Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * April 1, 2003 * Starting poor boy's yeast bank < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
Nalgene CarboysBill Pierce03-19-03  09:59 pm
  Start New Thread        

Author Message
 

Todd Metcalf (32.97.110.66)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm tired of paying the $5.00 per batch for yeast. So I'm in the middle of a process that I've read in the forum. With the one smack pack, I've made a 1/2 gallon starter. I allowed this to sit for about a week to allow most of the fermentation to complete. I divided this starter into 3 beer bottles (12oz) which I will store in the refridgerator until its brew time. I think after a week in the fridge I'll decant some of the beer off of the top and replace with distilled water. When its time to use, I'll step up the yeast in one beer bottle with a starter and pitch as usual. I figure I can reuse the stuff that primary. Basically get at least 6 batches from one smack pack.

Anyway, I ran into a slight problem. Last night I transfered from the 1/2 gallon to the beer bottles. To get the yeast off of the 1/2 gal., I had to shake it a lot. Then I poured it into the beer bottles. I thought most fermentation should be done, so if filled the bottle with 10-11 oz. Put some foil on the top. This morning all of the bottles over flowed with foam creating a little mess. Only a little mess, but enough for me to question sanitization.

So my question (after a long post) is should I just toss these bottles, or relax, don't worry....

Normally I would just relax, not cry over spilled beer, but in this situation it is only $5-6 invested and could lead to disasters.
 

Bill Pierce (208.57.122.28)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Clean the mouth of the bottles carefully with sanitizer. Your yeast should be all right. My refrigerator yeast bank consists of quart mason jars with about an inch of yeast sediment covered with sterile distilled water. I have no problems with yeast that is more than a year old, although it takes a few days for a starter to work if the yeast is more than 4-5 months old.
 

Mike Johnson (64.73.69.6)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 06:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow, I had no idea you could keep yeast that long in a fridge. I will be using 1056 a lot, so would benefit from keeping some alive from batch to batch. Bill, I know you don't wash, so is the following procedure all you do?

1. Transfer yeast from primary to jar(s)
2. Allow yeast to settle
3. Pour off liquid and cover yeast with distilled water.

Thanks.
 

Bill Pierce (208.57.122.28)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Mike, that's about all there is to it. If the water doesn't seem clear after a day or two, I may pour off the distilled water and replace it.
 

Jeff (205.155.15.1)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

bill,
what are the benefits of distilled water over the beer it came with?
 

Bill Pierce (208.57.122.28)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff, this is a longstanding argument and the "experts" disagree. There is some thought that distilled water deprives the yeast of all nutrients and causes it to go dormant more quickly. Others argue that it is sufficient to store the yeast under beer.
 

Hornbrau (130.76.96.17)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The only advantage I can see from water vs the beer it came with is that the beer will still contain sugars and the yeast will continue to chew on it which could lead to potential problems. For short durations this is a non issue but for longer storage water is probably a better alternative.
 

kevin bower (66.61.140.4)
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i have been just dumping the trub and all into quart jars, leaving me with 2-3 inches of goop in the jars... is there a better way i should be doing this?
 

Dan Schultz (63.224.229.227)
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kevin, that's what I do. You can do a simple yeast wash (see the wyeast web site) or do a modified one like I do.

I store the yeast/trub/wort in a mason jar until one week before I need it. I use it to make a starter and once the strater is at krausen, I rack the fermenting wort to a fresh starter container and dump all of the trub. That clears most of the crap from the starter and your future beer.
 

Bill Pierce (208.57.122.28)
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 01:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm convinced that yeast washing is unnecessary in the large majority of cases.
 

Billie Neilson (24.58.184.54)
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 02:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've been reading a lot about it but haven't tried it yet, but wouldn't making slants from liquid yeast be a viable way of preseving it for later use? Anybody use that method and how effective is it?
 

ahancbrew1 (143.183.121.2)
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 10:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Billie,

Here is what I do. Making slants

In 1998 I bought 6 WYeast packs (American Ale, Irish Ale, British Ale, Special London Ale ESB, Bavarian Lager & Bohemian Lager). The only time I have to buy yeast now is if I want a different yeast. I bought 31 vials with caps plus the yeast for $71.85US. Compared to the cost of the large Wyeast packs, I have saved $170 so far.

