Brewing high abv beers and yeast slurry. Saving $$ on yeast.

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Panderson1

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The 2 beers that we are trying to brew each week (alternating weeks) are both around 1.070 post boil.

Am I correct that it's not good to harvest the yeast (from a conical) with that high abv?

These are 10 gallon batches so It's gonna get pricey ordering 4 packs of WLP001 for each brew. I make 2000ml starters

Should I be trying to build them up from 1 pack? I don't know much about building up yeast. Mabye I need a bigher flask? I only have a 2000ml

Trying to save $$$

I'm wondering if anyone else is in the same boat..........
 

IslandLizard

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I reuse yeast from 1.060 ales, never had a problem with it. 1.070 is only a tad higher, I don't see it being much of a stretch.

Instead of making large starters you can brew 5 gallons of a lower gravity beer using 1 pack (or a small starter, rather) and harvest the yeast cake from that. That should be enough for a 10 gallon pitch, with some to spare for another batch of small beer. Plan ahead.

Yes, I make starters from 1 single pack, multiple rounds if needed.
If 10 gallon batches are your base, you may want to get a larger (5 liter) flask or a 2nd stir plate plus a 2, 3, or 5 liter flask. Some stir plates won't be able to spin a 4-5 liter starter very well, so double check.

Play around with this calculator to see what is needed and how it would work for you.
BrewUnited's Yeast Calculator

You need about 508 billion cells for that 1.070 batch (10.5 gallon).
Easy to grow from 1 pack in a 3 liter starter, 520 billion cells, if the pack has 100% viability.
It being a PurePitch pack, even if it's 2-3 months old, viability will still be around 80%. That same 3 liter starter will yield 504 billion cells. Close enough. ;)
 

CascadesBrewer

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I agree with the info from @IslandLizard.

I have harvested yeast from beers in the 1.065 and 1.070 range and did not see any issues.

Imperial Yeast might be worth looking into. They claim 200B cells per pack, and one pack should be cheaper than 2 packs of White Labs or Wyeast. You would still need to build it up for your batch, but it might be a better starting place.

Are you using a stir plate? The yeast calculators show you get a lot more cell growth with a stir plate.
 
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Panderson1

Panderson1

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Yeah i made a cigar box stir plate but it sucks. I think I'm gonna pull the trigger and order a nice one from morebeer and 5L flask. Thanks
 

Vale71

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Am I correct that it's not good to harvest the yeast (from a conical) with that high abv?
Since it's a conical you don't have to wait until fermentation is finished to start harvesting yeast. Your beer won't have that high ABV until fermentation is done, so any yeast you collect when it's half way there won't have been overly stressed by fermentation conditions.
 

IslandLizard

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order a nice one from morebeer
I'd check around a bit more, those Maelstroms MB sells may not deliver all they promise, from what I've read...

I use 2 (decommissioned) orbital lab shakers. They work fine for me, and beat stirrers. One loses speed sometimes, I can live with it, now I know.
 

Dr_Jeff

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Overbuild your starters, and save some of that to build your new starters, it takes a bit more work, but you don't have to buy new yeast each time. You are using yeast that hasn't gone through a fermentation of making beer. So if you are careful with you sanitation, you can do it. You will still be using "first generation" yeast each time, technically.
 

Calder

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Just harvest the yeast and re-use. 1.070 is highish, but should not be a problem. If you are concerned limit the number of re-uses to about 5.

If you re-use the yeast within a couple of weeks, it is not necessary to make a starter, but only use about a third of what you harvest, otherwise you will be seriously over-pitching and the yeast will not reproduce as much as with a standard pitch. This means the 'old' yeast will have to do all the heavy lifting. You might get away with it for 1 re-pitch, but will start to see problems if you continue to do it.

I'm not sure about earlier advice about harvesting the yeast early (before FG has been reached). If you do this, you will be selecting the yeast that drop out early; you are selecting a characteristic that you probably do not desire (drop out early) and it may affect the end result after a couple of generations.
 

DuncB

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Could try a different yeast. I've been pressure fermenting using Opsaug kveik and just tossing in a few flakes ( about 6cm x 6cm area ) that I dried out. No starter, no estery problems used for pilsners, stout and bitter.
Just putting it out there.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Opsaug kveik and just tossing in a few flakes
Me: I spent all last week studying Chris White's "Yeast" book, I built my own stir plate, I picked up a 6L flask, I spent 4 hours over the weekend canning up wort for starters, I plugged all my numbers into a yeast calculator, and my fermentation chamber is cooling now.

