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Old 12-15-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
Iniquity
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Default To Slant or Not to Slant?

Recently I have been thinking about slanting my yeast and making a collection from each one of my brews I make. However, I know that the shelf life of the slants are not particularly long, I hear thing like 3 months to a year.

My question is whether or not it would be practical for me to go through the process of slanting the yeast if I never really have the time to get around to using it. Especially if I plan on brewing different styles and will probably not use the same yeast at the very least a few months from each other.

Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

Are there other options?

How long does a slant tube last before having to add yeast to it?

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Old 12-15-2009, 08:00 PM   #2
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I think the sticky mentions freezing....

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Old 12-15-2009, 08:06 PM   #3
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Bobby M recently did a test on year old store yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/testing-limits-yeast-viability-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

I don't know if you know the story of Charlie Papazian's yeast (White Labs "Cry Havoc") or not. He talked about it on basic brewing. The recipes in both Papazian's books, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and The Homebrewers Companion, were originally developed and brewed with this yeast. Papazian had "Cry Havoc" in his yeast stable since 1983.

He has used it nearly continuously since 83, sometimes pitching multiple batches on top of a cake, sometimes washing or not washing, etc. In a basic brewing podcast iirc last year he talked about how a batch of the yeast after a lot of uses picked up a wild mutation, and he noticed an off flavor in a couple batches.

Now most of us would prolly dump that yeast. Instead he washed it, slanted or jarred it (I can't recall which,)marked it, and cold stored it, and pretty much forgot about it for 10-15 years. He had plenty other slants of the yeast strain, so he left it alone.

Well evidently he came across that container of yeast, and for sh!ts and giggles made a beer with it. Evidently after all those years in storage, the wild or mutated yeast died out leaving behind a few viable cells of the "pure" culture, which he grew back into a pretty hardy strain...which iirc is the culture that White Labs actually used for their cry havoc...because of it's tenacity and survivability.

It really to me, just goes to show once again how really hard it is to f up this beermaking, and that to give the yeast the props they deserve.

If you slant and freeze them, or if you jar them and store them, as long as you make a starter, and provide a sniff test, to catch those rare times, you will be fine.

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Old 12-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Bobby M recently did a test on year old store yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/testing-limits-yeast-viability-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

I don't know if you know the story of Charlie Papazian's yeast (White Labs "Cry Havoc") or not. He talked about it on basic brewing. The recipes in both Papazian's books, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and The Homebrewers Companion, were originally developed and brewed with this yeast. Papazian had "Cry Havoc" in his yeast stable since 1983.

He has used it nearly continuously since 83, sometimes pitching multiple batches on top of a cake, sometimes washing or not washing, etc. In a basic brewing podcast iirc last year he talked about how a batch of the yeast after a lot of uses picked up a wild mutation, and he noticed an off flavor in a couple batches.

Now most of us would prolly dump that yeast. Instead he washed it, slanted or jarred it (I can't recall which,)marked it, and cold stored it, and pretty much forgot about it for 10-15 years. He had plenty other slants of the yeast strain, so he left it alone.

Well evidently he came across that container of yeast, and for sh!ts and giggles made a beer with it. Evidently after all those years in storage, the wild or mutated yeast died out leaving behind a few viable cells of the "pure" culture, which he grew back into a pretty hardy strain...which iirc is the culture that White Labs actually used for their cry havoc...because of it's tenacity and survivability.

It really to me, just goes to show once again how really hard it is to f up this beermaking, and that to give the yeast the props they deserve.

If you slant and freeze them, or if you jar them and store them, as long as you make a starter, and provide a sniff test, to catch those rare times, you will be fine.
Much much thanks for your input. This just re-confirms my need to read this book. It is on my Christmas wish list so hopefully the wife comes through.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:07 PM   #5
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This was brought to my attention the other day by a fellow home brewer.

It's a bit torrent, so you'll have to download it. It's interesting

http://www.torrentdownloads.net/torrent/1650677820/A+Simple,+Practical+Method+for+Long-Term+Storage+of+Yeast

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass View Post
This was brought to my attention the other day by a fellow home brewer.

It's a bit torrent, so you'll have to download it. It's interesting

http://www.torrentdownloads.net/torrent/1650677820/A+Simple,+Practical+Method+for+Long-Term+Storage+of+Yeast
Ohh excellent, thanks for this. I'll defiantly check this out.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #7
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Last January I bought 7 tubes of different yeasts and made slants from each one. Now, almost a year later I'm still using these slants, though I'm almost out of them and will culture the last ones to make new slants.

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Old 12-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bja View Post
Last January I bought 7 tubes of different yeasts and made slants from each one. Now, almost a year later I'm still using these slants, though I'm almost out of them and will culture the last ones to make new slants.
Are these refrigerated and not frozen?
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
Are these refrigerated and not frozen?
Refrigerated.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniquity View Post
Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

Are there other options?
If you read the sticky, I described a process of saving only about 0.5-1.0 ml of glycerol/yeast slurry and building up from that store. (you will have to build up in steps)

If you keep it well frozen it will basically last indefinitely. This is how yeast is stored in biological research environments (although they store it at temps like -80 C)

Longer lasting but more work to build up the yeast to a pitchable volume. It's a trade-off.
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