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Old 01-11-2007, 04:34 AM   #1
weekendBrewer
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Default Yeast - How many times can it be reused

Greetings All,

I'm new to brewing and like the idea of reusing/storing the yeast cakes from my primary. My question is: How many times can it be reused. The reason I ask is because I saw a show on the History? channel about brewing and the large commercial brewery they were documenting (Miller I think) said they reuse their yeast batches 3 times and then dump them out and start again. The reasoning was because after 3 uses the yeast would start to change its overall flavor profile. Any thoughts?


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Old 01-11-2007, 05:15 AM   #2
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Most home brewers use the yeast up to six times....more if no off flavors result from the resuse and your sanitation practices are impeccable.

I use the smallest baby food jars they make to store my yeast and split my harvests into 4-8 jars per generation (do the math) and have had very good results. Using this method, you need to buy yeast only now and again.


Good Luck!!!



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Old 01-11-2007, 05:17 AM   #3
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I have heard that the conventional wisdom is five generations is about the max. After that and the flavor profile of the yeast will change from all the mutations. However, I don't know this from experience. I have gone to the third generation, but no further.

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Old 01-11-2007, 05:35 AM   #4
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If I get three uses I'm happy. That is what I shoot for.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:55 PM   #5
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I use 3, but I have gone to 5 without any problems.

I store my harvested yeast in baby food jars also. They stack well in the fridge. I also label them with the manufacturers number (WLP#XXX), name/style, and batch numbers I 've used them in and the batch number it came from.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I use 3, but I have gone to 5 without any problems.

I store my harvested yeast in baby food jars also. They stack well in the fridge. I also label them with the manufacturers number (WLP#XXX), name/style, and batch numbers I 've used thenm in and the batch number it came from.
Wow, you are one organized person! Just looking at your siggie, you seem to have your brews & recipes numbered, and your yeasts too... wow... I guess I need to start moving that direction if I ramp up my brewing this next year...
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniscientomar
Wow, you are one organized person! Just looking at your siggie, you seem to have your brews & recipes numbered, and your yeasts too... wow... I guess I need to start moving that direction if I ramp up my brewing this next year...
I hear that a lot, but the truth is I am not that organized...just ask my wife...

The recipes are typed up on the computer, saved on CD, printed, placed in a document protector and posted in a binder. I also update my recipe with notes when I drink a few. It let's me know if anything has gone bad or gotten better over time. Each entry is dated. I do this until the last beer is drunk. I guess you can call that organized, but it's totally by mistake.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I hear that a lot, but the truth is I am not that organized...just ask my wife...

The recipes are typed up on the computer, saved on CD, printed, placed in a document protector and posted in a binder. I also update my recipe with notes when I drink a few. It let's me know if anything has gone bad or gotten better over time. Each entry is dated. I do this until the last beer is drunk. I guess you can call that organized, but it's totally by mistake.
Wow, I'm glad my wife doesn't read these posts... she might get ideas!
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:05 AM   #9
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I've heard 10, but I guess it's all just a number. You're basically hoping against a mutation and I suspect some strains are more prone to mutate than others.

I've read anecdotal evidence of homebrewers using the same yeast ad infinitum with nary a problem.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:12 AM   #10
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What is the process to saving the yeast. Do you just put the yeast cake in the jars with a little of the beer? I have heard many time of reusing the yeast however, I have never tried.


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