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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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Jimy Dee » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:01 pm

3 weeks ago I did an all molasses wash with bread yeast. It fermented out perfectly as normal (3 days). A week ago I strained it off and stripped it as normal. A week ago I left a good amount of fermented wash in the end with plenty of the creamy stuff at the bottom of the barrel. I poured it out this weekend and there was about 18 liters of this black creamy stuff. (from a 150 liter wash) At all stages this was left in my boiler house where the temp is around a steady 25C to 28C. I thought the yeast would be happily dormant and would have loved the heated environment and all was good.

This weekend I made another all molasses wash and pitched my 18 liters of creamy stuff back into my fermenting barrel. Delighted with the thought that there was going to be plenty yeast in the 18 liters of creamy stuff from the previous fermentation.

24 hours after pitching my liquid yeast (black creamy stuff) there was not one single move out of my wash, nothing !
I appreciate bread yeast is cheap but I wanted to reuse the old creamy yeast just for the experiment. Nothing happened at all.

What went wrong? Will it crank up after 24 hours? How long should I wait before pitching normal bread yeast?
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Cu29er » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:05 pm

.

I toured one of the famous San Francisco Sourdough bread bakers probably twenty years ago. Every day they cut a couple pound ball of bread off their mix and set it aside for the next day. They have been reusing yeast this way since the late 1880s or so.
Being in manufacturing and brewing beer for years I expect they have a big inventory of various samples across the years as backup.



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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Antler24 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:51 pm

HDNB wrote: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.


I cleaned my fermenter out a month ago, over 2 years on same yeast, gen 11 iirc. Didn't notice any mutation, not that I would anyway. Mutation isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as everything is sanitary it shouldn't negatively affect the yeast, might even be beneficial if your making the same ferment over and over. This is how most "house" yeasts came about I think. I haven't read much about yeast in a few years but that was what I got from it.
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby rubber duck » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:42 pm

Some of the old folks use a yeast stick, if you don't know what that is look it up.

I've got yeast strains that seem to have remained somewhat stable for decades, old folks tell me that it tastes like the same booze they made and I'm using the same yeast they did.

I think that there are some really strong and agresive yeast strains that just don't mutate very much. I don't known why but I've got some really crazy stuff in my yeast bank that should not do what it does and stay stable.
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby rubber duck » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:51 pm

Another trick I was taught is you want to harvest yeast from the top of the fermentation. That's going to be the good stuff that gets your next fermentation to go off like a rocket and can hit a higher abv faster.
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby Bushman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:06 am

Here are two methods, I use the second one usually.
https://beerandbrewing.com/fermentation ... ing-yeast/
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Re: Re-using yeasts

Postby jb-texshine » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:30 pm

Good post bushman
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