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Old 10-24-2012, 04:15 AM   #21
kh54s10
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Weigh your DME. It is much more accurate that measuring by volume which will vary by how densely the DME is packed into the measuring cup.

In addition to harvesting yeast you can freeze yeast. I have heard of people successfully using yeast over a year old. I have some that is now 8-9 months. I will be stretching the year even longer. We'll see. On one yeast I have already made 4 batches from the original vial. I estimate I use around $1-$2 DME for the starter.

Plus I now have on hand 9 different yeasts to use.

 
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #22
Burress06
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I just used yeast that I reharvested. This is the first time I have ever done this. I had two mason jars of yeast, each with about three quarters of an inch of yeat in the bottom of the jar. I decanted half of the liquid, then just swirled the yeast around to re-suspend it in the liquid and poured all of the slurry into an pumpkin ale the day before yesterday. After reading this thread I am now worried I put too much. Does it matter? Will they not just simply fall to the bottowm of the bucket? This brew will spend about three to four weeks in a secondary. The airlock was already bubbling only four hours after I pitched the yeast. The next day the airlock had gotten clogged, so I removed it and cleaned it. All is well now and it is bubbling away. So, is there such a thing as putting too much yeast in a brew? What can I do?

 
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burress06 View Post
I just used yeast that I reharvested. This is the first time I have ever done this. I had two mason jars of yeast, each with about three quarters of an inch of yeat in the bottom of the jar. I decanted half of the liquid, then just swirled the yeast around to re-suspend it in the liquid and poured all of the slurry into an pumpkin ale the day before yesterday. After reading this thread I am now worried I put too much. Does it matter? Will they not just simply fall to the bottowm of the bucket? This brew will spend about three to four weeks in a secondary. The airlock was already bubbling only four hours after I pitched the yeast. The next day the airlock had gotten clogged, so I removed it and cleaned it. All is well now and it is bubbling away. So, is there such a thing as putting too much yeast in a brew? What can I do?
Not really any harm in putting too much yeast into your brew. If anything it will eat up the sugars more quickly and probably ferment out a little quicker. I wouldn't worry so much about pitching too much yeast, but more about pitching too little.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #24
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You're fine dude, over pitching is typically not a big deal, especially with the yeast you would use for such a brew as said pumpkin ale.

That being said, normally it is good practice to still make a small to medium size starter when reusing yeast. This gets you a lot of good yeasts (like I said, over pitching not necessarily a bad thing) AND it helps eliminate off flavors from a previous batch like the BYO article mentioned earlier talks about.

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #25
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The only thing with over pitching yeast which i believe any brewer that's done it before or truly understands yeast is this, yeast is a living organism.. that being said the idea behind harvesting yeast and pitching precisely the right amount is a matter of biology. A brewer wants to maximize the health, productivity, overall condition that the yeast thrive in. By under pitching the yeast spend more fernentable sugars dividing and to up the population of yeast, this can produce of flavors because when a yeast cell divides it creates a little scar, and a yeast divides multiple times, so if there are all these scars the structure of the yeast is comprised for ideal alcohol, and co2 production. Now over pitching us a different story, by over pitching you limiting the growth of a yeast, a yeast grows the same as any living thing and has a life span , its almost as you are starving them because there are too many that need to eat , by over pitching you are crowding the yeast and that affects the quality of them. Over pitching can cause off flavors as well and effect the shelf life.... however there is no wrong way of making beer so long as what cones out on the other end is in fact beer. Everyone does it different and and all have their own methods. The fact though is, as a living organism you should take consideration as to providing the right environment for them to live.

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:51 PM   #26
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Very good input. Thank you all. I wanted to make a starter, but just didn't have the time. I will definitely be doing so from now on. I learn something new about brewing with every batch I do. Two days after I pitched the yeast my airlock got clogged because of the aggressive fermentaion. The bucket lid had swollen out from the pressure by the time I caught it and there was krausen all over the top of the bucket. Those yeast were definitely having a good time in there turning my wort into beer!

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:49 PM   #27
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Hey man thats what we are here for. Try doing a blowoff tube and you can solve the problem with your air lock clogging. That happened to me twice and i didnt catch it in time, the airlock blew off and krowsen foam was everywhere , not to mention it cracked my air lock. A blowoff tube would do you good.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #28
Burress06
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I was not at home at the time, but my wife was. I was going to have her make a blow off tube for me, but she didn't really want to take it on. I asked her to keep an eye on it and told her if the airlock became clogged to call me so I could help her get it fixed. I got home to fine it was indeed clogged and about to blow! This is the first brew I have ever done that has actually needed a blowoff tube. I was excited to see all the action going on.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:08 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticbrewing12 View Post
(being that I had always used White Labs or Wyeast that did not require a yeast starter) it seems like the benefit of saving money isn't true. You have to buy a new thing of yeast to activate your dormant yeast that you harvested and some DME to develop your yeast starter.
Wyeast and White labs packages will ferment a 5 gallon batch without a starter but neither contain the optimum cell counts for most beers. This is why starters are suggested.

You do not need any new yeast to activate your dormant yeast.

You do need some DME or wort but that costs at most a couple of dollars for your starter.

For a high gravity beer proper pitching rates may require several vials of yeast at $7 -$9 each. Hence, large savings by making starters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Burress06 View Post
I was not at home at the time, but my wife was. I was going to have her make a blow off tube for me, but she didn't really want to take it on. I asked her to keep an eye on it and told her if the airlock became clogged to call me so I could help her get it fixed. I got home to fine it was indeed clogged and about to blow! This is the first brew I have ever done that has actually needed a blowoff tube. I was excited to see all the action going on.
I suggest using a blow off tube at the start of every batch. You never know when a fermentation is going to go wild. It beats cleaning krausen off the ceiling. BTW I have never had the experience since I read about blow off tubes here before my second batch and use one every time.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:17 PM   #30
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What nobody is mentioning here is that you don't need to make a starter with harvested yeast if you have enough and it's fresh enough. That not only saves you money, but it saves you time if you don't feel like making a starter. MrMalty.com has a "repitch from slurry" tool that will help you.

Thin slurry is yeast you just harvested that hasn't settled out for a week in the fridge. Thick is settled yeast. in either case the ML recommended is that of the off-white portion in your jar.

The "non-yeast %" refers to how much trub you have in the yeast. If you washed it, there isn't much at all. If you just took the whole cake, you have WAY more than 25% non-yeast. If you just took the runny, liquidy part of the cake, you have closer to the 25% non-yeast.

Of course, you save even MORE money by making a starter from your harvested yeast that you washed down into small jars, each with say 100ML of "pure" yeast in them.

Yeast can be stored for quite some time, but once it goes beyond a few months you'll see the calculator mentioned above recommend more and more yeast. At a certain point you should make a starter and see how much you get from that. Plan ahead with very old yeast.
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