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Author Topic: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?  (Read 532 times)

Offline fredthecat

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wow, pretty annoyed, a lager yeast i had saved from last winter and then just propagated over 2 growth cycles of wort additions over the past month, was apparently left exposed to air when someone knocked the cap off moving it.

im guessing a few hours to a few days, garage where a few times a day regular motion occurs including a car pulling in close to it.

it is a growler jug with the airlock completely off/ open lid exposed to that air. temp is mid 50s.

i've recapped it just now - should i use this or not?

i dont want to have to place an order for some yeast but will i guess

what an annoyance.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2023, 01:20:11 pm by fredthecat »

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2023, 01:28:19 pm »
My experience is anything left open will develop some nasty growth, pretty quickly.  I store my harvested yeast in sanitized zip lock bags (using a gallon for around a pint of slurry).  Using fairly asceptic means, the fermenter from which I am harvesting is open for no more than a minute or two.  Even then I have encountered microbial growth after a week or so, but not always.

I also know that some guys were washing yeast way back when, using some type of water purification tabs (not just rinsing).

If it were me, I would see if anything grows in it over a week or so, then use or dump based on what  I see then.  In the meantime, I'd order the yeast.

Good luck.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2023, 01:55:17 pm »
My experience is anything left open will develop some nasty growth, pretty quickly.  I store my harvested yeast in sanitized zip lock bags (using a gallon for around a pint of slurry).  Using fairly asceptic means, the fermenter from which I am harvesting is open for no more than a minute or two.  Even then I have encountered microbial growth after a week or so, but not always.

I also know that some guys were washing yeast way back when, using some type of water purification tabs (not just rinsing).

If it were me, I would see if anything grows in it over a week or so, then use or dump based on what  I see then.  In the meantime, I'd order the yeast.

Good luck.

i appreciate the honesty, and while walking around just now thought that there simply isnt a point in saving a few bucks and potentially wasting a lot of time and effort.

oh well. it was WLP833.

Offline Skeeter686

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2023, 05:04:24 pm »
I think you'd be gambling, and it's not just your time you'd potentially be wasting but also the rest of the brewing ingredients if the batch fails.  It sucks, but as cheap as I can sometimes be, I wouldn't risk it, myself, unless I were pretty confident it would be OK. And it sounds like you're not confident.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2023, 09:17:14 am »
I would be really peeved but I would agree with the rest of the team here and toss it out.  I might give it the sniff test but even if it passed, I'd be very twitchy about it.  That whole thing about "brewers make wort, yeast makes beer" makes me have A LOT of respect for yeast and what it does for us.  It seems mysterious (to me) because we don't really know how healthy it is, how many viable cells there are, whether it's contaminated, whether it's slightly morphed into something we don't want, etc.  I don't know about you guys but I don't have a yeast lab in my home.  So I treat the yeast as well as I know how, I go through some measures to make sure any storage vessels for yeast are as clean as the can be, etc.  There are times when I harvest yeast and take a sniff and I am mildly put off by its aroma.  Then I use it and the resulting beer is very good.  As far as all of the processes you go through to make beer, yeast is by far the one I feel the most-distant from and in the least control of. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2023, 10:01:38 am »
Yeah, thanks. unfortunately timing wise (my LHBS stops taking orders outside of mon to fri 8am to 4pm i find) i likely won't even get this until dec 30th at best, but i just ordered some diamond.

also ordered enough grain to make another beer down the line to make the shipping costs worth while a bit

Offline Drewch

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2023, 01:13:25 pm »
I would still keep it as an experimental, spontaneous starter.

Make a quasi-lambic wild ale and see what happens.
The Other Drew

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Member at large of the Central Alabama Brewers Society, the League of Drews, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2023, 03:06:24 pm »
I would still keep it as an experimental, spontaneous starter.

Make a quasi-lambic wild ale and see what happens.

i dont want to infect my equipment with anything but non-diastaticus brewers yeast

Offline Drewch

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2023, 07:02:28 pm »
i dont want to infect my equipment with anything but non-diastaticus brewers yeast

Oh, well, definitely pitch it then. Nuke the site from orbit: it's the only way to be sure.
The Other Drew

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Member at large of the Central Alabama Brewers Society, the League of Drews, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Offline nvshooter2276

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I'd trash it. All kinds of krapp can get into it as it set there. Why shed blood, sweat and tears making a really nice DIPA and have it ruined by a bad yeast? If nothing else, learn from the experience or from your mistakes. We're humans; we can do that...

Offline erockrph

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Re: yeast starter was left with lid off for a few days in garage - use or no?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2024, 06:35:34 am »
I would still keep it as an experimental, spontaneous starter.

Make a quasi-lambic wild ale and see what happens.
In my experience, a typical garage microbiome will consist of things that make chunky or fuzzy blue/greem/black rafts floating on your beer. Definitely not the stuff I'd choose to consume. I don't think I've ever seen Aspargillus listed in a lambic culture.
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