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Old 07-24-2011, 11:39 AM   #1
esarkipato
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I'm hoping to ferment a braggot (raspberry brown ale with 50-60% honey) with san fransisco lager yeast. It worked really well for me in the past, and I washed and preserved about 1 cup of the yeast from my last batch a few months ago. It's been in a sterilized container in the fridge since then.

Do I need to make a starter for this? Or can I bring the dormant yeast up to fermenting temp and pitch into the wort?

Also please refrain from commenting on the ability of a lager yeast to ferment honey .... that's a whole 'nuther discussion!


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Old 07-24-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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If it's been a few months, your viability is probably pretty low. Without staining the yeast there's no way to know for sure. If you only have 1 cup of yeast, I doubt you have enough to properly ferment the new batch. I'd do a stepped starter to see if you can revive it, if you want to. 100ml > 1L > 2L.

It'd probably be easier, safer, and (if you have to use malt extract or honey) more cost effective to just buy more yeast.


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Old 07-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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"It'd probably be easier, safer, and (if you have to use malt extract or honey) more cost effective to just buy more yeast."

With something big like you are making you should always make the starter, so going out and buying more yeast that you will also have to make a starter for will not save you money or time. Your yeast should be fine and by making the starter you will be able to tell if there is anything wrong with it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Yea I should really do better about making starters. Really. But when I get the chance to brew, I just gotta do it. I decided to go ahead and pitch the decanted yeast, but I'll wait to add the honey until it really gets going. Thanks guys.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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For the sake of your beer, I hope I'm wrong. Keep us posted on how it goes.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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Right, so the san fran yeast took about 24 hours to get moving, which scared me right good. But at that point it took off, and the aromas from the ferment were great. So, after another day I added my 5 lbs honey and some nutrient/energizer, and I'll be d*mned if that yeast didn't already eat through the honey too in just one week!! Pretty incredible. I was probably a little beyond the upper fermentation range of temperatures for even this versatile yeast, but it appears no harm done. Success, so far anyway.


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