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busmanray

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hey guys need some information about yeast from a previous batch?
1-should a yeast from a stout be used for stout only?
2-I need step by step instructions how to prepare yeast
3-unlike pre measured yeast ,how do u know how much to use

thanks
the
busman
 

homebrewer_99

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Yes, you should try to maintain same type beer yeast for the next same type beer. If you tried to made a pale ale with a previous batches stout, well, you'd end up with a strange mix.

There are almost as many ways to prepare a yeast starter as it is to skin a cat. There are no real set rules as to using 3 TBS of malt to 1 C water or 1/2 C of malt to 1/2 gal of water. The intent is to add the yeast to the malt to get the yeast active prior to pitching (which lessens your wait time). There are plenty of instruction on the net. Just do a search for "Yeast Starter".

As for the initial amount...many people just pitch the contents of the vial or smack pack. Some of us ALWAYS make starters. This insures your yeast is alive prior to pitching. While the smack packs are handy you can actually use a very small amount to make a starter. It just takes longer. When I capture my yeast from a primary I usually get 2 or 3 - 22 oz bottles. After the yeast/hops settle out there is usually about 4-6 oz of yeast on the bottom of the bottle and the remainder is beer. I usually pour off most of the liquid (to be sampled) and swirl the bottle to mix the remaining beer and yeast and pitch the entire bottle.

Others will agree/disagree with some/most/all of my comments.

Isn't that what makes this fun?
 

brewhead

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still if one is reusing the yeast - i am assuming you are taking the sample from the primary fermentation.

additionally how would you go about storing the yeast until the next brew session? you mentioned several 22 oz bottles i am assuming then that you cap em like you would the brew on bottling day.

and how long can one keep this yeast concoction?

i am trying to keep a rotation going so there is usually 2 week lag between brewing.

is there a limit to the amount of times you can reuse the yeast before you toss it entirely or add more yeast?
 

homebrewer_99

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I originally cap them with aluminum foil. I fold one piece over several times and twist the ends (like pigtails) to get it a bit tight. After a couple of days in the fridge (after it becomes dormant) I will cap the bottle. I always label what type of yeast is in the bottle, how many times I've used the yeast, and the batch name and number (I number my batches - for instance, 5009 is the 9th batch in 2005). You have to keep the yeast rotated, using the oldest first or dumping if you don't trust it.

I've used yeast up to a year (as most recommendations say is long enough). I've used 1+ year old yeast before without any problems. Sometimes you just have to use a bit more.

I think the number of times you reuse yeast will depend on your sanitation practices. I've read 5-6 times, 34 times, and up to 100 times for some commercial brews. I think there was one Belgian recipe that uses the same yeast over and over since the 1800s.
 

brewhead

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beyond cost savings - what advantage does reusing give me?
 

brewhead

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so let me get this straight - i currently have 5 gallons in the primary right now - tomorrow when i get home i plan to rack to the carboy for a week of clarification. the yeast cake at the bottom of the primary i should place in a air tight bottle or such and store until i am ready to pitch again.

should i use the yeast that comes with the recipe in addition to the captured yeast?

or just save that packet for later?
 

homebrewer_99

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Sanitize a couple of bottles, say, 4-6 12 oz, or 3 16 oz.

Rack as much beer of of the yeast as you feel you need to (some of us like it cloudy).

Then mix the remains up a bit. Pour as much as you can into the bottles. Be careful when using a (sanitized) funnel as they tend to overfill the bottle if you are not paying attention because the funnel will fill up after the bottle is full which will create a spill-over. I usually fill 2-3 bottles a bit past 1/2 way and then try to fill them equally. Place the foil (see preivous posts) on top and refridgerate. Don't forget to label each bottle.

The next day you will notice all the solids have dropped to the bottom and there is a layer of beer on top of the yeast. Some people will pitch it or pour it into a glass and drink (that's me - I sample a bit at every stage).

