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Old 04-20-2014, 01:38 AM   #1
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Default Reusing yeast

This is my first attempt at reusing yeast and I'm somewhat unsure about what can and can't be done to reuse it? I plan on brewing a Belgium style ale sometime in the next week or two using yeast I've taken form a few bottles of a "Belgium style Golden Ale".

What I've done so far

•Saved about 1/2 inch of beer in 4 each bottles of Golden Ale, sanitized rims, capped and stored in fridge a few days.
•Made a starter (2cups water and 1/2 cup light DME) cooled and poured into sanitized bottle then added contents of the 4 Golden Ale bottles.
•Starter was left on the kitchen counter and roughly 36 hours later some activity started and a white kraeusen started to form.

I now have another 4 pack of the Golden Ale and I'm wondering if I can add the yeast from these bottles to the existing starter using the same procedures I started with? If this will work I expect to empty the 4 bottles within the next 3-4 days and then put the starter in the fridge. I'll remove the starter a day or two prior to brewing. Hopefully the yeast will reactivate and I'll have enough yeast to pitch into a wort with an expected OG of 1.067. Am I going about this in a reasonable manner or should I change my plan?

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Old 04-20-2014, 02:54 AM   #2
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You will want to add the new dregs to a new starter wort. If there isn't any sugar left, they won't propagate. You can cold crash and decant your current starter. Then make new wort, pitch on the decanted yeast cake and pitch the 4 bottle dregs.

And keep it sanitary! Or you will ware your effort to make vinegar.


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Old 04-20-2014, 03:02 AM   #3
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You can just pitch the dregs of the new bottles along with the prior starter and step up to at least a couple of quarts for a 5 gallon batch if you aren't able to stir or shake your starter continuously. In any case, shake that thing every time you walk by and then cold crash overnight, pour off the spent wort and pitch the slurry of yeast. You should be great.

Even if you don't add the new dregs, best to take the starter you have and step it up to a couple of quarts.

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Old 04-20-2014, 03:17 AM   #4
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Use on-half cup of DME in one quart of water for your next starter wort. The first one made up is way to high gravity to propagate healthy yeast cells. OG of a starter wort shouldn't go over 1.040.

Pick up an inexpensive kitchen scale to weigh out the DME for starters. Much more accurate than trying to use volume measurements.

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Old 04-20-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. It answers my questions and is helpful.

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Old 04-20-2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailrider View Post
Made a starter (2cups water and 1/2 cup light DME) cooled and poured into sanitized bottle then added contents of the 4 Golden Ale bottles.
This would create too high of an SG for a starter. Your yeast will stress trying to ferment all that sugar. 4 oz of DME in 4 cups or approximately 1 liter of water is preferred. That allows the yeast to grow and thicken their cell walls to begin fermenting.

For dregs, I would start with 2 cups of water and 2 oz of DME as a step up starter (you don't really know how old the yeast in your bottles might be). Then cold crash it after 36 hours or so, decant the spent wort and add the slurry to a new 1 liter starter (you can pitch the second set of dregs in with the slurry to this starter) and let it go another 36 hours before cold crashing. On brew day decant the spent wort and allow the slurry to warm up to pitching temperature and you should be good to go!

*NOTE*
This is on the presumption that you are not using a stir plate. If you are using a stir plate, then the amount of time would be approximately half. (I only run my starters for about 18 hours, even for a 2 liter starter)
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