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Splitting Wyeast Smack Packs

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Crusty

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I have never really considered culturing yeast or yeast harvesting but after reading Tony's thread on splitting a Wyeast smack pack, I'm going to give it a go. I have ordered 50 x 30ml vials from Proscitech & wondering how many vials I can get from the one smack pack.
Tony suggested that one vial poured into a 2lt starter is enough for a 50lt ferment. He splits his smack pack into three vials, two for storage & the other goes into his starter. I only do single 23lt batches & wondering if I could get 4 vials from one smack pack & use each vial for a 2lt starter.
Any idea on the shelf life of each vial if kept at 3-4degC.
Cheers
 

Dazza88

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Yep. 4 vials would be fine. Make an appropriate starter for your brew particulars. You probably only need a 1L to 1.5L starter for the standard 23L brew. Did Tony step up starters from the vials? Possibly just need to step up vials as they get older in storage time. E.g 200ml then 2000ml steps.

IIRC 6 months as a general rule but i think people resurrect vial/smack packs over a year old.
 

Crusty

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Yep. 4 vials would be fine. Make an appropriate starter for your brew particulars. You probably only need a 1L to 1.5L starter for the standard 23L brew. Did Tony step up starters from the vials? Possibly just need to step up vials as they get older in storage time. E.g 200ml then 2000ml steps.

IIRC 6 months as a general rule but i think people resurrect vial/smack packs over a year old.
Cheers.
I think Tony just added the whole vial after shaking it up to a 2lt starter, no step ups at all. I was planning on just adding each vial to a 2lt starter.
 

hsb

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You're almost there to making slants. Those tubes are already sterile, so it's just making the agar/wort for the slant and using a bit of stainless wire or such to add the yeast. I use the same vials for slants, but perfect for just splitting too.
http://www.antiochsudsuckers.com/tom/YeastSlants.htm
 

Crusty

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You're almost there to making slants. Those tubes are already sterile, so it's just making the agar/wort for the slant and using a bit of stainless wire or such to add the yeast. I use the same vials for slants, but perfect for just splitting too.
http://www.antiochsudsuckers.com/tom/YeastSlants.htm
A bit too much work for me.
I am happy just to get a bit more use out of a single yeast pack.
If I can get 4 brews from a single pack, that would be great.
I usually just toss the whole pack in the fermenter so this will save me some money.
 

seamad

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I have those vials, i smack pack and fill 3 vials AFTER pack has swollen ( no vial bombs) and pour remainder into a waiting starter, i have recently also made slants as well with the vials just to get some more.
I write yeast # and manufacture date on lid.
The yeastcalculator link found on this site ( cant link from my nook) allows up to 3-4 steps to build up suffecient yeast. With vials over three months old i would normally start with @150 ml then another intermediate step then chill to drop yeast then final starter which is also chilled and beer poured off. The calculator allows stirplates, oxygen etc.
Cheers
Sean
 

Crusty

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I have those vials, i smack pack and fill 3 vials AFTER pack has swollen ( no vial bombs) and pour remainder into a waiting starter, i have recently also made slants as well with the vials just to get some more.
I write yeast # and manufacture date on lid.
The yeastcalculator link found on this site ( cant link from my nook) allows up to 3-4 steps to build up suffecient yeast. With vials over three months old i would normally start with @150 ml then another intermediate step then chill to drop yeast then final starter which is also chilled and beer poured off. The calculator allows stirplates, oxygen etc.
Cheers
Sean
Can I just pour the vial into a 2lt starter & forget the step up?
I want to avoid the step if possible.
 

seamad

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You can but you will be underpitching most likely.
Goto www.yeastcalc.com
Have a play with it, very simple to use.
You can enter .25 of a smack pack too i think.
cheers
 

hsb

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A bit too much work for me.
I am happy just to get a bit more use out of a single yeast pack.
If I can get 4 brews from a single pack, that would be great.
I usually just toss the whole pack in the fermenter so this will save me some money.
Fair enough. Mr malty is my go to for yeast numbers.
Farming yeast is a great way to experience more liquid yeasts for a pretty low outlay, whatever way you do it.
:drinks:
 
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You can but you will be underpitching most likely.
Goto www.yeastcalc.com
Have a play with it, very simple to use.
You can enter .25 of a smack pack too i think.
cheers
Yeastcalc is a good calculator, the steps that you can put in are helpful. I have two lagers that I'm going to be brewing side by side in my fridge with a yeast that I bought at grape and grain a month ago, the extra info that you can get from yeast calc is good information, cheers for the link.
 

Crusty

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You can but you will be underpitching most likely.
Goto www.yeastcalc.com
Have a play with it, very simple to use.
You can enter .25 of a smack pack too i think.
cheers
I just typed in a few figures using yeastcalc & not too sure I would be under pitching with a single inoculation in a 2lt starter.
Initial cell count 25billion ( wyeast pack 100billion ) split into 4 x 30ml vials ( 25billion each approx )
production date 13/6/12
viable cell count 19.25
1st step stir plate
Inoculation rate 9.6
new cells 109billion
total cells 129billion
no: of doublings 5.66

So, if I split the Wyeast pack into 4 x 30ml vials, I have 25billion cells to inoculate into the 2lt starter. New cell count should be 129billion cells, more than the original pack of 100billion cells. Sound about right?
Is a full 24hrs on the stir plate long enough to get my cell count up to 129billion?
 

Wolfy

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I just typed in a few figures using yeastcalc & not too sure I would be under pitching with a single inoculation in a 2lt starter.
.... Sound about right?
Is a full 24hrs on the stir plate long enough to get my cell count up to 129billion?
Please be aware that the cell counts and calculations are only estimates of what is going on - don't get too caught on the numbers but focus on sanitation and yeast health.

Pitching 20billion cells into a 2L starter is on the limits of what is usually recommended, you could do it, and it would likely work, however if you put a smaller step in first, you would - in theory - end up with more healthy yeast in your starter at the end of the process. This would also help if your initial cell count estimate is lower than expected (especially since the pitching rate is already on the limit).

Most of the cell growth in a starter occurs quickly and in normal conditions should be complete within 24hours.
 

seamad

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On the top line you can enter whether you are making an ale or lager,enter gravity and volume ( can change to metric) and it will tell you how many cells you need.
After entering date etc of yeast proceed as you have done.
I try to keep doublings to @3. So for a standard ale batch start with a .5 l starter and when done just poor that into @1 more. Doing the extra step will give you a lot more( healthy) yeast than just doing a 2 l starter, for not a lot of effort.
 

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