Author Topic: Yeast viability test?  (Read 1199 times)

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Offline Seven

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Yeast viability test?
« on: February 23, 2012, 09:53:11 AM »
I've been using an old jar of bread machine yeast and haven't had any issues until this past weekend. The last pie had absolutely no oven spring and baked up like a cracker. Is there any easy, reliable test I can do at home to check the yeast viability? I did add some yeast to a sugar water solution last night and co2 was produced so there are at least some viable cells left. The dough in question did have to endure a somewhat jostling car ride but I can't imagine that caused any damage. I suppose there is a possibility that I simply forgot to add the yeast to the mixer too...

Also, on a somewhat related issue, does the container shape effect fermentation? I've been using aluminum proofing bowls and the 20 ounce balls tend to spread out as opposed to up. Thanks!

Offline MaximusTG

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Re: Yeast viability test?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 10:00:04 AM »
About the container shape; I don't it affects the fermentation, but most doughs above a certain hydration level will sag and lose their balled up shape. Solution is to use individual round containers capable of containing the freshly made dough as well as the risen/fermented dough.

The problem with the test you did with the yeast is that you don't have a reference. Yes, your yeast is at least partly viable, but is one teaspoon of your yeast equal to 1 teaspoon of your yeast when you just opened the package it came in?
To test that you could make two identical high hydration 'doughs' and in one put your old yeast, in the other new yeast. Put them both in separate, identical, tall and thin containers and see how fast they rise relative to the other.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Yeast viability test?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 10:11:35 AM »
Throw it out and buy new yeast. The frustration of a batch of screwed up pizza is not worth the couple bucks it costs to get good yeast.

"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Seven

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Re: Yeast viability test?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 08:53:15 AM »
Thanks...I'll just pick more up on my way home tonight. This is a big dough weekend, with 2 pies and 2 strombolis planned and I don't want to risk it.