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Yeast Splitting

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Ross

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Would it make sense to cut open a wyeast smack pack without smacking it & split the contents into 6 testtubes for fridge storage?
This seems to me maybe a better way than smacking it first & then dividing into 6 starters.
No issues with yeast fermenting etc...

Any thoughts?
 

Murray

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Sounds a bit risky sanitation-wise, but aside from that I can't see why not.
 

deadly

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Could you use a syringe?
 

JasonY

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I did this recently however smacked it and left it until it was ready to explode. I figure the yeast needed a feed to get them healthy for there impending sleep :) Poured it into 6 test tubes and still had some left. This smackpack was 8 months old as well.

Seems to have worked well.
 

Ross

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I'm assuming it will store better without smacking as that's the way it's sold - so don't see the point of feeding it before you want to use it thereby storing it under alcohol - Just seemed easier than slanting etc & dead easy to make a heap of starters...
 

JasonY

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Ross said:
I'm assuming it will store better without smacking as that's the way it's sold - so don't see the point of feeding it before you want to use it thereby storing it under alcohol - Just seemed easier than slanting etc & dead easy to make a heap of starters...
[post="76257"][/post]​

Who knows, bottle conditioned yeast manages to live a long while. Will be interested to hear how you go anyway as I am going to be doing this with all new smackpacks.

Test tubes are a great thing !
 

pint of lager

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Do a search on syringe.

Jgriff recently described how he uses a smack pack without smacking it by using a syringe to withdraw a sample.

Do make sure before embarking on any yeast farming, you understand the risks of infection balanced against the lowered costs of using your favourite method of splitting liquid yeast.

Nobody wants a spoilt batch of brew due to penny pinching.
 

Ross

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pint of lager said:
Do a search on syringe.

Jgriff recently described how he uses a smack pack without smacking it by using a syringe to withdraw a sample.

Do make sure before embarking on any yeast farming, you understand the risks of infection balanced against the lowered costs of using your favourite method of splitting liquid yeast.

Nobody wants a spoilt batch of brew due to penny pinching.
[post="76267"][/post]​
Not penny pinching, just trying to work out the best way of splitting/storing yeast...

Edit: POL, did a search on syringe & it didnt bring up the topic, that i could find anyway...
 

Lindsay Dive

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Ross,
Buy yourself an el cheapo pressure cooker and get into plating. Cheap as chips and clean yeast forever!

Lindsay.
 

Ross

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POL,

So what are risks, beyond hygene, in splitting the pack in this manner - is it higher risk than smacking the pack first?
 

pint of lager

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You have it in one, Ross. Hygiene.

Plating yeast up makes you very aware how easily and quickly infections occur.

Working with very small quantities of yeast means that if/when contamination occurs, the ratio of contaminant to wanted yeast is much higher than say working with a full smacked pack of active yeast and the same amount of contamination.

The point I was trying to put across earlier, is that there are risks, and any budding yeast farmer has to make the decision, do they buy a fresh yeast pack every time, or try to economise a bit and make a yeast pack go further. I went further down this path, plate yeast and store under sterile water. Then, I am faced with more gear to buy, and brewing means thinking a week ahead to streak a plate and make a starter. It adds extra levels of complexity to the brewing proceedure that some people get a great kick out of, and others just don't have the time or gear to follow that path.

Plating can be cheap, 20 plastic plates costs only a few dollars from Livingstone, but then you have to add freight ($20) and your time to make them up and grow them out correctly. A pressure cooker can be cheap, $10 from the op shop, then you spend hours driving around hunting up replacement seals for it. Test tubes, to make them cheap enough you have to buy them by the thousands. PLating then brings about the risks, are you growing yeast that will produce great beer, or have you just selected for the yeast that grows the best in agar, or lived the longest under water? Over time, there will be a drift away from the mother generation. Your yeast may be clean (or read some of Darren's comments about clean) but what are you actually growing and how hygenic are your transfers?
 

Ross

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Thanks POL...

i have plenty of time on my hands, but can't say that yeast plating really fires my enthusiasm - i'll wait till ozbrewers demo though before totally discounting it. if i can 4 to 6 brews out of a smack pack without filling my fridge with starter bottles everywhere, i'll be happy...
 

pint of lager

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If you have the time, equipment and skill, plating is definitely worth trying out. Once you have the yeast streaked, a matchhead or two of yeast from the plate, will have 60ml of wort romping in a day or two, ready to step up.

It is an advanced facet of brewing, and, so long as you understand the stringent sanitation requirements, you will find it a great skill.
 

BrissyBrew

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pint of larger
Your yeast may be clean (or read some of Darren's comments about clean) but what are you actually growing and how hygenic are your transfers?
Thanks for you previous advice about pressure cooking my plates with medium inside. I now live with what I would consider too much condensation on my plates, however have had no infections whatsoever since I started doing it. I have had a couple drops of condensation fall on my plates but I can live with that. I have grown out plates now for 2 weeks, and counting, my yeast colonies are getting bigger and bigger but still not a single sign of infection (which I thought may still be possible in the streaking process.

Slants.. I still dont quiet know if I love them or hate them. Good points, I have probably done about 40 slants so far and have never noticed an infection. I seal them up tight so I do get condensation but I store them upside down. I think I will like slants when I can get glass tubes with lids as I can not flame the mouth of the plastic tubes.

I do have problems pulling a single colony from a slant. I think slants for working cultures and medium length storage might be ok. I have been tempted to just pour in wort and use the entire slant as a start but I loose the single colony approach.

So things I am considering trying out
1. Take culture and streak and plate it in a petrie dish.
2. Scoop up a single colony and streak in a slant.
3. When ready to build up a starter, add wort to slant, leave for a day or two
4. Then pour mix into first step up starter.
I like the idea of using slants for working cultures, as I can see if anything nasty grows but it easier than workign with plates. I can use the slant innoculated from a single colony from a plate as my first starter, I will have a little lawn of yeast, in which I can add 1/4 of a test tude of wort to.

It is the liquid to liquid transfers I am concerned about. Especially culturing from my small 7ml culture to a 200ml starter. I use to do more steps in the begining but now leave the smaller step ups to later on when I know I have the yeast in numbers.

ROSS
I am going to do an order from livingstone soon (I should move the thread to the bulk buys, (brisbane bulk buy to be precise).



I guess I could be viewed as a penny pincher however as no local brew shops stocks liquid yeast and anything non standard I need to order in I would really like to build a decent yeast bank. I dream about the day I have 30 odd yeast varieties to choose from.
 

Lindsay Dive

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BrissyBrew,

One of the first traps a 'plater' gets into when not exactly knowing all about the plating process is the damn condensation.
Remedy, you store all your plates upside down. Before streaking and after streaking.
When you first make the plates, it is best to 'dry' them a little by placing them in a refrigerator with a loose plastic bag covering them. The condensation will then form on the inside of the plastic bag. After about three days you can store them upside down in a resealable plastic bag
The little yeasties grow upside down!!
As far as the slants go, I used them about 12 years ago and have totally given up. Too fiddley trying to get your loop in and out etc. I plate everything now.

Lindsay,
The yeast thief.
 

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