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I picked up the ingredients for an IPA when I was getting the ingredients for a Milk Stout a while ago. The plan was to have everything at the ready so I could make the IPA shortly after the stout. Well, the Stout was made, but as is often the case, time conspired against me and I've not gotten to the IPA yet. It's been about a month now, and I'm wondering if the yeast and hops I've got are no good now. I don't recall the specific brand/strain of yeast, but it's a wet pack with an interior nutritional pouch (still intact) which you're supposed to rupture and mix prior to pitching. The hops are pelletized and still in their sealed pouches, and everything is in the same bag I brought it home in at the back of the refrigerator. More generally then this case though, I'm wondering what are considered acceptable hold times for these items when kept under refrigeration.

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Wyeast says that the activator packs are good for up to 6 months after the production date. Northern Brewer guarantees the packages for up to three months after production and will replace any packs that fail to inflate. The inflation of the package is your viability test for the yeast, if it inflates you should have viable yeast. For certain strains it can take a few days to fully inflate but most will be fully inflated in less than 12 hours.

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great! and I assume the hops than are probably OK as well? –  theraccoonbrew Dec 20 '10 at 20:58
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The hops should be fine. You can store them in the freezer for extended periods but they are fine at room temp for a few weeks. –  Northern Brewer Chris Dec 20 '10 at 22:27
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I've used Wyeast smack packs as old as 3 1/2 years and they worked fine. Just keep it cold in the fridge til you're ready to use it. And, for your own sake, make a starter with it. See mrmalty.com for instructions. Keep the hops in their original packing in the freezer til you use them and they'll stay good for years.

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You're good. I'm sure everything is still fine. You did the right thing by keeping everything cold. Before you brew, you can pop the pouch in the yeast and let it warm to room temeperature and it will swell, this will let you know that the yeast is viable. I usually pop mine and let it sit out for 24 hours or so. I personally, would brew with out any concerns.

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Great, thanks! I'll (hopefully) get a chance to give it a shot before Christmas. –  theraccoonbrew Dec 20 '10 at 19:56
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