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Old 08-12-2010, 11:12 PM   #1
schupaul
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Default Think it will produce a starter - old yeast.

Cleaning out my main fridge and found 2 vials of WL kolsch dated 12/30/09. Do you think I might be able to make a starter and be able to use these or are they just to far gone? I want to make a 11gal batch of kolsch and have a large 3L E flask to make a starter.

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Old 08-13-2010, 12:19 AM   #2
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you can still use them you will definitely need to make a starter with them. i suggest starting small and building up to the proper starter size.

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Old 08-13-2010, 12:20 AM   #3
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Can you tell me how to do a step starter. Never done it before.

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Kegged 1: Pumpkin Ale
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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start with a small amount like a pint. when that is done stick it in the fridge and let it settle. then pour off the beer and repeat with a larger starter.

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Old 08-13-2010, 12:27 AM   #5
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how do I know when I have enough viable yeast?

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On Deck: SN Celebration, Kona Coffee Porter, Founders Breakfast Stout, Russian Imperial Stout similar to Ten Fidy, Texas Apricot Wheat, Cenntenial Blonde
Fermenting 1:
Fermenting 2:
Conditioning 1:
Conditioning 2:
Conditioning 3:
Kegged 1: Pumpkin Ale
Kegged 2: Pumpkin Ale
Kegged 3: Apfelwein
Kegged 4: Oktoberfest
Kegged 5: Belgian White
Kegged 6: Air
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:29 AM   #6
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If you're stepping up a starter, then the age of a yeast isn't really an issue.

Bobby M did a test on year old stored yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/test...bility-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And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my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.

With any stored, old yeast you just need first to apply the "sniff test" if it smell bad, especially if it smells like week old gorilla poop in a diaper left on the side of the road in the heat of summer.

Then make a starter, and if it takes off you are fine. The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that;s how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

Even if you have a few still living cells, you can grow them....That's how we can harvest a huge starter (incrementally) from the dregs in a bottle of some commercial beers. You take those few living cells and grow them into more.

If yeast can be grown from a tiny amount that has been encased in amber for 45 million years, 45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale we really don't need to sweat too much about how old a yeast is, if it's properly stored.

we just need to think in terms of making starters. Viability isn't really an issue if you are reproducing a lot of healthy cells. Which is what you are doing when you make a starter.....

Really even with "old yeast" if there is a few cells, they will reproduce.

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Old 08-13-2010, 12:33 AM   #7
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Thanks alot. I was just worried that I would be wasting my time, which has been very tight as of late.

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On Deck: SN Celebration, Kona Coffee Porter, Founders Breakfast Stout, Russian Imperial Stout similar to Ten Fidy, Texas Apricot Wheat, Cenntenial Blonde
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Conditioning 1:
Conditioning 2:
Conditioning 3:
Kegged 1: Pumpkin Ale
Kegged 2: Pumpkin Ale
Kegged 3: Apfelwein
Kegged 4: Oktoberfest
Kegged 5: Belgian White
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schupaul View Post
how do I know when I have enough viable yeast?
go here and enter the appropriate info.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:38 AM   #9
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???

Sorry, I am very new to this. How and what to meassure?

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On Deck: SN Celebration, Kona Coffee Porter, Founders Breakfast Stout, Russian Imperial Stout similar to Ten Fidy, Texas Apricot Wheat, Cenntenial Blonde
Fermenting 1:
Fermenting 2:
Conditioning 1:
Conditioning 2:
Conditioning 3:
Kegged 1: Pumpkin Ale
Kegged 2: Pumpkin Ale
Kegged 3: Apfelwein
Kegged 4: Oktoberfest
Kegged 5: Belgian White
Kegged 6: Air
Kegged 7: Air

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Old 08-13-2010, 01:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
start with a small amount like a pint. when that is done stick it in the fridge and let it settle. then pour off the beer and repeat with a larger starter.
For propagating a starter, I don't think this is the best way to go. Pouring off the beer is going to get rid of some of your most viable yeast (even if it has been chilled). I would rather just add extra wort to bring the starter up to the required size. If you end up with more than about 1L per 5g, you can then chill, decant, and pitch the slurry when adding it to the beer.
This allows you to maximize the yeast cell count, without adding off flavors to the brew.
I'm not saying TipsyDragon is wrong, just that my method will produce a higher cell count (which is the purpose of a starter).

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