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Old Yeast

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:29 pm
by Mob_Barley
I've got some yeast that's getting on in age. Oldest pack was March 08. What are the alternatives? Start a yeast ranch, step the starter like you would a slant, throw them away...what's everyone's opinion.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:37 pm
by yeastmeister
Make a small sterile starter (say 250ml, pressure cooked), pitch the entire pack in that, and wait for fermentation to start (foam on the surface), at that point, either step it up or refrigerate it till you are ready to go larger, then warm it back up pitch it into a larger starter and let it go like you would any normal starter. I've revived MUCH older stuff like that, sometimes it can take days for really old stuff. There is almost always some viability left in packs. I wouldn't consider that old however. But I do make a starter for everything.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:47 pm
by Mob_Barley
I have a White Labs Belgian Sour Mix of about the same age, I've never heard of making a starter with that, do you think the bugs are still ok? My original plan was to make an Oud Bruin with the Munich Lager and pitch the bugs when the krausen starts to drop.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:13 pm
by aleguy
You might have some problems with multiple organisms in the same package. I understand they are balanced to provide a specific ratio of one to another. After a long storage period, some may be able to bounce back better than others and throw your ratios out of whack.
As far as fermenting out with beer yeast before adding your other bugs, You may be a little disappointed with the results. I know the Yeastmeister was when he did the same thing, trying to make a Flanders ale.