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I live in an apartment and didn't receive notification that my yeast had arrived for 3 days after it got to the office. Normally, I'd just toss the vial of yeast and go to my LHBS to get more, but this is the Antwerp Ale yeast (Platinum Strain, not currently available at my LHBS).

Though I had an ice pack shipped with it, the yeast vial likely sat there for 2-3 days at room temperature before I was able to refrigerate it.

Is the yeast still viable? I'll be making a starter but would prefer not to have to make a brew day run to get multiple vials/pouches of replacement yeast in lieu of a starter.

Thanks!

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4 Answers 4

I think it's likely still pretty good. You'd want to make a starter with it in any case, and that will give you a good indication of viability.

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I agree. The thing about yeast is that the real hard part is getting it to not ferment sugars into alcohol. Unless it hit some extreme temps, it's probably hungry as hell by now, because it's been awake for a few days. I'd make a starter with it whether you're using it right away or not-- you can make a starter, wait for the cells to go dormant again and then pour off the beer and save the remaining yeast to a sanitized jar to store in your fridge for next time. So you'll have propagated the yeast while ensuring it's viable. –  Juanote Dec 14 '10 at 17:46

It'll be fine if you work off a starter. I'd also recommend planning a second batch with some harvested yeast from the cake. Certainly after the primary is done with the first beer, you'll be back to a good amount of healthy yeast in the cake. So planning a second batch will be a nice comparator, and you won't have wasted the platinum strain should the first batch be sub par.

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There are probably still some viable yeast cells in there. You may need to build it up a couple of times to get a pitchable number of cells, though. Also, there's no telling which cells are still alive, so it may wind up with a different character from what a well-treated vial would produce.

I'd try it and see what happens.

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The yeast should still be mostly viable, but a viability test would be needed to confirm. If you don't have methylene blue and a microscope, then you'll have to assume a viability level. I would think an assumption of 75% would be fine, along with careful monitoring of your starter.

Should your starter not propagate correctly, you could also always leave the boiled wort in a sanitized vessel while you wait for a new shipment of yeast. Were it me, I would prefer the slight risk of contamination over brewing with the wrong yeast.

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