Drying yeast

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AntDoctor

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Interesting, interesting! Also uh, why did you add it to flour water instead of a starter?
 

bracconiere

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Interesting, interesting! Also uh, why did you add it to flour water instead of a starter?


i wanted more gluten for bubbles? more indication of fermentation..but i didn't really get any...even with the dried 10 gram addition...but when i added the baker's yeast it took off..if you want pictures i was drinking and dind't take, them, but for the cost of a few cents of electricity, and a yeast trub try it yourself. i want vale to explain why it doesn't work! i thought it would! i know freezing causes ice crystal that burst cell walls but wouldn't have thought a box fan at room temp would damge yeast? they grow on apples and stuff in the air?
 

Vale71

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i added a bit of baker's yeast to it, and it proofed. so to me that prooves vale right...but i want more info why. i know freezeing cause ice crystal to punchture cell wals, but i'm not sure why room temp drying would ruin viability?
The drying process damages the cell membrane. Since the cell membrane (and its transport mechanisms) is the cell's interface to the outside world this results in a huge decrease of viability. Only by adding preservatives (mostly polysaccharides) to the cell prior to drying it has there been limited success in drying yeast without killing off most of the cells. The result is limited because each strain reacts differently to the process and only a limited number of strains give acceptable results. Lager yeasts have proven to be the most difficult and only recently has it become possible to succesfully dry lager yeasts. This is the reason why the available selection of dry yeasts is rather limited compared to liquid yeast. It's not that yeast manufacturers are lazy, it's just that many strains do not give acceptable results when dried.
Then there's the whole storage issue. Dry yeast is extremely higroscopic. If the moisture level increases beyond a certain point the cell becomes alive. If it's not pitched in a suitable medium it becomes dead shortly thereafter. Vacuum packaging can help but modified atmosphere packaging is really the way to go. That's the reason why you should always use a whole packet of dry yeast once opened.
All of the above is beyond the reach of most homebrewers. Acquiring the equipment and the chemiclas to perform that at home might be possible but would be insanely expensive or in other words simply not worth it.
 

Syke

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You keep on saying stuff like this, but have you or anyone you know even tested it? Where are you getting your 99% number? I think if you actually had any knowledge or experience in the matter, you'd have mentioned something by now, lol. It seems like your whole argument is: "Well if it's not a lucrative commercial and fully industrialized process, it must ever work!" If you HAVE any insights based on experience, you should share that instead of coming across as a curmudgeon.

Here's an actual test. 50% viability at 6 months old dry.

 

Vale71

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And what about something else than Kveik? The impression that for many homebrewers there exists nothing but Kveik becomes stronger and stronger... :rolleyes:
 

Vale71

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LOL i thought it was vegemite?
Vegemite is the Aussie knock-off. Marmite is the original British product. Legend has it that it was invented as a way of disposing of old yeast that breweries had to pay to properly dispose of. IMHO they both taste equally disgusting... :p
 

bracconiere

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did you put any sugar in there?


after it didn't proof at first i did add some sugar to see if that would get it to take off, still a no go. but after the hour or so, i added baker's yeast and within a minute it was foamy.


this expirement i did was done with repitched wine yeast i've been repitching in beer for a few months. but i know if i pitch the liquid version it would have proofed.


(and like i said the reason i've never really tried before, besides for nutrional reasons, is out of 2 cups of yeast cake i got 20 grams of dried unviable yeast. and 20 grams of yeast just really doesn't look like much. ;))
 

bracconiere

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i will bow out with the statement, it's really not a hard thing to try for yourself. or expensive. you saw how i dried it, next time you brew just spread the yeast on a pan and put a box fan over it. it dried my yeast in just a couple hours. but allass the yeast was dead :(
 

cmac62

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i will bow out with the statement, it's really not a hard thing to try for yourself. or expensive. you saw how i dried it, next time you brew just spread the yeast on a pan and put a box fan over it. it dried my yeast in just a couple hours. but allass the yeast was dead :(
Supposedly it does work with kveik yeast, but I have not yet tried it. Liquid is so easy to keep in jars in the fridge.
 

AntDoctor

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Here's an actual test. 50% viability at 6 months old dry.


Hell yeah! This **** is GREAT! I adore seeing these kinds of thoughtful experiments. Kudos man, it really is great. Also the trendline on your graph? Frikkin crazy linear. Like the R-squared on that puppy must be incredibly high.
 
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Syke

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And what about something else than Kveik? The impression that for many homebrewers there exists nothing but Kveik becomes stronger and stronger... :rolleyes:

Lots of people have dried ale yeasts. Kveik is the only example I could find with an actual cell count test. I was personally successful drying WLP090. Kveik is a Beer 1 yeast, so it's likely many of the US/UK/Bel/Ger yeasts can be dried.
 

cmac62

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Here's an actual test. 50% viability at 6 months old dry.

To think it could even be better than his #s if you make a 1040 low hopped starter beer and save all the yeast from that you could have Kveik for years. I'm going to have to break out the dehydrator. I have a 1060 beer on kveik in the fermentor and will be kegging it this weekend. :ban:
 

AntDoctor

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What about NOT freezing it? Even though it's dry, I'm worried that condensation etc might form ice crystals... Also potentially using a silica packet to keep things dry might be useful.
 

