Re-using yeasts

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Re-using yeasts

Postby Pikey » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:58 pm

A couple of days ago I started another of my Bacardi (ish) 25 litre ferments. Having cooked the last one a couple of weeks ago and left a litre or so of the lees in the fermenter (Cap tight) I thought I'd give it a go, so kept the lees asidemwhile i put the Treacle (Molasses) and sugar in there with some hot water, bringing it down to "sensible" temp with cold, stuck my airstone pump in there and pitched the lees back in. Tonight I took the cap off and stuck my ear in there. It's definitely started up.

Now since I use ec 1118 for pretty much everything, that is a decent cost saving over using fresh, I know it will get to a decent abv and cope with our cooler climate.

I have another starter bottle I made up last Autumn and left on the windowsill. It started ok, then cleared and although I put more sugar in, stayed clear until last week. now it is cloudy again and you can see little bubbles pricking the surface.
I'll see what grape juice I have around the place and start a brandy wash over the weekend with that. Have to say I was surprised by it starting to work again with the real cold having backed off a bit, but thought I'd mention these as a bit of a reminder that we can re-use yeast in a lot of cases. That may not matter to those who use bread yeast, but over a season, can be a decent saving for those who choose speciality or wine yeasts. I think my whisky wash has about another cooking in it and I'll save a bucketful of that to restart the successor, as soon as I get it organised.

As long as you don't try to start a whiskey with a rum wash lees, and keep the lees fairly hygienic, it's easy enough to do this and I know others do it too :thumbup:
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby pounsfos » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:37 pm

they say you can safely re use yeast about 6 times before it mutates, keep that in mind.
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Pikey » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Yes I've seen reference to that in some places - I never quite understand what it means though, since yeast generally reproduces assexually, I'm not quite sure where these "mutations" would come from. Some peole are saying they're on their "30th generation" of UJSSM - does that count as 1 usage or 30, or more ?

Sometimes I think it may be a "brewer's myth" sent about by the wine producers ? :lol:

However most wine yeasts, ec 1118, Turbo and also bread yeast are all the same yeast name wise - so there must be something to be said about selecting for certain traits !
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Desvio » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:19 pm

For each 5-6 gallon batch of whatever I ferment and cold crash, I divide the remaining beer and trub usually into 4-5 containers and that makes up the first generation. And each of those will get pitched into their own 5-6 gallon batch and each make 4-5 containers of the second generation. So if you do the math it can grow very very quickly into a big mess in your refrigerator (like mine) that the family complains about.

Now I have to agree, on my scale I have yet to see something mutate noticeably. Same thing about having them all die off, I pitched some yeast that was nearing a year old, had nothing better to do and was curious. 24 hours later the little buggars were bubbling happily and made a very nice cider.
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby HDNB » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:33 pm

i be one of those guys that ran a UJ for an entire year on one yeast dose.

That said, i have been recently reading up on yeqsts, temperatures and such. The yeast lab guys say that it is re-usable but only if you are fermenting low (er) than 1.06, keeping temperatures cool and appropriate nutrients, low/no oxygen etc. etc,. But they also say nothing works like fresh lab created yeast.

go figger.
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:05 am

HDNB wrote:. But they also say nothing works like fresh lab created yeast.

go figger.


The guys who make a living by creating fresh lab created yeast? :lol:
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Saltbush Bill » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:55 am

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:The guys who make a living by creating fresh lab created yeast? :lol:


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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Pikey » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:30 pm

Today I'm challenging the concept. Ran the last full 25 Litres of Pikey's easy Scotch as a 1.5 and left about 10 Litres in fermenter. This has been standing in the cold all winter since I fermented it last autumn. I added 10 Litres of cold water, then ran my cooling water back into the fermenter (I'm guessing it was around 100 - 110 F), adding the ingredients as the level built up. There's now about 180 litres of wort in there, about 40 Litres headspaceand I still need to add 13 kg sugar and a little acid, maybe some more nutrient. Then we'll see if the residual yeast is viable and kicks back into life.

Gave it 1 hour on aqurium air stone and will switch on fishtank heater (300 Watt set at 23 C tomorrow and add the rest of the ingredients.

Fingers crossed :)
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby speedfreaksteve » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:52 pm

pounsfos wrote:they say you can safely re use yeast about 6 times before it mutates, keep that in mind.


I've been making wine since the 80's and I doubt that I could count on both hands how many packets of yeast that I've actually bought, maybe 7-8. I've went stretches of well over 5 years using yeast that I just continued on from the same culture. Was just more convenient and saves money.

I have had the yeast "change" after a long while. I had one strain of wine yeast after a couple years that developed a very high alcohol tolerance (good to 18%) but at the same time it became less vigorous... hmm maybe it was taking after me on both counts!
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