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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    I thought that too, but in sealed mason jars? I guess oxygen went in with it.

    Next question is, what oxidizes? Is it just the diluted wort that oxidizes? Or does oxidation have some kind of effect on yeast?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Oxidation doesn't require oxygen! Oxidation is any reaction where the material gives up electrons, oxygen being a very powerful oxidant, accepting two electrons very readily.. But the browning is cells dying off and their contents oxidizing, resulting in lower viability yeast and off-flavors.
     
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  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    so it oxidation does have an effect on the yeast? Meaning, yeast that goes through another round of fermentation that has been oxidized in the jars will give off some off flavors?
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't go through another fermentation, they yeast cells start to die from lack of food and storage in a poisonous environment. When the yeast cells die, their cell walls rupture, releasing their contents into the beer. Some of those contents oxidize, either as a result of oxygen or other oxidants. Key is that cells are dying - your preserved yeast is losing viability for the next pitch. You could take a small sample and propagate it back up and as long as you weren't propagating mutants or bacteria, it would be fine.
     
  5. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    yeah I'm making starters with them before pitching.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The conventional wisdom is to make starters from harvested yeast prior to use, at least just enough to reactivate the yeast. I'm sure there are some who just dump it in and get good results, though....
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    What I've started doing is making a starter with my stored yeast, then using about 75% of it in the wort with the other 25% going back into a mason jar for the next starter. I use harvested wort from my mash tun usually that I boiled for a few minutes and then froze. So far it's worked really well.
     
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  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm.... I haven't started yeast harvesting yet. But would it be a better idea to save some of your yeast from the manufacturer (25%) and then spin up the rest for the batch you are brewing. Then grow the 25% and keep doing that instead of using yeast from a full blown brew that has all kind of other debris in it and most likely isn't the same yeast anymore. That way, you should (in my thinking), still be starting from the same yeast strain as you purchased.
     
  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what I do. The only one that isn't a starter from a package is one I reclaimed from a commercial beer just to see if I could.

    I'm on my 4th generation for some of them but as I use clean starters I don't expect much in the way of issue for a while. I do brew quite a bit though so I may build new starters once a year or so.
     
  10. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

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    Guilty! (and lazy) On occasion I'll throw a pinch of dextrose in there a few hours before pitching, but otherwise I just swirl and dump from the jar. It'll likely bite me in the ass one day.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've done that more than once, seems to work fine. My only thing is I usually want to have some for the next batch, hence the starter.
     
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  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Likely not, if the yeast is fresh enough. A starter is a bit of an excess of caution but it's what the book says to do, whatever the book may actually be....
     
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  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Some guy what knows a guy said...
     
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  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    ...or whoever wrote the Book.
     
  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    When storing the yeast in that jar oliver 02 was sitting at the top of it hence the darkening or the beer. I think brulospher has an exbeeriment on this.

    My 2c if you have the time you cant go wrong with a starter. If not just pitch the previous batches slurry (if using same yeast):).
     
  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That's something I've never had the nerve to do, but I've heard of people just transferring fresh wort right into the yeast cake from the previous batch.
     
  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah don't use the entire cake except if culturing it up for a crazy big beer like a Imperial Stout or barley wine.
    Whilst my stir plate was out of action I got away with just pitching slurry for quite a few brews one lager included. They all attenuated well and cleared well and there is in my opinion nothing better to store your yeast under than the brew it just Finnished.

    But like all things brewing cleanliness is next to godliness.
    I had a 4 out of 4 success rate in my biased books.
     

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