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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 02:32:53 AM

Title: Buying yeast online
Post by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 02:32:53 AM
It sucks.  I am so spoiled working at a HBS where i can just ask the owner to order me a fresh vial of something every week.  We ran out of the yeast i needed over the weekend and didnt place an order this week.  Hard to order a vial and smack pack of Kolsch yeast from one of the better(apparently not) Big box homebrew stores.  It really is a kick in the nads to pay full price for yeast and get packs that are below 50% viability.

The yeast situation IMO reinforces the needed to support local.  Being able to journey to the local HBS and buy fresh yeast is one of the best perks of shopping local. 

/end rant
Jeff
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: morticaixavier on July 11, 2014, 03:06:01 AM
almost as good as being able to drop a quart jar at the local brewery and come back a couple hours later to a pint of thick yeast slurry.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: flbrewer on July 11, 2014, 03:13:08 AM
almost as good as being able to drop a quart jar at the local brewery and come back a couple hours later to a pint of thick yeast slurry.

Is that a thing? We have a few great local breweries that I would love to beg for yeast slurry.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Stevie on July 11, 2014, 03:17:24 AM
Many will. Never hurts to ask
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: S. cerevisiae on July 11, 2014, 03:38:24 AM
Or you can maintain your own yeast bank and break the cycle of dependence!  :)

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/CCyeast1_zpsdc754fa7.jpg)

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/MyCurrentBank1_zps31b27281.jpg)
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: dcb on July 11, 2014, 04:41:29 AM
I love my local shop for just that reason.  A tiny bit of planning ahead and he'll have fresh smack packs for me by Thursday before brew day.

I  look forward to the day I have my own yeast ranch, but in the mean time, a few Mason jars in the home fridge have cut my yeast bill by 2/3.  I've gotten borderline obsessive trying to learn about yeast biology.  Growing a 2L starter from my own top-cropped samples brings me pleasure all out of proportion to the $6 saved. 
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: BrewBama on July 11, 2014, 10:52:54 AM
50% viable would have been welcomed with open arms on my last smack pack purchase. It came DOA even with the ice pack. :(. I can only wish I had a LHBS. It's only been legal to homebrew here for a year so the low demand has not attracted any suppliers.

I may try that local brewer jar drop idea. Keith you game?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 11, 2014, 11:46:51 AM

The yeast situation IMO reinforces the needed to support local.  Being able to journey to the local HBS and buy fresh yeast is one of the best perks of shopping local. 

/end rant
Jeff

+1.  I quit buying yeast online years ago after several pretty disappointing experiences. I buy everything I can locally and order non-yeast items only if need be.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 12:16:35 PM
Or you can maintain your own yeast bank and break the cycle of dependence!  :)

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/CCyeast1_zpsdc754fa7.jpg)

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/MyCurrentBank1_zps31b27281.jpg)

I agree S, but you need to have a pitch before adding it to your ranch.  I will be adding 2 yeast strains to my newly forming ranch int he next few days.  WLP Plat french Ale and WLP kolsch.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: erockrph on July 11, 2014, 12:32:16 PM
What gets me is that I can't buy Wyeast local, and several of my favorite strains are WY-only. I think I'm going to have to stash away some 2633 now that I'm brewing more lagers.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: flbrewer on July 11, 2014, 12:50:37 PM
If I were to do this, what would I ask for? Would a mason jar be a good sample size? How long would that last me?
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on July 11, 2014, 01:35:56 PM
...It really is a kick in the nads to pay full price for yeast and get packs that are below 50% viability...

Are you measuring viability after receiving the yeast, or just going off of the date and a viability calculator?

I'd be interested to see if the shipping significantly reduces viability.

FWIW - I've always received fresh yeast from MoreBeer and Northern Brewer. I buy two ice packs to go along with it.

I normally pick up a few packs on each order. It really sucks to pay full price + shipping for one yeast pack b/c I forgot to order it.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 01:51:50 PM
...It really is a kick in the nads to pay full price for yeast and get packs that are below 50% viability...

Are you measuring viability after receiving the yeast, or just going off of the date and a viability calculator?

I'd be interested to see if the shipping significantly reduces viability.

FWIW - I've always received fresh yeast from MoreBeer and Northern Brewer. I buy two ice packs to go along with it.

I normally pick up a few packs on each order. It really sucks to pay full price + shipping for one yeast pack b/c I forgot to order it.

Kyle,

I am assuming perceived viability according to the date on the pack/vial.  I dont have counting/staining equipment atm so i can only use numbers from others.  To morebeer/fedexs credit the item did indeed come in still cold with 1 ice pack for a 2 day ship, but it still irks me that i got 2 packages of yeast half way towards their expiration date. 
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 01:54:48 PM
What gets me is that I can't buy Wyeast local, and several of my favorite strains are WY-only. I think I'm going to have to stash away some 2633 now that I'm brewing more lagers.

