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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > propagating own yeast into vials
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
ryan29121
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Default propagating own yeast into vials

I am a relatively new home brewer and was reading up a little bit on propagating your own yeast vials. I found some 25mm x 150mm vials on Amazon (basically baby soda bottles) that seems to be the same size White Labs uses for their vials. I was just planning on making a large yeast starter, decant, divide evenly among a batch of vials, then store in the fridge until brew day. My question is how long can I keep doing this for until I want to start off with a fresh yeast pack? Also does the process I stated earlier on propagating yeast seem like a good way to accomplish this?

Thanks in advance! Cheers

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
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That is similar to harvesting a slurry. According to Yeast you are looking at a refrigerated shelf life of 2 weeks to 6 months depending on how sterile your techniques are.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:16 PM   #3
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If you are willing to learn about yeast slanting and plating than that may be the route for you. If you are looking to just keep come extra slurry, than the best bet would be to make an oversized starter and use the extra for the next batch. That way you have more than a little vial of yeast and it has not been exposed to the stresses of fermentation.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:19 PM   #4
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Does the shelf life "Timer" reset each time I propagate a new batch of yeast? For example, if I purchase a new Wyeast pack and propagated that into lets say 4 vials, then after I use 3 of them, take the last vial and repeat the propagation process again to make 4 vials again. Will that essentially refresh the ~6 shelf life on the second batch or does the shelf life only apply to the original yeast pack? Thanks in advance for the clarification. Just wanted to be certain I dont mess anything up.

Cheers!

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:33 PM   #5
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You can use the preforms and freeze yeast. I have 20 ml vials so I use 5 ml yeast, 5 ml glycerin and 10 ml water. Mix them well, chill in the refrigerator over night, mix again and freeze. With the bigger vials you can make larger samples. I then thaw them and make a 250 ml starter of 1.020 wort, for step one then a 500 ml step then a final step to get the size for the recipe. I takes about a week.

I have read that 4 to 10 generations is the max. I make 4 vials and if each time I used one I made up 4 more for 4 generations, I could brew 256 times from the original purchase.

I have successfully used yeast stored for over a year.

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