Author Topic: starter from slurry  (Read 483 times)

Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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starter from slurry
« on: January 13, 2020, 05:37:57 PM »
I have some old slurry that was harvested back around the middle of August. How much should I use to make a starter for a 5 gallon batch of 1.064 IPA? I normally just repitch slurry but since this is so old I would like to make sure I am getting enough healthy yeast. I was planning on a 1L starter if that's realistic.
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Offline Bob357

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 06:05:12 PM »
How long is a string?
 If you age the  slurry at the same rate as liquid yeast, the viability would be about 35 to 40%. Estimating the cell count of a slurry is making an educated guess based primarily on thickness, volume and % of trub/hop matter it contains.
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 06:09:05 PM »
How long is a string?
 If you age the  slurry at the same rate as liquid yeast, the viability would be about 35 to 40%. Estimating the cell count of a slurry is making an educated guess based primarily on thickness, volume and % of trub/hop matter it contains.

So just throw some random amount of slurry in and hope for the best?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 06:12:27 PM by Iliff Ave Brewhouse »
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Offline denny

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 06:15:06 PM »
How long is a string?
 If you age the  slurry at the same rate as liquid yeast, the viability would be about 35 to 40%. Estimating the cell count of a slurry is making an educated guess based primarily on thickness, volume and % of trub/hop matter it contains.

So just throw some random amount of slurry in and hope for the best?

That's pretty much what I do.  Never failed me.  I shoot for around a couple Tbsp.
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Offline Robert

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 06:15:25 PM »
Wait, I think I hear Denny coming... what will he say?  I'll proactively agree with him here.  Take about a third of what you normally would pitch, make a 1L vitality starter, and pitch the whole thing at high kräusen.   You should be able to repitch as usual for the next batch.

(Ahh, Denny got here while I was typing...)
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Offline denny

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2020, 06:16:20 PM »
Wait, I think I hear Denny coming... what will he say?  I'll proactively agree with him here.  Take about a third of what you normally would pitch, make a 1L vitality starter, and pitch the whole thing at high kräusen.   You should be able to repitch as usual for the next batch.

Beat ya.....just barely!
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 06:21:23 PM »
Thanks guys.
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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 06:33:54 PM »
I have my doubts about those doom and gloom yeast death projections.  I have my mason jar of slurry, do a vitality starter 4-5 hours prior to pitch.  I haven't had issues and have used year old or more slurry.
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2020, 06:36:53 PM »
I have my doubts about those doom and gloom yeast death projections.  I have my mason jar of slurry, do a vitality starter 4-5 hours prior to pitch.  I haven't had issues and have used year old or more slurry.

Good to hear. I don't normally make starters. I will give the vitality starter a go.
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Up Next: berry chocolate imp stout, lime/lemongrass blonde

Offline Robert

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2020, 07:37:18 PM »
I have my doubts about those doom and gloom yeast death projections.  I have my mason jar of slurry, do a vitality starter 4-5 hours prior to pitch.  I haven't had issues and have used year old or more slurry.

Good to hear. I don't normally make starters. I will give the vitality starter a go.
I don't normally make starters either, except for the first generation, then just repitch slurry.  But when it's been sitting long enough that it makes you nervous, the vitality starter is a good piece of insurance.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 04:29:01 AM »
I'll second the general consensus here so far... I routinely re-pitch yeast in this way, since I've rarely had time to brew lately and no LHBS.

In my experience the "doom-and-gloom" has been accurate. I can't say to have much or any experience outside of a few strains, but broadly speaking I think viability of relatively small amounts of slurry stored under beer drop into the 80s relatively quickly (a few weeks) but then decline more slowly. I've seen 55% in a 19-month old slurry of 1272, though methylene blue staining is known to be inconsistent below 75%-ish (and even in general) so take that for what it's worth.

Long story short, take a couple tablespoons of packed slurry (30 mL), that would be about equivalent to a fresh smack pack or vial or whatnot when harvested, so even if viability is down to 50% you're in the ballpark. Give them oxygen and nutrients and yeast will reproduce until they run out of substrate, and a 1 L starter at 8°P will net something like 100-150 billion fresh cells in my (again, strain-limited) experience. (And for my brewing practices would be slightly underpitching in a high-gravity beer, but take that for what it's worth.)
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2020, 02:31:56 PM »
I'll second the general consensus here so far... I routinely re-pitch yeast in this way, since I've rarely had time to brew lately and no LHBS.

In my experience the "doom-and-gloom" has been accurate. I can't say to have much or any experience outside of a few strains, but broadly speaking I think viability of relatively small amounts of slurry stored under beer drop into the 80s relatively quickly (a few weeks) but then decline more slowly. I've seen 55% in a 19-month old slurry of 1272, though methylene blue staining is known to be inconsistent below 75%-ish (and even in general) so take that for what it's worth.

Long story short, take a couple tablespoons of packed slurry (30 mL), that would be about equivalent to a fresh smack pack or vial or whatnot when harvested, so even if viability is down to 50% you're in the ballpark. Give them oxygen and nutrients and yeast will reproduce until they run out of substrate, and a 1 L starter at 8°P will net something like 100-150 billion fresh cells in my (again, strain-limited) experience. (And for my brewing practices would be slightly underpitching in a high-gravity beer, but take that for what it's worth.)

Very helpful thanks. I was mainly worried because the mr malty calc was saying that my yeast only has 10% viability if harvested back in mid august. I may consider a slightly larger volume to get more healthy cells.
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2020, 03:34:40 PM »
Well I made a regular starter about 36 hours before brewday. Everything seemed to be good but when I went to smell the starter I was getting some notes of nail polish remover (acetone?). Obviously I decided not to use it and luckily had a back up pack of dry yeast. I assume the acetone odor is related to an infection?
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2020, 06:16:58 PM »
Well I made a regular starter about 36 hours before brewday. Everything seemed to be good but when I went to smell the starter I was getting some notes of nail polish remover (acetone?). Obviously I decided not to use it and luckily had a back up pack of dry yeast. I assume the acetone odor is related to an infection?

This is purely anecdotal and the beer is still fermenting so take this as is please...

I used a slurry of WY1010 American Wheat to make a starter last week.  When I went to pitch it smelled gawd awful.  I had no backup so I decided, since starters never smell exactly 'right" anyway, I pitched it in the wort. 

So far the bubbles coming through the air lock smell great.  I may be greeted by an ugly mess when I go to keg it but for now it seems to be working fine.

Fingers crossed...

Paul
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Offline denny

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Re: starter from slurry
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2020, 06:20:01 PM »
Well I made a regular starter about 36 hours before brewday. Everything seemed to be good but when I went to smell the starter I was getting some notes of nail polish remover (acetone?). Obviously I decided not to use it and luckily had a back up pack of dry yeast. I assume the acetone odor is related to an infection?

This is purely anecdotal and the beer is still fermenting so take this as is please...

I used a slurry of WY1010 American Wheat to make a starter last week.  When I went to pitch it smelled gawd awful.  I had no backup so I decided, since starters never smell exactly 'right" anyway, I pitched it in the wort. 

So far the bubbles coming through the air lock smell great.  I may be greeted by an ugly mess when I go to keg it but for now it seems to be working fine.

Fingers crossed...

Paul

My experience is the same, Paul.
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