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Help with starter for an old yeast (Kolsch 2565) harvest

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henrik

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Hey guys. Hoping someone can help with some issues I'm having activating some old yeast. About 9 months ago I brewed a Kolsch using Wyeast 2565 and saved the yeast from the cake using the washing method described on this post: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/

I've been storing it in the refrigerator since that point and last night I tried creating a starter with this yeast using the "how to" described on this post: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-make-yeast-starter-pictorial-76101/

That was about 12 hours ago and to the best I can tell, I'm seeing no activity in my starter container. Should I be seeing something obvious happening in there? Should there be a little krausen on this little starter batch? Is it too soon? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

MVKTR2

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How strong did you make your starter solution?

I ask as because of osmotic preassure and a bunch of other scientific sort of important stuff old yeast needs to be handled with greater care if one hopes of resurrecting it. I'm no starter expert for a number of reasons. However if dealing with an aged yeast I believe it's best to try and step up the yeast by getting it to ferment a lower gravity wort say 1.020 rather than the more standard 1.040. Then once this happens you can do a 2nd starter at 1.040 to get your yeast population up and running. Just an idea and I could be VERY wrong.

Is it on a stir plate? If so it can be hard to tell what's going on fermentation wise. Good luck.
 
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henrik

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I would guess it was about midway between 1.020 and 1.040. I used a little less than a half cup of LME (rather than DME) and 2 cups water. I had a very small boilover after which I added a touch more water to make up for the volume loss. So that probably further diluted me to somewhere around 1.030 overall, but that's only a hunch, not a precise measurement.
 

SVB

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You will probably have to build it up for a while. Look at mrmalty.com for info on viability of yeast that old.
 
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henrik

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Quick update in case anyone comes across this down the road and is interested. I decided to leave the starter out for another night. The second morning (which was this morning, approx 36 hours after making the starter) it was clearly active with a thick top layer of creamy goodness. I pitched it into today's brew (a kolsch) this afternoon and anticipate a positive result. I may update this post in a day or two to document how it worked out.
 

WoodlandBrew

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Viability should be fine. Vitality will likely be low. It will take a few days to get going.
 
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henrik

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Another quick update. 24 hours after pitching, the fermentation is highly active. I have my temp in the low 60s, so I'm not getting the kolsch yeast blow off effect, (although I have my blow off tube on just in case), but the yeast is creating that nice, fast swirling effect in the fermenter and the blow off tube is bubbling away like crazy. Glad it worked out!
 

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