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Old 03-02-2013, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Yeast Bank: Washed Yeast vs Brand New Yeast

Hey Guys, So I have started a yeast bank using this forum http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5632&sid=5a9494fb9b06a234f07d5 130a67474ff and used my (washed) yeast to create the samples in these tubes (http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/test-tubes?source=googleps They are basically like white labs tubes) of glycerin 25% distled water 25% and yeast 50%. I thought this was a great idea of how to create a yeast bank till my friend said he was also starting one. But instead of washed yeast he is going to create a starter and draw samples from brand new never used before yeast. So my question is: Is it smarter and more worth while to create a starter to get more viable and healthier cells from brand new yeast or is using washed yeast fine just as healthy and viable?

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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I would think that either way is good. However, if you are going to used washed (i assume we use this term presently to mean rinsed) yeast, which may be a healthier set of yeast, depending on the beer it came out of, make sure you wash it well. Leaving a bunch of crud in there for storage will not be good for yeast health. Additionally, I would not harvest from batches with high hopping rates or high alcohol, because you may have less than great yeast.

The negative I can think from using a sample from a fresh starter is that it could be pretty oxygenated. If your taking your sample from a washed cake, there is little to no oxygen in it when you begin, yes you may introduce some through washing, but I would imagine its less than a stirred, properly aerated starter, unless it was completely fermented out and dormant. So if you were to store the starter sample with considerable amounts of oxygen, you will loose significant amounts of viability and reserves consuming that oxygen.

By no means am I an expert, this is just my thoughts on the subject. I thinks I may start a bank soon myself, I like the control it brings.

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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My POV is if you are going to go through all the work required to create a yeast bank...why not use the best/healthiest yeast you can find. Growing up a commercial yeast will also protect you against any contaminants that may be in your yeast cake.

That said, I have saved many hard to find or bottle cultured yeasts by washing the yeast cake. The addition of glycerol/glycerin and freezing as cold and as fast as you can are very important to maintaining viability of any yeast.

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Old 03-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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Why would brand new yeast have more oxygen in it then rinsed/washed yeast? And if you froze it right afterward wouldnt that take care of any oxygen eating problems??

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Old 03-02-2013, 11:51 PM   #5
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I mean brand new yeast coming out of a starter. A proper starter should be well aerated, and an airlock shouldn't be used, so there can be some significant oxygenation from that, especially as growth slows and CO2 production dwindles towards the end.

In the rinsed yeast, before you rinse it, it's sitting in a cake at the bottom of the beer which is essentially oxygen free. So prior to washing its devoid of any oxygen. Yes, when you wash it, you're exposing it to oxygen, and shaking it which definitely allows it to dissolve in, but a stirred starter will so the same, and possibly more so.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:03 AM   #6
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I don't think the oxygenation is a significant problem. I definitely think that you have less probability of your yeast being stressed by alcohol and less problem with contamination if you work from a starter prepared with well sanitized materials. I have been growing up double starters and splitting half into a couple tubes with glycerol and freezing. I thaw one of those and do and overnight starter. Works great.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
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Oxygenation is not the determinant of where you get your yeast sample from. Your biggest concerns when starting a yeast bank is the purity of the original source, the storage media, and the storage conditions. Although, less oxygenated storage media does provide optimum conditions to induce "hibernation" of the yeast.

You want to be sure you are growing and saving what you think you are, and only that. The media should be slightly nutritious (low gravity wort) with a cryoprotectant (glycerol), and you should freeze fast and very cold. Whether the source is a cake or a white labs tube, it doesn't make a huge difference.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:51 AM   #8
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Well my yeast bank is in a styrofoam cooler which is in the freezer and all the yeast is surrounded by ice cubes in the cooler. I have all the tubes labeled also and dated. Does that sound good place to keep them?

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Old 03-03-2013, 01:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoHox View Post
Oxygenation is not the determinant of where you get your yeast sample from. Your biggest concerns when starting a yeast bank is the purity of the original source, the storage media, and the storage conditions. Although, less oxygenated storage media does provide optimum conditions to induce "hibernation" of the yeast.

You want to be sure you are growing and saving what you think you are, and only that. The media should be slightly nutritious (low gravity wort) with a cryoprotectant (glycerol), and you should freeze fast and very cold. Whether the source is a cake or a white labs tube, it doesn't make a huge difference.
ColoHox, I agree with you that depletion is oxygen is one of the conditions that lead to quiescence in yeast but more important and more natural is the depletion of carbon or nitrogen source. You are correct about the low gravity of the starting wort, in part, for that reason. Growing the yeast until they have stopped growing and depleted the nutrient, even with stirring and oxygenation, is best for optimal viability. What doesn't seem to be true is the quick freezing idea. Based upon lab research and our own empirical analysis, it is best to chill yeast slowly in glycerol and then freeze slowly as well, counterintuitive as that may seem. Also, it is best to thaw your yeast rapidly for best viability and quickest rejuvenation. I didn't believe it myself, despite years of experience doing research on yeast. My article in the signature covers this and it is covered more thoroughly in the thread referenced therein. Hope that helps.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewitt View Post

ColoHox, I agree with you that depletion is oxygen is one of the conditions that lead to quiescence in yeast but more important and more natural is the depletion of carbon or nitrogen source. You are correct about the low gravity of the starting wort, in part, for that reason. Growing the yeast until they have stopped growing and depleted the nutrient, even with stirring and oxygenation, is best for optimal viability. What doesn't seem to be true is the quick freezing idea. Based upon lab research and our own empirical analysis, it is best to chill yeast slowly in glycerol and then freeze slowly as well, counterintuitive as that may seem. Also, it is best to thaw your yeast rapidly for best viability and quickest rejuvenation. I didn't believe it myself, despite years of experience doing research on yeast. My article in the signature covers this and it is covered more thoroughly in the thread referenced therein. Hope that helps.
One of the best things about this forum is the breadth of knowledge of the members. My years of laboratory research of yeast has demonstrated prompt freezing at -80C to yield the most viable and consistent samples. Often, the most optimum lab conditions are not practical for the homebrewer, thus my generic advice. Obviously, yeast is quite resilient, so we brewers are lucky to be able to use such varied techniques.
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