I Froze My Yeast

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Nosybear, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Making my Mexican Dunkel, the LHBS was out of Mexican Lager yeast. So I picked up a packet of Imperial's "Urkel" (I suppose "Urquell" was trademarned) yeast, put it in the bottom of my lagering fridge and forgot about it until I was ready to brew. Well, I keep my lagering fridge pretty cold.... Didn't make a starter so, bottom line, the yeast froze. I thawed it out and pitched it about 36 hours ago. No activity.

    My question: Have any of you had experience with frozen yeast? LHBS is doing curbside delivery, I could go pick up two packets of Saflager so that's a fix, just don't want to drive over there if I don't have to. So, any of you had any similar experience and how did it come out?
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Sorry bud, I have not
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Nope no sign of a krausen forming?
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Not yet. Will take a gravity reading this evening and see if anything is happening.
     
  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Was it an exbeeriment of brulosophys where they tested frozen yeast? You'd know the process of freezing yeast more than me but im sure some cells survived
     
  6. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    The approach I was looking at for freezing some home captured yeast I have was to mix in some glycerin to help limit the yeast cell walls rupturing when they're frozen. So I'm guessing that a very high percentage of your cells have ruptured. Not sure if any survive, but iif they do I expect you're going to have a very long lag phase.
     
  7. Pricelessbrewing

    Pricelessbrewing QA Software Tester
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    What Mark said, you're going to have very little viability from a frozen culture, the vast majority of cells have been punctured by ice crystals and are now dead. Absolutely need to try a small starter (1.020, 200mL) to revive the minimal viable cells next time, then step it up from there.

    Or use other yeast if you have it on hand.
     
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  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've never tried with unintentionally frozen yeast.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    After 48 hours, no change whatsoever in gravity. I had a sachet of US-05 so pitched it this evening, fermenting at 65 degrees F (18 degrees C). It won't be exactly what I wanted but, as long as no acetobacter has taken hold, it should be a good beer.
     
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  10. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    Bummer man, sorry to hear that. Never froze a beer before, but found some interesting stuff online below.

    i watched an episode of "The Homebrew Challenge" a while back where Martin froze his entire fermenter full of beer. Can't remember the whole episode, but I think he simply made a new starter from the frozen yeast starter and it worked.



    Also found this one where the brewer racked it over to another yeast cake.

    https://homebrewacademy.com/froze-my-beer/

    Let us know how it turned out.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Going like gangbusters since I pitched the packet of US-05. Always helps to keep emergency stocks.
     
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  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I've got a bunch of dry packs I need to use and cycle in new ones for cause they've sat in the fridge forever.
     
  13. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    Do a small starter to see if they foam up. If so, your are good to go.

    Or, you could simply dump them in the boil as yeast nutrients.
     
  14. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I keep my beer yeasts and bread baking yeasts in the freezer. They are all dry yeasts though.
    No problem so far
     
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  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    They're not that old, it just feels wasteful to not use them.
     
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  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Update: First pull off the keg yesterday. The US-05 did a good job for me, the beer finished a bit less dry than I like it but still very good. The extra bit of chocolate malt I ran through Beverly was not an improvement but hey, I still made a better beer than I can buy in many breweries! I like it better as a lager - the original was St. Arnold's "Santo", a beer they call a dark Koelsch. But it wasn't a bad save, all in all. Kind of a slightly estery schwarzbier.
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  18. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Good ole 05 to the rescue.
     
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