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-   -   Saved yeast. Use starter or pitch directly? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/saved-yeast-use-starter-pitch-directly-385578/)

samorg42 01-29-2013 03:39 PM

Saved yeast. Use starter or pitch directly?
I washed and saved yeast (Wyeast 1072) from a pale-ale batch in a carboy. I got almost a quart of nice, tan-looking slurry. It had been in the carboy for three weeks from the brew day. I chilled the carboy for one day to settle it out for bottling.
Should I make a starter to use my yeast for two carboys (a rye beer next) or warm it up and pitch directly? I have heard this recommended both ways.

One more thing. Does anyone bottle directly into 1/2 gal. growlers? I have several of them with good caps.

bleme 01-29-2013 03:51 PM

As long as the slurry is pretty fresh, like yours seems, I pitch the slurry. Use the calculator at:
And select the slurry tab for proper pitching rates.

bleme 01-29-2013 03:53 PM

I would not bottle condition in a growler. It has been done successfully but they have also exploded. Growlers aren't designed to hold that kind of pressure.

dinnerstick 01-29-2013 03:56 PM

+1; if it's clean and healthy then pitch directly. do a search search for bottling in growlers you will find many warnings about them not being designed for pressure

WoodlandBrew 01-29-2013 03:57 PM

Viability will be a function of ABV of the beer and the time between pitch and harvest.


What was the ABV level? Mr. Malty has been way off in my experience for predicting the number of viable cells in a slurry. Twenty times off last time I used it. A reasonable estimate for a saved slurry is 1 billion cells per ml.

For the story and real data see here:

This was one of my motivations for buying a microscope.

samorg42 01-30-2013 04:12 AM

It was 22 days between pitch and harvest. My ABV calculates to about 5.1%. If 1 billion cells per ml is correct (thanks for that) I probably have 750-800 b. cells. Since a Wyeast "smack pack" contains about 100 billion cells, I should have plenty of yeast form my next 44litre +- brew.

crysond 01-30-2013 04:35 AM

It's never a bad idea to do a starter, worst case you reinvigorate your yeast. Is it worth it to chance a wasted batch?

Also that's enough yeast for a healthy pitch of 1 44 Litre batch with a starting gravity of 18 plato (1.074) , using 1 million cells/per degree plato/per ml.

WoodlandBrew 01-30-2013 09:53 AM

22 days at 5.1%ABV will leave you at about 80% viability. If you want, I'll count your slurry for free. Send me a privet message and ill give you the details.

fxdude 01-30-2013 09:51 PM

I've made a starter from a saved yeast cake, here is the link to the math I used which needed two yeast pitching sites. I ended up over pitching though, it's so hard to tell how much viable yeast is really in those cakes without a yeast count


samorg42 01-31-2013 02:10 PM

Woodland Brew: Thanks for the input. I happened to see my brewing guru (the evil one that got me started in this obsessive compulsive hobby). He thought that I have a really nice batch of healthy yeast (nearly a quart) and could pitch directly without any problems. Somewhere I have a fairly high quality microscope that I could easily see yeast cells and probably bacteria, so I will look at that link you sent. Thanks.

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