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Old 12-26-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Stretching Liquid Yeast

I recently had a bad experience harvesting yeast and ruined a couple batches of beer. I'm ultimately trying to make the yeast go further. Is it possible to split a smack pack or vial and build a starter out of each? Cheers!

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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Yes - it's possible. I think it would be easier to do with a vial than a smack pack. You'll need to build the starter a little slower because of the reduced amount of yeast, but it will work. You'll also want to use the leftovers within a reasonable amount of time.

Another option is looking into yeast culturing on slants. You can get yourself setup for around $40-$50 and have endless yeast from a smack pack or vial. It's pretty easy to do. I've been using the same pack of Rogue PacMan yeast for almost 2 years now. The starter process is a little more complicated, but not much. I have a nice selection of slants now, so I can easily switch between yeast types as needed.

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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I make a 2L starter out of a vial, pitch 1.75L of it, crash the remainder, decant, then add more wort to grow it back up. Let the flask run on the stirplate for a day or two, crash, decant, add boiled water (after it cools) then pour the slurry back into the vial. I've kept yeast done this way for months in the fridge and never had a problem getting them up and running again with a starter.

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudstud View Post
I make a 2L starter out of a vial, pitch 1.75L of it, crash the remainder, decant, then add more wort to grow it back up. Let the flask run on the stirplate for a day or two, crash, decant, add boiled water (after it cools) then pour the slurry back into the vial. I've kept yeast done this way for months in the fridge and never had a problem getting them up and running again with a starter.
This seems like it would be far easier than washing the yeast!
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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I save a viles worth of startered yeast with each 1st generation batch of liuid yeas, and plan on adding it to later generations to help keep the whole thing going through an extra batch or so of beer.

My big washed yeast disaster was entirely my fault: I harvest yeast from the dusting at the bottom of bottles.

This is a very bad idea, and will lead to very unpredictable and anemic yeast, especially after 1-2+ generations
I did this for 5 generations before realsing it was the main problem with my beer.

good luck with your future washings!

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:57 PM   #6
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The best way would be to make a starter from one vial, only bigger than you need. Save the remaining starter to make more starters.

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Old 12-27-2012, 04:16 AM   #7
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You could just make the starter 8 ozs larger than you plan, then swirl up the starter and pour off 8 ozs into a sanitized half-pint container (I use 8 ozs mason jars), and store in the fridge.

I do this with every starter, but make it a little more complicated. I make the starter 24 ozs larger, swirl up the starter and take 24 ozs off (into a quart mason jar) before crashing the starter. Then place the extra 24 ozs in the fridge to drop the yeast, pour off 16 ozs of the clear liquid, and finally pour the yeast and remaining starter liquid into an 8 ozs mason jar. This gives me a little more stored yeast.

When ready, treat the stored jar of yeast the same as a vial of WL yeast and make a starter. While I don't recommend storing this for more than a year, I have successfully used yeast stored this way for 2 years.

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