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Old 01-14-2013, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default Harvesting yeast question

Many here keep stating that you can only wash yeast and use it a maximum of five time or risk getting off flavors and mutated yeast but i just finished watching a documentary on the Budweiser factory and one of the master brewers stated that their yeast strand are of the original yeast . What led me to believe that they.harvest and care for their yeast for years and years... Now to my question.... Why do some here state that to only use it 5 times? Or is.it that someone who worked at a yeast distributor started the myth to ensure people kept buying ?

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #2
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It is quite likely they have the dedicated staff and equipment to do the harvesting, where as we don't.

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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you're talking about 2 different things.

when homebrewers wash yeast, they are re-using the same cells.

the commercial breweries use yeast banks. they "bank" the original strain, freeze it, and propagate from that. they do re-use the same batch of yeast, but after a few generations they will dump it and go back to the original source and get a refresh. it's a little more complicated than that, but that's the general idea - they go back to the source. as Ben58 mentioned, having dedicated labs techs (or a yeast management company) makes this a lot easier.

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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+1^^^

They probably have a staff/facility/budget just for "yeast" that exceeds the ENTIRE facility/staff/budget of any microbrewery in America. . . . . .

Much less homebrewer.

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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So with all this said...Is it possible to care for and basically baby your yeast so that it last way longer than 5 times?

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Cat View Post
So with all this said...Is it possible to care for and basically baby your yeast so that it last way longer than 5 times?
Yes, you can, but you probably won't know when it starts to mutate on you. I know some people on here go much farther than 5 times. I normally go 3 times (or so).
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Cat
So with all this said...Is it possible to care for and basically baby your yeast so that it last way longer than 5 times?
Make a streak plate of whatever strain you want, then go back to that to start a new culture after every five or so batches. That's what I understand they do in industry for house strains.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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When I get a new yeast strain I make a starter that is larger than needed. I then make 4 vials from that with 5ml yeast, 5ml glycerin and 10ml water. I freeze these. If I were to make 4 more each time I used it for 4 generations I could make 256 brews from the original vial. Since I brew maybe twice a month and use many different yeasts it is doubtful that I will use any single yeast 256 times. I have 8 different strains in my yeast bank so far.

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kh54s10 View Post
When I get a new yeast strain I make a starter that is larger than needed. I then make 4 vials from that with 5ml yeast, 5ml glycerin and 10ml water. I freeze these. If I were to make 4 more each time I used it for 4 generations I could make 256 brews from the original vial. Since I brew maybe twice a month and use many different yeasts it is doubtful that I will use any single yeast 256 times. I have 8 different strains in my yeast bank so far.
Do you care to post anymore on this or can you point me to another source? I'd love to be freezing yeast but haven't ever found a source on how to properly use the glycerin.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:23 AM   #10
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Do you care to post anymore on this or can you point me to another source? I'd love to be freezing yeast but haven't ever found a source on how to properly use the glycerin.
I'm interested as well...yeast washing..harvesting ..freezing ...all comes down to savings and i love to save money
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