Homebrewing Info

Pick Yeast from the Back

This week's tip is simple but can help your beers (I apologize in advance to store owners). 

Yeast is a living product that has "freshness" concerns.  In its inactive state, yeast will eventually get sluggish, possibly mutate, and die.  While this timeline is stretched out for dried yeast (the worst has already happened for them), for liquid yeast this is more of a concern.  For the smack pack, this may mean extra days before the culture gets up to the ready state.

Your homebrew store wants to keep fresh yeast in stock.  The happier you are with your beers, the more you are likely to come back.  But they also want to turn over older stock before they have to throw it out for a loss.  Consequently, just like your grocery store, you are more likely to find the newest packages towards the back of the stack with the older ones being up front.  So, take a second to look through the dates on the packages and get the nice fresh ones.  It is your right as a consumer to pick the best ingredients for yourself.  In defense of local store owners, consider this: if you are ordering yeast from an out of state vendor, you aren't going to get to pick which pack you get (and you know which pack they will send).  So buy local and your store will turn over yeast fast enough so freshness will never be a concern.

If you have a brewing tip you would like to share with the club, please send it to markemiley@ earthlink.net.  It may be common sense to you but could save someone else's beer.