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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > re-using yeast
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:39 PM   #1
lalenny
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Default re-using yeast

I brewed an amber ale a couple of weeks back, and after racking the beer to the second, I shook the remains and bottled it. Next, I threw the bottles in the fridge.



I was extra sanitary while doing this.



Yesterday I wanted to brew, so I pulled out one of the yeast bottles and set it on the counter. I was thinking that I would wait for it to get to room temp and then add it to a starter. As I was waiting it crossed my mind that there were probably fermentables in the bottle still and when they get to a certain temp they will start working. So, I made my starter real quick and I looked in the bottle and sure enough I could see the yeast churning in there.



When I opened the bottle it gushed out all over the place. There was still quite a bit left in the bottle, and it got my starter going, but I wanted to tell everyone that if you are going to try to save your yeast like that pop the top right out of the fridge and put it in a sanitized airlock container to warm up.
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Old 04-22-2005, 12:15 AM   #2
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I learned that myself. Room temp kicks it back in big time... I actually had a white labs liquid hefe just do this to me as well. First time and was surprised as all get out.

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Old 04-22-2005, 12:34 AM   #3
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Hmmm my current batch of Pale Ale was made with a yeast starter identical. I left if out at room temp before starting a starter for 72 hours. I piched it and it has been fermenting for 10 days now but I never got any explosion when i opened the bottled left over yeast...

Wonder why the difference.

I am worried now ?

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Old 04-22-2005, 03:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverz
Hmmm my current batch of Pale Ale was made with a yeast starter identical. I left if out at room temp before starting a starter for 72 hours. I piched it and it has been fermenting for 10 days now but I never got any explosion when i opened the bottled left over yeast...
How old was your bottled yeast? Mine was only 1 week old. I believe that the older the dorment yeast is, the longer it will take to revive.
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Old 04-22-2005, 01:43 PM   #5
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You'd save yourself a lot of these mini-explosions if you would use an airlock on the bottles while in the fridge and coming up to room temp.

I bought several mini-airlocks from a guy selling off his stuff. They are about 1/2 the size of a regular airlock and 1/4 the size if the bubble type airlocks.

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Old 04-22-2005, 04:10 PM   #6
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This is a great way to save and reuse yeast. You can split the slurry into several bottles and keep them for up to a couple of months depending on the yeast strain. I use bottle caps to seal my bottles. I've had very good success with Wyeast 1056 and White Labs 001, but the British styles like 1098, 1028 and WLP 005 tend to settle out quickly and sort of die on you if you keep them too long this way. In any case, the key is to "burp" your bottles every couple of days to release pressure while they are cold. This is especially true with 1056. Just take a bottle opener and barely lift the edge of the cap. This will keep the pressure down in the bottle and prevent the spraying effect when you get ready to use them. As you let the bottles warm up, keep burping them, or remove the bottle cap and replace with an air lock . Unless you plan to use them in less than a week, I would recommend making a starter from the bottled yeast before you use it.

If you brew regularly and keep your yeast strains down to 1 or 2 favorites, you can brew for a year and only buy each strain one time. A single yeast purchase split into two bottles after each primary ferment will yeild 15 batches by the 4th use. If you split them into 3 bottles instead of 2, you can get 40 bottles by the 4th use.

Prost,

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Old 04-24-2005, 12:45 AM   #7
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I just returned a little disappointed from my local HBS. I was planning on brewing my first batch of trappiste but was unable as he did not have any belgian liquid yeast on hand. He'll order it for me. I told him that I had recently returned home from the liquor store with a bottle of Chimay trappiste and really enjoyed it. He then tells me that I could have kept the yeast from it to use. I just stumbled over this thread hoping there would be something here on homebrew talk about this. Can someone explain the best way I can re-use the yeast and how do I prepare it for pitching? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Slainte.

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Old 04-25-2005, 01:03 AM   #8
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I'm not sure how successful you'd be on trying to capture that Trappise yeast from a bottle. Typically you save it from the primary fermenter where you can get around 24oz (4 1/2 filled 12oz bottles) of slurry. Guess you could give it a go by saving a little bit of the beer in the bottle and shake the heck out of it and then try and put it into a starter batch of some DME and let that go through a 5 day brew process and see what you get. If it multiplies then I guess you've done well. If it doesn't ferment then its basically dead.

No expert, but if I was going to try it, this is how I'd experiment.

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Old 04-25-2005, 04:46 AM   #9
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When reusing yeast that was bottled from the primary and refrigerated for a few weeks or so, do you try to seperate any of the trub from the liquid that seperates to the top? I plan on making a starter from this and just figure if I used all of that from the bottle and then the starter did it's thing, there would be quite a bit of sludge being pitched into the beer. Wouldn't this be a concern since this could potentially be very old trub?I imagine the trub and the liquid which seperated out to the top would both contain yeasts. Which would have healthier yeast? Would one or the other not have enough yeast therefore requiring use of the whole bottle?

Thanks...

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Old 04-25-2005, 04:39 PM   #10
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What you will want to do is let the beer settle so that the yeast is all on the bottom. Then, pour the beer out into a galss and drink it. Save a little beer in the bottom of the bottle so that you can swirl it around and pour out the yeast that has settled on the bottom. Next pour that into a countainer with an airlock on it and let it warm up a bit. Then add your your DME wort to it.

Once this starts to ferment use it as you would a normal starter, or you can let it finnish which may only take a couple of hours/days, then pour the beer off the top of the settled yeast and add another batch of DME wort to it and swirl it around. You may want to repeat this step a couple of times to increase your yeast population.

I have never tried this, but I believe that I have read these same instructions in The Joy of Home Brewing.(I don't have my book with me or I would look it up!)

good luck and tell us how it goes!

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