Yeast starter from harvested yeast

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Beersnob

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hi there Brewers. Would really appreciate some advice.
How do I know if my yeast starter is viable? Did all the right things. Everything is sanitised, did a 3 litre mini wort with gravity of about 1.032 ish . I pitched my washed yeasts from February at 20C in my flask and onto a stir plate in my fermenting fridge, it's been at 20C Since Saturday afternoon. I had a look this morning and it's now a milky colour with no krausen. Should I be concerned? Is it to early? Is my washed yeast no good? I've done starters before from fresh yeast and it looked good by the first day. I brew 45 litre batches so was going to do a second starter before brew day on Sunday October 7th. I'm using Vermont ale yeast and will be brewing a 7.5 ABV IPA.
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altone

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hi there Brewers. Would really appreciate some advice.
How do I know if my yeast starter is viable? Did all the right things. Everything is sanitised, did a 3 litre mini wort with gravity of about 1.032 ish . I pitched my washed yeasts from February at 20C in my flask and onto a stir plate in my fermenting fridge, it's been at 20C Since Saturday afternoon. I had a look this morning and it's now a milky colour with no krausen. Should I be concerned? Is it to early? Is my washed yeast no good? I've done starters before from fresh yeast and it looked good by the first day. I brew 45 litre batches so was going to do a second starter before brew day on Sunday October 7th. I'm using Vermont ale yeast and will be brewing a 7.5 ABV IPA.
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If it's turned a lighter milky colour it's multiplying. Maybe just a bit sluggish to start.
Some of my frozen yeasts take 3 plus days before they take off properly.
 

Beersnob

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Wall

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The stir plate tends to kill krausen a lot of the time, there’ll be a thick layer of yeast when you settle it
 

Rocker1986

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Why is it being kept in a temp controlled brew fridge? Cold overnight? They can be done warmer than 20 and are probably better done warmer.
 

wide eyed and legless

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hi there Brewers. Would really appreciate some advice.
How do I know if my yeast starter is viable? Did all the right things. Everything is sanitised, did a 3 litre mini wort with gravity of about 1.032 ish . I pitched my washed yeasts from February at 20C in my flask and onto a stir plate in my fermenting fridge, it's been at 20C Since Saturday afternoon. I had a look this morning and it's now a milky colour with no krausen. Should I be concerned? Is it to early? Is my washed yeast no good? I've done starters before from fresh yeast and it looked good by the first day. I brew 45 litre batches so was going to do a second starter before brew day on Sunday October 7th. I'm using Vermont ale yeast and will be brewing a 7.5 ABV IPA.
[emoji482]
An old thread from wolfy may help you and other brewers wanting to make starters.
https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/basics-of-making-and-using-a-yeast-starter.54900/
 

Beersnob

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Why is it being kept in a temp controlled brew fridge? Cold overnight? They can be done warmer than 20 and are probably better done warmer.

Yes it was cold overnight when I was doing it. Its also a nice clean place to do the starter.
 

Danscraftbeer

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Harvested Yeast that is 8 months old will be considered as zero viability by yeast calculators. It will eventually start up but when I have revived yeast that old its not as good , or the same character as it was when fresh.
 

altone

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Harvested Yeast that is 8 months old will be considered as zero viability by yeast calculators. It will eventually start up but when I have revived yeast that old its not as good , or the same character as it was when fresh.

I understand and agree with what you are saying.
However, after doing many trials on recovering yeast stored for 5 years (were frozen yeast vials but not frozen for the last 2 or 3 years before recovery)
and also jars of yeast stored nearly a year in a refrigerator.

Most of them were recoverable and gave results expected of that style of yeast.
A few were infected or overrun by wild yeast so didn't make the cut.

Now I do not suggest this as good practice, it was more an experiment on my part to see if it was possible.
The recovered yeast may have mutated/strayed from the original but seemed to give a similar result.
If the original was not a pure strain, but a blend, then chances of getting a good result are vastly diminished.

After doing the test brews, including 1 where I reused the yeast cake, I didn't keep the recovered yeasts.
However if I had a strain that was not currently available, I would have made some frozen vials of it - just in case.

It may not be "as good" as the original, but if originally cleaned and stored well, it may suffice.

Having said all that.
Always try and buy fresh yeast, if you want to save some, do it from the original starter, not after the brew.
If it's a commonly available strain - chuck anything you've saved for months in the fridge and get a new one.
If it's a seasonal/limited release yeast, maybe look at freezing it (plenty of info here on that)
edit: link https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/lets-freeze-some-yeast.50154/
 
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Edd Mather 6

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How Do All ,
For what it`s worth ; I`d strongly advocate growing any Yeast Starter in A HOPPED WORT MEDIUM @ 1.028 - 1.035 , with a temperature range of 16 (start) , with a free rise to 28 - 30 C (Top Heat) .
One of the best results i`ve ever had using the above method ; was when I had the opportunity to use Bass yeast from a Quart bottle of Bass Princess Ale from 1978 (in 1994) , the bloody thing took off like a rocket !!! .
Cheers :cheers:,

Edd
 

Outback

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What's the reasoning behind the hopped part? I understand they have a degree of antibacterial properties, but the oils will also adhere to the yeast cell wall affecting nutrient uptake and cell division.
 

ABG

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What's the reasoning behind the hopped part? I understand they have a degree of antibacterial properties, but the oils will also adhere to the yeast cell wall affecting nutrient uptake and cell division.

x2. I would like to know your thinking here @Edd Mather 6. I've never added hops to my starters, but am always willing to try well reasoned new processes.
 

Rocker1986

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I've never hopped mine either, given I harvest yeast from them I guess I want it as clean as possible without going to the trouble of washing it, the whole reason I began this process in the first place. I get consistently good results so I doubt I'll change anything about it.
 

altone

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I used to keep a small jar of leftover hops in the fridge and add one pellet to the starter because I read somewhere it helps.
But now I don't bother, I do always add a little yeast nutrient though.
I usually use wort at around 1.030 too.
 

Edd Mather 6

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Hi All ,
I should have mentioned that the IBU rating of the starter should be somewhere around the 12 - 14 mark ,ie : low and unobtrusive ( with a low a/a hop variety )
As to the reasoning ; it`s a personal habit , not a shiboleth !! ,
Cheers ,
Edd
 

Outback

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Cool, it's just that you "strongly advocate" doing this and use CAPITALS to emphasize your point. When someone seems so sure of their practice and it is different to what I do, I like to question the why and wherefore to help improve my brewing.
On balance I think I'll stick to 1.040 unhopped wort.
 

Edd Mather 6

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How Do Outback ,
I advocated that technique as a personal reccomendation ; but if you`ve got a yeast propigation / handling proceedure that`s working well for you , and more pertinently is producing the results you`re after , why change ? .

Cheers ,

Edd
 

Danscraftbeer

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Age old respected hysterical breweries kept repitching the same yeast on the same brew. Indefinitely.
This is how yeast can mutate to become a breed of its own.
When I have failed in keeping a strain it seems to lose its original flavor signiture and take on a Belgian character. Like kinda wild yeast character. This is not a bad thing just not the original thing.
Those other tiny amounts of more resilient organisms come forward when your original yeast dies out.
$0.02
 
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