Author Topic: yeast max times for reuse  (Read 5246 times)

KernelCrush

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yeast max times for reuse
« on: May 04, 2014, 01:46:52 PM »
Brewfun was kind enough to post a couple recipes in another thread.  Looking at his yeast, is see re-use is set at 16 max and those beers were from the 11th use.  Is that top or bottom cropping?  007 would be top?  Either way it sets a high bar for a weakling like me.  I cant get 2 successful generations from bottom cropping english ale and am ready to give up on that.  I get 5 or 6 using 001 before the character doesn't seem quite right.  What is the max re-use the rest of you guys are getting?

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 04:54:13 PM »
I get three to six batches from a package of yeast, using a scoop of primary yeast cake to start each subsequent batch. Never really tried for more than that. 
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KernelCrush

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 05:10:16 PM »
Thanks Maine. Just trying to see if I am in the ballpark on a homebrew scale. 

Offline all grain

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 05:11:53 PM »
never top cropped yeast but I have taken yeast cake from primary 5 times with good results. one thing I found out the hard way is that you do not want to reuse yeast from a secondary fermenter. when I did that I got beer that was working down to 1.003 where the yeast cake from primary only would go down to 1.010.
  What I have came to believe is that the best way to reuse yeast for normal home brewing  is to split a cake into 5 jars and make starters from them. this way you can brew 5 times on the same generation. I get vary nervous taking yeast to far and then waiting 3 weeks just to find that I wasted a day making sub par beer. so that's just me and i to would like to know if anyone else take yeast to the limits. 
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Offline brewfun

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 05:52:17 PM »
I like All Grain's thoughts on populating several starters for future use.

In my case, it is bottom cropped. Ideally, each harvest happens 1 or 2 days after crashing. About 12 PPM of oxygen saturation, yeast nutrient, zinc and careful trub removal do a lot of the work towards getting that many pitches. Very careful fermentation temperature management does the rest.

Frankly, it's more about economics than anything else. A new pitch costs me over $450 (and can need up to a month of lead time), so getting it into as many batches as possible just makes sense.

The only time my yeast sees open air is on the first pitch out of the shipping container. After that, I harvest and repitch aseptically, so the yeast is never exposed to open air, again. Every vessel it goes into is sanitized and sealed.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 07:01:47 PM »
I get my yeast out of the primary.  I take it off the bottom when I rack to secondary.  I usually split it between three pint jars.  I always do a starter with a pint jar of harvested yeast.  I've went three generations.  I have so much yeast in my bank now that I give a lot away.

I don't really have a "house" yeast.  I choose yeast for a recipe based on what I want the yeast to add to the beer or maybe even "not" add to the beer.  However, even though I don't really have a "house" yeast, I do tend to use Wyeast 1028 and Wyeast 1728 quite a bit.  I make a lot of RIS and English type ales, so they tend to be my workhorse yeasts.
Kegs:
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Aging:
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Bottled
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Offline jomebrew

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 09:34:07 AM »
Simply, you can harvest and resuse yeast as many times as you wish.  There is no magic number to say when you will no longer like the beer it produces.  A lot has to do with handling, age between uses and how healthy the yeast really is. 

Selectively choosing the first to drop or rising stars is isolating characteristics that will carry on the next generations.  You will be selectively breeding yeast that perform a certain way.  This changes the beer and it is up to you to see if you like it.

I find I like generations 3 and 4 and don't go beyond that.  I have done 7 generations.  My yeast handling methods are pretty average taking some care but not all the care a pro brewery would. 

KernelCrush

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Re: yeast max times for reuse
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 08:36:58 AM »
Quote
About 12 PPM of oxygen saturation, yeast nutrient, zinc and careful trub removal do a lot of the work towards getting that many pitches

I can handle the items you mention except the zinc.  I've looked at zinc diet supplements, health food stores, etc but not sure what other ingredients are in them and if I want that in my beer.  Servomyces seemed to work well but expensive and they disappear fast and are not carried by my LHBS.  Is there a product you could recommend for zinc?

Quote
A lot has to do with handling, age between uses and how healthy the yeast really is

Cant agree more.  I only harvest from perfect (or close) fermentations.  Any bad attributes and I'd rather start over.  I force myself to brew on the same day when I plan to transfer off.  Less wear & tear. 

 

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