So I'd really like to use a consistent strain of yeast for a variety of beers without having to purchase a $9 tube with every batch. I'm thinking WLP029 German/Kolsch.
"Just wash your yeast after racking" you say, but there's a problem. I've got a gigantic trub bed in every beer! We're talking 3-4 inches tall normally.
I've tried the yeast washing technique in the sticky and have had no luck at all. My trub and yeast never separate, no matter what I do, and they sit there, stuck together, looking like a blob of congealed brains. I think this is because I do No Chill and don't separate the cold break before fermentation, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I got too much trub to wash out!
So here's my plan, and please tell me if you think it sucks:
I'm going to make a 1 quart starter (4oz DME), then step it up twice to 3qts. I'll give it a day or two between steps. Once its fermented out, I'll shake the yeast up into suspension, then split the starter into three 1-quart jars. I figure they'll have approx the same yeast count between the three.
I'll probably decant and pitch the 1st quart starter then (assuming I have a beer ready) and keep the other 2 quart jars in the fridge. I'm assuming I'll need to make a starter to wake them up when I do need them later.
So this way, I'll get 3 uses out of a single tube, but without having to wash out my massive trub bomb. Will it work though?? Input appreciated as always.