Author Topic: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies  (Read 6002 times)

Offline Crispy275

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Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« on: October 21, 2009, 06:25:01 AM »
Over the years I have accumulated a number of handy tips, but this is one I like to shout about from the mountain top. Someone told me about this over ten years ago, and I have used it on dozens of occassions.

I was informed that Zip Lock baggies are sanitized from the factory. Because of this, you can put yeast into a brand new baggie and store it for several weeks. For instance, if you wanted to obtain yeast from a local microbrewery, all you would need to do is to open the baggie for the first time (after the brewer has sprayed his sanitizer around the dump valve), being careful to keep your fingers on the outside of the baggie. Fill it up, zip it and toss it into your cold storage. I always write the strain and date with a Sharpie pen before I fill it up. I prefer one gallon Zip Locks for this operation.

I also do this for yeast strains if I know I am going to want to use it again relatively shortly. If I used a glass carboy for primary, I rack it to secondary and leave a couple of tablesppons of wort/beer behind. I swirl it around to get the yeast cake into a slurry, torch or wipe the opening with a vodka soaked papertowel, and lay the carboy on a low table. I do this because when tilting the carboy uoside it gets a little awkward if i by myself, and I use the table to stabilize the carboy. I just make sure the neck of the carboy does not touch the inside of the baggie at any time.

My friend Jeff Renner always ferments his primaries in a bucket to harvest (skim) the yeast in the krausen. And side-by-side experiements have shown that people prefered the brews made with subsequent batches using the top-croped yeast versus what settles on the bottom. However, if you prefer to use all glass for both primaries and secondaries, this is the way to go.
Chris P. Frey, aka "Crispy"
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 09:39:36 AM »
Great tip, Crispy!  Have you ever had a problem with a baggie leaking?
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Offline Crispy275

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 04:16:17 PM »
No, I have not. Since all the baggies (except those that travel to micro's and back) only travel the ten feet from the fermentation area to the beer fridge, they get minimal handling.

Because I am anal (as many in this hobby are), I will soak the corner of the baggie and a pair of scissors in a solution of Iodophor, shake them a little to get the solution off and cut the bottom corner off and dispense the yeast that way, But no baggies have suffered a break otherwise.
Chris P. Frey, aka "Crispy"
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 08:32:09 AM »
That's a great tip about cutting off the corner of the baggie to get the yeast out!  Thanks.
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Offline Janis

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2009, 01:08:14 PM »
Great info, Crispy!

I think I'll use this method when getting yeast for my Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day event this coming weekend.

Cheers,
   Janis
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Offline james

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 11:50:06 AM »
This is a great idea.  I'm going to stash some ziploc bags in my car for when I end up at a brewery without planning to collect some yeast

Offline onthekeg

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 11:42:07 AM »
I like this idea!  No more cleaning out the old mayo jars or what have you for storing yeast!   :D

Offline jds

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 12:38:22 PM »
Thanks for this idea. I could see this as being a nice way to capture a yeast cake for subsequent washing, too. Of course, a larger bag would be required, but ziplocs come in lots of sizes.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2009, 04:23:09 PM »
Any issues with the baggies blowing up from residual fermentation?

Kai

Offline gail

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2009, 04:41:09 PM »
ZipLock baggies do work great.  I generally double bag the yeast ever since I had one leak all over my frig.  I haven't had any trouble with the baggies blowing up as long as you keep the yeast pretty cold; regular frig temp has worked well for me.  Lager yeast does require a little monitoring, however, since sometimes mine has still been active at pretty low frig temperatures.  Those times, I just open the baggie a little bit, allow the built-up CO2 to escape, then reseal it.  No problems and no worries.
One word of caution:  don't use the baggies with the "zip tab" plastic thingy.  I've found that it doesn't seal tightly enough and your yeast will get infected or leak badly.
Gail

Offline Crispy275

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2009, 05:35:59 PM »
I have had an occassional baggie of really active yeast puff up a bit, but I just "burp" it out. I typically keep the baggies in my beer fridge, in the shelf on the door, propped up a bit between some bottles. I prefer to keep the top of the baggie up and off any surface.

I did have one leak once, not bad after 50-60 times. It was more than likely just me not sealing it correctly and all the way.
Chris P. Frey, aka "Crispy"
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Offline budweiser

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 08:12:46 AM »
Good idea!
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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 08:25:55 AM »
I have my left over hop stored in Ziplock bags, but never thought of yeast.  Thanks for the tip.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2009, 08:36:17 AM »
I never thought of using ziploc bags for yeast. It's a quick and easy way to store yeast. Thanks!
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2009, 09:09:40 AM »
Great idea.  Thanks for sharing it with us Crispy!!!
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