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What happens if liquid yeast gets too warm in shipping?

I ordered an all grain kit, and was going to just get dry yeast, but my son got me a nice stir plate for Father’s Day so I wanted to use liquid yeast.
The kit is coming from NB but it’s not on the fast track for shipping methods. Seeing all the hot weather and assuming it will be sitting in a ups trailer … Should I just dump that yeast and pick up some locally( which is what I should have thought of in the first place…). My local supply has the yeast in stock, so I don’t want to risk my beer for an 8 dollar pack of yeast…
What do you guys think?



Track how long the yeast was in actual shipment. Let us know if the cold pack included was hot, warm, or cool when the yeast is received.

Viability loss could be 10% to 20% more than the normal loss based on the manufacture date of the yeast. A larger starter wouldn’t be a problem. It is too early to worry.

You can definitely recover what gets lost with the right starter(s)

But next time, LHBS your liquid yeast, at least when it’s warm.

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I do live on bonaire and ship yeast from yeastbay to the island true dhl. I did tell them put extra ice packs. So stays cold. When it arives. Think lost some viablity. But when i use it i. make a starter. Till so far lucky. Use yeast starter calculator. When i got the amount of dme to use. I use bit extra

How can you tell how long it sat in a truck on the way to the LHBS? In that scenario it’s highly unlikely there were any ice packs involved.

Check the date on the yeast, try to track the package to see how long it was in transit. I’m on the east coast, most of the yeast comes from the west coast so I’ll bet my yeast was in a truck for a while. Make a starter, maybe even step it up. If it’s viable you will know by watching it.

Starter should be employed, in fact, do that a few more times, then you can split it in half. One that you could save for later and the other to use now. Sneezles61


Thanks for the info. It will be here tomorrow. I will put it in the fridge for a while and then maybe Thursday or Friday make a starter. The beer I am going to make is the Kama citra so it is not a big beer to begin with. I didn’t know if the yeast could become " spoiled" or impart unwanted favors due to the heat. I have the " yeast book" , but haven’t started it yet as I am only midway through the malt and grains book now.

Retailers receive their yeast from yeast manufacturers typically via 2nd Day Air, and the cartons are insulated with styrofoam, and packed with ice packs.

I did not know that. I’ll ask my LHBS guy next time I’m there if he does.

I suppose I’m assuming they’d be buying directly from Wyeast or White Labs, etc. Who knows what happens to the yeast if they source it through a distributor.

My yeast (along with the all grain kit) arrived today. The yeast was packed in a separate insulated envelope with one ice pack. It was not warm and not cold… sort of borderline cool… so maybe it stayed relatively cool for the voyage. Date on yeast pack is May 9th 2017. Probably in transit for 6 days to me.
In the fridge now, will take it out tomorrow AM and make the starter, put that on my new stir plate for 24 hours or so and see how it goes. The beer is a session IPA so it is not a very ‘big’ beer.

Thanks for the help guys!


I guess it is a volume thing. I tangled with someone on this site a couple of years ago when I posited that you should buy liquid yeast from your LHBS during the hot months(all year here), and they responded, “how does the LHBS get theirs, huh?” Our LHBS actually does a brisk mail order business themselves so they get bulk shipments with appropriate safeguards from Wyeast.

Now a smallish LHBS with small supply shipments, or through a distributor as @voltron said, I don’t know…

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So now we need a volunteer to get two similar yeast smack packs or whatever they get their yeast in. Refrigerate one and leave the second out for a week or two. Brew two identical batches using the same method i.e. starter pitch temp, volume… Then let’s see if there is any noticeable difference.

My bet is unless the warm yeast is in horrible conditions, it will be fine. The strain may change things as some can handle warmer temps better.

My LHBS has given me yeast that has had an old date on it, not too old. I always made a starter and never had a problem. He also got a Wyeast smack pack once that started to blow up before smacking or selling it. He put it on a top shelf and left it for months. It never exploded.

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Thats a good one for brulosophy to try… Sneezles61

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