Growing Brewers Yeast

These little beasts do all the hard work. Share how to keep 'em happy and working hard.

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cmate
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Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by cmate » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:17 am

This article describes how to take brewers yeast and put it in to jars and save it.
http://garden-grows.com/groups/brewing- ... ers-yeast/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

I was wondering if it makes sense, and if it is possible to take your last jar and repeat the process so you have an indefinite supply of brewers yeast - especially if you find a good one?

I have seen other articles that describe putting yeast / sugar in the fridge and every so often taking half and replacing it was new sugar/water to keep it going. This one seems different in that you apply heat then put it in jars in to the fridge. The heat de-activates the yeast I believe. Just looking for thoughts on this method, especially the idea of boiling the yeast for 5 minutes - would that not kill it?

Dnderhead
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by Dnderhead » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:41 am

""especially the idea of boiling the yeast for 5 minutes - would that not kill it?""
yes indeed it would, then they use it as a nutrient (in ferment)or flavoring (in food)

and yes you can propagate yeast. its best is to use a medium like molasses with a bit of DAP or malt adding o2 will greatly increase the yield.
some like UJSSM use the yeast from the previous ferment,

cmate
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by cmate » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:08 am

At the end they say for home brewing or supplement. But if the yeast is dead, it would not work for brewing, correct?

Anyway, I guess my question then is how to grow brewers yeast indefinitely?
Is it as simple as yeast, water, sugar in the fridge and dump out half every week or month or ? and replace the water and half sugar?

Dnderhead
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by Dnderhead » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:21 am

I thought I answerd that????????????? boiling the yeast will kill it, then it can be used as a nutrient or food for new yeast similar to malch for a garden.
propagating is called yeast farming, it takes a bit more than just sugar, o2 (oxygen) food for the yeast and sugar, most all can be found in molasses/
malt.

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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by decomissioned » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:31 am

I found a good article that talks about this and how to do it if you are interested. Basically it takes a bit of work to do it right, but it can be done without crazy lab equipment or fancy machines.

http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages/in ... ulture-FAQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

kiwistiller
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by kiwistiller » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:04 pm

there is some good info on yeast banking etc on homebrewtalk.com.
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rubber duck
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by rubber duck » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:47 pm

This video is how I harvest and store yeast. It's really more geared toward beer brewing but the technique could be adapted for distilling.

http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

If you just want to farm yeast what I would do is get a half gallon jar and drill a hole in the lid for a air lock. Then take a cool, sterile, well oxygenated quart of DME solution at no more then 1.04 and dump it into your sterile half gallon yeast propagation jar. Add your yeast and give it a day in a nice dark place to get it going. At this point you have a few options, you can let it ferment for a couple of days and add to your wash. The little bit of stuff left at the bottom of your propagation/farming jar is yeast that you can again farm into a big starter by repeating the Dme step. Now lets say you did your wash and your not going to do another one for a few weeks, get you yeast farming jar up and going for a day then depending on the strain you can put it in the fridge for a few weeks and the cold temp will slow the yeast way down. 2 days before your next wash take it out of the fridge warm it up and add a little sterile sugar solution or Dme so you can check if it's still viable. If it starts to foam up your good to go.

With care you can keep a yeast starter going for years. If you do get a bacteria infection in your jar you can start over with new yeast or you can use a little chlorine dioxide, (water purification tablets) this will kill the bacteria but not the yeast.

There are also frozen yeast banks and slants for long term storage, but it takes a little more equipment.

I might spend 12 dollars a year on liquid yeast And I do a lot of brewing and distilling.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

cmate
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by cmate » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:00 pm

Ok, I am a newb - what is DME - searching it looks like Dried Malt Extract? Where do I get that/how to make that? Can I just use sugar?

1.04 -- are you referring to specific gravity?

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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by rubber duck » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:08 pm

cmate wrote:Ok, I am a newb - what is DME - searching it looks like Dried Malt Extract? Where do I get that/how to make that? Can I just use sugar?

1.04 -- are you referring to specific gravity?
Yes it's Dried Malt Extract, you can get it at a home brew shop. Sugar alone won't work well but molasses would be ok.

Specific gravity is what I was referring to. You don't want to go higher then 1.04 because yeast doesn't multiply well in a high gravity environment.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

docdave
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by docdave » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:00 pm

Folks,

I just read the posts on growing brewer's yeast. I was a microbiologist by trade and trying to maintain yeast stocks by culture is not worth the expense or hassle. Also, why not get the freshest yeast stocks possible! Subculturing yeasts causes mutations that the yeasts do things we don't want like producing metabolites that produce bad tastes in our precious product. Also, do you really want to call attention to yourself by ordering suppliesfrom scientific equipment supplier. Stick to the commercial suppliers or harvest yeast from your latest mash.

rubber duck
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by rubber duck » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:25 pm

I do almost 200 gallons of beer per year, that's 40 five gallon batches. So at 6-7 dollars per vial of yeast that's 250 dollars a year. That's just beer I don't keep track of distilling mashes. Not only that what if it's a strain you can't buy at the store like several I have, or what if you cultured it up from a bottle of beer? Would you toss out your favorite strain?

How is it expensive? A pressure cooker is 30 bucks used, 20 screw cap vials can't be more then 20 dollars,( I have 200 look on ebay), a few mason jars, some ice packs, a small cooler, and a 20 dollar stir plate. Maybe some chlorine dioxide tablets and a few pipets.

100 dollars in equipment, a little rudimentary knowledge, and some of my time. Seems like a good idea to me. :)
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

docdave
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by docdave » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:55 pm

RD,
You folks are teaching me the art of distilling and maybe many years from now I'll develop the talents you posess. However, subculturing yeast on specific growth media is not without dangers. In fact, some of the other things that you can culture include pathogens that can cause severe or even life threatening illness. All I'm saying is that it is not as easy as it seems. True sterilization of yeast growth media requires an autoclave @20PSI for a mininum of 20 minutes depending on the volume. I don't think a pressure cooker will accurately provide these conditions. Aseptic technique for yeast transfer is not a garage type of activity, take a tour of a facility like White labs to see why. However, if you want to do this let me help do this safely. By the way Rubber Duck, What's your favorite recipe for white rum?

rubber duck
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Re: Growing Brewers Yeast

Post by rubber duck » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:53 pm

DocDave, your the micro biologist not me so the way I have it figured I can learn a thing or from folks like you. This is what I know, the old folks have been making jug yeast for generations and I still do it with great results.

The rum recipe is a little off topic but I'll pm it to you.

RD
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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