Yeast starter or not ?

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tuffty22
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Yeast starter or not ?

Post by tuffty22 » Thu May 25, 2017 12:58 pm

Hi all

I have managed to obtain some lager yeast cake from a local brewery. I obtained this over a week ago and I have kept in the fridge since then, it is also 400ml (well thats roughly the container size).

The container is jam packed with the yeast and I was planning on brewing a lager around 1.045-1.050 OG with it on Monday. Should I make a starter for this or will it be jam packed with enough cells I can just dump it in my beer ?

I have a 2000ml flask and a stir plate so I was thinking of making a starter with about half the yeast as I think the 2000ml flask will not be big enough for the amount of yeast I have ?

Any thoughts appreciated

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AnthonyUK
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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by AnthonyUK » Thu May 25, 2017 2:27 pm

Have you tried the yeast pitching calc at MrMalty.com - http://mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
According to it you have more than enough to direct pitch

tuffty22
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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by tuffty22 » Thu May 25, 2017 3:12 pm

Thanks for that, I have not used that before.

The yeast I have is extremely thick so It looks like I have more than enough to just lump it in.

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by McMullan » Thu May 25, 2017 4:01 pm

How long does the brewery store it before pitching without a starter?

tuffty22
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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by tuffty22 » Thu May 25, 2017 5:05 pm

I have no idea as a friend got it for me.

I do know that this yeast was taken directly from the fermentor though and not from any kind of storage.

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by gnorwebthgimi » Fri May 26, 2017 10:37 am

I would split it up and make a starter, that way you hedge your bets if anything goes wrong.

Out of interest do you know if it is a strain of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae or Pastorianus?
To make beer you need yeast, barley, hops, water and patience.

tuffty22
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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by tuffty22 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:52 am

Yeah I was thinking about making a starter just for the practice as I now have a stir plate.

I have no idea what the strain is, I'll need to get my friend to ask the next time he gets some.

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by IPA » Tue May 30, 2017 2:29 pm

Next time you want save yeast give this method a try. Last week I woke up a sample that was two years old.

36 Hours into the ferment I clear a space in the krausen and remove 500 ml to a sanitised plastic bottle.
Image
I loosely fit the cap and let fermentation proceed normaly. when fermentation has halted I tighten the cap and store it in the fridge.
Image
As you can see there is a nice clean deposit of yeast on the bottom of the bottle. The reason I leave it 36 hours before removing the fermenting beer is that I find you get a much cleaner yeast deposit.
When want to make my next starter I pour most of the beer into a glass for quality control purposes to make sure this is no infection. That is to say I drink it :lol:
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I then swirl the remaining beer to dislodge the yeast and added it to my starter flask. 12 hours later it looks like this.
Image
I have successfully re-used the same yeast for more than 18 months and more than 12 brews using this method.[
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donchiquon
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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 6:38 am

@IPA I'm just wondering about the pros and cons of various harvesting methods.

Is there any reason why you wouldn't harvest the next yeast sample from the starter that you build rather than from the hopped fermenting wort?

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by IPA » Wed May 31, 2017 11:11 am

donchiquon wrote:@IPA I'm just wondering about the pros and cons of various harvesting methods.

Is there any reason why you wouldn't harvest the next yeast sample from the starter that you build rather than from the hopped fermenting wort?
The reason that I use the fermenting wort is that what I am doing is creating 500 ml of beer with a thick layer of clean yeast on the bottom. And by tasting the beer before re-using the yeast you will know whether or not it is contaminated. Also the yeast stores very well in its environment surrounded by beer. As I said two years is not exceptional to store yeast in this way. I have recovered yeast from several bottles of beer that were between 35 and 40 years old. My advice is to give it a try you will not be disappointed. I now use a large sanitised syringe to remove the fermenting wort. Sometimes I remove two samples as a back up.
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donchiquon
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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 12:36 pm

Ah, ok. So far I've harvested slurry or decanted 300 ml from an overbuilt starter, to produce a jar of starter wort sitting on top of the yeast layer.

Do you think there is any difference between harvesting from fermenting wort vs harvesting from a starter wort?

One thing would be the taste test. I must admit I've never tasted the starter wort to see if it was ok!!! (I stopped at a sniff test!)

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by IPA » Wed May 31, 2017 4:13 pm

donchiquon wrote:Ah, ok. So far I've harvested slurry or decanted 300 ml from an overbuilt starter, to produce a jar of starter wort sitting on top of the yeast layer.

Do you think there is any difference between harvesting from fermenting wort vs harvesting from a starter wort?

One thing would be the taste test. I must admit I've never tasted the starter wort to see if it was ok!!! (I stopped at a sniff test!)
I always taste a starter before pitching. There is a world of difference between a starter wort made with DME and a pint of beer stored with my method but you will know instantly if either is contaminated. Plus yeast saved your way will only last a week or so. As I said give it a try.
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donchiquon
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Yeast starter or not ?

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 4:25 pm

IPA wrote:I always taste a starter before pitching. There is a world of difference between a starter wort made with DME and a pint of beer stored with my method but you will know instantly if either is contaminated. Plus yeast saved your way will only last a week or so. As I said give it a try.
That's really useful, I had no idea that yeast decanted from a starter wort wouldn't last longer than a week!

I somehow thought that yeast harvested from a starter wort might be cleaner (unhopped etc) and better for long term storage and trying to avoid contamination. Thanks for the info - I'll give the bottles a try.

EDIT: I've just done a quick Goggle to remind myself why I switched to harvesting from starters and it still seems that overbuilding and decanting from starters (prior to long term storage) is still widespread practice (e.g., Brulosophy and plenty of others).

Is there any reason why yeast harvested in this way would only last a week? (I've had successful starters after 3 months fridge storage)

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by IPA » Wed May 31, 2017 6:04 pm

donchiquon wrote:
IPA wrote:I always taste a starter before pitching. There is a world of difference between a starter wort made with DME and a pint of beer stored with my method but you will know instantly if either is contaminated. Plus yeast saved your way will only last a week or so. As I said give it a try.
That's really useful, I had no idea that yeast decanted from a starter wort wouldn't last longer than a week!

I somehow thought that yeast harvested from a starter wort might be cleaner (unhopped etc) and better for long term storage and trying to avoid contamination. Thanks for the info - I'll give the bottles a try.

EDIT: I've just done a quick Goggle to remind myself why I switched to harvesting from starters and it still seems that overbuilding and decanting from starters (prior to long term storage) is still widespread practice (e.g., Brulosophy and plenty of others).

Is there any reason why yeast harvested in this way would only last a week? (I've had successful starters after 3 months fridge storage)
I doubt that they will last 35 years like the yeast in some of beers that I have cultured up. For goodness sake try it and then make your comparisons. I will give you one last example of why yeast lasts longer when stored in fermented hopped beer. A couple of years ago I revived the yeast in a 35 year old bottle of Courage Russian Stout and sent it for professional examination and it was found to be clean of bacterial infection and is now commercially available.
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin

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Re: Yeast starter or not ?

Post by Meatymc » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:56 am

IPA - very interesting posts.

I've a current post on the Yeast forum enquiring about trying Slopes but wanting to split the initial sample to store. Starting to get rather technical so may try your method on a standrad yeast and then, if I don't cock it up, give Slopes a try, but again, using your method to capture a sample for future use.

I'm also going to try and 'recover' some yeast from bottled St Austell Brewerys 'Proper Job' which I had on draft recently and rated highly. Again, if I'm successful in growing enough for a full brew, I'm going to retain some using your method.

I guess the most importatnt thing to bear in mind is sanitation.

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