Never buy yeast again?

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mugwump3

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Ok, I had a thought:

I buy a lot of california V ale yeast. I'm making an IPA and a blonde ale -- both call for California V.

When one makes a yeast starter, one is feeding the yeast and the yeast are multiplying.

Can I use this principle to make my own yeast and never have to buy California V again?


Bonus question:
I'm making a starter for my IPA, but it wouldn't hurt to have a starter for the blonde ale. Can I just make a big starter and put half in the IPA and the other half in the blonde ale?

Thanks!
 

theredben

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You can at least not buy yeast more than once a year or so. Yeast Washing Link. This will allow you to re-use your yeast after the fermentation. After a while it might be good to start fresh, but you should be able to get at least 3-4 generation out of it.

The problem is not that I need to buy more yeast, just that I want different ones now.;)
 

bruin_ale

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There are lots of threads on here about re-using yeast. You can easily buy one cal V and store it and re-use it by making a starter. Look at the "yeast washing" sticky at the top of this forum.

On the bonus question, you can absolutely make a big starter and pitch half in each - I've done the same many times, I don't make two starters for a 10 gallon batch for example.
 

cyclonite

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Yes, and yes ;-)

I do the same thing since I mostly use the same strains repeatedly. Only buy yeast if I need a new strain.
 

tnbrewer371

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Id just pitch the cal - in the blonde than pitch the ipa on the blonde cake after three weeks or so, than wash the yeast after the ipa, that's for sure what I would do no doubt one smack pack of a neutral all purpose ale yeast can easily last you six months to a year, I have been using the smack pack since june with fantastic results, u can cut costs even more and make ag starter wort instead of using dme :ban:
 

musick

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Saying you will never buy yeast again is a bit of a stretch, but you can limit it to once every few years or when a new strain comes to your attention.

I would focus on banking instead of washing. Contaminants WILL appear after time no matter how stringent your sanitizing protocol is. Reuse yeast 3-5 times before starting from a fresh stock if you wish to eliminate strain mutation.

I have my own yeast bank w/ 17(?) strains. I havent bought WL CA V for 4 years or so.

IMG_0818.jpg
 

Rowdy

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some details on your storage vials and containers please? looks like exactly what im looking for
 

enohcs

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some details on your storage vials and containers please? looks like exactly what im looking for

For a stock like the one above you're going to need access to a -80 freezer.
For those who don't have access you can still harvest and store yeast in your fridge. The shelf life isn't indefinate, but it will still save you 80% or more on your yeast purchases every year.

 
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jkh389

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What you could also do is culture your yeast instead of washing it. What I mean by this is after your starter has multiplied you can use a sanitized wire loop and extract some yeast and put it into clean sanitized jars with water in it and then immediately fridge to store. You can now use this new jar of yeast as a starter next time. I usually pitch most of the yeast into my starter and then using a wire loop transfer 6 or 7 into sanitized jars.

Keep in mind, washing your yeast is effective but over time your yeast will have mutated and cause off flavors.
 

Gropo

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Or better yet, make friends with your local brewmeister and get cultured yeast from the local craft brewery.
 

musick

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some details on your storage vials and containers please? looks like exactly what im looking for

They are called 1ml cryovials and are in a Revco box.

I do store my yeast in glycerol and at -80C.
 

TomStew

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Keep in mind, washing your yeast is effective but over time your yeast will have mutated and cause off flavors.

I'm curious as of what could be the cause of mutations. In my mind, if the yeast ferment in the same conditions and similar worts, it's unlikely that it would mutate. I'm still a beginner however, just asking questions!
 

musick

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Simply put: its Nature.

All organisms (our own DNA included) evolve or mutate over time as more and more generations are created. Because yeast reproduce so rapidly, the mutation of the yeast can take as few as 5 or 6 batches of beer.
 

SD-SLIM

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jkh389 said:
What you could also do is culture your yeast instead of washing it. What I mean by this is after your starter has multiplied you can use a sanitized wire loop and extract some yeast and put it into clean sanitized jars with water in it and then immediately fridge to store. You can now use this new jar of yeast as a starter next time. I usually pitch most of the yeast into my starter and then using a wire loop transfer 6 or 7 into sanitized jars.

Keep in mind, washing your yeast is effective but over time your yeast will have mutated and cause off flavors.

+1 on this comment, culturing yeast is a simple/ inexpensive way of keeping your favorite yeast around for years.
 
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In regards to mutations...Yes! Yeast reproduce at a very high rate, thus making mutations all the more common then, lets say, humans. That being said, almost all DNA mutations only happen in sexual reproduction. Meaning that two cells share their DNA coding (thru spores) and create a new cell with a mix of DNA parts. For yeast, that happens when they are in a nutrient deficient environment. But most of the time, if they are supplied with necessary nutrients, they will mostly reproduce in a asexual way, thru mitosis...at a very high rate. Meaning that a single cell will split in two and make an exact replica of herself (no DNA mutations). Those two cells will do the same, making 4 cells, and so on, making the asexual reproduction exponential, until a shortage of nutrient is met and they start a sexual reproduction. So the goal here should be to keep cultures that never reach the shortage of nutrient.

I think that you have two options to go around the potential mutation problem:

1. Make all your cultures from a small portion of your original California V. vial. It will take a bit more time for your starter, but when you think about it: What does 1/10 of the vial in the starter vs the full vial in the starter represent when the yeast is undergoing exponential reproduction in the vial?

2. Put all of the original vial into the starter. Then, as soon as the starter seems to be going well, extract a vial from it and put the vials yeast in dormancy (fridge) before the yeast runs out of nutrient and makes sexual spores. This method will get your starter going a bit faster, but if you contaminate your starter, you will have no more vial of isolated yeast and will have to by more or isolate the strain (if you have the equipment). Its kind of like putting all you eggs in the same basket kind of deal.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in that specific biology field. There might be exceptions I am unaware of for beer brewing yeast. All constructive critics are welcome.

