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Carrying over yeast

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Gilbey

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I know I saw a thread somewhere on this topic, but I cannot find it now...

What are some techniques for carrying over yeast from one batch to another? In the past I have done it this way, but I am not sure it's the best way;

When I racked into my secondary I pulled some of the drub from the bottom of the primary and filled it about half way into a 22 ounce sanitized bottle and capped it with a sanitized cap. I stored it in the fridge for up to a couple weeks (not sure if I could store it longer, but that is the longest I stored it). A day or so before I was ready to brew I would make a starter by pouring off the clear beer on top of the bottle and then adding the remains to 3/4 cup of LME or DME that had been boiled for 15 minutes with a quart of water and cooled to 70F. This all went into a sanitized large wine bottle. I slapped a lock on the bottle and let it go until ready to pitch.

Does this sound logical? By re-using yeast am I asking for contamination problems? And lastly, how will carrying over yeast like this change the characteristics of the yeast?

I am full of questions.....sorry ;-) .

Gilbey
 

uglygoat

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a few guys here do that, bottle the yeast, keeping everything sanitary that the yeast will come into contact with, and flaming the lips of the bottles. i recall some posting they've kept yeast up to a year? could be wrong though.

a few others here just drop a new batch of fresh wort atop the old yeast cake from a batch they just racked from the primary. you don't need a starter to do this, but you have to do it immediately after you rack off the yeast cake. in other words, you really shouldn't let the yeast cake sit there in the primary without new beer atop it. i do this, but no more than three times.
 

Rhoobarb

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t1master said:
...a few others here just drop a new batch of fresh wort atop the old yeast cake from a batch they just racked from the primary.
...you have to do it immediately after you rack off the yeast cake...
I have done this 3-4 times now. The last batch I did, I actually had to wait nearly a week before I could brew a new batch and rack it onto the old cake in my primary. I simply left about a half-inch of the previous batch on top of the old yeast cake and placed a sanitized airlock on it. When it was time to rack the new batch, I drained that half-inch from the previous batch and added the new batch. The new batch was a Russian Imperial Stout. I racked it to secondary last Friday night and took a sample for my SG reading.

Maybe I got lucky, but I tasted it and it was very good. I happened to be having a Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout at the time. The two tasted nearly identical, except mine has a more chocolate flavor because I actually used real chocolate powder in the boil!
 

andre the giant

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I currently have several batches of yeast in the fridge. There's some Belgian Wit yeast, Irish Ale and Scottish Ale in there. I got them the exact same way you described. I just poured the yeast cake into bottles and capped them, (after proper sanitization of course.) I'm planning on using the Scottish and Irish ale yeasts soon, but I don't have any plans for the Wit yeast yet. Heck, If I don't use it, it's not like I've wasted money or anything. I'm taking a bit of time off from brewing, but here in a few weeks, I'll be using some of that yeast. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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I've done a bit of research on this and it is my conclusion that I will save my yeast for 8 months in the fridge in the fashion you have described. This is just a comfortable ammount of time based on what I have read and I don't feel that I am stretching it any with this number. Your technique sounds fine. I have done this probly four times now and have had no problem. Flaming the bottle seems to be something I need to work on. I have tried to swab the tip with vodka and then ignite it but that doesn't ever seem to flame up. Honest truth... the first few times I did it, I just wiped it down with Iodophor and let it dry for a minute and I have not had any contamination issues with those batches. Another thing you eluded to was how many times to reuse... well with my brewing practices, reading up on the subject and giving myself a margin of safety, I plan on using my yeast no more than three generations. This will still give me plenty considering I get about three bottles of yeast (1/2 of 12 oz bottle is what I go with) from a batch. This yields 39 batches so I'm quite positive it will be tossed due to age before I ever run out or get to the third generation on supply.
 

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