General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

silly yeast prop questions

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pinnah:
I have been lamenting the fact that I need to buy some more yeast for spring brewing.

This weekend I was cleaning out the beer fridge,
and found a growler that still had a little of my fall farmhouse in it (Wyeast 3711).
Has been in there since Thanksgiving.

I cracked the top and could see yeast on the bottom.
I may have been drinking a bit, but I convinced myself that a true farmhouse house strain could be had.

Boiled up some dme and added the swirled beery remains.
Nothing the first day, but now I think I am getting activity (airlock)
and there is some sedimentation at the bottom of the flask.

It seems a little brownish grey..not normal white yeast.

So my questions are these:
1.  Stupid idea and waste of time?
2.  How would I know if these yeasties are any good?
3. I suppose I need to step up a starter as the next step if I move forward?

Thanks for your thoughts.


tschmidlin:
Step it up, smell the starter, taste the beer.  If the yeast still looks off, or smells or tastes off after the next step, I would toss it.  Be sure to use nutrients in your starters when trying to revive old yeast like this.

ynotbrusum:
In my experience, once the gray color is pretty prevalent, the yeast is not worth reviving...but that is just my own standard based on fear of wasting time and effort - YMMV and in theory, if there is life in there, you should be able to regenerate the yeast cell count.  Problem is, how would you know if it's healthy yeast (predominately)?  Tom is right - smell is a great indicator in the absence of sophisticated measurement tools.  Gray usually equals funky to me (and not in a good funky way).

Good luck!

reverseapachemaster:
There was probably a lot of dead cells that dropped out right away and are contributing to the gray trub. I don't think I've ever seen fresh yeast that color. Look for white yeast descending as the starter gravity approaches its final destination.

pinnah:

--- Quote from: reverseapachemaster on February 26, 2013, 01:36:05 PM --- Look for white yeast descending as the starter gravity approaches its final destination.

--- End quote ---

 :), I have had a nice krausen for a few days now, and am getting a nice white layer on top of the grey.
I am going to step it up and give it a taste when I am done.

Any common household ingredients that can act as yeast nutrient?  I appreciate your recommendation Tom, but do not have any on hand.  Just wondering.

Thanks for the advise.

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