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Old 03-28-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
JayC
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Default Reusing Yeast

I'm planning on following FlyGuy's instructions for starting a frozen yeast bank. My question is whether or not I can do this with yeast I'll be using for Apfelwein. I've read (somewhere) that you can't reuse yeast from making wine or from super high gravity beers, because the yeast have been significantly stressed by the high alcohol content by the time it's done. I'm planning on using White Lab's Sweet Mead Yeast, which is less alcohol tolerant than other wine/mead yeasts, so it seems especially relevant in my case. My plan is to make an apple juice starter, and to harvest yeast from that after about 48 hours of fermentation, and then chilling overnight to settle the yeast out. I figure that there won't be enough alcohol after 48 hours to stress the yeast. Does this make sense to everyone else? Has anyone else done this (with or without freezing) with any success?

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Old 03-30-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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That sounds like it should work to me. I don't know anything about the freeze tolerance of that mead yeast, but I would be surprised if they didn't freeze relatively well (most brewing yeasts do).

If you want to keep those yeast cells in good shape, make sure you aerate your starter well and add a pinch of yeast nutrient. My only concern with an apple-juice based starter is that it might not have all the nutrients required.

Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 11-09-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
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So, almost a year later. I never tried the apple juice starter. I figured that if the goal is to grow more yeast cells, rather than just to let them turn sugars into alcohol, that a balanced culture media makes more sense, i.e. a barley wort based starter. To be honest, I haven't done this yet, either. I have about a dozen half finished projects laying around. But, the way I see it, if you make a regular starter with DME, let the yeast settle, decant off all the extra fluid, and just use the leftover slurry, the little bit of remaining wort is not going to affect the taste/character of the final cider. I hope.

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