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Old 02-20-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
flyfisherwes
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Default Splitting up a yeast starter and storing...how long?

So I made up a yeast starter with some wlp001. I then poured off the liquid "beer" into another sanitized container and cold crashed. I used the yeast cake in the bottom of the original starter to make a new starter which I pitched this weekend.

So, what I have is the yeast that cold crashed out of the original starter liquid. I decanted the liquid off of them (it tasted fine) and added another starter on it. When it ferments out I plan to shake it up (Maybe I should cold crash and decant some then shake up) and split it into 4 or 5 sanitized jars to keep in the fridge to make more starters from soon.

Is this ok?
How long can I keep them in the fridge safely?
Can I repeat the process when I get down to 1 jar?
How can I know how much yeast is in the jars or what size starter or how many times to step a starter up when I use them?

Thanks
Wes



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Old 02-20-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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I have had some of mine in the fridge for over a year and they work fine. With that being said I would prob not keep them any longer than that. As it is you will have to make a pretty large starter with a yeast that old because of the low viability.

Repeating all depends on what type of beer you are making. If it is a stronger beer, you probably wont want to keep the yeast at all because it will be too stressed. If it is a lower gravity beer you could probable repeat 3 or 4 times

I would just compare the amount you have to the amount in a White Labs vile. I believe they say one vile has approx 100 billion cells



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Old 02-20-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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1 year without "stepping up" is what I do. If I use a yeast that's over a year old, I do a step-up.

MC

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Old 02-20-2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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I buy a vial or a smack pack and then I grow a starter, cold crash, decant starter wort, wash the yeast with 2 pint jars of water. I then save one jar and repeat the process with the other jar. I'll do this 3 times in a week. By doing this I end up with 3 one pint jars with approx. 100 billion cells each to save for future brews, and I also end up with a big fat starter to pitch in whatever I'm brewing. I feel that propagating yeast from new smack packs/vials before it's used to ferment a batch of beer gives me more viable yeast to save then washing it after the fact (that's just my theory)....

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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I buy a vial or a smack pack and then I grow a starter, cold crash, decant starter wort, wash the yeast with 2 pint jars of water. I then save one jar and repeat the process with the other jar. I'll do this 3 times in a week. By doing this I end up with 3 one pint jars with approx. 100 billion cells each to save for future brews, and I also end up with a big fat starter to pitch in whatever I'm brewing. I feel that propagating yeast from new smack packs/vials before it's used to ferment a batch of beer gives me more viable yeast to save then washing it after the fact (that's just my theory)....
Yeah that appears that it works, however there's a possibility of petite mutation (you can google it). Essentially, you stun the growth of yeast that's under development. You'd be better off doing a full fermentation cycle of the original yeast and cold-crash it AFTER the fermentation is finished, or better yet, let it natural settle. That's what I do myself.

MC
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
Yeah that appears that it works, however there's a possibility of petite mutation (you can google it). Essentially, you stun the growth of yeast that's under development. You'd be better off doing a full fermentation cycle of the original yeast and cold-crash it AFTER the fermentation is finished, or better yet, let it natural settle. That's what I do myself.

MC
I also wash yeast from batch fermentation,and I get great results from both methods. The only real difference for me in doing it pre-fermentation in a starter is I get good clean yeast with less trub when I wash it as opposed to washing it after fermenting.. I'm sure petite mutation is a concern, but what I'm doing is really no different than making a stepped-up 1 gallon starter and splittting it up into X amount of jars.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:44 AM   #7
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I also wash yeast from batch fermentation,and I get great results from both methods. The only real difference for me in doing it pre-fermentation in a starter is I get good clean yeast with less trub when I wash it as opposed to washing it after fermenting.. I'm sure petite mutation is a concern, but what I'm doing is really no different than making a stepped-up 1 gallon starter and splittting it up into X amount of jars.
I also do pre-batch splitting instead of yeast washing. Reason is, if I screwed up somewhere and picked up a bug, my washed yeast will have that bug.

I also don't have to worry too much about any infection in a beer, whereas I have to keep everything tight when doing pre-batch yeast propagation.

MC
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
I also do pre-batch splitting instead of yeast washing. Reason is, if I screwed up somewhere and picked up a bug, my washed yeast will have that bug.

I also don't have to worry too much about any infection in a beer, whereas I have to keep everything tight when doing pre-batch yeast propagation.

MC
MC, I knew I remembered you. We were talking here,

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/questions-yeast-savers-275267/index2.html

about this very question.

I'm planning to do pretty much what you do, but I don't have a stir plate. I also figured I'd use 4oz jelly jars or prescription medication vials for the yeast storage.

You say you leave it in your fridge like that for up to a year without problems?
What do you mean by "degassed"? Just letting it relieve all the pressure after fermenting?
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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When I start a new vial or pack I make a starter a little larger than needed. I then make four 20ml vials that I freeze. I then use step starter technique to get the proper pitch rate. www.yeastcalc.com

Look up the thread on yeast freezing.

If I made up 4 new vials for each of those and did 4 generations I could brew 1024 batches using the one vial/pack

Wow! That's a lot of beer

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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That's what I have been doing for the last few batches. I have tried using both 4 OZ mason jars and much smaller preform tubes (the same container that white labs ships their yeast in) both work fine so long as I do a starter first. When I get down to my last sample (or buy a tube to library a new strain) i do a starter, cold crash, decant, pull off my storage samples into sanitized containers, top off with starter beer to eliminate as much oxygen as possible, then refeed the remaining slurrey and do a starter as usual.



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