Stretching the Yeast

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Constantine, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Constantine

    Constantine New Member

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    Paying $6-$10 for a specialized yeast culture for a 1 gallon batch is something I do not consider cost effective. I can alway brew bigger batches, say 5-10 gallons. I could also split the yeast up for several batches and/or even store it for the next batch. (At this point, I am at a loss for the correct technical terms to ask my question, so I will ask it the best I can. :? ).

    How do you split up a Yeast Culture, say French Saison, Weisbier, or whatever, and store it for use in several batches over a several month period? What are the technical terms that I am groping for? :geek:
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    talking about liquid yeast I'm guessing
    I use white labs so I have a tun of empty yeast containers, I just let it get to room temperature, shake it up until its all one color, release the pressure on the cap slowly to let the co2 out, then just pour into another sanitized container and cap it.

    now if you use wyeast smack pack your going to have to smack it and pour it into something like a canning jar with a good seal, then drain as much as you can. then when you use it shake it up and just use half

    I always create a starter for my brews so going that direction you add the whole thing to a starter, then when done split it up
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ozark's procedure works if you're going to use the yeast rather quickly. If you're going to keep it any length of time, you'll have to use lab procedures. That means sterile containers and transfers, sanitary isn't good enough. I personally wouldn't try it but hey, if it works, you've saved a few bucks on a batch! A better procedure might be to use dry yeast, if there's one out there that will work for your beer. It's cheaper and easier to separate into smaller batches.
     
  4. Hammer One Brewhouse

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    What your looking for is Yeast Washing. There is a good article on the Blog Yeast Washing 101 and a bunch of videos on youtube.
     
  5. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    In your case maybe you would be better off measuring out of the vial itself. An eye dropper with measured marks on it maybe? You would first have to know how much is in the vial exactly and then take a portion out. Do need to be thinking sterile not just sanitary though. Syringe maybe?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you're pitching immediately, sanitary is good enough. My point earlier is that if you are going to keep the unpitched yeast for more than a couple days, bacteria will start growing in there and you will contaminate the culture, hence the need for sterile lab procedures if you're going to keep the yeast for more than a couple days.
     
  7. Constantine

    Constantine New Member

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    Follow-up:
    :D Yes, I am using liquid yeast because I want the characteristics of specialty yeast. The question would be redundant with dry yeast.
    :geek: Starter, a term mentioned by Ozark, is a term used for Breads, but it is applicable here. I would like to keep my yeast around for 3 months, and would like to know how to prepare one, short of using one from a Bread Cookbook.
    :ugeek: I do intend to look up the technique of Yeast Washing, which Hammer mentioned.

    :cool: Thanks!!!
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  9. flars

    flars New Member

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    The simplest way to stretch your yeast is to make a large starter with the fresh yeast and save a portion of the starter. Here is a calculator which has "overbuild" built in to it for this purpose. Sanitized canning jars work well for storing the yeast. Have the lid of the canning jars slightly loose, at first, to allow residual CO2 to escape. I use Starsan solution for sanitizing.
    http://www.homebrewdad.com/yeast_calculator.php

    You can also stretch your yeast by harvesting from your fermentor. The harvested yeast will be cleaner if you strain out hops debris as you pour into the fermentor. A harvest should net you enough yeast for at least 4 more one gallon brews. I will have an average of 375 milliliters of yeast, after a week of compaction, harvested from a five gallon brew. There is one problem with harvesting yeast from successive brews. You will soon have to much yeast on hand.

    Storing your yeast under beer, or the starter wort, works well. I have reused harvest yeast up to 9 months after the harvest. Starter required due to viability loss, but yeast continues to ferment well.
     

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