Bell's yeast harvesting from my own culture

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dilbone

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I've searched but haven't found an answer to this question.

I cultured from the dregs of 2 two hearted ale bottles and got a nice starter. I just brewed a two hearted ale clone and plan to harvest from it. Do you all top crop or bottom crop from your existing Bell's strain??
The reason I ask it that I may not be home during peak fermentation with the Thanksgiving holiday and being out of town. I may have no other choice than to bottom crop this batch. Is one method preferred to keep the Bell's characteristics intact for as long as possible??

Thanks in advance
 

rtstrider

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Actually neither. I built up the culture to 2L 1.040 starter and banked it up in the freezer. Building up from the frozen yeast is the fastest ferment I’ve had with Bells yeast to date. I’ve tried saving slurry from over pitching and such. Wouldn’t recommend. Funny enough I’ll be kegging that beer this weekend! Others may have had better experience though. Good luck!
 
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dilbone

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Great idea but it's too late for that. I used what slurry I had in this beer so I'll have to either re-harvest from bottles of amber or 2H or I'll have to harvest from this batch of beer. I might top crop if I get back home before it's too late otherwise I'll bottom crop some and build it up after some rinsing. I may build it up enough then to freeze little starter samples.
 
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dilbone

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Actually neither. I built up the culture to 2L 1.040 starter and banked it up in the freezer. Building up from the frozen yeast is the fastest ferment I’ve had with Bells yeast to date. I’ve tried saving slurry from over pitching and such. Wouldn’t recommend. Funny enough I’ll be kegging that beer this weekend! Others may have had better experience though. Good luck!
What is your process for freezing your large starter?
 

rtstrider

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What is your process for freezing your large starter?
In this case I'd build the yeast up to a 2 liter 1.040 starter. I'd use 1.5L of the slurry on a low OG brew, say 5 gallons 1.040, then save the other half liter. The half liter would go in the fridge until the yeast settled out (usually 24-48 hours). From there the wort is mostly decanted off the yeast. I'll then swirl up the yeast that's left behind. This will be a very concentrated yeast slurry. That will go into 15ml tubes. 6ml of the slurry is added, then 6ml of 70% distilled water and 30% glycerin is added. The tubes are capped, shaken up really good, then go into a fridge to cool off for 48 hours or so. From there I'll shake them up one last time then put them in an insulated lunch box in the chest freezer. I'll get somewhere in the ball park of 10 15ml tubes this way.

These are the lunch boxes that are used


Canning jars


Test tubes


Test Tube Stand


Pipettes



What I do for the glycerin is mix up 140ml distilled water and 60ml glycerin. This does into two very small canning jars, those jars are added to a hot water bath and boiled for 10 min. They're removed and allowed to cool, form a vacuum on the lids, and then it's ready to go when my slurry is ready to freeze.
 
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