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Adding bottling yeast to sugar solution

Yesterday I bottled six gallons of Oud Kriek that had sat on a few oak cubes in secondary for a little more than a month, so I added more yeast to the bottling bucket to ensure bottle conditioning. The yeast was from a previously opened, taped shut packet of Safale US-05 that still had a year left before its expiration date, and had been refrigerated continuously.

I decided to rehydrate the yeast (about 3 grams), but thought I would try a shortcut and so instead of hydrating it in the appropriate amount of hot water separately, just sprinkled it on top of the boiled bottling sugar solution once that had cooled to 90F. Ten minutes later, the yeast had sunk to the botom of the pot holding the 1 cup of sugar solution, with no sign of proofing. I went ahead and stirred that into the beer in the bottling bucket and proceeded with bottling.

I assume that there was no harm done and the beer will carbonate, since adding the yeast to the sugar solution is equivalent to having added it directly to the beer in the bottling bucket. I probably won’t do this again though, since it didn’t proof the yeast. Anybody think anything different?

I think 90F is too hot for yeast. What does it say on the side of the package? Some have said that proofing dry yeast actually is worse for them because they expend their nutrients as they replicate in the proofing container. When they yeast gets to the beer, the nutrients are lessened.

Normally proofing yeast is used for cooking or baking breads. I would think the high temp caused them issues?

90 should be fine for almost any yeast. But I have to tell ya that I’ve had 2 disastrous situations using previously opened yeast. I hope you have better luck.

Thanks Denny. I sure hope you’re not talking about an infection. :? I was afraid that it might have died once I saw no signs of it proofing. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever used opened dry yeast before, but had read someone’s post stating that it is ok, so tried it. I guess I’ll know in about a week, but won’t go there again. If need be, I’ll make a slurry with good yeast, uncap and inject each bottle with 1 - 2 mls of the slurry, and recap, which I’ve done successfully before after using some dead yeast that was unopened previously but had been left too long out of a fridge.

The beer carbonated fine, but still, I’m not sure if the added bottling yeast from a previously opened packet, or the residual yeast in the secondary carbonated it. My guess is that the opened packet yeast was ok since I taped it shut and refrigerated it immediately after taking some the first time I opened it. Still, in the future I don’t plan to add bottling yeast to the bottling sugar solution, or from a previously opened packet. Rather, I will sprinkle it into the bottling bucket, or follow rehydration instructions so that I can see the yeast proof. :slight_smile:

Hey Denny, by any chance was the disaster you experienced from using previously opened dry yeast, a phenol fault, i.e. band-aid, plastic-y flavor? I know it can be caused by improper or wild yeast. I opened another one of these beers and it subtly, but definitely had that fault. I’ll try a couple more but I’m worried now. I know it’s not from chlorine in the water, since it is not chlorinated. Also, I kegged 5 gallons of the 11-gallon batch and the kegged portion does not have this characteristic at all.

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