yeast propagation

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fortryan

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I've read a lot about starters and washing/reusing yeast, and the question I'm left with is: why not propagate "virgin" yeast? As in, you buy a packet or vial of yeast, and instead of making a starter of just what you need, make a big starter, split it, then make a starter of what you need for your batch and refrigerate the rest? That way there's no concern over what condition the previous batch left the yeast in since you're always starting from a propagation of the original source. Am I missing something?

Ryan
 

david_42

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There's a limit to how long you can refrigerate yeast without taking steps to make it go dormant.
 

Dave258

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I've read a lot about starters and washing/reusing yeast, and the question I'm left with is: why not propagate "virgin" yeast? As in, you buy a packet or vial of yeast, and instead of making a starter of just what you need, make a big starter, split it, then make a starter of what you need for your batch and refrigerate the rest? That way there's no concern over what condition the previous batch left the yeast in since you're always starting from a propagation of the original source. Am I missing something?

Ryan
I was just going to ask the same question. My next three beers call for WLP001 Cali Ale yeast. Can't I buy one vial, make a 2 liter starter, then break up the starter into 4oz jars to make new starters from? Save $21.00!

There's a limit to how long you can refrigerate yeast without taking steps to make it go dormant.
Why wouldn't the yeast go dormant? Should you "wash" the starter with boiled water? Easier then washing in a carboy I would think.
 

permo

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There is nothing that says you can't do that, but you will certainly get alot more yeast to wash and save if you wash from a fully fermented 5 gallon or larger batch.

I realized a few weeks back that I was on my last 6 pack of kolsch and didn't have any of the yeast. So I made a starter, harvested the yeast..stepped it up a few times and washed it.
 

Dave258

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There is nothing that says you can't do that, but you will certainly get alot more yeast to wash and save if you wash from a fully fermented 5 gallon or larger batch.

I realized a few weeks back that I was on my last 6 pack of kolsch and didn't have any of the yeast. So I made a starter, harvested the yeast..stepped it up a few times and washed it.
Did you just split up the starter, or did you add boiled water?
 

bja

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Do a search for "making slants". I'm using slants now that are over a year old.
 

MBasile

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If you rinse yeast from batch to batch they hit (in theory) peak performance around generations 3 & 4, you wont get this from building up from one vial/pack and then splitting it.

Also, White Labs says their yeast are "good" for 4 months after being "bottled." Keep in mind that they've done a lot of research and put in a lot of effort to make sure their yeast are perfect for storage. Your split starter is not going to benefit from that research and effort. If you want to store yeast for extended periods of time, do as bja suggested and research yeast slanting.

If you're going ot go as far as yeast slanting, I'd suggest combining it with yeast rinsing. What I mean is once you get to the 3rd or 4th generation of a yeast, then slant it. Best of both worlds :)
 
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