Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Got yeast? Yeast harvesting and storage

Like to save money? I sure as heck do... Let's get some yeast ready for brew day and also store some, all from one yeast package!
Recently we went over my version of washing yeast. You can reference it here - yeast washing and storage.

Let's all admit it now, everyone has a different way of doing things... As long as the final product turns out as planned, all that matters is how the process worked for you and that you got to the end result that you wanted... Pretty simple.

The last batch I made, Black Beards Stout, I used a jar of the stored yeast that I had. I can verify this process works and I have a 5 gallon carboy that fermented just fine using a jar of stored yeast.

With the Dimwit Monkey, I went over to the local brew shop and bought a different yeast strain. Wyeast 3942 which is good for several styles of Belgian beers, including this witbier. So if this is good for several different styles, why not keep some around and save money in the long run? I would rather keep my local shop in business, but let's be honest, there are other things I can buy through them... Buying yeast every time gets expensive, I'm trying to stop some of the bleeding in this obsession of a hobby. 

Here is how I planned on storing some of this strain:
* Made a yeast starter, approx 800ml.
* Put it on the stir plate while the wyeast package was swelling from the activator.
* Put the yeast into the cooled starter and turned the plate up pretty high for 30 hours.
* In 3 small mason jars, I had a small amount of water that had been boiled and cooled, jars and lids sanitized.
* Topped off the jars with the yeast from the flask, leaving approx 250ml left in the flask.
* Sealed the jars and store in the fermentation freezer, since the freezer doesn't actually get cold enough to freeze.

Now that I have this strain stored, I need to get it ready again for brew day. 
Boil a new starter, cool down, add some yeast nutrient and pour into the flask that still had yeast into it. Turn your stir plate up and let it get to making more yeast for brew day!

Storing yeast seems to be pretty simple and cost effective. Give it a try and see how this can help you as well in the long run.

As always, Happy brewing!

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