The Mad Brewer

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I'm going to try a English ale yeast in a couple of weeks.
Yes I can buy yeast and its pretty cheap and I prefer to support my local brew shop. That said i still want to try it. I personally fall somewhere between prepper and Homesteader.
If things go real bad in the world and the home side of brewing is brought to a halt, if the big guys are the only ones with Hops, yeast, grains and we have to buy their swill, then those who learned how to grow hops and barley and save yeast will still be making home brew.
Its funny because I was watching a show on the ones who won't make it thru a major crisis and they pointed out if you like to drink alcoholic drinks you may not find it.
Side note to that, being able ferment drinks and food is a great way to preserve food and drink.

So that's what started me down the road to self sufficiency. I want to just know I can grow hops and grain, still malt, roast mash and boil and have yeasts that's dry (if there's no electricity, then keeping liquid yeast may be a problem).
So my latest fun explement-hobby is to be able brew even when the world is falling down.

If it doesn't work then that's OK, I go to plan B
 

cmac62

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FYI update. I have several kveik strains dried in the freezer. I've only used it one time and it did work, but not my favorite. I'll keep them there for one offs or the occasional farm house ale. :mug:
 

Gilbert Spinning Horse

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I used a kveik that I dried 3 years ago last weekend in a pale ale (1 gram). Making a vitality starter and it took off within 2 hours. After about 8 hours it was going like mad. Day three and it has slowed right down.
 

AntDoctor

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Yeah, I made a gallon batch using the kveik that I had dried in 2020 (I didn't refrigerate it). I was away in temporary housing for the summer, and I was planning on using the yeast cake from this gallon for future home-away-from-home brews (essentially a 1 gallon starter that I could drink). However, I checked on it the next day, but there was no real airlock activity. In fact, there wasn't any for the next week! I was so worried, I put it in the fridge until I could get more yeast to pitch.

When I finally did, I took it out of the fridge and the gallon bucket sloshed around a bit, giving me a view of the bottom: there was a massive yeast cake. I hadn't taken a hydrometer reading, and it had f***ing finished fermentation after THE FIRST NIGHT.

Even dried and kept at ambient temperatures in a leaky ziplock bag for half a year, this badass yeast chewed through a gallon of work in 12 hours. Haters gonna hate, but kveik is clearly bred to do this.

(Also, the beer was absolutely great too!)
 

The_Antikveik

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It’s true, dried yeast has a long shelf-life. Just the other day I made a lovely loaf of bread using dried baker’s yeast that was almost 2 years passed its best before date. Admittedly, it had been stored (lost) cool at the back of our fridge. Lovely loaf, though.
 

GrowleyMonster

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How about vacuum drying? At lower than standard atmospheric pressure, water will evaporate much more quickly. That would beat blowing insanitary air on the yeast to be dried, wouldn't it? Or a closed cycle, blowing warm air on the yeast, then chilling and filtering the air to dehumidify, then rewarm it and blow it on the yeast all over again? Closed loop, no outside air added? Maybe UV sterilization of the air somewhere in the cycle? I bet you could make a very pure product, if the yeast survives.
 

AntDoctor

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How about vacuum drying? At lower than standard atmospheric pressure, water will evaporate much more quickly. That would beat blowing insanitary air on the yeast to be dried, wouldn't it? Or a closed cycle, blowing warm air on the yeast, then chilling and filtering the air to dehumidify, then rewarm it and blow it on the yeast all over again? Closed loop, no outside air added? Maybe UV sterilization of the air somewhere in the cycle? I bet you could make a very pure product, if the yeast survives.

Yeah, this seems plausible, but also a ****-ton of work. I think using some sort of laminar flow hood (even if it's DIY) would be a good enough middle ground. Essentially you just need a box with a fan blowing through a HEPA filter on one side and an open side opposite from it.
 

The Mad Brewer

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I added my air dried ale yeast to a sampling stout wort I just made and its bubbling away. That was all I had of my test yeast, but at least its a viable option if all else is gone. Im gonna save my yeast from the Full batch of stout when i rack the 1st time and save that. THen I will try the expierment in 6 months to see if its still works.
 

cmac62

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I added my air dried ale yeast to a sampling stout wort I just made and its bubbling away. That was all I had of my test yeast, but at least its a viable option if all else is gone. Im gonna save my yeast from the Full batch of stout when i rack the 1st time and save that. THen I will try the expierment in 6 months to see if its still works.
You may want to make a lighter colored beer if you plan on saving the yeast. If you want to use the yeast for light colored beers you will change the color of the beer. :mug:
 

The Mad Brewer

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You may want to make a lighter colored beer if you plan on saving the yeast. If you want to use the yeast for light colored beers you will change the color of the beer. :mug:
More of test to see if I can save yeast, incase things get real bad and I cant find any. Then i have some in a pinch, and at that point if the world is falling down around me , having any old ale will be OK .:bigmug:
 

AntDoctor

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Kinda like “the Worlds end movie”

Is it weird that I have a similar, irrational desire to be able to make beer in the apocalypse? I want to know that I could sustainably brew in super-primitive scenarios where all the supply chains have totally failed, but I doubt that will ever actually happen.
It's why I have an instinctive dislike of using powdered amylase enzymes or pre-made yeast nutrients or other factory-produced chemicals (like Fermcap, or Opti-Red in winemaking). Like, I'll always have access to these things, but I weirdly feel guilty when I use them...
 

cmac62

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More of test to see if I can save yeast, incase things get real bad and I cant find any. Then i have some in a pinch, and at that point if the world is falling down around me , having any old ale will be OK .:bigmug:
You can always collect wild yeast and experiment with individual colonies to find the best beer maker. :mug:
 
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