Originally Posted by MalFet
I've used 50mL preforms for this. Still, plan on doing a few steps if you want to bank yeast. It's not just an issue of numbers but also viability and contamination.
It's also an issue with space. In the space of a couple larger vials, I can have several small vials of several different strains.
You will still need to do at least one starter step, and probably two. The growth/reproduction rates of yeast in a stir plate starter will equalize any benefit of starting with more yeast. Basically, with 3 steps (an extra day essentially) and a smaller frozen aliquot I would have more healthy, viable yeast than a 2-step starter that was inoculated with a relatively larger frozen aliquot.
Also, it's important to remember viability is a proportion of the aliquot, and as such, the larger your aliquot the more non-viable yeast you will have. The law of diminishing return will dictate (theoretically) the optimal size of aliquot to store. (sounds like a good experiment for hbt yeast bankers)