Distillers Yeast FAQ

Packaging Distilling Yeast Shipping


Why is the yeast packaged in a white P.E.T. container?

We are an innovative company, both in terms of product development and packaging. P.E.T. plastic (polyethylene terephthalate) has very low OTR (oxygen transmission rate) and very low MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate) compared to most other forms of food ingredient packaging materials.

Doesn’t vacuum packed aluminum foil packaging have a lower OTR or MVTR?

Yes, and no. Generally speaking it does but by a very small amount compared to P.E.T., but a high percentage of yeast foil bags are not sealed properly at source, or arrive opened with air leaks during transit. We have eliminated 99.99% of air leaks by nitrogen purging our containers and sealing the container with a 5-piece induction foil liner seal and closure.

What about yeast packaged in poly bags or glass jars?

Unless the yeast is sterile packaged by the original manufacturer or a HACCP certified co-packer, we don’t recommend purchasing opened or re-packaged dry yeast, especially on the internet. Nitrogen purchased glass jars (most often used for baker’s yeast) are generally reliable but poly bags (even vacuum pack bags), allow too much oxygen and moisture to penetrate the plastic.

Should I refrigerate or freeze my dry yeast until I use it?

It’s not necessary but it won’t really affect the yeast either way. Although dry yeast can be stored at room temperature and performs well for the duration of the shelf life it is preferable to store it at colder temperatures. Dry yeast will always lose some of its viability and activity over time but at colder temperatures these losses are less than at room temperatures. If you choose to freeze dry your yeast, let it warm to room temperature in the packaging before rehydration & pitching.

Do I have to use all the yeast at once, and how long will it last?

No, that is the second great reason why we package our yeast in a P.E.T. container. No more leaking, opened foil bags. Re-seal the unused yeast in our convenient re-usable container and store in the refrigerator. Most yeast strains are shelf stable for three years from the date of manufacture with no significant loss of viability and fermentation activity. However, we recommend that the yeast be used in its entirety before then.

Can I still use distillers yeast past its expiry date?

Yes, as long as it was properly stored in the refrigerator, the yeast will likely work but will be less viable and active. The pitch rate will likely have to be increased by 50-100%.

Is dry active yeast better than liquid yeast?

Not really. Both types of yeast typically have full viability at the date of manufacture and packaging. Assuming proper storage, dry active yeasts have a much longer shelf life (typically 2-3 years vs. 4-6 months for liquid), They can also be economically shipped worldwide without the need for refrigeration or expensive customs documents often required for shipping live yeast cultures, and they are usually several times the cost of dry yeast. Liquid distillers yeast also requires a yeast nutrient starter.

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Distilling Yeast

How much yeast do I need to use?

We recommended you follow our guidelines printed on the label and PDS (product data sheet) for your initial pilot scale trials. Individual fermentation recipes, fermentation temperatures, nutrient additions (or not) and your final product objectives may require adjusting the yeast pitching rates. For best results, most distillers yeast strains recommend an average pitching rate of 50g/hL. Depending on the yeast strain, fermentation volume, aeration and target ABV %, you may require more (or even less) than 50g/hL (2 kg / 1000 USG). Whiskey yeasts typically require up to 100g/hL (4 kg / 1000 USG).

Are all of your yeast strains considered “high alcohol” or “high gravity”?

Yes, all of our distilling strains have been carefully selected to ferment to medium-high ABV % (12-20% alcohol by volume) to maximize yields, and in as short as time as possible (with optimum fermentation nutrition). For cost efficient sugar vodka and FMB production (including hard seltzers), we recommend using our complete SuperYeast™ yeast/nutrient blend. We are the largest manufacture of SuperYeast (or to use the generic term – Turbo Yeast) in North America.

Is yeast rehydration necessary?

To achieve maximum viability of the yeast we recommend that you follow the hydration directions on the label. As the yeast decreases in viability with age, it may be necessary to rehydrate the yeast for a longer period (30-60 minutes).

Are all the yeasts pure strains or blends?

Currently all Whitestar™ Yeast strains, except the D502 are single pure strains, sourced from traditional distilling regions of the world.

