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Old 02-07-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
HopSong
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Default Growing Yeast For Mead

Someplace on the web I saw a video on growing yeast from a culture of Wyeast or White Labs.. not from trub washings. Anyone know of that video?

That said.. I bought a package of Wyeast 1388 (Strong Belgian) and would like to culture it.. specifically for a Mead based on a thread that sounded good.

I don't know if I should use DME, honey which is pretty nutrient deficient, fruit juice or ?? for the starter. I'd like to make enough to make a few carboys of mead and also use some to make a Belgian.

I was told that you can keep the original going and it is probably preferable to keep this propagating rather than using trub which could evolve over time into something different.

Anyone have suggestions based on culturing for a Mead???

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Old 02-07-2014, 04:50 PM   #2
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I am confused by your terminology. Culturing more yeast from a White Labs vial is the same as making a starter. The starter procedure for a mead is no different than a starter for anything else, the main goal is to grow more cells, and to grow enough of them to handle the specific gravity they are pitched into.

Using yeast cells from a previous batch repeatedly, can result in off-flavor after multiple generations, but that depends on the conditions of the beers and the yeast strain itself. Many people create a "stock" culture from the original. Each time the yeast will be used, a vial of stock culture is stepped up in starters, instead of reusing/washing yeast from a batch. It is unnecessary to continuously grow the yeast unless you use it often. You can do this by growing cells in the starter, crashing them out, decanting off the spent wort, and adding new wort to keep the cells growing.

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Old 02-08-2014, 03:07 AM   #3
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Thanks.. you got the gist of my question. I want to make a batch of yeast from my vial and split it.. pitch one and keep the other as a new culture. I've heard this works better than washing for the reason you mentioned.. after a few reruns from washing the yeast not only changes but can develop off flavors.

My question had to do with what to use to make the yeast starter.. I didn't know if it would shock the yeast going from, say, DME to honey. So, it was either DME or possibly a fruit juice solution or ???

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