After a day or two you can cap them. Take one out a day before brewing to warm up to room temp. Be sure to break the seal on the cap and place another piece of foil over it or an airlock. Sterilize water/malt - boil for 5 minutes. Use a cotton ball or Q-Tip dipped in some vodka and sanitize the lip of the bottle with the yeast. Pour the malt (after it cools to the 70s) and yeast into a larger (sanitized) container (1/2 gal apple juice jug works fine) as a starter.

It'll be ready to use the next day. :D

You should switch to liquid yeast. Dry yeast mutates faster.

You don't need the dry yeast that came with the kit. Unless it is a specific yeast strain for a specific style of beer, save the dry stuff for emergencies.
 

brewhead

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Rack as much beer of of the yeast as you feel you need to (some of us like it cloudy).
hmm well just as an aside - i usually rack to the carboy after 3 days - then a week for clarification - i like it clear. i mean - to me if i'm doing a pilsner it's kind of a buzz kill if it looks like a milk shake. just me - shrug

anyhooo - ok bill i'm betting my next ten gallons on your yeast recycling process. it had better work or there'll be hell to pay! :D
 

ROAD MUTANT

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One more idea that has worked well for me.

Take 1 slap pack, add to a mason jar. Fill with clean wort.(no hop residue, not taken from a secondary) If you use wort from a boil, take a sample before you add your bittering hops. Let the trub settle so the sample clairifies and you will have reasonably clean wort to feed your yeast with.

Anyway, after adding your yeast and clean wort, let it sit and propagate for a few days so you have a good size colony. (about twice as much as you need to pitch) See where I'm going with this?

On brew day, while you still have clean wort (before adding anything)Take another sample right from the pot and set aside. When you get ready to pitch your mason jar of yeast, swirl it up to distribute it evenly in the solution and pitch about half of the mason jar. Now, take the cooled wort you removed from the boil and add some to the remaining yeast so it will re-propagate again. you can do this every week for probably 20 times or more.

The advantage of this process is you don't contaminate your yeast with any hops and trub from previous batches. Your yeast stays pure (or reasonably so) and you get more consistant performance from batch to batch. Also, this gives you more lattitude to use the yeast in the different styles of beer that it is compatible with.

Ken.
 
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I missed a week of brewing due to travel. I have no home brew to drink for another week (unless I just bust in early on the batch which is bottle conditioning now).

I have more yeast bottles in my fridge than beer :( Good thing I'm single and don't have to keep food (eeewwww) in there!

Good point there Road Mutant. I have read that before but never have put it to practice.
 
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busmanray

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what i really need to know is:
1-how much yeast byproduct do you need to brew 5 gallons
2-if u mix yeast with malt extract-how much extract?
right from the bag?
mixed with water?
3- how do u know if mixture is activated?
 

homebrewer_99

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ROAD MUTANT said:
after adding your yeast and clean wort, let it sit and propagate for a few days so you have a good size colony. (about twice as much as you need to pitch) See where I'm going with this?

On brew day, while you still have clean wort (before adding anything)Take another sample right from the pot and set aside. When you get ready to pitch your mason jar of yeast, swirl it up to distribute it evenly in the solution and pitch about half of the mason jar. Now, take the cooled wort you removed from the boil and add some to the remaining yeast so it will re-propagate again. you can do this every week for probably 20 times or more.

The advantage of this process is you don't contaminate your yeast with any hops and trub from previous batches. Your yeast stays pure (or reasonably so) and you get more consistant performance from batch to batch. Also, this gives you more lattitude to use the yeast in the different styles of beer that it is compatible with.

Ken.
I've tried that, but you have to remember to add an airlock and place the starter back in the fridge to stop/retard the process. That's why I am looking for test tubes so I can propogate and seperate. :D They'll be great for starters (keep reading).

