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boomtown25

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I think I am overthinking this, but I want to do it right and make it worth doing. I would like to start stacking up on my yeasts in the fridge to save money (have to order online each time). My intentions are to buy 1-3 types of Slap packs or White Labs vials and when I get them, make 2 liter starters out of each of them with light DME. After several days of fermenting, I was then going to divide each into different containers (I am thinking screw cap vials) and save in fridge labled until I need to brew. At that point, considering the saved vials will be equivalent to half or even less a starter I need, I would simply do another starter using that yeast. Is this a good idea, or am I simply creating issues for myself?

What size starter should I do initially?
How many batches would you recommend me break it down into?
Could I continue to do this over and over or will it wear the yeast out?

p.s.- I have done washing yeast, but want to do it prior to brewing instead of after where I may get a lot of trub as well (or a possible infection)
 

Germelli1

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What size starter should I do initially?

Start smaller. When working a big starter up from a new vial I start with .5 L, then 1L, then 2L. I am not sure if these small of steps are necessary but that is just what I do!

How many batches would you recommend me break it down into?

As many as you want. Instead of making a big starter to get multiple sample right off the bat, I will simply brew a LOW gravity beer then wash the yeast to get a bunch of samples. Examples, I made a mild brown ale for nottingham, I low gravity pale ale for Pacman, etc. This way you get 5 gallons of session beer, and as much yeast as you care to wash!

Could I continue to do this over and over or will it wear the yeast out?

General rule of thumb is that you shouldn't pitch yeast from a higher gravity beer to a lower gravity beer so it limits the batches you should harvest from. Batches with an OG under 1.050 are typically OK to harvest from regardless. Also yeast can begin to mutate after so many generations. I will usually only use the same yeast colony for 5 generations which is like 50 batches or so!

p.s.- I have done washing yeast, but want to do it prior to brewing instead of after where I may get a lot of trub as well (or a possible infection)
If you do go the big starter route, you should stick the flask in the fridge for a week to really get them to settle out, decant the spent wort, and basically due a mini washing of the flask. Boil some water for 20 minutes to drive out oxygen, pour into flask, then pour from flask into sanatized canning jars.

This will increas the storage life of the yeast.


Another option is yeast SLANTING where you save just a tiny sample of yeast from each batch and long story short, you deep freeze them! The advantages are smaller sample sizes for storage which also allows you to keep many more varieties on hand! The drawbacks are it is more, tedious work, and takes a lot of starter stepping up from the samples when you are ready to use them!

Let me know if you want more info on this...my post is long enough already :)
 

diS

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I will usually only use the same yeast colony for 5 generations which is like 50 batches or so!
Can you please explain how do you get yeast for ~50 batches?
1st time you harvest bigger amount of samples, and on every other harvesting (until 5th generation) you get smaller amount?
 
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boomtown25

boomtown25

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Can you please explain how do you get yeast for ~50 batches?
1st time you harvest bigger amount of samples, and on every other harvesting (until 5th generation) you get smaller amount?
If I am not mistaken, he is referring to the fact that each time you collect and wash, it multiplies: Brew one batch and then you collect yeast and divide into 5-10 batches. Then each time you brew again, you will use one of these. Collect the yeast from it and it is 5-10 batches, etc.
 

Germelli1

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Can you please explain how do you get yeast for ~50 batches?
1st time you harvest bigger amount of samples, and on every other harvesting (until 5th generation) you get smaller amount?
I wash the yeast from at least one batch per generation! I can't think of a good way to explain so let me whip something up in paint real quick :)

Edit, Thanks boomtown, you nailed it.
 

Mpavlik22

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Germelli1 said:
.
Another option is yeast SLANTING where you save just a tiny sample of yeast from each batch and long story short, you deep freeze them! The advantages are smaller sample sizes for storage which also allows you to keep many more varieties on hand! The drawbacks are it is more, tedious work, and takes a lot of starter stepping up from the samples when you are ready to use them!
Actually you can't freeze a yeast slant. You can only freeze yeast slurry mixed with glycerine.

A yeast slant is made of Malt extract and some type of medium (for growth). The yeast can be kept on a slant for approximately 6-12 months (YMMV) in the fridge. To freeze yeast you must mix glycerine, water, & yeast slurry.

Slanting: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/slanting-yeast-133103/

Freezing yeast: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/guide-making-frozen-yeast-bank-35891/
 
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boomtown25

boomtown25

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I just looked at the Wiki for yeast bank and it is exactly what I wanted to do and was talking about!!! One question though- in the event that I do not want to freeze and I only want to keep in fridge, do I follow same directions and leave out glycerin and how long will it keep? I have hear 4-6 months. (I understand the glycerin is only to keep the freezing water from exploding the cell walls of the yeast, so I figure if I am not freezing, I do not need it)
 

Germelli1

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Actually you can't freeze a yeast slant. You can only freeze yeast slurry mixed with glycerine.

A yeast slant is made of Malt extract and some type of medium (for growth). The yeast can be kept on a slant for approximately 6-12 months (YMMV) in the fridge. To freeze yeast you must mix glycerine, water, & yeast slurry.

Slanting: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/slanting-yeast-133103/

Freezing yeast: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/guide-making-frozen-yeast-bank-35891/

You are entirely right! Thanks for keeping the terms straight that I jumbled up!

I just looked at the Wiki for yeast bank and it is exactly what I wanted to do and was talking about!!! One question though- in the event that I do not want to freeze and I only want to keep in fridge, do I follow same directions and leave out glycerin and how long will it keep? I have hear 4-6 months. (I understand the glycerin is only to keep the freezing water from exploding the cell walls of the yeast, so I figure if I am not freezing, I do not need it)
You are correct on the glycerin! If not freezing you should be able to get by with deoxygenated (aka boiled) water...basically a miniature yeast washing!
 
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