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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > yeast starter, can you put yeast back in vial?
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default yeast starter, can you put yeast back in vial?

okay ive searched but no luck.......

Been making yeast starters for as long as i can remeber, but lately its been getting harder and harder to find the yeast strains im looking for at my lhbs
once you build up your starter (i usually use a liquid yeast) can you fill the vial that you originally pitched from (sanatized of course) back up and pop it back into the fridge for next time, just making another started from it....

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Old 03-03-2009, 03:38 AM   #2
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Search for "yeast washing" and "yeast slants".

People don't usually use the vials, but I suppose that would work.

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Old 03-03-2009, 03:50 AM   #3
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Better to use a canning jar sanitized by boiling. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeas...strated-41768/ is a great thread to show you the general rules, but also it focuses on salvaging yeast from a yeast cake. I think you've got a good idea saving yeast from the starter since it won't have been exposed to hops or high gravities yet. All the same procedures should apply.

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Old 03-03-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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In my testing the vials are pressure cannable and therefore sterilizable. The labels fall off, and the thin ridge below the cap deforms a bit but the lid and tube still fit together correctly.

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Old 03-03-2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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I've got several vials left over from previous brews and would also like to use them for saving yeast. Why wouldn't starsan be fine for sanitizing?

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Old 03-03-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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The big thing here is "sterilization" not sanitization. Whenever I keep yeast for washing, I put all of the containers into my pressure cooker and heat them for at least 20 minutes. This will kill all bacteria and spores that may cause an infection in your yeast. Starsan works fine at disinfecting the surfaces, but you want to make sure everything is as clean as possible.

We're all doing this to save some money. $6-10 a pop for liquid yeast is quite expensive, but if you don't take the neccessary steps to ensure good sanitization you may end up ruining an entire batch and any amount of money you saved via yeast washing will be washed away, no pun intended...

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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When I make a starter, I don't use the whole vial. I pour about 1/4 of the vial into my starter. I can then use the vial 3 more times before it runs out.

Jason

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Old 03-04-2009, 01:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratermus View Post
In my testing the vials are pressure cannable and therefore sterilizable. The labels fall off, and the thin ridge below the cap deforms a bit but the lid and tube still fit together correctly.
so boiling the used vial for 5-10 mins should be okay then, gonna give it a try... ill just pop a label on it....
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason.mundy View Post
When I make a starter, I don't use the whole vial. I pour about 1/4 of the vial into my starter. I can then use the vial 3 more times before it runs out.

Jason
That's a great idea. I'm going to try that with some 051 this week. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIVETOBREW View Post
so boiling the used vial for 5-10 mins should be okay then, gonna give it a try... ill just pop a label on it....

Two caveats:

1. boiling will sanitize but not sterilize (in case you were shooting for sterilization)
2. the bottom of the pot is hotter than the boiling water, so put some kind of false bottom in there.
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