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Old 02-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
MonkeyWrench
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Default One package of yeast for multiple brews....yeast propagation

Yeast washing and pitching on cakes aside, does anyone grow one package of yeast enough for multiple brews?

I'm thinking of something like this:

Take a package of my favorite yeast and make a 1000ml starter in my 1000ml Erlenmeyer flask (EF), let grow. Transfer that to a growler and add another 800ml of wort and let that grow. Divide that 1800ml equally into 4 1000ml E-flasks (450ml each) and top them off with 550ml of wort and grow then refrigerate (or maybe wash and store in sterilized canning jars like the "yeast washing" thread).

Would this be enough yeast for pitching?

Could I use one of those 4 and do the same process over again and turn that 1000ml into 4 more starters? Could I take one of those 4 and do the same yet again?

How far can yeast be propagated before you run into issues with mutations, too many dead cells, off flavors, etc...????

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Old 02-15-2010, 06:04 PM   #2
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Here's how I do it. Get a "yeast bank" from Country Wines http://www.countrywines.com/products.asp and freeze yeast by the instructions in the supplied vials. At least 3 days before brew day make up a starter, thaw a vial and pitch in the starter. It takes at least 48 hours on a stir plate to bring it up to a good starter. When you run low on vials take a little off your starter and make three more vials marking them as to their 'pass'.

This weekend I brewed with my favorite yeast ( starter made up from pass 3). When I pitched I had another starter wort ready and just dropped in a few drops from the starter that I pitched. It's on the stir plate thickening up now. I will start another starter from this so that I have two complete starters ready for next Saturdays 10g brew day.

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Old 02-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #3
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I will look into that. The "Freeze-Shield" is probably just a glycol based product?

FDA approved glycol at a 50/50 mix with water is good down to 7deg.

Thanks.

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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sounds good to me as long as you can keep the yeast pure.

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Old 02-16-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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I believe it is recommended that you not go past 'Pass 5'. But if you freeze 3 vials every third use and do it 5 times you basically get about 15 starters for the price of one yeast vial or package. Just remember that it will take an additional 24 hours to make a starter from such a small amount of frozen yeast.

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Old 02-16-2010, 08:49 PM   #6
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Funny, I was looking to find an alternative to washing yeast for reuse. I brew a lot of high gravity ales so taking it from the primary isn't really an optimal process for me. This is what I'm trying right now:

Make 600 mL starter from a vial/smack pack
Let it ferment out and settle.
Decant 300 mL.
Seal 100 mL each in two 4 oz. Jelly Jars.
Save the Jelly Jars in the fridge for future starters.
Use remaining 100mL to make a 1000 mL starter to pitch into wort.

Next time I need the yeast, I can start the process over using yeast from one of the 100 mL samples I saved in the Jelly Jars.

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Old 02-17-2010, 02:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiltedCorpse View Post
I will look into that. The "Freeze-Shield" is probably just a glycol based product?

FDA approved glycol at a 50/50 mix with water is good down to 7deg.

Thanks.
More info:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/guid...st-bank-35891/
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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Check out the yeast slanting thread. It's not as hard as it seems and with a little practice you'll be able to do it in your sleep. This is what I do and I haven't bought yeast for the last 5 batches with thousand more possable brews let on the cultures. Only down side is it takes me about a week to get up to pitching rates.

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Old 02-17-2010, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krops13 View Post
Check out the yeast slanting thread. It's not as hard as it seems and with a little practice you'll be able to do it in your sleep. This is what I do and I haven't bought yeast for the last 5 batches with thousand more possable brews let on the cultures. Only down side is it takes me about a week to get up to pitching rates.
+1 good read I would do it but sometimes I have to tell myself to stop spending money on this hobby or else it will get out of control
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGnome6 View Post
Funny, I was looking to find an alternative to washing yeast for reuse. I brew a lot of high gravity ales so taking it from the primary isn't really an optimal process for me. This is what I'm trying right now:

Make 600 mL starter from a vial/smack pack
Let it ferment out and settle.
Decant 300 mL.
Seal 100 mL each in two 4 oz. Jelly Jars.
Save the Jelly Jars in the fridge for future starters.
Use remaining 100mL to make a 1000 mL starter to pitch into wort.

Next time I need the yeast, I can start the process over using yeast from one of the 100 mL samples I saved in the Jelly Jars.
Basically I do this on a larger scale:

I make a 2.5 liter starter and, after shaking/swirling well, I pour a pint into a sterilized pint mason jar. Then I cold crash, decant the liquid from the remaining 2 liter starter and pitch the slurry.

I refrigerate the mason jar, and use the slurry from it for my next 2.5 liter starter. So far, the yeast has been good up to two or three months in the fridge. I don't really plan on going over three months refrigerated or 4-5 generations.
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