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Subject: yeast recycle help
Author: dnfd737
Jul 17th, 2012
7:55 pm
I did this once with disasterous results, is there a vidio on how to do this properly? I have a few diffrent yeasts I will be fermenting with that I do not want to flush.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: EricHa
Jul 17th, 2012
8:18 pm
I'm sure youtube has some and if you do a google on yeast harvesting, you'll find plenty of pic tutorials. I rack my beer over to a keg, have a sanitized mason jar ready and either dump or scoop the yeast into it. Place in kegerator and reuse.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: MattG
Jul 17th, 2012
11:23 pm
When I open a smack pack, I take 5-6 yeast samples and put them into slants. I then throw them in the fridge until I need them. You'll have to make a starter from the slant but you should be using starters anyways.

Here is how I make them. 1 cup water, 15 g DME, 5 g gelatin. Boil for 5 minutes, then transfer into test tubes. About a quarter full. Let them cool at a 45 degrees angle until the gelatin has set. Once they're cool, add a couple drops of yeast in each tube. Throw them in the fridge until you need them. Hope this is helpful. As long as you have good sanitation, you should be fine. I've never had a problem.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: kbrad895
Jul 18th, 2012
10:10 pm
I will boil and cool 4-6 cups of water and add it to the fermenter to cut the alcohol content and swirl it around to mix it. I then pour from the fermenter into a gallon jar, let it sit for 20 min or so to let some of the gunk settle then carefully pour into 2 quart jars, equal parts, leaving as much of the gunk as possible behind. Then repeat the process into 4 pint jars. Everything is clean and sanatized of course.

I make starters from the jars and I always pour off some of the liquid on top to smell/taste before using, as long as it tastes like watered sown flat beer its fine. On two occasions Iíve poured them down the sink because I didnít like the smell or taste. One had a slight but distinct burnt rubber taste and the other had a smell I canít really describe but I didnít want to taste so I dumped it.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Longshot
Jul 18th, 2012
10:41 pm
Hey MattG - tell me more about these slants. What is the advantage to storing yeast in slants versus splitting a starter up into multiple smaller, sterilized jars? Can you get a large enough yeast population for a 5-gallon batch by pitching the contents of a slant into one starter, or do you have to do a few starters to build it up? How do you retrieve the yeast from the slants in order to pitch?
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: MattG
Jul 19th, 2012
2:02 am
The reason I use slants is that I prefer first generation yeasts. Just a personal preference. It's a heck of a lot easier to store many yeast samples in test tubes as opposed to mason jars. I use a .5L starter for 2.5 gallon batches, 1L for 5 gallon, and 2L for Lagers. In order to retrieve the yeast, I add some starter wort to the tube, shake it around then pitch into starter. I have never had a problem with pitch rate. Usually within 4-6 hours of pitching, there is activity. I usually begin my starter 4-5 days before brew day.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Longshot
Jul 19th, 2012
3:22 am
Good info, thanks
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Beeraucratic
Jul 19th, 2012
1:17 pm
So I've setup a frozen yeast bank that's been working great for me. I usually make a starter for each batch. I use a pippete to get the yeast. I put them in 4 dram vials with food grade glycerine. Glycerine doesn't freeze like water and won't puncture the cell walls - killing the yeast. I put in the fridge for a day then move to the freezer for a longer shelf life.

To re-propagate, I have a series of flasks 50ml-1000ml that I step up over the course of a week to get a full sized starter again. I'm actually working on a video for that now. But if you want to see my step-by-step for saving and freezing, check it out here:

http://www.beeraucratic.com/how-to-make-a-frozen-yeast-bank/

I've been doing 4 vials for each starter. I can probably go more, but have about 5 different yeast strains in my freezer now, so pretty good to go. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope this helps
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: TullyMountain
Jul 19th, 2012
1:45 pm
Wow. That sounds really cool. Never knew you could freeze like that!!! I hafta try it!
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: ibrewaletx
Jul 19th, 2012
6:38 pm
MattG
I've been using 8oz jelly jars after washing but have always been interested in tubes or slants.
When you propagate up over 4-5 days, what size starters do you make to get to the ~1 liter?
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Longshot
Jul 19th, 2012
6:44 pm
Beeraucratic
How do you keep the glycerin from ending up in the beer?
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: MattG
Jul 19th, 2012
8:23 pm
To make a 1L starter I just pitch the yeast from the tube into 1L of wort. To make a 2L starter I start with a 500ml starter then pitch into 2L when the yeast has chewed through the 500 ml. I don't worry about any gelatin getting into the starter. Doesn't seem to affect anything if some gets into the starter.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Beeraucratic
Jul 23rd, 2012
3:56 pm
@ Longshot - when I 'm starting this small, I take the 4 dram vial, step up to 50ml, then 100ml, then 250ml, then 500ml, 1000ml, 2000ml. I dump the whole vile in, glycerine and all. I actually use glycerol which is a food safe version of glycerine. Since we're only talking a few ml of it, by the time I'm totally stepped up, it's pretty minimal. I've been doing this for a while now and never had any off flavors or yeast propagation issues with it that I know of. There's a bunch of brands you can find on Amazon for this. Hope that helps
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Longshot
Jul 24th, 2012
4:58 pm
Thanks. What a cool concept (har har). How long have you stored yeast this way before successfully building up a starter and pitching. Years? Also, how long does it take to step a vial up to a 1L starter? I'm going to have to look into this.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 24th, 2012
4:59 pm
I use PET bottles.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Rex_Irae
Jul 29th, 2012
7:37 am
I have several stored in empty water bottles tucked inside of Boulevard cartons.
I would suggest getting some half gallon pickle jars rather than working with Mason jars.
They hold more and the mouths are wider.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 29th, 2012
12:42 pm
When I'm not using PET bottles, I like splitting it up between the wide mouth pint sized jars. They stack easy and don't take up so much fridge space. While I think PET bottles are nice and cheap, the absence of s wide mouth opening, that Rex alluded to, is a problem.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Beeraucratic
Jul 29th, 2012
2:18 pm
@ Longshot - I started freezing yeast almost a year ago. I don't think I actually have any original vials in there. But definitely some that have been in there at least 3-4 months. To get up to the 1L starter, it takes a week. Here's my schedule:

4 dram to 50ml 1 day
50ml to 100ml 1 day
100ml to 250ml 1 day
250ml to 500ml 2 days
500ml to 1000ml 2 days

Even though you're making a bit of starter each day, it's not that bad as you only have to make about 1/2 of your final volume cause you still have all the wort that you're stepping up from as well. I.e. you only need 50 ml of new wort when moving from 50 ml to 100 cause you're going to dump the entire 50ml starter in the bigger flask.

I have about 5 different strains now. I tend to just keep the ones I use most often. Anywho, hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Longshot
Jul 31st, 2012
12:35 am
I typically don't brew more than once per month, and I like to try different strains, so longer term storage is a big plus. Thanks for the info.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Filbrewer
Jul 31st, 2012
2:14 am
I brew almost every week in the Philippines and can you imagine that without a single homebrewshop to buy yeasts? So I do what Matt does, inoculate each strain in slants about 4 or 5 slants. The advantage of slants is that it can be stored longer, say 6 months to 1 year, after that I re-inoculate them for a fresher supply.

When I want to use them, I would harvest 1 tube with 20mL wort for a day, step it up to 100mL with a stir plate for a day, then 500mL to 1 Liter for another day, depending on the pitching rate. So that's just 3 days preparation.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: TullyMountain
Jul 31st, 2012
12:01 pm
Sorry to ask a stupid question, but...
Where do you get the small portion of wort each day?
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 31st, 2012
12:04 pm
You could boil a large quantity of wort, cool it and refrigerate it for a few days, adding when needed. This doesn't work for long term storage, but is okay for a week or so.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: TullyMountain
Jul 31st, 2012
12:15 pm
Geez... every time I hear stuff like this I think "what a pita".

I love the idea of stepping it up from nothing, but ...
So many containers, so much room for error, so many opportunities for infection...
so much fridge space...

I might put the ol' "yeast farm" project on the back burner for now.

It's so easy just re-using that yeast cake.

I like the idea of being able to freeze it though.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 31st, 2012
12:22 pm
You don't need all those containers. I have several sizes of flasks and rarely use them.

I use a couple of 1 gallon growlers for my starters. I start with about 1/2 gallon of wort and let that ferment. I then cool it in the fridge, decant the beer and save the slurry. Now I just add more wort to the same growler that I didn't clean. There's enough residual yeast on the walls from pouring it out to get another half gallon going. If I'm in a hurry I use 2 growlers.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: TullyMountain
Jul 31st, 2012
12:39 pm
So to understand clearly...

you decant the beer off, then pour the slurry off into your fermenter, and then just add a half-gallon of fresh wort (which you've obviously just brewed) into the yeast-dirty growler?

Wow. ez -peezy. I like it. Why haven't I been doing it like that?

How long do you let routine run for?
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 31st, 2012
12:51 pm
Yes, that's it. You have to start completely sanitized and maintain that throughout the process. It's not hard to do with a spray bottle of StarSan close by.

I usually let each one go 2-3 days. You could stir it and speed it up, but I'm not in that big of hurry. However, every time I walk by it, I swirl the wort and that speeds it up.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: Beeraucratic
Jul 31st, 2012
1:00 pm
And when I step up, I sanitize but also boil the wort in the flasks for about 5 mins too. So that helps as well. Just cover the top with foil, cool and pitch the previous amount in.
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: TullyMountain
Jul 31st, 2012
1:15 pm
BB: How many times do you redo that same yeast?

Yah beera thats the nice nice thing about playing with Erlinmeyers
Subject: Re: yeast recycle help
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 31st, 2012
1:22 pm
The growler starts with fresh yeast. That can be wet yeast from a smack pack, that from a last starter or just a little dry. After I have built up enough slurry, I add wort to the growler for the last starter. I save this slurry for future starter. I think I opened my last pack of US05 early last year and there's still a lot of the dry yeast left in the package.

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