Does yeast really contribute any flavor to my spirit?

Craft distilling yeasts are not the same as industrial distillers yeasts. Craft yeasts produce lots of flavor esters, which are the foundation for quality craft spirits. 25% of a craft spirit flavor is produced by the yeast during fermentation. Industrial yeast = little flavor, where the majority of flavor comes from barrel aging or blending. Flavor esters in rums and whiskies can also be increased by acidifying the wash with citric acid to a lower pH (3.5-4.0) than the traditional distilling pH of 5.0-5.4.

Are the strains genetically modified?

No, all are naturally occurring yeast strains held in our global manufacturer’s yeast banks.

Can the yeast be re-pitched and how many times?

Generally yes, but it’s not recommended. As the yeast reverts back to slurry, the pitching quantity needs to be increased by at least 10-20%. Extra care also needs to be taken with regard to maintaining the microbiological purity of the yeast when recycling. A maximum of 2-3 cycles is a general guideline for most whiskey and rum strains, as long as the viability and relative sterility of the yeast is kept intact. Some high gravity NGS (neutral grain spirit) yeasts, especially those in the 16-20% ABV range, will not perform well after repeated use, in part because additional phosphate based macro nutrients are typically required to achieve ABV > 16%.

Does the mash or wash need oxygenation and/or aeration?

After 30 minutes of pitching the yeast, aeration is recommended to ensure full mixing of the mash and yeast. Further aeration or mixing is recommended on a daily basis, especially for high gravity fermentations.

What about distiller’s dry yeast strain choices?

There are more dry distiller’s yeast choices than there are liquid at this time. Unlike the major dry specialty yeast manufacturers who only culture and sell their own yeast strains, we source our yeast strains from a worldwide network of both large and small, specialty yeast manufacturers. Dry yeast is more reliable and consistent than in house produced “jug” yeast. It also doesn’t require sterile yeast propagation equipment and the technical personnel to propagate and store the yeast. Our specialty is high ester rum & whiskey yeasts, and neutral spirit yeasts.

Do you manufacture custom yeast strains or blends?

Depending on your specific requirements, we can custom toll manufacture or custom blend two or more strains, based on a MOQ (minimum order requirement) of as little as 1000 kg, depending on the manufacturer. Lead times can vary from 4-6 months.

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Do I have to register to purchase from you?

No, if purchasing as a consumer, you can purchase as a guest. We value your privacy. Your hobby is your personal business. However, we recommend you register as a customer to track your orders for future purchases, and to receive our periodic offers and news updates.

How do I access wholesale pricing?

If purchasing as a distillery, brewery, winery or as retailer, and you wish to purchase at wholesale pricing, you MUST register online with us as a business, and provide proof or intent of commercial distillation: 1. a valid distilling permit number (TBB, Canadian excise, or equivalent), 2. a commercial distilling website or Facebook page link to verify your business, or if a retailer, a business tax number. An automatic email will be generated and sent to the Sales or Customer Service Dept to verify your business. Once accepted, we will convert your account to wholesale pricing, and you will be given a password access to download the Wholesale Price Lists from our home page.

Is purchasing distillery yeast legal?

Yes, distilling yeast is not a restricted product. Distillation may not be legal is some jurisdictions but yeasts, yeast nutrients and simple fermentations are legal in most countries worldwide.

Why is your online currency in USD?

Currently, our software only allows us to sell in one currency. Given the majority of our orders originate from the USA and overseas, we currently only sell in USD.

Where and how do you ship?

At this time, we only ship to continental USA and Canada, via parcel post / USPS, on our secure web site. For shipments outside of the continental USA / Canada, please email [email protected] for a shipping quote. For larger, wholesale orders (75 kg plus), we generally ship via common carrier truck. All shipping and custom fees are included in our prices for orders over USD $100.00. Please email [email protected] for details and a quote. In the future, we plan to ship worldwide on our secure site.

What types of payments do you accept?

