Frozen yeast

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BrewinMoe
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Frozen yeast

Post by BrewinMoe » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:54 am

Hey campers its been a while since I did a lager and I had kept my not so fresh(9 month old) Wyeast 2206 smack pac in the freezer. Well upon breaking it out to warm I noticed it had ice chunks in there. Its still sealed but now thawed its showing only slight signs of puffing practicly no puffing. Should I just expect this old pac to arrive late, mark him down as mearly a late sleeper? Whata ya think gang, I hate to go buy new stuff! Is it salvagable?
Moe

pclemon
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by pclemon » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:45 am

Wait to see if it activates/puffs. It's been a while since I used Wyeast but recalll some of them would expand within 24-36 hours, some would take 3-4 days. If it doesn't puff I suspect the yeast is dead and you'll need something new. Even if it does puff highly recommend a starter - which should be done for most beers anyhow, especially a lager - but the healthy yeast cell count in that packet is likely on the extreme low end at this point.
Pete

BrewinMoe
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by BrewinMoe » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:52 am

pclemon wrote:Wait to see if it activates/puffs. It's been a while since I used Wyeast but recalll some of them would expand within 24-36 hours, some would take 3-4 days. If it doesn't puff I suspect the yeast is dead and you'll need something new. Even if it does puff highly recommend a starter - which should be done for most beers anyhow, especially a lager - but the healthy yeast cell count in that packet is likely on the extreme low end at this point.

Awww bummer for me. Its been two days now and my old bag of yeast just aint got what it takes. Im used to the ALE yeast packs puffing up like a fat girl full of pastries but thats another story. I suppose I should quit my whinin and get my ass over to the homebrew shop. Hey, its all about the beer. :roll:

Moe

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Brewtime
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by Brewtime » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:26 am

I thought that you could not freeze yeast :?:
Drew

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pclemon
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by pclemon » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:42 am

Brewtime wrote:I thought that you could not freeze yeast :?:
Yeah - I've always put my wyeast packs or white labs vials in the fridge, not the freezer - yet when I've seen shows on TV about breweries their yeast bank is a nitrogen cooled freezer....
Pete

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rplace
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by rplace » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:24 am

I've successfully froze yeast in a mixture of glycol and water...or was it propylene glycol....in test tubes then later thawed and made starters. I had grand visions of being a yeast rancher, but the process of stepping them up was way more hassle than it was worth. Was great when Pac man was not available or I bottle cultured some Belgians. Now there are so many great yeasts available at the drop of a hat I don't see the need.

I too was under the impression that yeast frozen in wort/beer would result in dead yeast. Agree with Pete if the pack swells up you are probably good.

BrewinMoe
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by BrewinMoe » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:45 pm

rplace wrote:I've successfully froze yeast in a mixture of glycol and water...or was it propylene glycol....in test tubes then later thawed and made starters. I had grand visions of being a yeast rancher, but the process of stepping them up was way more hassle than it was worth. Was great when Pac man was not available or I bottle cultured some Belgians. Now there are so many great yeasts available at the drop of a hat I don't see the need.

I too was under the impression that yeast frozen in wort/beer would result in dead yeast. Agree with Pete if the pack swells up you are probably good.

Well gang heres the update, Ive gone rouge, I went out and bought a pac of Wyeast 2633 Octoberfest and the plan is to toss both pacs into my starter because I did get some though minumal swelling. I believe there is SOME survivors in that frozen pac and more in the 2633. Ill keep you apprized. Thanks for the help. Moe

BrewinMoe
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Re: Frozen yeast

Post by BrewinMoe » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:35 am

Well gang heres the update, Ive gone rouge, I went out and bought a pac of Wyeast 2633 Octoberfest and the plan is to toss both pacs into my starter because I did get some though minumal swelling. I believe there is SOME survivors in that frozen pac and more in the 2633. Ill keep you apprized. Thanks for the help. Moe


Well gang I think its all working out for the best. I put both yeast pacs in my starter and gave it most of the day to build up. A little yeast nutrient is always nice which of course I added. The brew day went nicely mash climbed to 150-151 and hung in there for the entire 90 minutes as expected. Then off to the brew pot where it saw a aromatic rolling boil of 90 minutes as well. Only one perplexing point, I fell 10 points shy of my expected OG! I was aiming for 1.055 yet came in at 1.044. Im sure it'll still be nice but Hmmmm.
Moe


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