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Bo_ch

Yeast pack

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I have two kits one was given to me from a friend it expired in 2015 and I have a new kit. I mixed the two yeast packs up and was wondering if the number on the packs would help me determine which one is newer? 

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Yes.  The number indicates when the yeast packet was produced.  It should have 5 digits, such as 27914.  That represents the day of the year (279) and the year (14), so that packet was made on October 6, 2014.

 

In general, a yeast packet should be ok for about 2 years past the date.  IF it has been stored in a hot attic, toss it.  Ideally, you get the can, take the yeast packet, and store it in the frig, taking it out the night before you brew.  

 

A can is generally ok to use for about 2 years past its date as well.  

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42 minutes ago, Timelordjason said:

Would you keep both the can and the yeast in the fridge or just the yeast?

Just the yeast. Most of us put the can in hot water (without the yeast) while brewing to make the extract easier to get out. Yeast goes on the counter to slowly warm up to room temp before pitching

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After watching some interesting videos on YouTube I am wondering if anyone here has ever tried starting their yeast prior to fermentating?  By this, I mean taking the Mr Beer yeast packet and adding it to a cup of DME dissolved in near boiling water (after the mixture has cooled)?  I'd think this might be a good idea whenever adding adjuncts to the recipe mix to boost flavor, abv and hoppiness.

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3 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

After watching some interesting videos on YouTube I am wondering if anyone here has ever tried starting their yeast prior to fermentating?  By this, I mean taking the Mr Beer yeast packet and adding it to a cup of DME dissolved in near boiling water (after the mixture has cooled)?  I'd think this might be a good idea whenever adding adjuncts to the recipe mix to boost flavor, abv and hoppiness.

You mean rehydrating the yeast??? That’s typicality done at 90 degrees, not near boiling. Ive done it with belle saison yeast a few times. Seems to cut down on lag time.

 

im not sure how rehydrating yeast would boost flavor or hoppyness. 

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There is zero reason to start dry yeast.  There are more than enough yeast cells in the packet.  Simply follow the Mr. Beer directions.  

 

I'd also suggest you spend more time reading the forum, you'll find many of your questions answered here.  

 

Some dry yeasts have instructions to add them to sterile (boiled, then cooled), then pitched.  Not added to DME.  Many people that use those yeasts (and they are few) found two things - 1) no noticeable difference and 2) the instructions changed over time.

 

For Mr. Beer batches, simply follow the Mr. Beer directions.

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2 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

For Mr. Beer batches, simply follow the Mr. Beer directions.

I'm only planning on deviating from the Mr Beer directions when I experiment, which I am planning to do with their CAL recipe.  My 1st 2 mixes were done exactly as directed.  The reason I was asking about creating a yeast starter was to facilitate a better fermentation with the CAL if I experiment with added malt extract and hops above and beyond the extract in the can.  I already know that a CAL will not be a beer that I will particularly like so why not experiment with adjuncts?  But, I defer to those who know a lot more about these things than I do so I'll look to see if I can find posts here about using starters (from the Mr Beer recipe packs) and whether or not they worked.  Your advice is sound

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No problem in adding things to a can of Mr. Beer. LME, hops, fruit, honey.  Just make sure you don't add more than you should.

 

You still don't need to do anything beyond sprinkling the yeast packet and closing the fermenter.  A starter is never needed.  I've been brewing since 2012, used lots of dry yeasts, and never once made a starter.  It's done for liquid yeasts.  

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A simple way to give CAL a bit more heft (assuming it already has booster or LME/DME added to get ~ 4.5% + ABV (Refill kits) is to add 0.5 oz hops pellets in a hop bag at flameout. Cascade works well for me. If you like more hops, add another 0.5 oz in a sterilized bag for the last week before bottling too. That simple add makes a lot of difference.

 

It is also a good way to test new hops you do not know as the HME is light enough not to mask the hop too much.

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