Online, we currently only accept USD (and Visa and Mastercard) via the Stripe payment system. Since 2019, PayPal Canada has become unreliable in its payment system. However, we can accept bank e-transfers, certified cheques / money orders and phoned in (USA and Canadian issues only) Visa / Mastercard numbers (during normal business hours). Offline and during closed office hours, please email orders to the [email protected].

Are there volume discounts? 

Yes, there are volume case discounts for homebrew retailers and large volume distilleries and breweries. Please contact [email protected] to enquire about discount and shipping options.

What is the order processing time?

Orders are held until all items are available to ship together unless otherwise specified. Assuming all items are in stock, typical shipping times are within 2-3 business days, except if orders are placed on during holiday closure times. Orders over USD $100.00, items may ship separately. Large quantity and wholesale orders may take longer to ship.

What are the expected delivery times? *

If you provide an email at the time of order, you will receive an email notice when your order ships.

Destination Service Approx. Ship Time
Nova Scotia
Expedited Parcel
1-2 Business Days
Central Canada
Expedited Parcel
3-4 Business Days
Western Canada
Expedited Parcel
5-6 Business Days
United States
Expedited Parcel
5-6 Business Days
International Post
International Courier

*This is a guideline only, not a guaranteed shipping time. Delivery times vary by location and are subject to change.

What are the shipping costs?

Our minimum order is USD $50.00 (CAD $70.00). For orders less than USD $100.00, we charge a flat shipping & handling fee of USD $20.00. Consumer order over USD $100.00 (CAD $135.00), shipping, customs and handling is free.

How do I track my order?

When your order is shipped from our warehouse, you will receive an email confirming your order was shipped, and will be provided with one tracking number per box shipped. You can track all of your orders by logging into your account.

What about failed delivery attempts?

Canada Post – USPS will attempt to deliver your package twice. If no one is home your package will be delivered to the Canada Post / USPS outlet for your area (the location will be indicated on the Canada Post Delivery Notice Card, or you can log into your account and view the order tracking information for details). You are responsible for picking up the package from the Canada Post or USPS outlet. Canada Post will hold items for 15 days before returning them to sender. Government issued ID and proof of address will be required at your Canada Post location (for further details visit www.canadapost.com)

What about items “Returned to Sender”?

For any items that are undeliverable or ‘Return to Sender’ due to an incorrect address or failure to claim, a refund will be issued, less OUR shipping and handling charges of USD $20 (orders $50-$99), USD $30 (orders > USD $100). In addition, any additional return shipping fees (as determined by Canada Post / USPS) will be deducted from the refund amount. USA destination items cannot be returned unless retuned customs prepaid.

What about lost or stolen packages?

Before calling to report your package missing, please check your order status by logging in to your account. If Canada Post / USPS only attempted to deliver your order once, you may need to pick it up at your local Post outlet. If there hasn’t been an attempted delivery and more time has elapsed than what is shown in the Expected Shipping Times section above, please contact us right away. We will open an investigation with Canada Post on your behalf. Canada Post investigations can take up to ten (10) business days for orders shipped to a Canadian address, longer for USA orders.

We cannot re-ship or refund your order during this waiting period as orders are usually found and ultimately delivered by Canada Post / USPS.

If you cannot wait for the investigation to be completed, you will need to place a second order (and paid for in full again). You may return the first order for a refund once it is received.

Found Orders:

Will be delivered to you immediately and the investigation will be closed. No further action is required.

Undeliverable Orders (Shipping, Labeling or Other Sender Error):

Will be returned to sender and we will re-ship it to you at no cost.

Orders Declared Lost or Stolen: 

On a case by case basis we will either replace or refund your order at no additional cost to you.

Do you accept customer product returns?

No. Yeast is a perishable product and as such cannot be returned for a refund.

What about taxes & brokerage?

As required by Canadian law, taxes (if applicable) will be applied to your total order (cost of goods plus all shipping and handling). This will be reflected in your order total at checkout. All applicable taxes will be charged based on the province your order is being shipped to. Currently there are no taxes on yeast or flavorings extracts in Canada, but there are taxes on other fermentation products. If shipping to the USA via parcel post, all applicable taxes (if any) and brokerage will be paid by us.

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