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Old 01-04-2013, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default Which yeast to use for these types of beer?

Let me know if I'm crazy, but I just started getting into rinsing yeast so what I'd like to do is keep 2-3 different strains of yeast that I can use in all the beers I make.

In the beginning, I did quite a few different beers, but now I like to stick to my favorite styles while occasionally doing something different. My favorites are pale ales, IPAs, brown ales and stouts and porters. So would it be possible to have only 2 or 3 yeast strains for those types of beers?

I went through and looked at a lot of the recipes for those types of beers on Midwest and Northern and it looks like for the pale ales and IPAs, Wyeast 1056 is in most of them (Northern puts it in almost all of there IPA's).

As for browns and stouts and porters, it's a little more varied, but most use Wyeast 1028, though 1084 and 1968 are used in some.

So is this a bad idea or is this possible?

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Old 01-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Choice of yeast is just one of the thousands of variables that you select when making your beer. I use a half a dozen different yeasts regularly and usually repitch once or twice before starting with fresh yeast again. I split nearly every batch I make (11 gallons) and pitch different yeast to learn some of the yeast driven characteristics and how they interact or affect different styles.
I don't bother with it, but if you put the time and effort into properly washing and storing yeast you can keep a viable stock of as many as you like. You could also combine yeasts and see if you happen upon a flavor profile you really like that way.

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Old 01-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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It's not crazy but yeasts' viability falls quickly beyond 2 weeks of storage. Sure you still use it with a starter to liven up the yeasts before pitching but with all the dead yeasts there, I can't help but wonder if it is a worthwhile risk to take. After all, most of us don't brew often enough to keep 2- 3 yeasts samples in tip-top shape. I have heard stories of yeast being stored in the fridge for months and still can be used for pitching after a big starter. The longest I have kept mine is ~ 1 month and though I used a starter, there is considerable lag time compared to fresh yeast. The yeast works, but probably not ideally.

It appears that your favorite beer styles can be fermented with similar yeasts. Perhaps a little less risky idea is to brew back to back batches with harvested yeast. That way you get your favourite beers but with less risk coming from your yeasts.

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairy View Post
It's not crazy but yeasts' viability falls quickly beyond 2 weeks of storage. Sure you still use it with a starter to liven up the yeasts before pitching but with all the dead yeasts there, I can't help but wonder if it is a worthwhile risk to take. After all, most of us don't brew often enough to keep 2- 3 yeasts samples in tip-top shape. I have heard stories of yeast being stored in the fridge for months and still can be used for pitching after a big starter. The longest I have kept mine is ~ 1 month and though I used a starter, there is considerable lag time compared to fresh yeast. The yeast works, but probably not ideally.

It appears that your favorite beer styles can be fermented with similar yeasts. Perhaps a little less risky idea is to brew back to back batches with harvested yeast. That way you get your favourite beers but with less risk coming from your yeasts.
I hear what you are saying, but in the yeast washing thread, they say up to a year. And yes, I'd always do a starter (just built a stir plate).

Sometimes we do back to back, but I have quite the stock pile since we just brewed a bunch and still buy some commercial stuff, so it's not always feasible. Hence, why I wanted to start rinsing yeast and storing longer. I would think that the most would be a few months if my plan worked.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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If these brown ales, stouts, and porters are all American style beers, you can stick to just one strain.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnagel View Post
I hear what you are saying, but in the yeast washing thread, they say up to a year. And yes, I'd always do a starter (just built a stir plate).

Sometimes we do back to back, but I have quite the stock pile since we just brewed a bunch and still buy some commercial stuff, so it's not always feasible. Hence, why I wanted to start rinsing yeast and storing longer. I would think that the most would be a few months if my plan worked.
it's true that yeasts don't die off completely that quickly. However, the lag time between fresh yeast and yeasts stored beyond a few weeks(even with a big starter) is considerable and that indicates that the yeast is not in tip top condition.

Just be aware of that. The yeasts can work but probably not ideally. Ultimately we all want good, strong fermentation to give good beer. If the beer turns out good, it should be a non issue for most brewers.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairy
It's not crazy but yeasts' viability falls quickly beyond 2 weeks of storage. Sure you still use it with a starter to liven up the yeasts before pitching but with all the dead yeasts there, I can't help but wonder if it is a worthwhile risk to take. After all, most of us don't brew often enough to keep 2- 3 yeasts samples in tip-top shape. I have heard stories of yeast being stored in the fridge for months and still can be used for pitching after a big starter. The longest I have kept mine is ~ 1 month and though I used a starter, there is considerable lag time compared to fresh yeast. The yeast works, but probably not ideally.

It appears that your favorite beer styles can be fermented with similar yeasts. Perhaps a little less risky idea is to brew back to back batches with harvested yeast. That way you get your favourite beers but with less risk coming from your yeasts.
My experience and research says this is not true.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
My experience and research says this is not true.
Mine too.

Now, I don't wash (too much of a PITA), but I do save off a portion of each starter for a future batch. The last starter I made was with a jar of slurry that had been in the fridge for 8 months. The little buggers fired right up on the stir plate, though I typically have to do 2 or 3 steps to get the population up to the proper pitch rate due to viability, but I plan accordingly and it works for me. I keep 6 different strains on hand and try to schedule my brewing based on my oldest jar of yeast in order to try to minimize the age of the yeast I'm starting with, but I can say for certain that properly stored yeast will last for many months with no perceivable ill effects.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:02 PM   #9
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my vote would be 1056 and 1968. both work well in all styles listed

Quote:
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However, the lag time between fresh yeast and yeasts stored beyond a few weeks(even with a big starter) is considerable and that indicates that the yeast is not in tip top condition.
the only delay i've ever had is getting the starter going. after that its always worked as fast as fresh yeast for me, even with year old washed yeast
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:23 AM   #10
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Maybe I was doing something not right with my yeasts since some of you have different experiences.

For fresh yeast with starter, i get fermentation going over night and kaursen within 24hrs. Very short lag time, if any.

For slurry that has been sitting in the fridge for ~1 month, visible fermentation only gets going after 24hrs after pitching (with starter and yeast nutrients). The difference is considerable. It's an acceptable lag nonetheless and I have good beers that came like that.

So is yeast slurry useable after long storage? definitely.

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