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two stage propagation

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signal2noise

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I am brewing 5 gallons this weekend for a festival at the end of March. My local supplier is running low on all yeasts bc of the deep freeze we have been in, the companies wont ship bc its just too damn cold and they are afraid the yeast will freeze.

I ended up getting a 4 packs of wyeast as a buy one get one deal bc they are at there 6 month shelf life (dated August 22nd). I smacked the packs yesterday afternoon and this morning the packs expanded a little bit, not much.

I decided to do a 1.5L starter and add three packs of yeast (mixed strain). 2 wyeast trappist high gravity (3787) and 1 wyeast belgian abby (1214). I decided to discard the 4th pack in the trash.

After adding my 3 yeast packs to the flask the volume reads 2L. I also added a cup of water that I boiled separately and added yeast nutrient too, then cooled and added to the flask (I forgot to do this to the original starter wort). Volume still reads ~2L.

The question (finally) is, should I do a two stage propagation (starter) and add another L of wort and nutrient after 24-36 hours? Will 3 packs of low vitality yeast generate enough cells in a single 1.5L starter and be able to ferment out a 1.075 OG wort? Is there a way to know if my cells are increasing and active? Wyeast's pitch rate and growth calculator does not account for the smack packs age so its really no help. I am using a stir plate.

Any thoughts you can share would be most appreciated.
 

flars

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You could make an attempt to revive them just to see if it will work. Make up a 1 liter wort 1.010 or less. Use the shake and swirl method for a good visual for when or if fermentation begins. DME cost would be minimal for the experiment.
 
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signal2noise

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Well I've since found a source of more yeast but continued w the two stage starter. It seems like I have generated some activity.

There appears to be signs of kraussen, tiny bubbles on the top of the starter. I am using a stir plate so it is hard to tell if there is activity and how much. I'll crash the yeast for at least 24 hours bf deciding to use it in a brew.


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