Cheers!
 

Northern_Brewer

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In regards to mutations...Yes! Yeast reproduce at a very high rate, thus making mutations all the more common then, lets say, humans. That being said, almost all DNA mutations only happen in sexual reproduction. Meaning that two cells share their DNA coding (thru spores) and create a new cell with a mix of DNA parts. For yeast, that happens when they are in a nutrient deficient environment. But most of the time, if they are supplied with necessary nutrients, they will mostly reproduce in a asexual way, thru mitosis...at a very high rate. Meaning that a single cell will split in two and make an exact replica of herself (no DNA mutations)....
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in that specific biology field.

No. You will still get mutations in asexual reproduction and a single yeast can still mess things up on its own. But as with humans, once you introduce sex into the equation, there's just a whole lot more ways for things to go wrong...

Personally I'd say you're using mutation in too broad a sense. Yes you can say that any change in DNA is a mutation, but you're really talking about two very different things, the kind of point mutation that might happen from an error in DNA replication or a skin cell getting zapped by UV light to cause skin cancer, and the kind of large scale DNA translocations that happen during sex as chromosomes recombine. They both end up with permanent changes to the DNA, but they're rather different processes.

The great thing about sex is that you can thoroughly jumble up genes and have children that have very different characteristics to their parents. If you're not having sex (which is generally the case for brewing yeast) then you're confined to much smaller changes between generations due to eg getting zapped by UV, nasty chemicals or mistakes in DNA replication (on their own, you would expect the DNA polymerases to make about 1000 mistakes each time a yeast genome was replicated, but error correction mechanisms push that down to no more than 1 mistake per replication, and in some circumstances down to 1 mistake per 250 replications). So the chances of a mutation hitting something vital is pretty low in any one yeast - but even a small vial has the results of 100 billion replications. And whereas in women only a tiny fraction of the cells that could mutate are involved in making the next generation, in yeast every single cell in that vial is viable and could pass on its genes to the next generation.

So mutation is a real problem in yeast. Some brewers just live with it - some of the family brewers in the UK have multistrains that they have been repitching for thousands of generations, the different components take a while to settle down but then they reach a fairly stable equilibrium - usually. But if you want "pure" WLP051 say then it's only going to behave similarly to the benchmark if you repitch it for mebbe 10 generations. Different yeast strains behave differently, some mutate very quickly, others are more stable, some "wobble" in and out of the sweet spot.

Personally, whenever I open a pack of new-to-me yeast, I streak out some on a plate, and pick a single colony to grow up for storage. Yes, that means I'm "using up" generation-time compared to storing direct from the pack, but at least I know I'm starting with a single genotype. That single genotype may have mutated away from the original - it almost certainly has - but at least I know it's "clean" and consistent from the point at which I start using it. It won't make me immune from eg some of the problems with diastaticus contamination that peope have had with commercial yeast, but it will make it a lot less likely.

Disclaimer: I have a couple of degrees in this stuff, albeit not directly with brewing yeast.
 
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No. You will still get mutations in asexual reproduction and a single yeast can still mess things up on its own. But as with humans, once you introduce sex into the equation, there's just a whole lot more ways for things to go wrong...

Personally I'd say you're using mutation in too broad a sense. Yes you can say that any change in DNA is a mutation, but you're really talking about two very different things, the kind of point mutation that might happen from an error in DNA replication or a skin cell getting zapped by UV light to cause skin cancer, and the kind of large scale DNA translocations that happen during sex as chromosomes recombine. They both end up with permanent changes to the DNA, but they're rather different processes.

The great thing about sex is that you can thoroughly jumble up genes and have children that have very different characteristics to their parents. If you're not having sex (which is generally the case for brewing yeast) then you're confined to much smaller changes between generations due to eg getting zapped by UV, nasty chemicals or mistakes in DNA replication (on their own, you would expect the DNA polymerases to make about 1000 mistakes each time a yeast genome was replicated, but error correction mechanisms push that down to no more than 1 mistake per replication, and in some circumstances down to 1 mistake per 250 replications). So the chances of a mutation hitting something vital is pretty low in any one yeast - but even a small vial has the results of 100 billion replications. And whereas in women only a tiny fraction of the cells that could mutate are involved in making the next generation, in yeast every single cell in that vial is viable and could pass on its genes to the next generation.

So mutation is a real problem in yeast. Some brewers just live with it - some of the family brewers in the UK have multistrains that they have been repitching for thousands of generations, the different components take a while to settle down but then they reach a fairly stable equilibrium - usually. But if you want "pure" WLP051 say then it's only going to behave similarly to the benchmark if you repitch it for mebbe 10 generations. Different yeast strains behave differently, some mutate very quickly, others are more stable, some "wobble" in and out of the sweet spot.

Personally, whenever I open a pack of new-to-me yeast, I streak out some on a plate, and pick a single colony to grow up for storage. Yes, that means I'm "using up" generation-time compared to storing direct from the pack, but at least I know I'm starting with a single genotype. That single genotype may have mutated away from the original - it almost certainly has - but at least I know it's "clean" and consistent from the point at which I start using it. It won't make me immune from eg some of the problems with diastaticus contamination that peope have had with commercial yeast, but it will make it a lot less likely.

Disclaimer: I have a couple of degrees in this stuff, albeit not directly with brewing yeast.

Awesome answer! Thanks for the info/tip. I guess the Cunningham's Law really works. ;-)

I usually stick to human and tree biology, but yeast as got my curiosity now.

Cheers
 
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