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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Help w/ culturing / propagating yeast...
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:06 AM   #1
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Default Help w/ culturing / propagating yeast...

... I keep getting differing (but not greatly) advice on this... from searches here, local HB shop, Papazian book...

I have a couple vials of WL yeast that I'd like to split across 3+ batches.

Can I boil me up some high hop wort, put about 6 oz each 3 sterilized bottles, and pour about 1/3 of the vial into each bottle (thru a sterilized funnel)? (affix small rubber stoppers with airlocks as well)

papazian then says something about propagating again - this mean add that 6 oz to more sterile wort to multiply the yeast again?

What about using yeast from storebought brew? I bought a local brew over the weekend (not local to home, I was 5 hr away at a conference) that says it's bottle conditioned and made with Alt yeast. I can see the sediment in the bottom. One guy says (customer at local HB shop), just pour the drinkable into a glass, leave the sediment in the bottle, swab / flame the bottle, and add sterile culturing wort and a stopper.

No mention of "washing" there. Papazian dont' mention it. Others do.

What's a fellow to do?

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Old 07-24-2006, 06:11 AM   #2
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If you put up some wort and yeast combination you'll have pressure built up. I always recommending washing your yeast from a primary.

Washing will get the alcohol and sugar off of it then you can split it up.

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Old 07-26-2006, 06:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
If you put up some wort and yeast combination you'll have pressure built up. I always recommending washing your yeast from a primary.

Washing will get the alcohol and sugar off of it then you can split it up.
10-4, understood on that... been reading up on washing. muchas gracias.

no risk of wild yeasts with that? (that is why you stop at 3rd generation, right?)

how about just splitting up a new vial tho? will splitting a vial into, say three 6-oz batches of wort, culture up enough to pitch into 3 batches? or just wait and pitch the entire vial (or entire vial with its own starter) and recover after the primary, wash, and save?

(primary wash and save seems to be what I'm hearing...)

wouldn't necessarily cap 'em, anyway... leave airlocks on 'em in the fridge, with PGA in it...
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7.9 plastic: nothin'
6.5 gal glass: tertiary / clarifying -- Strawberry White Merlot (kit)
6.5 plastic: nothin'
6 gal glass: secondary -- Hobgoblin Clone (EG)
5 gal glass: nothin'
conditioning: American Light Mark II (AG)
Drinking: Miss Denise's Pepsi Beer, German Altbier Kit, and Russian Imperial Stout Kit Plus Yeast Funk (7 weeks in the primary, straight to the bottle... secondary, shcmencondary....)

next up: Some kind of ESB

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Old 07-26-2006, 07:31 AM   #4
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Primary, wash and save is what I almost always do.

However you could split up the vial per se; but what you'd be better served to do is: Make a larger starter; say 2qt (1 cup dme to 4 cups water ratio is what I do). Put the whole vial in this. Let it ferment out. With this, decant off maybe 1/2 of the wort. Now shake it up to suspend it all and put it in 3 separate sanitized containers and put in fridge. Now you have 3. When ready to use it, make another starter and use one of these yeast bottles to get a nice large pitch. Make sense?

Also, it doesn't have to be highly hopped. Toss a couple pellets in there is fine.

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Old 07-26-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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I actually stop at 5. That's more than enough considering I get enough yeast for 2 starters per primary.

If you want to split a vial you'd be better off shaking it and pouring out only 1/3. Your way would require washing anyway to get the sugars off to you wouldn't build up any pressures.

I prefer the primary, wash, save method myself.

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Old 07-28-2006, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertBrew
However you could split up the vial per se; but what you'd be better served to do is: Make a larger starter; say 2qt (1 cup dme to 4 cups water ratio is what I do). Put the whole vial in this. Let it ferment out. With this, decant off maybe 1/2 of the wort. Now shake it up to suspend it all and put it in 3 separate sanitized containers and put in fridge. Now you have 3. When ready to use it, make another starter and use one of these yeast bottles to get a nice large pitch. Make sense?
yeah, that makes sense. I reread the Papazian section and realize I had misread it the first time too... basically culturing like you describe is to multiply up the yeast for pitching... you say to pitch the whole vial in 2 qt, settle, divide, and then culture up again a little while before time to pitch in a batch...

makes sense... I understand too the recovery from primary; just never tried the whole washing procedure and not comfortable with it.

I feel that using the better liquid strains of yeast will result in more specific results than using the 99 cent dry stuff we have been... every batch has had a little of the same taste, time to move on to better stuff - but trying to pinch pennies too

thanks to all in this thread for the advice...
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7.9 plastic: nothin'
6.5 gal glass: tertiary / clarifying -- Strawberry White Merlot (kit)
6.5 plastic: nothin'
6 gal glass: secondary -- Hobgoblin Clone (EG)
5 gal glass: nothin'
conditioning: American Light Mark II (AG)
Drinking: Miss Denise's Pepsi Beer, German Altbier Kit, and Russian Imperial Stout Kit Plus Yeast Funk (7 weeks in the primary, straight to the bottle... secondary, shcmencondary....)

next up: Some kind of ESB

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Old 07-28-2006, 09:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird
makes sense... I understand too the recovery from primary; just never tried the whole washing procedure and not comfortable with it.

I feel that using the better liquid strains of yeast will result in more specific results than using the 99 cent dry stuff we have been... every batch has had a little of the same taste, time to move on to better stuff - but trying to pinch pennies too

thanks to all in this thread for the advice...
pinching pennies is why I do it as well. And you are correct, liquid strains give you a more flexible tasting yeast for what you're brewin. HB has been washing yeast much longer and if you search here you'll find good info. But what I do, is fill two growlers 3/4 full of cold water (or 1 if I don't have that much slurry). I then pour the primary slurry into the growlers. You may have to add a bit of water to the primary to loosen it up. Shake them up. Put them in the fridge. 1/2 hour later I shake em up again. Wait 1/2 hour. Pour the liquid slowly from these into the containers to hold the yeast. The yeast your after is what is still in suspension in the liquid, not the trub on the bottom.
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