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I intended on brewing tonight so I broke the activator on my Wyeast 1450 last night. Only today did I realize I'm missing a fermenting bucket to actually ferment with (d'oh, big mistake!), so I'll have to wait until tomorrow when the local homebrew shop opens to pick up another.

The Wyeast pack is completely swelled and I'm worried that my yeast will begin to die off before it's even grown. Will it still be good tomorrow? How long between activating the Wyeast pack do I have to use it?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Put the yeast in a cool place and you'll be fine. Bring it up to pitching temperature before pitching and you'll be good to go.

When you smack the pack it's just giving the yeast more nutrients, so they're not in any worse shape than before you smacked the pack. Keeping them cool will reduce any loss in yeast health.

Making a starter is a good way to go, but equally, if this is your first brew, you may want to keep things simple.

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+1 on keeping it simple...especially since the brew is planned for tonight. –  hartski Sep 11 '12 at 14:44
    
Made a starter out of it, so now I'll have some super charged yeast ready to go :) Probably a good idea, since I'm aiming for a high OG wort anyways. Thank you! –  Andy Baird Sep 11 '12 at 18:40
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I agree, what a great chance to make a starter for your delicious new batch of beer! If you don't want to do that, I understand putting the wyeast package back in the fridge is the safest storage for an already "proofed" pack of yeast. I don't believe there is all that much growth from smacking the activator pack. It's just a way for you to visually see that your yeast are viable or (proofed).

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I suggest use this as a chance to make a starter. Get some DME, cook it and make a 1.040 SG wort of it. When it has cooled to fermentation temp pitch the yeast and aerate as much as possible. To calculate the right amount of starter, use http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html.

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I agree with most of this, and I DO know a bit about that yeast! However, I never warm it up before pitching. I take the starter out of the fridge, decant the spent wort, and pitch immediately. BTW, the swelling produces almost no cell growth and shouldn't be seen as replacing a starter. –  Denny Conn Sep 11 '12 at 15:04
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