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Yeast health

So I ordered some wyeast for a brew going on today. Ordered two ice packs to be safe but they still arrived melted. Not super warm to the touch but definitely warm. The pouch wasn’t swollen at all, and I put it into the fridge for a few days. If I ever gently shook the bag, I could hear what sounded like carbonation going on inside.

Left the pouch outside of the fridge for a few hours, then popped the nutrient pack. The pack never expanded over the next 5 hours.

I still went ahead and made a starter last night, hoping the yeast was fine. The yeast has now settled at the bottom of the flask, and the starter has a distinct “beer” smell. No krausen has formed.

So now I have 2 questions:

  1. do you think the yeast is still good to go? If I have to pour it into my wort and just wait a few days into fermentation to see, that it ok but not preferable.

  2. let’s assume the yeast did die, and a few days into “fermentation” and there’s been no activity… if I make a second starter with dry yeast, will the beer be ok having double the yeast inside? Since the dead stuff won’t ferment, then it should just sink and filter out, right? I don’t want to get a sour dough beer.

Question 1), I’d done a “small starter”, 1.030 SG, AND a small pinch of yeast nutrient… You’re not trying to make a beer, rather, help the yeast to prepare for making beer. I wouldn’t add to a brew… Theres a fancy word for what a not too agreeable dead yeast bring to a party… Autolysis?
2) I still won’t add dead yeast as I know it… I like to see/know the yeast is alive and well… With that in mind, planning your brew day will help you make your best brew… Should I brew on a Saturday, then Wednesday night I’ll pull the yeast out to warm up … Thursday a small starter… Friday I’ll make a bit bigger starter1.045… If activity is good, Ill brew Saturday (activity of the yeast is my key). A big brew, then this process takes a few more days.
Ordering liquid yeast in the summer won’t happen with me any more… I’ve gotten a few vials that were cooked… Sneezles61

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Try and buy local from now on if at all possible. Your yeast should be fine though. I’ve made starters on a stir plate that dont have any krausen. If you cant manage liquid yeast in the summer, just use dry yeast until the weather permits.

Now would be a good time to read up and propagating/harvesting yeast… Sneezles61

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Yea I normally get dry yeast in the summer but I wanted a specific strain for this brew so I risked it. I went ahead and pitched the starter. It looked peaceful, yet when I swirled it by hand it resulted in some foam and bubbles that resembled Krausen, so I took the chance. I will monitor the gravity and the airlock and hope to get some activity. I can always make a second starter with the dry yeast I own, I just hope that I don’t have to. This hope is more to do with the preferred strain and not to delay the beer making process

If you do decide to add some dry yeast (ie. if you have no krausen or other visible sign of fermentation 48 hours after pitching), then it shouldn’t be necessary to do a starter. In fact, making a starter with dry yeast might actually be detrimental.

If you added fermcap to your starter and it was small and you added more then a drop it is common for no krausen to form. The real question is are you in Michigan and ordered from Minnesota? I was camping in MN last week and it was pretty hot.
Also what yeast? that is the real question.

I didn’t use fermcap at all… and I live in Rhode Island, just a Michigan alum. I ordered from a store in NY for that reason alone… didn’t want it to stay outside for too long.

It was wyeast London ale III. It was decently hot here too. I pitched the starter yesterday, it looks like I did ok, there is good airlock activity going on

great. I love that yeast but I would suggest you harvest from the starter or top crop each time (from the starter is easier) it loses some of its quality over time harvesting from the trub

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