Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:12 am

adamK wrote:
Ozwald wrote:Don't let me forget about this again, I just looked at the clock & gotta run to work. I'll edit this out with a real answer later this morning, if I remember.


This is a bump reminder... :jnj


:lol: Thanks, I actually did look for this last night, but I couldn't remember what the thread was called & I was slightly preoccupied with something else:

WARNING: BEER NERD PORN. You have been advised.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ooapz-OP2M

And while the video's not as good if you're not getting one, she talks sexier in this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIm3fLc3tLQ

Now back to the earlier questions:

adamK wrote:
Ozwald wrote:
It's also a local wild yeast from our Sourdough Creek, which is probably giving me a bunch of wiggle room as far as mutation, but it's definitely not infected with any sort of bacteria. The others are 1056 (my biggest worry of the bunch), the Ommegang strain & 2 more jars that are escaping me at the moment - and I'm just too lazy to go look at the moment.


What have you made with that? That sounds pretty interesting.

I thought for short term (such as described here) it was best to store the yeast under beer, and rinse closer to use. I thought I remember that from a Brew Strong, though have no idea when. I think it had to do with the transfer "waking up" the yeast which could cause them to use their glycogen reserves, which then cannot be built again with the water. I trust your experience more than my memory, but am now curious.


Bozeman has a little bit of history with sourdough bread, hence them naming the creek & the neighborhood on the SE of town. The yeast itself has a really unique character, it's much sweeter than a SF sourdough. If you bake with it, your bread won't be as crusty as with the SF strain & if you brew with it, it attenuates like hell. You can get a really dry beer but packed with a banana type sweetness. I bastardized my golden strong recipe & came out with a banana cream pie beer that was sweet, but still dry as shit. It was also in the neighborhood of 9%, but by flavor you'd guess maybe 6% at most. It got a little dangerous since they went down so quick.

As for the yeast storage. Keep in mind these main points:
    - It's not just alcoholic water, there's some other stuff in there. Some good, some not-good (I didn't say bad, but definitely not in the helpful category)
    - With my technique, the jars, lids, water are getting sterilized with a good boil, also driving the oxygen out of the water.
    - I prefer to do multiple rinses. Think of it like triple distilled liquor, which is why I frequently refer to the parts you're rinsing out as the heads & tails. I don't like to take my chances on one pass, I'll get a little more each time & can really dial in my yeast selection. It's a lot more work & time, but I've found the results are far more than worth it.

My technique in a nutshell: The yeast get cold crashed prior to dumping the beer & entering the rinsing process. They've been put to sleep for at least 24 hours before I even begin, so their activity is extremely low at this point. Since I'm doing multiple rinses, I don't want to warm them back up & crash over and over. That would definitely force them to stress & use up their reserves, so my rinses are done fairly cool - not straight out of the fridge, but I don't let them warm up all the way to room temp either. After they're rinsed the final time, they settle to the bottom & have a neutral medium (sterile, de-oxed water). There's no nutrients but they've been asleep for a couple days by this point. They're not exactly looking for nutrients. When it comes time to brew, they're run though a starter either to build cell count or at the very least to get them active, all the while sucking up all those nutrients from the starter wort. (I should also note that I don't use extract at all for my starters, I have a 2 gallon mashtun & recipes for a 1, 2 & 3 gallon starter).

When you're storing them under beer, you're really not giving them many nutrients (if any), and the only reason they might need them is to live in a less than ideal medium. Remember in Yeast vs. Wild, they eat sugars, produce alcohol to poison the environment for everything else, and when they're done, they eat the alcohol back up. They don't want to live in an alcoholic environment, it's their temporary guard. Note that I said 'storing' under beer. They are getting nutrients, but those are coming from the wort, not the beer. By the time they're all settled in & done with the starter, there's not much benefit from the beer anymore. If my brew day gets moved back 1 day & I can't pitch at high krausen, it's not ideal but I'm not too worried about it - decant, pitch & say fuck it. For 7 days (as stated in the specific instance that spawned this thread), I'll find time to rinse & do another starter so I can pitch at or near the sweet spot.

I'm sure that my methods aren't perfect, but they work with tremendous success & utilize the equipment that I (& the majority of homebrewers) have. Just don't try to take care of more than 5 strains at a time or you'll be back where I was, turning your kitchen into a yeast lab & a 20-30 hr/wk part-time job at the same time.
Lee

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"Every zoo is a petting zoo if you man the fuck up."

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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:22 am

Ozwald wrote:Just don't try to take care of more than 5 strains at a time or you'll be back where I was, turning your kitchen into a yeast lab & a 20-30 hr/wk part-time job at the same time.


