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LHBS selling 3 month old yeast

Is this pretty common? I usually order from NB and get yeast that is usually at most 1 month old. My LHBS carries strictly white labs and the “best by” date on most of them were around 5 weeks from today. White labs “best by” date is 4 months before the package date so these are just under 3 months old.

Is this common for smaller LHBS’ to have yeast this old or should I start looking for a new LHBS? The last few times I wrote it off as a convenience thing.

I realize its just an estimate but that puts this yeast below 50% viability. Should I risk under-pitching or should I do a 2 step starter for my next brew just in case? Using Jamil’s formula, yeastcalc says I’m under-pitching with a 1 step 2L starter, but using Kai’s formula I should be pitching enough.

I have several LHBS to choose from. Good problem to have, uh? All of my shops will hold yeast up to 5-6 months then trash them or quite often just give them away. I will normally look through their yeast to find the newest packs, but I am usually seeing dates anywhere from 2-8 weeks old. Which in my opinion is acceptable. I won’t pay $8+ for a pack of 4, 5, 6 month old yeast. Another benefit of the home brewing boom is that they seem to be turning over their supplies much quicker than a few years ago.

Yeah, I wish I had more closer to me. The one I usually go to carries no more than 2 vials per strain but they usually have just about every WL strain (the major ones anyway). They’re only 10 minutes from work so I usually go on my lunch break. The other one that would be worth a drive is about 45 minutes away. I’ve never made the trek, but I hear its a very nice place.

I’m spoiled. I have 2 nice shops within 10min of home. Another just a little bit further in Philadelphia (maybe 20min from home) and one more only about 15min from my work. There are at least 2 others I know of further away, maybe 30-45min away. LOTS of home brewers around here. The amount of shops and home brew clubs speaks to that. I know of 4 clubs in the area. Mine (Barley Legal Home Brewers) has close to 250 members!

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