Best way to store yeast / how long?

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bwible

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I finally got my hands on some Wyeast 2035 PC American Lager yeast that I have been after for a couple years. Its a great strain for pre-prohibition lagers. This is a limited edition yeast that is not always available. Wyeast finally made it available for a limited time earlier this year.

I just brewed my pre-pro lager and its now out of the primary and lagering. I wasn’t able to keep any yeast from the primary because I do not have a dedicated 50 degree fermentation space where I will be able to ferment another lager at 50 degrees anytime soon. I use my kegerator for fermenting and it can only be either 50 degrees for doing the primary or 35 degrees for lagering/serving - can’t do both obviously.

I would like to save some of this yeast since its limited availability. I did not save it out of the primary but there will be yeast in the secondary. I just put it up to lager and plan to lager it for a month, so around May 15 I will keg this beer.

I don’t have slants and agar and I’m not sure I want to get into all that. I’ve read about people saving yeast in sterile water. So when I keg this around the middle of May can I save some yeast out of the secondary and put it in a small mason jar under sterile (pre-boiled and cooled) water in the fridge? How long will it last? I don’t plan to probably brew with this again before August.

Just a shame to not be able to get this yeast on a regular basis. There’s no real equivalent. Closest I can tell is either WLP840 or Wyeast 2124. I suppose I could always use 34/70 but I’m not sure its the same. I’d like to save some of this yeast but don’t bank yeast.

Thanks
 
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bwible

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I was also thinking maybe I could bottle a 6 pack and then there would be yeast in each bottle to culture up later. Again, not sure how long those would last?
 

McMullan

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Glycerol replaces water molecules in and around the cells (at low density) and reduces ice crystal formation. Best to incubate glycerol preps before freezing slowly, so H2O molecules get replaced. There is still going to be significant loss of viability, though. Direct pitching of thawed slurry is an ugly practice. Take a tiny sample and culture in about 10ml sterile wort. Then step up until pitching rate is reached. In an ideal world, some of the first 10ml culture is streaked on an agar plate so healthy colonies can be selected for a second 10ml culture proper, which is slanted or stepped up. I think it's easier to buy quality-assured brewer's yeast, tbh.
 
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bwible

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Glycerol replaces water molecules in and around the cells (at low density) and reduces ice crystal formation. Best to incubate glycerol preps before freezing slowly, so H2O molecules get replaced. There is still going to be significant loss of viability, though. Direct pitching of thawed slurry is an ugly practice. Take a tiny sample and culture in about 10ml sterile wort. Then step up until pitching rate is reached. In an ideal world, some of the first 10ml culture is streaked on an agar plate so healthy colonies can be selected for a second 10ml culture proper, which is slanted or stepped up. I think it's easier to buy quality-assured brewer's yeast, tbh.
I don’t have a problem with buying the yeast, if I could. This one is a limited release strain they only release once every few years. I’ve been waiting for it for years and now that I have it I’d like to be able to use it a few times until they release it again.
 

McMullan

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I don’t have a problem with buying the yeast, if I could. This one is a limited release strain they only release once every few years. I’ve been waiting for it for years and now that I have it I’d like to be able to use it a few times until they release it again.
In that case, I'd recommend managing a slant or two. Call it two. One for brewing and one backup. Reslant the backup every 6 months or so. If you do freeze some, add a little sterile wort into the mix, a little 'trade secret' 👈
 
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bwible

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So I ordered these:


25 vials for $16, and I like that they come with a rack. Essentially disposable. I’ll sanitize them with either star san or iodophor, leaning toward iodophor because it can go to hospital standards at the right concentration. They’re disposable so I don’t care if they discolor or stain from iodine.

I plan to make up 5 or 6 with this yeast. So they are saying fill with equal parts yeast and 25% glycerine/water mix. I imagine you have to leave some space. Refrigerate for a couple days then they can be frozen.

Makes me wonder - what does White Labs do when they fill their tubes or what does Wyeast do when they fill their smack packs? I have used Wyeast smack packs that were well over a year old and never had one fail to swell up.
 

RealRayDizzle

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When I am preparing packets of Lutra, I create a large starter, then once done divide up into breastmilk bags. They are pre sterilized, double zippered, and fit in all sorts of places in the fridge.
Kept for months with no issues. For extreme long term, I guess you could treat it like bread starter and every few months use 1 pack to make a starter to refresh supply.
20210520_151916.jpg
 

friarsmith

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I finally got my hands on some Wyeast 2035 PC American Lager yeast that I have been after for a couple years. Its a great strain for pre-prohibition lagers. This is a limited edition yeast that is not always available. Wyeast finally made it available for a limited time earlier this year.

I just brewed my pre-pro lager and its now out of the primary and lagering. I wasn’t able to keep any yeast from the primary because I do not have a dedicated 50 degree fermentation space where I will be able to ferment another lager at 50 degrees anytime soon. I use my kegerator for fermenting and it can only be either 50 degrees for doing the primary or 35 degrees for lagering/serving - can’t do both obviously.

I would like to save some of this yeast since its limited availability. I did not save it out of the primary but there will be yeast in the secondary. I just put it up to lager and plan to lager it for a month, so around May 15 I will keg this beer.

I don’t have slants and agar and I’m not sure I want to get into all that. I’ve read about people saving yeast in sterile water. So when I keg this around the middle of May can I save some yeast out of the secondary and put it in a small mason jar under sterile (pre-boiled and cooled) water in the fridge? How long will it last? I don’t plan to probably brew with this again before August.

Just a shame to not be able to get this yeast on a regular basis. There’s no real equivalent. Closest I can tell is either WLP840 or Wyeast 2124. I suppose I could always use 34/70 but I’m not sure its the same. I’d like to save some of this yeast but don’t bank yeast.

Thanks
So glad I stumbled across this post, because I wasn’t aware that WY2035 was released again, and the yeast bank article later in the thread was really helpful.

I love WY2035. I ordered a few packs and plan to bank it. I just finished a big brewing cycle and dont plan to brew again until August or so. And if WY releases the Rocky Mtn strain again, that one is going in the bank for sure!
 
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bwible

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I never tried the Rocky Mountain. That and the 2272 North American Lager are others I would like to try.

I always thought they give you clues to the yeast origin in the name. Gee, “Rocky Mountain” wouldn’t be Coors would it? “North American” makes me think of Molson, which claims to be North America’s oldest brewery. Though thats not what the conventional wisdom out there says.
 

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It is my understanding that WY2272 approximates WLP840 and the Christian Schmidt strain which is used in a lot of macros.

I just so happened to make my best ever Banquet clone with the Rocky Mtn strain a few years back, so wink wink nudge nudge 😎

2035 makes a great Grain Belt clone and really does seem to work well for pre-pro’s as WY claims. With the right grist and mash, it produces an almost “creamy/silky” beer to support the higher hops and gravity

I’ve made several split-ferm batches with these “American” strains over the years. They’re all unique and I cant honestly say I prefer one over the others. I want to brew with them all!

Interesting thread here.

 
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