Author Topic: keeping conan  (Read 1281 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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keeping conan
« on: August 18, 2015, 01:21:01 PM »
In a couple of weeks I should be getting two vials of conan yeast from an AHA forum brother. Now, this yeast is completely unobtainable in Europe, afaik. What would be the best way to make sure I can keep it virtually indefinitely? I don't have a -18C freezer, and I'm not planning to brew with this yeast every two weeks or so. I do have some limited experience with storing yeast under beer in a mason jar in the fridge, but how long will this last? Are there people who store yeast "in the cloud", i.e. distribute amongst fellow brewers to make sure it can still be obtained?
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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 02:02:23 PM »
Do you mean -80°C? -18°C is a normal household freezer, in which you could definitely store slants or stabs if you wanted to go that route. But a culture stored under beer in the fridge will be viable for years. I'd try not to go more than a few months if possible, and maybe keep two cultures for defense in depth. We're also talking about a strain you can get on an ongoing basis, just not easily.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 02:07:14 PM »
Do you mean -80°C? -18°C is a normal household freezer, in which you could definitely store slants or stabs if you wanted to go that route. But a culture stored under beer in the fridge will be viable for years. I'd try not to go more than a few months if possible, and maybe keep two cultures for defense in depth. We're also talking about a strain you can get on an ongoing basis, just not easily.

I do mean -18C. I DON'T have a freezer to store @-18C.  And maybe you can get it on an ongoing basis, but me,  poor little inhabitant of Antwerp, proud city of the Bolleke Koninck, cannot.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 05:22:58 PM »
If you really like it and want to use it frequently, then make sure you brew with it every few months and keep the culture fresh. That's your best guarantee that you will be able to use it whenever you need.

If you just want to have it in case you want to brew with it sometime in the future, then storing under beer in the fridge will buy you anywhere from 6-24 months if you're willing to baby it early on with stepped starters. That's what I do with WY3864, which is one of my favorite yeast strains but is only released every couple of years. I like it a lot, but if for some reason I can't get a healthy starter going it's not the end of the world for me. I can use something else like 1762 or 3787 until Wyeast releases it again.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 09:00:33 PM »
You can also culture 3864 from the bottle.

But that doesn't help Homo.

I have used year old slurries, stepped up, with no problem.

Yeast is pretty hardy, IME. 
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 09:13:17 PM »
So if I split up the yeast into a couple of batches and hand them over to a couple of people we can basically keep this baby alive forever, for at least a couple of years, even with failing fridges and floods. It's as simple as that.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 03:55:59 AM »
You can also culture 3864 from the bottle.

But that doesn't help Homo.
Actually, it does. You can just as easily culture from your own bottle conditioned homebrew. I've done that in the past. But keeping a few jars of slurry in the fridge leaves a wider margin of error.
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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 04:28:35 AM »
So if I split up the yeast into a couple of batches and hand them over to a couple of people we can basically keep this baby alive forever, for at least a couple of years, even with failing fridges and floods. It's as simple as that.

If your brewery hygiene is good, yes, you can keep it forever by repitching.  You can also do like I do and plate for single colonies that are transferred to slants.  Slants only require 3 or 4C refrigeration.


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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 08:24:10 AM »
You can just as easily culture from your own bottle conditioned homebrew. I've done that in the past.

Now that's a thought! I may sleep again...
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Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 01:48:02 PM »
So if I split up the yeast into a couple of batches and hand them over to a couple of people we can basically keep this baby alive forever, for at least a couple of years, even with failing fridges and floods. It's as simple as that.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 02:18:12 PM »
You can also do like I do and plate for single colonies that are transferred to slants.  Slants only require 3 or 4C refrigeration.

SWBO will not approve my getting a freezer to do this. And she will approve my posting this even less. Etc. and so forth ad infinitum.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 02:52:44 PM »
And maybe you can get it on an ongoing basis, but me,  poor little inhabitant of Antwerp, proud city of the Bolleke Koninck, cannot.

I just meant that you don't have to worry about maintaining the purity of the only culture. Even if the yeast labs won't ship to you, I would. ;)
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Offline braufessor

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2015, 03:21:36 AM »
I have been using conan almost exclusively (other than lagers and a few other test batches) for the better part of the last 9 months.  I have had a couple fresh pitches.... but, basically, I have brewed off of 2 different Heady Topper Starters and a pack of Giga Yeast.  I can get at it more easily than you, but what I generally do is I brew a batch of my "house ale/lawnmower beer" which is a low hopped blonde ale, 1.040 gravity.  I harvest 6 half-pint jars of yeast from this batch and store in fridge under fermented beers.  I will use 4-5 for whatever I want to brew over the next month or two (making a starter with each).  With one or two of the jars I will brew another batch of blonde ale..... harvest 6 half-pint jars and repeat.  I find the blonde ale is a perfect yeast-generating beer, plus lots of visitors love it because it is light, clean, easy drinking.
This might not be a method that will make it last forever..... but you could take it through a year pretty easy (with good process) I bet.  I brew about 15-25 batches off of one pitch.  Could carry it out longer, but I know I have relatively easy access to it, so I simply don't take it past that.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 04:11:41 AM by braufessor »

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2015, 08:37:30 AM »
Even if the yeast labs won't ship to you, I would. ;)

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: keeping conan
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2015, 08:42:47 AM »
I have been using conan almost exclusively (other than lagers and a few other test batches) for the better part of the last 9 months.  I have had a couple fresh pitches.... but, basically, I have brewed off of 2 different Heady Topper Starters and a pack of Giga Yeast.  I can get at it more easily than you, but what I generally do is I brew a batch of my "house ale/lawnmower beer" which is a low hopped blonde ale, 1.040 gravity.  I harvest 6 half-pint jars of yeast from this batch and store in fridge under fermented beers.  I will use 4-5 for whatever I want to brew over the next month or two (making a starter with each).  With one or two of the jars I will brew another batch of blonde ale..... harvest 6 half-pint jars and repeat.  I find the blonde ale is a perfect yeast-generating beer, plus lots of visitors love it because it is light, clean, easy drinking.
This might not be a method that will make it last forever..... but you could take it through a year pretty easy (with good process) I bet.  I brew about 15-25 batches off of one pitch.  Could carry it out longer, but I know I have relatively easy access to it, so I simply don't take it past that.

That's a very good method, Brau! Never brewed a lawnmower beer, and, tbh, my lawn looks terrible! Never had an American blonde ale, so I might as well make that and get my lawn fixed at the same time. Found a recipe in Gordon Strong's new book with 2-row, pilsner, munich, and carahell, citra and centennial. I'll just swap the London III yeast with Conan.
Frank P.

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