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Old 08-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
catsh16
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Default Yeast... another silly question

OK...
so I've just taken a 2.5 year hiatus from brewing... which means the $150 I have in ingredients are now... well... old.

The main topic here is the yeast: so: its Whitelabs Belgium ale yeast... expired 2010... kept refrigerated.

On Monday night we made a yeast starter (3/4gal in 1 gal jar w/ 1/2cup malt extract)
Today Wed AM: after ~36hrs @ ~80F it is now slowly gaining activity.
my plan was to wait another day or two until the yeast appears to gain significant activity... then brew.

pps. the rest of the ingredients are impressively stable... grains still smell right, extract is a tiny bit moldy, Hops... still bitter

Seems good to go...
Does anyone think I should hold out until I find fresher yeast??? (not readily available!!)


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Old 08-02-2012, 12:00 AM   #2
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I would definitely wait until your current starter is done (I'm assuming no stir plate), and then chill it down, decant off the spent beer, and then make a bigger starter from that yeast. You likely had very few viable yeast in your vial, so even though your starter may ferment out, it probably won't have as many yeast in it as a starter made from new healthy yeast. Doing a step up will help that a lot.


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Old 08-02-2012, 12:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
I would definitely wait until your current starter is done (I'm assuming no stir plate), and then chill it down, decant off the spent beer, and then make a bigger starter from that yeast. You likely had very few viable yeast in your vial, so even though your starter may ferment out, it probably won't have as many yeast in it as a starter made from new healthy yeast. Doing a step up will help that a lot.
+1. When you cold crash and decant you can swirl and pour it into something with graduations so you can estimate how much yeast you have. You're likely to need at least 2 steps.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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OK... few more questions then...

cold crash:
>>Purpose here is to have the live yeast settle back to the bottom of the fermenter ???

Decant:
>>Purpose here is to remove the alcohol from the enviroment and supply a fresh supply of sugar???

Larger 2nd starter:
>> first starter is 3/4gal in 1gal jar (my glass options are 1gal, 5gal, and larger)... how large??... seems like maybe 2x 1 gallons ought to do it??

how do I transfer to second yeast starter??
Option A: I pour the new wort ontop of the yeast cake in the existing carboy... waiting until new wort is cooled to ~100F. (I like this option)

Option B: I struggle to try and pour (or siphon?) the yeast cake out of the existing carboy into a new one with the wort already in it. (I do NOT like this idea)

Thanks - K
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:01 AM   #5
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The reason you cold crash and decant before stepping up is just so you can use that same vessel to make your starter in, and yea, getting that alcohol out of there. You ALSO want to cold crash and decant off the fermented wort before pitching so that you're not pouring quarts and quarts of unhopped, totally oxidized, full-of-nasty-warm-fermentation-byproducts "beer" into your nice clean wort.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin
I would definitely wait until your current starter is done (I'm assuming no stir plate), and then chill it down, decant off the spent beer, and then make a bigger starter from that yeast. You likely had very few viable yeast in your vial, so even though your starter may ferment out, it probably won't have as many yeast in it as a starter made from new healthy yeast. Doing a step up will help that a lot.
good idea to step it up a bit...maybe goto a 2L starter to get a better yield of viable yeast..they are pretty darn hearty, thos yeasties, and the always know what to do !


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