Hope this helps,

Andy
 

Jojox (63.237.76.66)
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 03:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andy,
How long do your cultures last in the fridge? I started doing the same thing, and I have two strains now (3 slants each). Just curious if I actually need to reculture after 6 months or if I can go longer.
 

ahancbrew1 (143.183.121.1)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 08:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jojox,

I've never let my slants go more than 6 months. I usually transfer the yeast to a new slant within 3 to 4 months. I have read on this board that slants may last a year or more, but I have no experience with storing a slant that long so I can't say whether or not that this is a good idea.

Andy
 

robert rulmyr (63.156.128.30)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andy, I think I'm going to try your method for slants. I have some baby food jars...
Is the gelatine you mention the same that some use for fining?

WacoBob
 

Brandon Dachel (208.44.235.190)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Anybody use that method and how effective is
> it? t-!>

I switched from storing yeast in mason jars to using slants about 3 months ago. I'm annoyed that I didn't make that decision earlier. While there is a startup cost (test tubes, petri dishes, etc) those things will pay for themselves.

It was a bit of a pain at first preparing 30 or so blank slants, but with that done innoculating them takes almost no time.

The only thing I would caution is that sanitation will become absolutely critical. I've had petri dishes get contaminated because I thought I could cut some corners. I simply cleaned and sanitized the petri dishes and then poured the gelatin/wort media into them. What I didn't do was to boil them in a pot with a heavy glass lid. Within a week or so there were definitely things other than my yeast growing in the dishes.
 

ahancbrew1 (143.183.121.1)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Robert,

I use Knox(?) unflavored gelatin packets for both fining and making slants. I buy it at the local grocery store next to the boxes of Jell-O.

As Brandon mentions sanitation is important, but I have only had a couple of slants develope mold in the last 5 years. I always make an extra slant or 2 with each yeast, just in case.

Andy
 

robert rulmyr (161.109.3.195)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 07:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Two more questions. Step up from slant right to 500mL? Ready to pitch in 24 to 36 hours?
Thanks
 

George P. (159.178.63.165)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 08:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Others may do things differently but I pull a loopful from the slant and inoculate a 10ml to 30ml starter. When this is done, I step up to a starter 5 to 10 times the original volume. And then once again, depending on what I'm brewing (ex: how big a batch, how high the starting gravity is, etc).

Hope this helps.

Slainte, George P.
 

ahancbrew1 (143.183.121.1)
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 08:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

At 1st I followed the instructions and stepped up 1 slant to a 500ml starter and had no problems. But after asking questions hear I have a 3 stage process. Instead of using test tubes for my slants, I bought small bottles about 1 oz in size. The opening on the bottle is the same size as my fermenter (#2 stopper ?). To start my yeast I pour a small amount of starter solution into my slant bottle and install an airlock. A day later I pour this into a 250ml starter, then 2 days later to a 1 liter starter for Ales or a 2 liter starter for lagers. The multiple steps is supposed to develope stronger yeast.

Andy
 

Bill Pierce (12.207.82.170)
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 02:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andy, excessive multiple steps also expose the yeast to more chances for infection and mutation. In general I would want to increase the starter voulme at least five times between steps, and 8-10 times is more typical.
 

Mark Tigges (24.78.80.117)
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andy, I build all my starters up from slants, and I would advise against using an airlock. Obviously Bill is right that there is increased chance of infection, but if you are exposing the lip of the flask to the air (by sealing with an airlock) and then pouring the starter over that lip you are in a very likely position to infect the culture. Possible solutions are to parafilm the stopper to your flask. Or do away with the stopper, when you sterilize your flasks (either by boiling or pressure cooking), wrap the lid in tin foil tightly and smack your palm flat around the top. The tin foil will tightly wrap around the lip and a bubble will form in the middle when it is done right. Sterilize with this on and put it in a draft free place until needed. The final option if you are still going to use the stopper is to flame the lip of the bottle. Use a propane torch and pass the lip all around in the flame for a few seconds. Of course you kill some yeast as you pour over the lip. An advantage to this is that if you use the torch (you should anyways actually for any method), you will have the torch handy, do the culture transfer near to the flame. Withen 3-4 inches of the flame is purportedly sterile.

To answer another question, how long do slants last? Long enough (my record was six months with no problem). But it's not a very relevant question, since making more is easy (and fun), after three months, make a starter and then innoculate ten (or whatever) more slants from that. When it's time to brew, take one slant and start a starter, then destroy the slant. Don't reuse it.