Kveik: Why? ;)
 

madscientist451

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Yeah i made a cigar box stir plate but it sucks. I think I'm gonna pull the trigger and order a nice one from morebeer and 5L flask. Thanks
I've been making starters for years with a 1/2 gallon jug an airlock and no stir plate, it works just fine. I just give it a swirl every now and then.
The stir plate/flask thing is an upgrade, but I've been doing OK without. I've been using some Omega yeast lately and I just chuck it in with no starter.
Saving yeast from a 1.070 beer should be fine.
 

tyrub42

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Hate to be 'that guy' but if money is a concern and you're using 001, is there any reason you wouldn't just use US05? They're so similar and 05 behaves itself as well or better than 001 in my experience.
 

odie

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I'm pretty sure I've re-pitched yeast well above the 1.070 range for some Belgians and stouts...
 
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Panderson1

Panderson1

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Hate to be 'that guy' but if money is a concern and you're using 001, is there any reason you wouldn't just use US05? They're so similar and 05 behaves itself as well or better than 001 in my experience.
How many dry packs would you say for an 11 gallon (into fermenter) batch around 1.070?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Hate to be 'that guy' but if money is a concern and you're using 001, is there any reason you wouldn't just use US05? They're so similar and 05 behaves itself as well or better than 001 in my experience.
I think I am going to swap over to dry yeast for my Imperial Stouts (also thinking of trying a Barleywine). Otherwise I find I am having to plan around with brewing a beer to harvest yeast or mess with a big starter. Throwing 2 packs of dry yeast for $10-12 just seems so much easier. Given the quality and selection of dry yeast, I have thought about just swapping over to dry yeast and forgetting about harvesting yeast or yeast starters.
 

kevin58

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Yeah i made a cigar box stir plate but it sucks. I think I'm gonna pull the trigger and order a nice one from morebeer and 5L flask. Thanks
Skip the stir plate an move up to the SNS (Shaken Not Stirred) starter. Denny and Drew posted this about 6 years ago and after reading it my stir plate has been sitting unused and gathering dust.

Old Dog...New Tricks | Experimental Homebrewing
 

tyrub42

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How many dry packs would you say for an 11 gallon (into fermenter) batch around 1.070?
3 packs of s05 is optimal, but honestly I would just use two, rehydrated properly, as it's not that much of an underpitch if you go by the 200bil-per-packet number (there's some disagreement there, but I use that number for s05 calculations). Cheap and easy, nice clean beer, and no extra fuss 🍻🍻🍻
 

IslandLizard

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Throwing 2 packs of dry yeast for $10-12
The (retail) price of the little sachets of dry yeast has always boggled my mind.

Now on the other hand, I have no trouble shelling out a few extra bucks for liquid yeast, plus the DME and time it takes to make starters from it... :drunk:
 

IslandLizard

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CascadesBrewer

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Skip the stir plate an move up to the SNS (Shaken Not Stirred) starter. Denny and Drew posted this about 6 years ago and after reading it my stir plate has been sitting unused and gathering dust.
This has become my general method when I need to make a starter...at least for 5 gal batches up to around 1.070. I picked up a 1 gallon jar/fermenter at my local shop for under $10. Generally the night before brew day I will make up a starter of about 24 oz / 700 ml. It works well for me since I often don't plan out my brew days very far in advance. There seems to be some solid science behind pitching active yeast at high krausen vs crashing and decanting a larger starter, though both seem to work fine.
 
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Panderson1

Panderson1

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I can harvest the US05 from the conical and it would be 2nd generation? I don't know anything about dry yeast.
 

deuc224

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3 packs of s05 is optimal, but honestly I would just use two, rehydrated properly, as it's not that much of an underpitch if you go by the 200bil-per-packet number (there's some disagreement there, but I use that number for s05 calculations). Cheap and easy, nice clean beer, and no extra fuss 🍻🍻🍻
You know i was all against this until i realized that beer sits in the fermenter unbothered and not spinning and still eats up all the sugars. Made me rethink the stir plate idea.
 

tyrub42

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Being located in Taiwan, any time I want liquid, I have to either order it weeks/months in advance until my supplier get enough people together for a bulk order, or rely on a local yeast lab which has been inconsistent. I definitely get jealous of the availability of liquid in the US, but it is what it is.

On a side note, I love dry American yeasts (05, Nottingham) but haven't enjoyed any English dry strains until recently. Made a brown ale with Verdant IPA yeast and it tastes just like London iii. I made a thread about it if anyone is interested. Great for NEIPA and English styles. Unfortunately it's also almost as expensive as London iii so might be less useful if you have easy access to liquid
 

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