Yeast Storage for next year

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CDrew

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For 2019, I bought a 500 gram brick of Avante yeast. Between my use and the use by my friends, I've still got 200 grams of it. That's plenty for all the wine I might make in 2020. Does anyone know if it can be kept over the winter in the Fridge and still work next year? I have a vacuum sealer and would do that before buttoning it up. I also have a deep freeze chest freezer if that would be preferable.

And if I use it next year, should I increase the pitching amount to say 1.5 grams per gallon?

Not a huge deal, and I'm certainly willing to buy another 500 grams, but waste is waste so... If anyone has experience, I'd like to know.
 

salcoco

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sealing is great, refrigeration is adequate. next year before season start just check viability by hydrodizing a small amount.
 

CDrew

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Doing the experiment. Vacuum sealed until next September. Our Fridge holds a very steady 35, so that will be storage temperature. I pulled out 40 grams for the weekend Mourvedre pick and the rest (actually 217g) will sleep with the butter dish.

I did notice at Lodi wine labs, they store the sealed bricks of yeast at room temp.

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Jay A

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Great idea, as inexpensive as it is, why waste it.
 

CDrew

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I have already dipped into this twice! Already. So we got a bunch more grapes in the last week or two and I've been into it twice. I gave a buddy 35 gm, and I used another 60 gm myself, so there isn't much left. I'm going to save the roughly 120 gm that are left, but it's basically done. This Avante yeast is really good stuff. I'll by another brick of it next year. If anyone out there wants to try Avante this year, and still can get grapes this late in the year, I'll put it in the mail to you tomorrow. Send me a pm.

Anyway, I guess I'm not doing the overwinter experiment, since it's basically used up. I'll vacuum save about 100 gm to next year and see what happens.
 

Obelix

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I used Enoferm Syrah. The minimal amount I could buy was a 1kg. I sealed it in the fridge, and re-used it for the second year.
I just tested it for the third year, but the test is failing. It appears that I'll need to buy it again.
Still, two years is good?
 

CDrew

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I used Enoferm Syrah. The minimal amount I could buy was a 1kg. I sealed it in the fridge, and re-used it for the second year.
I just tested it for the third year, but the test is failing. It appears that I'll need to buy it again.
Still, two years is good?
Curious did you vacuum seal or just close it up?

I'd say 2 years is quite reasonable. I have 120gm left out of a 500g brick. It's vac sealed and at 35F so we'll see next summer. I am planning to increase my yeast amount (to 1.5gm/gal) next year, to make up for any possible deficiency from the year old yeast. So I guess I am doing the overwinter experiment, but still plan to buy new yeast in the summer to prepare for harvest.
 

Obelix

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Just closed the bag and taped the top, then stored it into the post bag it arrived in. (This bag does not allow the light in).
Kept it in the fridge obviously.
Tested it a month before needed, so to give myself time to order another one.
 

DoctorCAD

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There are reports of 4500 year old yeast used to make beer. The yeast was found in Egyptian crockery.

A year shouldn't hurt it too much.
 

Obelix

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Tested it 3 times with a hope that I was doing something wrong, but it's always a very weak reaction.
 

jgmillr1

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I had an issue with some yeast I'd stored in the fridge for 1-2years stalling out halfway through the fermentation. Had to restart the fermentation with a EC1118 which was not desired. Real PIA.

I'm dumping all my yeast after a year after that. Not worth the few bucks saved if I have to pour good yeast after bad.
 

CDrew

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I had an issue with some yeast I'd stored in the fridge for 1-2years stalling out halfway through the fermentation. Had to restart the fermentation with a EC1118 which was not desired. Real PIA.

I'm dumping all my yeast after a year after that. Not worth the few bucks saved if I have to pour good yeast after bad.
I agree with this. I am going to see what happens with my stored yeast, but I fully plan on buying another 500gm brick for next year. I also liked the notion of testing 1 month before need. I'll do that for sure. Yeast is a cheap component of what we do, and no reason to chance anything.
 

Obelix

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Exactly. Last year I tested the yeast 1 month before and it reacted very vigorously.
This year, it's struggling to get going, so on Monday, I'm ordering a new one.
 

Obelix

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The yeast I use only come in 500g quantity. It costs $80+.
I only use 60-80 grams per season.
I am about to throw away 360 g of yeast. So $57 is discarded.
 

bstnh1

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Obelix

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Thank you BSTNH,
My apologies, should have stated I was talking in AU$.
US$56 = AU$80.
I could not find smaller quantity of Enoferm Syrah in Western Australia. Maybe I should try harder.
 

CDrew

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I'm down to the last 50 grams of this yeast. Nice that most of 500 gms got used. But I just sent off 50 grams to the East Coast and have just 50 grams left. That still might be enough to initiate fermentation next year, but I'll plan on another 500 gram brick. Anyway, the last 50 grams is vacuum sealed and in the fridge. I'm hoping to utilize with my first fermentation in September 2020. If it fails the pre-test, it will be all new yeast in 2020.
 

Ignoble Grape

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I'm down to the last 50 grams of this yeast. Nice that most of 500 gms got used. But I just sent off 50 grams to the East Coast and have just 50 grams left. That still might be enough to initiate fermentation next year, but I'll plan on another 500 gram brick. Anyway, the last 50 grams is vacuum sealed and in the fridge. I'm hoping to utilize with my first fermentation in September 2020. If it fails the pre-test, it will be all new yeast in 2020.
I'm certainly not the chemist/biologist, but I keep mine in the freezer from one year to the next and it seems to work fine. Glad you got to use most of it!
 
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