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Inflated smack pack

I’m relatively new to brewing and even more new to brewing with liquid yeast. I got a smack pack of Wyeast 1056 back in October. Because I’m learning as I go I didn’t realize liquid yeast has a shelf life that is not extremely long. I have had the yeast in the fridge since it arrived. I checked it last night to see when it was manufactured (Sept 14th) and to my surprise the pack was inflated - not fully but enough that I don’t think I can smack the nutrient pack. I planed to brew with it in about a week. I’m planning on making a starter with it. Should I ditch it and get new yeast? Why did it inflate in the fridge? If I use it what do I do about the nutrient packet and not being about to break it?

Your yeast is still good. According to Wyeast 1056 is one of the packs of yeast that will always be slightly swollen. It is just some residual CO2 coming off the yeast. A good starter will be required for yeast that old. This is the starter pitch rate calcvulator I like to use. Has an overbuild option also to save fresh yeast from the starter for the next starter.

Break the nutrient pack after you pour the yeast into your starter wort.

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I wouldn’t be too worried about the date since you plan to make a starter anyway. Yea…what @flars said…

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