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Sluggo

Yeast Starter

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ok. Since I've had poor results reharvesting yeast, I may try something else. For the first time, I tried a yeast starter. 1 quart sterile water, 4 oz LME, with the initial pitch of the American Ale liquid yeast. I split the starter into 2 jars, with foil covering both. After 24 hrs, its bubbling away. It appears, by naked eye, that both jars yeast doubled in size...nice thick white yeast layer at bottom.

Do you think I'm safe pitching just the one jar, and save the other for another brew day?

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If you pitched a full vial, bottle or smack pack of liquid yeast into a liter of wort then you won't be doubling the cell count, depending on the number of healthy cells going into the starter. To double the cell count in a fresh yeast package I'd pitch it into a 2 liter starter and spin it on a stirplate. But, if the liquid yeast used was old then the cell counts would be much lower and there would be an increase of healthy new cells, but there's a lot of variables that affect the final cell count.

What I would do based on your original post is pitch them both, ferment the beer and then revisit your yeast washing process until it's perfected. Once you get the basics of yeast washing down you'll be rewarded with a steady supply of healthy yeast as well as saving a ton of money per batch of beer.

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This whole yeast harvesting thing has really caught on well among us here, which is wonderful. I think Screwy is probably the root of the recent surge in this interest. Screwy, I'm sure you're tired of hearing it by now, but I seriously thank you for all your helpful information and encouragement on yeast harvesting here for all of us.

And thanks to all the others who have contributed to the information bank on yeast here lately. This has been, and should continue to be, a wonderful experience.

Sluggo, like Screwy says, hang in there and keep perfecting your technique. My first attempt to harvest yeast was a flop, but my efforts are slowly improving. My last two batches made from harvested yeast have done very well. I'm not the most disciplined person around, by far, so if I can do it, anyone can. I look forward to improving my techniques. This is great stuff.

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+1 on what JoeChianti said.

My current brew is fermenting away with yeast harvested from an earlier batch. I haven't gone anywhere near as far as Screwy, but I can see that this worth doing.

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Here, Here we love you Screwy and we love our yeast. :kiss:

My first try was a flop as well but at least I knew where I messed up so I can't wait to try again. :cheers:

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"sluggo" post=369283 said:

ok. Since I've had poor results reharvesting yeast, I may try something else. For the first time, I tried a yeast starter. 1 quart sterile water, 4 oz LME, with the initial pitch of the American Ale liquid yeast. I split the starter into 2 jars, with foil covering both. After 24 hrs, its bubbling away. It appears, by naked eye, that both jars yeast doubled in size...nice thick white yeast layer at bottom.

Do you think I'm safe pitching just the one jar, and save the other for another brew day?

Much depends on 1) the size of your batch, 2) the OG of the batch, and 3) ale vs. lager.

If it's an LBK-size ale of 1.050 OG, you'll be slightly underpitching by using a one-pint simple (no stirplate) starter, but not horribly so.

May I suggest pitching all of the one-quart starter and then give harvesting another shot when this batch is done. If you have some canning jars + boiled/sterilized/chilled water, you can do it. It also doesn't hurt to have some StarSan in a spray bottle handy to sanitize jars, lids and such as you go.

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I pitched the whole thing...both jars. You all convinced me to give the yeast recovery one more shot. Thanks for the encouragement. I'll try it in 10-14 days after I move this to a secondary. It's going to sit in secondary for a bit longer than normal ... 2-3 more weeks. It's a clone of Two Hearted Ale from Michigan. Overshot my target...hit 1.065 instead of 1.064. Close like Horseshoes is a good thing.

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"BigFloyd" post=369418 said:

Much depends on 1) the size of your batch, 2) the OG of the batch, and 3) ale vs. lager.


Speaking of ale vs lager, I just brewed my first lager, and then harvested my first lager yeast from the LBK after racking to secondary. I'm still new at this yeast harvesting, only having harvested perhaps half a dozen times, all of them ale yeast. This batch of lager yeast was at least 3 or 4 times as much volume as any of the ale yeasts I had leftover from the previous LBK batches of ale. Is that common, or did I simply overpitch? I had made a starter plus two step up starters from a smack pack that was 5 months old, then pitched it all after the 2nd step up. It was in the LBK for 4 to 5 weeks before racking to secondary. Just seems like a massive amount of yeast cake there. Is this normal or what?

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Yeast washing does work. My current ale hit it's FG in 38 hours. The yeast used was
Wyeast's American Ale 1056, one of my favorites. This starter (2 L) was the most vigorous I have ever had with this yeast. As alot of you know I use Fermcap all the time, I still had an inch of krausen in the flask! Unusual to say the least. ++10^infinity on using a stir plate for your starters. It is really a great benefit.

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