I take this part back. You just need to be motivated & really geek out on yeast. It's amazing what you can learn when you have 17+ vessels of different starters at different stages. You also have the luxury of taking one out of the brewing cycle & really fuck with it to see what it does. Stress it out on purpose. Stop a starter half-way through. Try it at 60. Try it at 95. Split it & put one next to the cat box & another on the other side of the room from the cat box. Oversparge your starter wort. Add some hop pellets, or cousin, or fucking basil. Have fun, but take notes about every tiny detail, and don't pitch it (into anything you're actually brewing to drink anyways). Always have a control sample to compare it to & always, always, always take a good long smell. If it gets real funky, don't taste it.
Lee

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"Every zoo is a petting zoo if you man the fuck up."

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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:43 am

Ozwald wrote: Remember in Yeast vs. Wild, they eat sugars, produce alcohol to poison the environment for everything else, and when they're done, they eat the alcohol back up. They don't want to live in an alcoholic environment, it's their temporary guard.


You are talking just about wild here yes? My understanding is that the pathway allowing for EtOH consumption can only proceed with oxygen available...
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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:02 am

spiderwrangler wrote:
Ozwald wrote: Remember in Yeast vs. Wild, they eat sugars, produce alcohol to poison the environment for everything else, and when they're done, they eat the alcohol back up. They don't want to live in an alcoholic environment, it's their temporary guard.


You are talking just about wild here yes? My understanding is that the pathway allowing for EtOH consumption can only proceed with oxygen available...


Just a brief summary of what yeast want to do naturally, what they've been doing since long before we've captured, mutated & chemistry-ified them. Not being specific on the how, per se. They would have oxygen available, since they're floating around in the air scratching their... umm... buds?... Hey, we just landed on a piece of fruit with a gash through the skin. This is our food fuckers. Let's make the area poisonous to all our competitors so we get the whole buffet to ourselves. Foods gone, time to clean up.

Really just to point out that the yeast don't desire to be in a solution of alcohol, their endgame plan so to speak, nor is it necessarily healthy or the best place for them.
Lee

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"Every zoo is a petting zoo if you man the fuck up."

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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:09 am

And I just got the email that my scope just shipped! Woot!! Next Monday I'll be living large with a bitchin' lab-quality microscope. If anyone else has been looking for one, check out the youtube links above. Looks like Amazon is keeping them on a killer sale all week. List price is $1200, I got mine plus a box of slides for $200 shipped. The 1.3MP camera add-on is about that by itself (the one that replaces the head, not the one that takes up one of your eye pieces). Make/Model number is plastered all over the videos. Just make sure to click the Amazon link off the main page or every batch you brew from here on out is going to get infected. Cause one of us is going to show up in the middle of the night & piss in your fermenters. Just sayin'.
:jnj
Lee

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"Every zoo is a petting zoo if you man the fuck up."

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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:33 am

Thanks Oz! Good luck with the scope, I am definitely quite a bit jealous. Let me know when you test it out, I am curious to see the microscope in action (that is if you don't mind).
Beer. Bikes. Cosmic B-fields.
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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:26 pm

Yeah not a problem man. I'm also getting all the odds & ends I'm missing for several batches tomorrow, so I'll probably be brewing on Thursday & Sunday. Shoot me a txt if you want to swing by. I can leave the mashtun full until you get here. I scored a 15 cu.ft. freezer so I have to go to Billings on Friday to pick it up. I could definitely use a hand with that project too. That will be a winter-long project more than likely (I'm thinking reclaimed lumber & big Irish coffin). The snow up on Lone Peak will pretty much determine how long it'll take. Haven't got my pass yet, but I probably will in the next few weeks. Moonlight opens same day as Bridger, next Friday, but it doesn't sound like there's shit up there yet & I've had enough core shots from a couple years ago... I can wait.

After such a shitty week last week, I'm hitting pay dirt. Scored the freezer I've been after for months, the scope, caught up on all the car maintenence & just got my guitar processor fixed today after it's been sitting in a box for 5 years. And it cost me $10. Woulda been free, but I forced him to take the $10 since there was at least that much in his own parts that he swapped out for me. He's also pretty excited about my session beer endeavor, so he'll get some of that too. Just doesn't know it yet.

Now... time to drink (those last 3 didn't count since I was setting up my amp).

:jnj
Lee

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"Every zoo is a petting zoo if you man the fuck up."

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Re: Yeast starter longevity

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Ozwald wrote:Really just to point out that the yeast don't desire to be in a solution of alcohol, their endgame plan so to speak, nor is it necessarily healthy or the best place for them.

Just checking that you aren't trying to say that beer yeast is 'eating' people's alcohol... have you seen some of these guys? They need as much alcohol as they can get!
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