kind of scenarios is can be difficult.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2021, 05:52:25 pm »
Kind of like the Best-By date on many beers. That really tells you nothing. What I want to know is the packaging date.
Most breweries I contacted state beer is fresh for 3 months. You ever go into a store and see beer on the shelf that is at, or past the BB date? I have, and the manager is contacted. The second person contacted is the brewery, to let them know the distributor is not keeping fresh beer on the store shelves.

Regarding yeast, it should remain viable if stored properly, even past the date.

Not much of a factor for us as we harvest our yeast, and brew frequently enough that we always have a fresh slurry ready to go.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 05:54:13 pm by TXFlyGuy »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2021, 06:41:47 pm »

Regarding yeast, it should remain viable if stored properly, even past the date.


Unfortunately this is only true for dry yeast. That said, you can still make starters from close to or past "best by" date (liquid yeast).
« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 07:04:02 pm by majorvices »

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2021, 07:37:10 pm »
I normally use White Labs and I like that they include both a package date and a best by date.  Even with dry yeast though I tend to just get a new one if it's past the expiration.  They're usually cheap and it doesn't happen often.

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2021, 05:22:45 am »
All good advise and information.

However, in order to make a properly sized starter, BS uses the “packaged on” date in the calculation.  If I don’t know the “packaged on” date, how much starter is needed?  I understand OG, lager vs. ale, etc., are also in the calculation.  But a date is also needed.  How do other brewers size their starters?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2021, 05:59:21 am »
All good advise and information.

However, in order to make a properly sized starter, BS uses the “packaged on” date in the calculation.  If I don’t know the “packaged on” date, how much starter is needed?  I understand OG, lager vs. ale, etc., are also in the calculation.  But a date is also needed.  How do other brewers size their starters?

You can tell visually if the yeast is healthy and active. Likewise you can get a sense for how active a starter is, how fast it performs, and how much yeast settles out on the bottom.

In addition: When I brew I usually plan a "starter batch", which is a batch that I intend to drink but that I also intend to harvest the yeast from. In almost every instance this "starter batch" is perfectly fine, performs how I expected it to perform and tastes good. But when I harvest the yeast I have even higher expectations for subsequent beers.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2021, 06:03:23 am »
All good advise and information.

However, in order to make a properly sized starter, BS uses the “packaged on” date in the calculation.  If I don’t know the “packaged on” date, how much starter is needed?  I understand OG, lager vs. ale, etc., are also in the calculation.  But a date is also needed.  How do other brewers size their starters?

Contact the manufacturer. They probably give their yeast an X month shelf life. Then it's easy to determine the package date.

I did this with European beers, asked the brewery. They post a 12 month shelf life. So most beers from Europe that you see on your local store shelf that have a best by date of Oct. 1, 2021, were packaged Oct. 1, 2020. Anything over 6 months is not fresh.
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Offline denny

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2021, 08:41:16 am »
The "best buy" date is a date guarantee.  A culture can remain in viable form for a long time after the "best by" date.  However, after a point, it becomes a case of resurrecting the culture than propagating it.  That kind of scenarios is can be difficult.

I contacted Lallemand about this and that's exactly what they told me.  Their dry yeast remains in good shape far past the best by date.
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Offline denny

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2021, 08:42:44 am »
All good advise and information.

However, in order to make a properly sized starter, BS uses the “packaged on” date in the calculation.  If I don’t know the “packaged on” date, how much starter is needed?  I understand OG, lager vs. ale, etc., are also in the calculation.  But a date is also needed.  How do other brewers size their starters?

Simple....1 qt. SNS
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Offline ttash

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2021, 09:53:34 am »
All good advise and information.

However, in order to make a properly sized starter, BS uses the “packaged on” date in the calculation.  If I don’t know the “packaged on” date, how much starter is needed?  I understand OG, lager vs. ale, etc., are also in the calculation.  But a date is also needed.  How do other brewers size their starters?

Simple....1 qt. SNS
+1 ... simplicity at it's best.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2021, 11:26:39 am »
I have a commercial Belgian Lambic that was made in 2018; it has a best by date of 2038.
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Offline Bob357

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2021, 02:40:41 am »
I'm with Denny here. Vitality is much more important than cell count. If I were still using liquid yeasts, I'd rely on the SNS method. Otherwise, when in doubt, contact the producer for information.

For dry yeasts, I figure they were packaged 2 years prior to the Best by date.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 02:43:54 am by Bob357 »
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Offline goose

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Re: "Best By" Date
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2021, 08:09:53 am »
I used to fret about "best buy" dates and tried to back calculate the manufacture date as well. But I am kind of like Denny now.  With liquid yeasts I just make a 2-2.5 liter starter and for an 11 gallon batch and I am fine.  With dry yeast I just pitch a couple sachets in a big beer and it works fine.
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