Starter from harvest question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    This is my first time preparing to make a real starter, and I'm doing it from harvested yeast in mason jars. and I'm curious about all the liquid in my mason jars.

    Should I decant off the liquid in my mason jars, and pitch the yeasty layer at the bottom of the jar into newly prepared wort?

    OR,

    should I swirl up the entire mason jar, get everything in suspension, and pitch that into a newly prepared wort?

    from there I'd stick my flask on the stir plate for about 2 days, and pitch it on brewday.

    Here's what I've got if this helps make things clear. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I would decant. The storage fluid is likely mostly water, if you follow the most common procedures for yeast harvesting and cleaning. That would dilute your starter. And anything floating around in there is likely to be either dead or non-viable.
     
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  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    gotcha. tonight I added 3oz Pilsen DME into 1100ml of distilled water, boiled, and cooled. Then decanted 1 mason jar, swirled to loosen the yeast, pitched into my flask, and added to stir plate. Not sure if I did anything wrong... but we'll see, going to pitch it on sunday after I brew and see what happens.
     
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  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    thats good looking yeast ;)
     
  5. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Why thank you. I was very meticulous when harvesting.

    Now I have more questions about overpitching, simply, What can happen if I build too big of a starter for 2.5 gallons of 1.060 wort?

    So my stir plate starter had noticeable fermentation on Saturday. it formed a little krausen. It finished out Saturday afternoon and was still swirling, so I brewed and pitched it last night around 11pm.

    Fermentation has already kicked off this morning in the beer, which is pleasing. But I don't have a pitching calculator to know exactly.

    Any advice on harvested yeast like that? My gut says that 1 mason jar of that should be sufficient, because it's about 30-40ml of yeast material, and the White Labs tube has 40ml in it. So a simple starter to wake up the little guys should be perfect. Yes?
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    one jar should be fine
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    so my procedure for saving yeast after storing for a while is to chill it as cold as possible so to solidify the yeast, once solid decant the liquid on top then pour a tiny bit of carbonated beer on top. then when needed warm up to room temperature and swirl then pour
     
  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    No need to pour beer in, just leave enough free liquid in the yeast jar so you can swirl and pour ;)
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the beer is only for protection, if you open it up and expose it to air the beer will protect it, more so that water, bacteria can grow in water but not as easy in beer
     
  10. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    update, I harvested the yeast again out of a new IPA batch, and when I put the jars in the fridge, very noticeable color difference. My older jars are browning, newer jars are bright yellow. What am I looking at here? Can this be a bad thing?

    just the top jars in the stack in this photo. Jar on the left came from the same recipe (different hops) than the jar the right. I harvested the left jars on October 22, and harvested the new batch yesterday (December 10).

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if the trub has any hops mixed in you want to keep all light away, that even means the fridge light as well so keep them covered but the color of the wart or beer doesn't matter its the white yeast layer that I would worry over, personally I would solidify all of the same strains then decant and mix all of them together then add a small layer of distilled water or finished clean beer on top for safety
     
  12. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I get that, I'm keeping them separate though, so I have a better idea of pitch rates when it comes time.
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    this is what I use now, like before ill have a bunch of jars then when solidified I decant all the liquid then warm up the yeast and pour into as many of these as I can then add back to the keezer until brew day, "now this is yeast not trub mixed in" since I don't know the cell count I use 2 for a 5 gallon batch and 4 for a 10 and it works out fine.

    the last 40 gallons of beer I made all came from 2 dry packs of yeast

    41yk8PxZBYL._SY445_.jpg
     
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  14. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    @Ozarks Mountain Brew what are the names of those containers? They look great. I'm building a separator flask and those would come in handy.
     
  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Neta Scientific Centrifuge Tubes, 50mL, Conical (Pack of 50), plastic
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I just looked and the 50ml is sold out but they have 15 ml which is fine but tiny
     
  17. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    @Ozarks, so how long will you keep these vials in the fridge before you think it's too old?
     
  18. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    no more than 3 months for me, but I keep them at 34F then after 3 months I rebuild them with a step starter
     
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  19. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Oh true true true. I do have the plastic tube that I got the White Labs in originally. I could sanitize that and pour 40ml of yeast into that, then pitch it. That's a good idea.
     
  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I recon the browning is oxidation that supposedly causes the beer to darken over time.
     

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