I think in this case it would pay for you to invest the 50-60 dollars needed to start a yeast ranch and learn how to autoclave in a stove.  Wyeast doesnt support retail as WL does, so its harder to find fresh Packs.  You are pretty close to me, just send me a message when you are looking for yeast and ill check dates for you and we can figure it out from there.

Jeff 
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: morticaixavier on July 11, 2014, 02:57:39 PM
If I were to do this, what would I ask for? Would a mason jar be a good sample size? How long would that last me?

I would go to the brewery and talk to someone or send an email rather than just showing up with a jar. A pint jar would be more than enough for a 5 gallon batch of ale. I am brewing a lager so I wanted lots. Yeast, kept in the fridge will be good for a couple months although after a couple weeks you are probably better off making a starter anyway. I like to try to pick up my yeast just a few days before I'm going to brew.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: denny on July 11, 2014, 03:02:23 PM
I maintained a yeast ranch for several years.  Eventually, I decided it was less hassle to just plan ahead and order the yeast I needed.  If there was some special strain I wanted that wasn't commercially available, I _might_ do it again, but at this point that's not the case.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on July 11, 2014, 03:12:06 PM
I've got plenty of bugs that could use a good home :)

Eventually, I'd like to get them to Jeff at Bootleg Biology, but I haven't had the time to plate and separate my mixed culture.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 03:22:12 PM
I've got plenty of bugs that could use a good home :)

Eventually, I'd like to get them to Jeff at Bootleg Biology, but I haven't had the time to plate and separate my mixed culture.

contact yeast bay, they may be interested in having a series of Kylekohlmorgen bugs
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: flbrewer on July 11, 2014, 03:43:59 PM

If I were to do this, what would I ask for? Would a mason jar be a good sample size? How long would that last me?

I would go to the brewery and talk to someone or send an email rather than just showing up with a jar. A pint jar would be more than enough for a 5 gallon batch of ale. I am brewing a lager so I wanted lots. Yeast, kept in the fridge will be good for a couple months although after a couple weeks you are probably better off making a starter anyway. I like to try to pick up my yeast just a few days before I'm going to brew.
What am I asking for, a yeast slurry?
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Jeff M on July 11, 2014, 03:48:52 PM

If I were to do this, what would I ask for? Would a mason jar be a good sample size? How long would that last me?

I would go to the brewery and talk to someone or send an email rather than just showing up with a jar. A pint jar would be more than enough for a 5 gallon batch of ale. I am brewing a lager so I wanted lots. Yeast, kept in the fridge will be good for a couple months although after a couple weeks you are probably better off making a starter anyway. I like to try to pick up my yeast just a few days before I'm going to brew.
What am I asking for, a yeast slurry?

Yeast is a valuable commodity to breweries. id make sure you have a previous relationship with them before cold calling looking for a pitch of yeast.  Some brewers may give it to you, some may not. 

2cents
Jeff
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: denny on July 11, 2014, 04:07:32 PM
I don't know of any breweries around here that wouldn't be happy to give away yeast.  Most of the time they have more than they need.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: denny on July 11, 2014, 04:08:11 PM
I've got plenty of bugs that could use a good home :)

Eventually, I'd like to get them to Jeff at Bootleg Biology, but I haven't had the time to plate and separate my mixed culture.

Send me a PM if you want me to hook you up with Wyeast.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: chumley on July 11, 2014, 05:04:55 PM
I go to our local brewery with a sanitized growler, capped of course, with masking tape on it labeled with my name, phone number, and desired type of yeast (if I know what they have and what I want).  I talk to the head brewer and leave the growler with him.  When he harvests (they don't do it every day), he calls me up and lets me know my growler is ready.

My last brew was 10 gallons of 1.090 Skotrat's Traquir House clone using Wy1728 slurry from a local brewery.  It was done in 5 days.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 11, 2014, 05:15:00 PM
I go to our local brewery with a sanitized growler, capped of course, with masking tape on it labeled with my name, phone number, and desired type of yeast (if I know what they have and what I want).  I talk to the head brewer and leave the growler with him.  When he harvests (they don't do it every day), he calls me up and lets me know my growler is ready.

My last brew was 10 gallons of 1.090 Skotrat's Traquir House clone using Wy1728 slurry from a local brewery.  It was done in 5 days.

That's awesome to tear through that in 5 days. IIRC I've hit FG with that recipe in ~ 8 days, but I wasn't using a brewery repitch. Great recipe.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: S. cerevisiae on July 12, 2014, 01:09:22 PM
I've got plenty of bugs that could use a good home :)

Eventually, I'd like to get them to Jeff at Bootleg Biology, but I haven't had the time to plate and separate my mixed culture.

I have an experiment in my basement that I need to plate.   I think about it, and then I remember the amount of work that it took to reassemble a Ringwood culture that I plated back in 1994.  That effort pales in comparison to the amount of work that it would take to separate and identify all of the microflora in a wild mixed culture, especially, if contains multiple saccharomyces yeast strains.  Giant colony analysis has to be performed to identify the morphological features of each strain.  Once identified, there's no getting around fermentation performance and sensory evaluation, which means that one has to make a small batch of wort for each strain.

