I want to brew with this yeast forever

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climateboy

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Hey, all.

So, I just got the first taste of my batch of Northern Brewer's "Inn Keeper" recipe, essentially a clone of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, one of my all time favorite beers.

The beer I just brewed is now one of my favorite beers. Soft, round mouthfeel, balanced bitterness, subtle malt flavor...my eyes rolled back in my head a little. And it was my first all-grain! (Thanks, HBT!)

I used the Wyeast 1469 PC West Yorkshire Ale, which is a private collection, and the Landlord strain. Who knows when they'll release it again, if ever. I rinsed the yeast per the instructions on this site, and have a jar stored in my fridge. I will make this beer again and again. But at some point, there is a theoretical limit as to how many generations I can get out of this yeast, right?

What is the best way to keep a strain of yeast for life? I know there are sourdough starters that families have kept around for more than a hundred of years, but I don't think our friend Saccharomyces cerevisiae works that way.


Thanks,

CB
 

flyangler18

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Your best option is to either freeze w/ glycerin or slant on sterile agar media and refrigerate. This will insure that you have some viable yeast to propagate at some point in the future.

I agree, it's a great yeast!

Alternatively, you could pitch a portion of the harvested slurry into a fresh starter, grow it up, decant and store the cake in a clean sanitized jar. You should be able to get 6 months storage out of it.
 

Schlenkerla

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You can keep it for quite along time. Here's washing method. NB sells tablets to help keep your strain going....

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/

NORTHERN BREWER: Yeast Handling Supplies

Chlorine Dioxide Tablets. Chlorine dioxide tablets can be used to kill bacteria in the slurry when harvesting yeast for reuse, without the negative impact of an acid wash on cell health. Chlorine dioxide isn't a substitute for good sanitizing, so keep all yeast handling equipment clean!
To use, collect slurry from the fermenter, add cool sterilized water to approximately double the volume, swirl vigorously, and then allow trub to separate. Decant the top (yeast) layer into a sanitized flask, add one crushed chlorine dioxide tablet to the yeast layer, and top up with more cool sterile water to bring the volume to 1 liter. Allow to rest for several hours, then decant the clear top layer — the yeast can then be directly pitched into a new batch. Includes 20 tablets.
 

HotbreakHotel

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I was just listening to an interview with Charlie Papazian on Basic Brewing. He has been culturing his yeast strain for 20 years or so. He said he keeps reculturing it with hopped starter wort, but he doesn't keep the yeast that's been used to brew a batch of beer.
 

HenryHill

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It depends.

There is a place in MI that uses open fermenters, and they have been using the same yeast for over 230 brews, but it is always kept at fermenting temps, having been harvested the day of the new brew, by skimming the open fermenters.

If you have to store yeast in between uses, then the method you use is very important.
 

mkling

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You mentioned in the OP that you had a (as in single) jar of washed yeast stored your fridge.

If you really want to make it last, get 4 jars from each washing. Then, do that for the next generation and the next, etc. out to 4 new generations. This will give you more yeast than you will ever need or want to store and it will all be at most 5 generations old. After 4 generations of washing you'd have created 256 jars of yeast -- that'll last you as long as you'd ever want.
 
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climateboy

climateboy

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You mentioned in the OP that you had a (as in single) jar of washed yeast stored your fridge.

If you really want to make it last, get 4 jars from each washing. Then, do that for the next generation and the next, etc. out to 4 new generations. This will give you more yeast than you will ever need or want to store and it will all be at most 5 generations old. After 4 generations of washing you'd have created 256 jars of yeast -- that'll last you as long as you'd ever want.
That's a good point. I'm short on fridge space, so I wash into two big jars instead of four smaller ones. But for yeast I'm really into, I can part it out. I'll do that with this yeast the next time I brew with it.


CB
 

Hegh

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Slants will last virtually forever, and you can build up a population from one slant to create a bunch without increasing the generation count.

Not that I have any experience with them, but I did read about it a couple months back. Just Google 'yeast slant'; the second or third result was the one I found most informative.

Good luck saving that yeast, it sounds great!
 
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