General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Frozen yeast

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hallowed:
I don't have a LHBS, so I have to get everything mail ordered... I recently got in my ingredients for three batches, which were delivered early in the morning and found on my way out the door to work... I hadn't had any coffee or Mt. Dew yet, and I guess I was just in a hurry and had my head stuffed up my rear, but I somehow ended up putting my hops in the refrigerator and my yeast in the freezer........ oops. It is a smack pack of Wyeast Belgian Strong Ale and a vial of White Labs Dry English Ale.

I got home, realized what I had done, set the yeast out to thaw, and stuck it back in the fridge when it wasn't frozen anymore. I've read about people keeping their yeast slants under ice, but I'm wondering if I've screwed both cultures... I was planning on making starters for both anyhow, and if they take off then great. But should I go ahead and order more yeast, just in case? Has anyone had experience with reviving frozen yeast? I think I read somewhere that freezing for a short period of time will only kill off about 10% of the cells, which isn't a problem since I'm making a starter, but I don't have any first hand experience with this or know anyone who does....

Thanks in advance!

majorvices:
The ice crystals in the water actually will kill off a large percentage of the yeast - hard to say how much. You will probably want to start them in a small starter and step them up. Be prepared for the worst, though.

ndcube:
I had a smackpack of 3787 come in frozen during a very cold week last year.  I put it in a starter (less than a liter IIRC) and it was going strong within 12 hours.  Try it and find out.

Oh yeah, I slowly thawed it out in the fridge first if that made a difference.

beersk:
The cold worries me when getting smackpacks shipped from MidWest.  I don't get the insulated packaging they offer to put yeast in, but when it's sub-zero temps outside, I'm worried my yeast will freeze.  Bloody weather...

Thirsty_Monk:

--- Quote from: majorvices on January 05, 2010, 06:46:58 AM ---The ice crystals in the water actually will kill off a large percentage of the yeast - hard to say how much. You will probably want to start them in a small starter and step them up. Be prepared for the worst, though.

--- End quote ---
I heard that one freezing cycle will kill 10% of yeast cells.
So give yorself plenty of time and make 2 step starter.
First step 500 ml of 1020-1030 wort and second step 2000 ml for ales and 4000 ml for lagers of 1040 wort for 5 gal batch.

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