Since I have upgraded to a one barrel brewery at home, I needed to figure out a way to cut down on yeast cost. I tried washing, but what a pain in the neck. Dumping on top of yeast cake always makes me a little nervous. (However, since we fill 6 carboys at a time and don't like to wash that many so often we are going to try to dump on yeast cake again to save time. We'll see how it goes.)
Anyhow, what I started to do is make starter wort, split it into 5 3/4 Gal glass jugs, and then split my vial of yeast into each jug. (The problem I have now is that I really need to split this into 7 jugs, but I don't think there is enough in vial to get enough yeast in the jug to make a good starter. But I could be wrong on this. Any advice from readers would be appreciated.)
The idea is simple really. This worked great when we were only using 2 kettle kegs and filling 4 carboys because I had one starter left over to make a new starter with. Theoretically, I can keep this going for a long time. What I'll need to do is make my starters a little earlier and then make three more before we brew.
I love this method, because I think it is safer than other things I could do. It is a lot easier than washing too. Every time i have done this, my beer takes off really well into fermentation.
I'm curious to know if others have done this and their thoughts on the process.