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Old 03-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
MrSmug
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Default Yeast questions

Some newb yeast questions:

  1. What does it mean when I read about starting a pack/creating a starter?
  2. When pitching liquid yeast is it necessary to shake it up before hand?
  3. Is liquid yeast always generally better than dry?
  4. How and why would someone want to resuse yeast?
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #2
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1) I assume starting a pack means breaking the nutrient pack inside a Smack Pack. This essentially wakes the yeast back up. Making a starter is the process of getting the yeast active and replicating to the proper pitch count before you toss it in a beer. It's considered good practice to use a starter when using liquid yeast to avoid underpitching.

2) It's required to shake the vial of liquid yeast to get the yeast back into suspension, but I'd advise you to make a starter if using liquid yeast. Tutorial for making a starter: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-...ctorial-76101/

3) Not really. It offers much more flexibility than dry yeast, but you can make spectacular beer with dry yeast.

4) Here is a how to for yeast washing. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yea...strated-41768/
People tend to save and reuse yeast because liquid yeast is pricey (like 7 bucks a vial/smack pack) and it's easy to wash it and make a starter for a new beer.

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Old 03-06-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
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Re-use yeast to save money.

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Old 03-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddybrew View Post
Re-use yeast to save money.
How long can you keep yeast for?
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
How long can you keep yeast for?
I read a story a few months ago about scientists that found a colony of 45,000,000 year-old yeast within the stomach of a bug encased in amber. Of course, what better way to see if the yeast were still viable than to brew beer with them.

So the scientists brewed a pale ale with yeast that had been dormant for 45,000,000 years, and the suckers woke right up, reproduced a new healthy colony, and fermented the brew.

So I'd say the viable shelf life of yeast is at least 45,000,000 years, but obviously, fresher yeast = better beer.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:25 PM   #6
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So do most homebrewers create and reuse there own yeast?

Is it safe to freeze?

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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I think it really depends on how much you brew. I brew maybe once a month and I never bother saving yeast as it isn't going to be a huge cost savings for me. If you end up brewing two or three times a month, the savings add up in a hurry.

I'm fairly certain you don't want to freeze it as it can cause the cells to burst (unless you use something like glycerol).

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
I read a story a few months ago about scientists that found a colony of 45,000,000 year-old yeast within the stomach of a bug encased in amber. Of course, what better way to see if the yeast were still viable than to brew beer with them.

So the scientists brewed a pale ale with yeast that had been dormant for 45,000,000 years, and the suckers woke right up, reproduced a new healthy colony, and fermented the brew.

So I'd say the viable shelf life of yeast is at least 45,000,000 years, but obviously, fresher yeast = better beer.
45,000,000 year old yeast! That must be the "macro" brewers secret!
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