Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
The culture of wanted bacteria won't just completely die off at once. What will happen is that you'll get a decimal reduction in their concentration per time period depending on whatever condition changes are leading to cell death. Life works in logarithms, not absolutes.
In other words, let's say 90% of the culture croaks after three days- that means that after three days, you'll have 10% left. After six days, 1%, and after nine days, 0.1%.
Anaerobiosis and cold temperatures themselves aren't likely to kill off the whole culture for several months. I'd only expect massive toxicity if your media started to anaerobically rot and produce hydrogen sulfide. Unless the media was especially dirty with something containing a lot of cysteine or methionine, like meat and eggs, that isn't likely, either.
My best guess is that if you hibernate it by chilling (not freezing), it'll be fine for a couple of months. After you take it out of hibernation, give it 10-20 days before you put any sort of bio load on it. Plug any openings in the setup with cotton to keep mold from taking over in the meantime- you'd be surprised how psychrophilic common dirt fungi like Aspergillus and Penicillium can be.
Last edited by flc; 01-03-2013 at 03:02 AM.