One tip I read was to make a batch and then "can" your 5 gal. wort (as if canning jelly). You can use these for starters so at any given moment all you have to do is pop the top on the mason jar, pour your yeast into the sterilized wort and add an airlock (you'd have to sacrifice a lid and drill a hole in it for the rubber bung to hold the airlock). :D

I am actually going to try it later this year.
 

homebrewer_99

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busmanray said:
what i really need to know is:
1-how much yeast byproduct do you need to brew 5 gallons
2-if u mix yeast with malt extract-how much extract?
right from the bag?
mixed with water?
3- how do u know if mixture is activated?
1. Just about a 1/3 of a beer bottle will be more than enough from another batch. Remember a slap pack/vial is only a small amount.

2. OK,, here you want to boil water and malt for your starter. About 1 cup of water to 3 TBS of malt should be enough. More cannot hurt, but is not necessary. Boil the mixture for 5 mins and let cool to the 70s before adding the yeast. (See my last post). Seal with an airlock.

3. It's active when your airlock is releasing gas. :D
 

homebrewer_99

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
I missed a week of brewing due to travel. I have no home brew to drink for another week (unless I just bust in early on the batch which is bottle conditioning now).

I have more yeast bottles in my fridge than beer :( Good thing I'm single and don't have to keep food (eeewwww) in there!

Good point there Road Mutant. I have read that before but never have put it to practice.
I have about 20 bottles of yeast in my fridge too. That's one reason why I was thinking about test tube vials. Should be about a 4:1 ratio.
 
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busmanray

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okay guys i think i got this down-except,what can i substitute for an airlock -and how long does it take the yeast to activate,so ill know when its safe to start brewing?
 
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busmanray said:
what can i substitute for an airlock
I ordered a yeast starter kit from morebeer.com. What I wanted was the 2000ml Erlenmeyer flask (glass flask that you can take from boil to ice bath with no cracking) but the whole kit was only 2 bucks more. Anyway... back to the point, the directions suggested using aluminum foil over the top of the yeast starter flast in leiu of an airlock and rubber stopper. They mentioned that there is less contact area with the foil and flask as there is with the stopper. Apparently the area where the stopper and the glass meet will provide an area for infection to thrive. I imagine this would be due to the stopper keeping some moisture there and the inability of the yeast in the lower portion of the flask from being able to run the 'baddies' off. The foil cannot seal so well that it causes a pressure buildup yet it keeps anything from floating in. The starter will generate the carbon dioxide to keep the air out anyway. I'm going this route even though I got the stopper and air lock. They recommended if you use the stopper that you 'flame' sterilize the lip of the flask before pouring the contents out. I would rather not deal with that.

how long does it take the yeast to activate
I have had success making my starters on Friday night and brewing on Sundays. Any time is better than no starter.
 

Ramp

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I have a question as to how long the quality of the re-used yeast lasts before you have to break down and spend the big bucks to get some new yeast. I ask this as there are some people with whom I make mead who scoff at the idea of reusing yeast, insisting that after two or three batches, the quality of the yeast deteriorates to the point that the taste of the end result will change.

To those who regularly re-use, store, maintain yeast cultures, what insight-opinions do you have about this?

Cheers!
 

homebrewer_99

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A few generations is probably all you really want to use, but I depend on the flavor of the batch it came from.

Just think of how much $$$ you already saved by re-using a yeast 2-3-4 times and go buy a new one.

I've read (in a yeast book) it only takes a very small amount of yeast cells to make a starter. What do you get in a Smack Pack about 100 billion cells? What's wrong with dividing it up into 4 seperate samples and make a starter with just a quarter of the pack/vial? You'd have to make a small sample then transfer it into another larger sample and finally a third sample to get it to pitching size. That takes some planning and some people are too lazy to do it.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i read somewhere that you don't want to re-use a yeast strand more than 9-10 times. to me, yeast is cheap. $6-$7 bucks for a pitchable vial. i just worry about nasties getting in it and ruining a batch from re-using yeast. or it could be that i'm lazy? :~)
 

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