I am holding out for the freak occurrence of having a true top-cropper show up in one of my samples.  Any true top-cropper that I find in the wild was more than likely left here by someone in the past because true top-cropping behavior is a sign of domestication.

Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 12, 2014, 01:34:34 PM
I try to buy local and that includes grain usually, because I repitch almost exclusively now that I have a good rotation - 2206 and 802 for lagers, 1768, 1728 and WL 041 for a lot of my ales.  I also go from light to amber/copper to dark and then step back through that progression to brew light colored beers, all without any problem getting the SRM matched fine.

If necessary, I will do a starter, but more often than not, when introducing a new strain, I will do a small batch first and pitch from that into successively larger batches to get to a 10 gallon batch.

Cheers to our LHBS and local craft brewers - they are both great sources.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: S. cerevisiae on July 12, 2014, 02:04:41 PM
I maintained a yeast ranch for several years.  Eventually, I decided it was less hassle to just plan ahead and order the yeast I needed.  If there was some special strain I wanted that wasn't commercially available, I _might_ do it again, but at this point that's not the case.

Maintaining a yeast bank is definitely a lot of work. Maintaining a yeast bank was almost a necessity back in the nineties, especially the early nineties.  Many of the cultures that are available today from Wyeast and White Labs were only available on slant via Maribeth's company Brewtek (e.g., Wyeast 1450 was originally Brewtek CL-50).  Today, one has to be a yeast geek who brews in order to have an excuse to play with yeast, not a brewer who maintains a yeast bank in order to brew for yeast management to be a long-term viable extension of the hobby. 

With that said, even yeast geeks who do not have access to -80C refrigeration have their limits. I maintained over forty cultures in my old bank.   I decided to limit my new bank to only those cultures that I cannot acquire via the home brew trade.  None of the cultures in my current bank were received as White Labs or Wyeast cultures.  Most were acquired on slant or in lyophilized form at considerable expense from culture collections in the U.S. and the UK (all of these cultures are old, non-current production strains).  A few were plated from commercial bottle-conditioned beers.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: denny on July 12, 2014, 03:29:55 PM
I maintained a yeast ranch for several years.  Eventually, I decided it was less hassle to just plan ahead and order the yeast I needed.  If there was some special strain I wanted that wasn't commercially available, I _might_ do it again, but at this point that's not the case.

Maintaining a yeast bank is definitely a lot of work. Maintaining a yeast bank was almost a necessity back in the nineties, especially the early nineties.  Many of the cultures that are available today from Wyeast and White Labs were only available on slant via Maribeth's company Brewtek (e.g., Wyeast 1450 was originally Brewtek CL-50).  Today, one has to be a yeast geek who brews in order to have an excuse to play with yeast, not a brewer who maintains a yeast bank in order to brew for yeast management to be a long-term viable extension of the hobby. 

With that said, even yeast geeks who do not have access to -80C refrigeration have their limits. I maintained over forty cultures in my old bank.   I decided to limit my new bank to only those cultures that I cannot acquire via the home brew trade.  None of the cultures in my current bank was received as a White Labs or Wyeast culture.  Most were acquired on slant or in lyophilized form at considerable expense from culture collections in the U.S. and the UK (all of these cultures are old, non-current production strains).  A few were plated from commercial bottle-conditioned beers.

The main reason I did it was to maintain a supply of CL-50.  Once I got Wyeast to take it on, there was no need.  At this point, I haven't found another strain that I want to use that isn't available commercially.  If I do, I may reconsider.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: Kinetic on July 12, 2014, 05:56:40 PM
I refer to my local homebrew store as the yeast and miscellaneous item shop.
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: S. cerevisiae on July 12, 2014, 09:31:07 PM
The main reason I did it was to maintain a supply of CL-50.  Once I got Wyeast to take it on, there was no need.  At this point, I haven't found another strain that I want to use that isn't available commercially.  If I do, I may reconsider.
[/quote]

I totally agree with you.  I have yet to find the yeast culture that trips my trigger.   I brewed with CL-50 a couple of times back in the nineties.  It's a great general purpose yeast strain, but it is not the one for me.  The Brewtek strain that came closest to being the one was CL-170.  I believe that Wyeast eventually offered that strain as 1768, but 1768 never seemed to produce the lollipop ester that I got from CL-170.  I recall Drew mentioning that Maribeth still has all the Brewtek cultures banked while speaking with him at NHC.  I would love know the origin of CL-170.  That culture and CL-660 are the cultures from the Brewtek collection that I would like to see made available from alternate sources.



By the way, I shot a few photos while you and Drew were recording your piece with Chip.

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Denny1_zps06359239.jpg)

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Denny2_zpse19cbdf0.jpg)
Title: Re: Buying yeast online
Post by: james on July 12, 2014, 09:38:02 PM
Nice pics.  I see Sean there and I was right next to him.  Anyone get pics of Keith "Here's you bag Mr Beechum"?