Author Topic: So my yeast showed up today frozen  (Read 11526 times)

Offline Wildrover

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 480
So my yeast showed up today frozen
« on: January 02, 2010, 08:24:57 PM »
Can I still use it?  I'm not sure what freezing does to the little guys.  I hate to throw the money down the drain (pun intended) but if the yeast have been damaged in a way that makes it unusable, I'd rather spend money on new yeast as opposed to the money that goes into a batch of beer.

Offline Rep

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 369
Re: So my yeast showed up today frozen
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 05:43:53 PM »
Can I still use it?  I'm not sure what freezing does to the little guys.  I hate to throw the money down the drain (pun intended) but if the yeast have been damaged in a way that makes it unusable, I'd rather spend money on new yeast as opposed to the money that goes into a batch of beer.

First of all, do you stock a selection of dry yeast for emergencies? 

Secondly, contact the seller, maybe they will replace your yeast.

Try a starter and see if it works, maybe they were not frozen.

Offline Wildrover

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 480
Re: So my yeast showed up today frozen
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2010, 05:50:32 PM »
I don't normally stock the dry yeast but there is a health food store here in town that carries a small supply of homebrewing stuff.  They have helped me out in a pinch before though they are hit or miss.  Since I'm using California Ale I'm thinking that is common enough that the health food store might have something I can use.  I think they might have some dry yeast as well so if I have to I can go get some from them. 

I did let the stuff thaw and made a starter with it.  It seems to be doing its thing just fine, lots of activity actually, I have no doubt about the living cells in the flask. My concern is that the low temps, though not killing the yeast, may have done something to their cell walls or something? 

I'm also wondering if maybe the yeast didn't freeze but the nutrient inside the tube did?  Is that possible? 

Right now, given the apparent health of the starter I'm leaning toward using the yeast.

Emergency yeast is a good idea that I haven't thought of.  I'm thinking I should get some now regardless of this incident

Offline Rep

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 369
Re: So my yeast showed up today frozen
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 08:14:55 AM »
Use it.  If the, "cell walls" were damaged I would think the yeast would be dead.  But your starter procedure is proving otherwise.

And yes, do stock some emergency yeast.  I always have fresh packets of Nottingham, Safale 04 & 05 in case my harvested strains do not come around.

I am lucky though.  I have the support of an active brew club and am within one hour of Midwest brewing, Northern Brewing, Wind River and Caps N Cork.

I was in Midwest yesterday picking up supplies for my next four batches.

Offline Wildrover

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 480
Re: So my yeast showed up today frozen
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 11:06:15 AM »
I'm about four hours away from Midwest.  I usually get most of my stuff from them via FedEx.  So far I've been pretty happy with them and really happy wit FedEx.  Being that I'm so close I usually get my stuff the day after it ships which is nice.  I looked at Northern Brewing but after you factor in shipping it seems like Midwest is a little cheaper. 

The Fargo/Moorehead area is only about 45-60 minutes (depending on traffic and the time of the year) to the south and they have a homebrew store that I've been to once.  I was less than impressed.  Its nice that they have a store with such a small population but the selection was small and the shop seemed to be lacking in a lot of things. He did say they had just re-opened as they were closed for several months re-doing the shop.  Maybe I'll go back in there sometime soon and see if he's bulked up his selection of things and give them another chance.  Still, I'll probably stick with Midwest I'm paying less and all my stuff comes right to my door.  I just have to make sure I plan to a few days in advance of brew day to make sure I get my stuff on time

Offline CR

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 287
Re: So my yeast showed up today frozen ( Probably)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 02:15:54 PM »
Most likely enough yeasts have survived  to culture a good healthy starter.

I freeze wild yeasts and occasionally baker's yeasts. The wild yeasts are more fragile but they tend to stand up to freezing.  The Lactobacilli I need to balance the wild yeasts to get a good sourdough bread culture tend not to survive the freezer unless I first mix a little pure glycerin into the stuff to help prevent crystalline growth. 

Of course beer and wine yeasts may ( or not) be different but I sort of bet that you can get  your started up and running in the usual two or three days time.

What's the worst that can happen, the thing won't start and you won't get a starter culture?
It's only maybe $6.00

Offline Beer_Tigger

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Grrrrrrrrrrrrr baby! Very Grrrrr!!!
Re: So my yeast showed up today frozen
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 11:33:08 AM »
This happened to some guys & me recently.  When the smak pak puffed up, we kept on going and pitched it.  Was just fine.  It was left in the car overnight in 5deg weather.
"Let's see if this here beer will help me to stop procrastinating." - my cousin

 

modification