The generally accepted method for long term storage (without -80) is keep a loop refridgerated under sterile distilled water. This method has been reliably used for multi year storage. And there is anecdotal evidence (see Rajotte) of a very similar method being used to revive yeast which was >20 years old.

Maybe you would like to read the following:

http://www.users.fast.net/~dwhitman/yeast/index.htm

I personally highly encourage Todd (the original poster), or anyone to begin culturing yeast. If you aren't brewing simply to have cheap beer, but rather enjoy the creativity and the process, it is very likely that you will enjoy culturing yeast. It is less of an expense and less of a time commitment than brewing is, and you have greater control over one more aspect of your product.

Best regards,
Mark.
 

ahancbrew1 (143.183.121.2)
Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 10:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

I have no interest in using "excessive multiple steps" when making starters. My slants have about the same amount of yeast it would take to cover a nickel. What step(s)do you suggest when building to a starter for Ale and Lagers?

Mark Thanks for the info. I'm always trying to find ways to improve my techniques.

Andy
 

Bill Pierce (12.207.82.170)
Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 08:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would step up a slant first to 50 ml, then to 500 ml and finally to about a gallon. Depending on the beer (if the O.G. is low enough), I might omit the last step.
 

Billie Neilson (24.58.184.54)
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 04:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, I purchased a dozen 50 ml Erlenmyer flasks to us as slants. Could you just pour your starter in on top of the slant, or would the growth medium cause a problem? When I go to make the slants, how much growth medium should I pour in to begin with?
 

Brandon Dachel (208.44.235.190)
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 01:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

50mL is kinda big for a slant. I don't think it's a problem other than you kinda end up wasting alot of growth media.

My situation is the same as Andy's I guess. The yeast film on the surface is about the size of a nickel and I simply go right to 100mL from there.

As for the specific questions...I use culture tubes and fill them maybe 1/3 to 1/2 full of growth media - that's probably a few mL. I boil up the 100mL starter in an Erlenmyer flask, flame the mouth of it and the culture tube, pour a small amount of sterile wort into the culture tube and then use a sterile innoculating loop to scrape the yeast up into suspension. I don't worry about tearing a little bit of the gelatin off.

I then dump that back into the flask and let it start working.
 

Mark Tigges (66.38.134.9)
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 04:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andy asked about the step(s) to build up a starter.

I don't do lagers, (yet), here's what I do for ales.

I take a single loop of yeast from a slant and innoculate a 10ml tube of wort. This I leave overnight, and transfer it after 24hrs to a 250 ml erlenmeyer flask. This I leave for another 24 hours. Then move it into the 1000ml E flask. Again, 25 hours. At each step the lips of the tubes/flasks are flamed.

At this point in the 1000ml there is enough yeast to pitch into a 1035-1042, so if I'm making my light hefe for michelle, that's the end. Otherwise I cool it to settle the yeast and then decant the nascent fluid. Then I add another 250 ml of wort. I keep doing this until I get how much I think I need. After two the wort additions get eaten very quickly. The amount of buildup of yeast lessens each time. It's probably asymptotic. The most I've done is two. If I really needed a lot of yeast like for a 1100 barleywine or a lager, I would step up into a gallon jug.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. The other thing people mention is that it is difficult to plan brewing day far enough in advance to properly prepare the starter. I don't bother, I just build a starter for what I know I want to brew next and whenever it gets used, that's when it gets used. The starter will keep well enough. If I'm done building up, I loosely screw the cap of erlenmeyer down and then parafilm it. The film bulges out slowly allowing you to watch the pressure build up. Parafilm is saran wrap on steroids. Very good cling film will likely give similar results.

One thing I should mention is that generally I don't keep slants anymore. My yeast storage is under sterile water now, so the actual first step is to plate the yeast to a petri dish grow it just as on a slant, then innoculate the tubes from that. This allows more flexible storage of the yeast, and very easily allows building your starter from a colony that arose from a single cell. Just pick off the perfectly round little pinprick dots of yeast from the plate.

Highly recommended reading is Rajotte, "First Steps in Yeast Culturing". My friend is a microbiologist and taught me what I needed to know (otherwise I wouldn't have started this), but the book is excellent. It is intended for homebrewers and is completely accesible to people lacking biological training, as most surely are. In fact the author is a homebrewer.

Mark.

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.