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Old 02-05-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
bluehende
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Default Would appreciate comments on fermentation plan

I will preface by saying I am new to this hobby and the first part of this plan comes from a totally clueless beginning.

I am planning to try and revive a small amount of saved Nottingham from a batch that will have been done 8 weeks ago. We have a small amount saved from this batch. We rehydrated a packet then put into a small starter (probably 250 ml) to save a bit. We saved probably saved 50 to 75 mls and stored in the fridge under the beer. I have a small nice looking yeast pellet. I plan to take this out and try and revive it with a 3 step starter series.

200 ml
500 ml
1000 ml
of 1.03 OG

If all goes well I will pitch this 1 liter starter after decanting into a 4 gallon batch of dry stout at 1.043 OG.

I was then going to pitch a brown ale 5 gallon batch 1.06 OG right onto the cake. I was figuring either the whole cake or about 1/2 the cake.

Any input would be helpful as I am new to this. I used to work as a biochemist and actually grew yeast. What I wouldn't give to have an autoclave, incubator shakers,and spectrophotometers now.

I have no problem getting new yeast to start with If I feel anything is not 100% right. Culturing yeast looks like a big part of the fun for me, however that is right below making sure I have beer to drink.

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Old 02-06-2014, 01:38 AM   #2
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You'll spend more on DME for the 3-step starter wort vs. what a new packet of Notty costs.

For a 1.043 beer, I'd rehydrate a new packet an roll on. In case you aren't already aware, Notty is a strain that does very well in cooler temps (almost lager-like at 55-56*F), but you don't ever want to let it get above 68*F.

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Old 02-06-2014, 01:42 AM   #3
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Once again I second big Floyd. Resourceful, but false economy.

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Old 02-06-2014, 02:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
You'll spend more on DME for the 3-step starter wort vs. what a new packet of Notty costs.

For a 1.043 beer, I'd rehydrate a new packet an roll on. In case you aren't already aware, Notty is a strain that does very well in cooler temps (almost lager-like at 55-56*F), but you don't ever want to let it get above 68*F.
The purpose was not to save money. I think I save about 50 cents lol. It was more to see if I could do it. I am using nottingham because that is what I have and appropriate for the beers. My basement this time of year runs about 60. I assume fermenting then in the low 60's. I thought of setting up a swamp cooler to keep it near 60 just for the reason you stated. I was more interested in knowing if I am way off base with my volumes or if any of the thoughts are laughable newbie mistakes. I appreciate the input.

I worked in research. When I plan these things out I always have a coworkers quote going through my head. "It's just an experiment. It may not work."
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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In that case, your step-up plan looks fine. You should know with the first one if the yeast is still viable.

With the 60*F basement, you should be OK if you pitch at 55*F and let it rise on its own. The cool pitch will help keep the initial ferment from kicking out too much of its own heat.

Good luck with your experimentation.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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Thank you for all of your excellent input. This has been an interesting learning experience

I executed the plan and everything seemed to go great. I actually tried a bit of the beer off the last 1 liter starter. It tasted sweet and yeasty think sweet bread. This is about what I would expect. Fermentation started 3 hrs later. By 16 hrs a nice krausen had formed. By 5 days bubbling has stopped.

Now for the next step.......comments needed.

I saved about 10%of the 1 liter starter and washed with boiled and cooled water. This was put in the fridge. I pulled this out 6 days later to start another starter. At this point I smelled the yeast after pouring off the liquid. There is a slight sour smell. There is also a darker layer under the nice white yeast layer. I will start a 500 ml starter that I will use tomorrow for the blizzard 1 gal of cider to try. My plan was to use 1/5 of the starter for the cider and then use the remaining yeast to start a 1 liter starter for a Saturday brew session. The brew session came much quicker due to a visit from my son that wants to brew.

Here is my question.

Should I ditch the saved yeast due to the slight sour smell or is that normal with it having been stored under water? I will have the starter ready tomorrow if there is something I can check to verify no problems

If I do that should I use the old yeast cake from the fermentation for the next batch at 12 days in primary and 7 days post end of active primary fermentation? I can rack to secondary to do this. I have not checked a FG yet, but will tomorrow when I have my sanitizer out. If it seems to be near the expected FG I will lean this way unless those much more knowledgeable than me suggest otherwise.

Or should I just bag it and get another yeast pack?

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