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Old 10-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
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I picked up a couple expired vials of White Labs WLP026 on clearance at the LHBS, but I'm not planning to use them for months, at least. Really I bought them because I'm very interested in yeast culturing and I'd like to see if I can practice with this strain.

It was suggested in this thread that I just leave the vials alone, and culture them shortly before I plan to actually use them.

But already the yeast in the vials has a mottled look to it, some light creamy, some darker creamy colored. No browns or blacks yet. It is about 5 months old.

I understand that if I make a starter, wash, and re-store, I'm running the risk of contamination. However, I am very, very clean and it seems that this would be better for the colony than just letting it continue to age.

I use erlenmeyer flasks and a stir plate for my starters. I do not have an oxygenation setup. Will propagating multiple starters without forced oxygenation make weak yeast? Thoughts otherwise?
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
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I would make the slants from the actual vial, not from a washed starter.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:10 PM   #3
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unless you're saving the wash from a starter and not making a slant. then I don't really know as I don't do that kind of thing. I make slants.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:20 PM   #4
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I'm planning to make slants, but I'm not there yet. It will be a while before I have the right equipment. So for now, washing the starter and storing in jars was the plan.

Also, I'd like to make a lot of sterile canned 1.040 wort ahead of time to make my starters easier. I've been making starters with DME, but would there be anything wrong with simply using enough 2-row to hit 1.040, with a little yeast nutrient added to the boil? I'd then sterilize/can this in a pressure canner and just crack open the jars and use them on starter day. Since 1qt is very close to 1L, this would be really really easy.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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that sounds like a great idea and would definitely work.

I need to do that! I have a ton of mason jars that would be perfect!
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cscade View Post
I'm planning to make slants, but I'm not there yet. It will be a while before I have the right equipment. So for now, washing the starter and storing in jars was the plan.

Also, I'd like to make a lot of sterile canned 1.040 wort ahead of time to make my starters easier. I've been making starters with DME, but would there be anything wrong with simply using enough 2-row to hit 1.040, with a little yeast nutrient added to the boil? I'd then sterilize/can this in a pressure canner and just crack open the jars and use them on starter day. Since 1qt is very close to 1L, this would be really really easy.
Canning enough starter wort can be a Real PITA if you have to build up a large starter. Lately i've been brewing 7 gal batches of 1.040 wort with nutrients and hops, then freezing it in one gallon bags. So far, it's worked well.

 
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:35 AM   #7
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are you brewing with the hops for storage purposes?
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
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are you brewing with the hops for storage purposes?
Not really, only to replicate the actual fermintation environment a bit more closely ( 1 ounce/ 7 gal ).

 
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:33 AM   #9
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meh. if I had enough hops. wait... I have 4 pounds.

either way, I dont hop my starters... works well.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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There seems to be a 50/50 split on this one. Although I certainly understand the potential merits of matching propagation environment to wort environment, it's still not "the same". Often times the sugar concentration is higher in real wort (many of us brew > 1.040 beers) and I would think that would have more of a "shock" impact on the yeast than presence of hops.

The reason I don't hop my starters is because the hop oils are known to coat the yeast cells and hamper their ability to reproduce. Although I suspect the effect is minimal, my goal in a starter is to grow out as many cells as possible.

I don't think there's a "right answer" though, so have at it!
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