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Author Topic: Vials of yeast  (Read 884 times)

Offline redrocker652002

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Vials of yeast
« on: December 15, 2023, 10:04:05 am »
OK, having read a thread about frugal brewing on another forum got me thinking about the yeast vials I have in the freezer that I got from a user who was getting out of the hobby for a bit. I have probably 10 vials of S05 and was thinking of trying one out just to see if I can do it. So, my question to the masses is, how do I do it? LOL. I have DME and can go Morebeer that is about 45 mins away if needed to get some stuff for a starter. I want to give it a go with one of the vials, and once it is good to go, put it in a mason jar and save it for an upcoming batch of yet to be determined Ale or IPA. What say the masses? Sorry, I know this is a general question, but I am fired up after reading the frugal brewer thread.

And in the effort of full disclosure, I am also a member of HomeBrewTalk and have posted this same question there to try and get as many opinions as possible.  If this is a problem, I apologize, but I am looking for any and all info that I can get.  Thank you for reading and looking forward to the replies. 

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2023, 10:16:20 am »
OK, having read a thread about frugal brewing on another forum got me thinking about the yeast vials I have in the freezer that I got from a user who was getting out of the hobby for a bit. I have probably 10 vials of S05 and was thinking of trying one out just to see if I can do it. So, my question to the masses is, how do I do it? LOL. I have DME and can go Morebeer that is about 45 mins away if needed to get some stuff for a starter. I want to give it a go with one of the vials, and once it is good to go, put it in a mason jar and save it for an upcoming batch of yet to be determined Ale or IPA. What say the masses? Sorry, I know this is a general question, but I am fired up after reading the frugal brewer thread.

And in the effort of full disclosure, I am also a member of HomeBrewTalk and have posted this same question there to try and get as many opinions as possible.  If this is a problem, I apologize, but I am looking for any and all info that I can get.  Thank you for reading and looking forward to the replies.
How much yeast is in the vials?

Cross posting on HBT is not a problem.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2023, 11:18:46 am »
… I … can go Morebeer that is about 45 mins away if needed to get some stuff for a starter.

That is extremely convenient.

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2023, 12:03:54 pm »
OK, having read a thread about frugal brewing on another forum got me thinking about the yeast vials I have in the freezer that I got from a user who was getting out of the hobby for a bit. I have probably 10 vials of S05 and was thinking of trying one out just to see if I can do it. So, my question to the masses is, how do I do it? LOL. I have DME and can go Morebeer that is about 45 mins away if needed to get some stuff for a starter. I want to give it a go with one of the vials, and once it is good to go, put it in a mason jar and save it for an upcoming batch of yet to be determined Ale or IPA. What say the masses? Sorry, I know this is a general question, but I am fired up after reading the frugal brewer thread.

And in the effort of full disclosure, I am also a member of HomeBrewTalk and have posted this same question there to try and get as many opinions as possible.  If this is a problem, I apologize, but I am looking for any and all info that I can get.  Thank you for reading and looking forward to the replies.
How much yeast is in the vials?

Cross posting on HBT is not a problem.

No idea, I got them from a guy who was getting out of the hobby for a bit while he raises two small kids.  Let me see if I can post a photo. 

And thank you for the comment about cross posting.  I took a bit of heat from the mods over there for doing it.  I did not see any problem with it as I think both forums have some great info.  Why not try and get as much as possible, right? 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2023, 08:34:38 am by redrocker652002 »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2023, 02:13:34 pm »
And thank you for the comment about cross posting.  I took a bit of heat from the mods over there for doing it.  I did not see any problem with it as I think both forums have some great info.  Why not try and get as much as possible, right?

They're dumb.  When the objective is to learn as much as possible from as many sources as possible, why not post the same questions in multiple forums?  It only friggin makes logical sense.  So cheers to that.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2023, 02:40:20 pm »
And thank you for the comment about cross posting.  I took a bit of heat from the mods over there for doing it.  I did not see any problem with it as I think both forums have some great info.  Why not try and get as much as possible, right?

They're dumb.  When the objective is to learn as much as possible from as many sources as possible, why not post the same questions in multiple forums?  It only friggin makes logical sense.  So cheers to that.

Thank you, and I agree 100%

Offline spurviance

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2023, 06:11:30 pm »
Freezer?  I was under the impression that freezing the yeast kills it as the frozen water expands puncturing cell walls.  I guess trying to roust them with a starter will determine if there are any viable cells.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2023, 12:42:50 am »
I've always understood that those vials needs to be in a non-defrosting freezer. Not sure if that has been the case or not.

There's an old thread on HBT about how to properly freeze vials and talks about how to thaw and kick them off. It's not difficult, just takes patience. Basically just let them thaw completely, add to a small starter like 5x the size of the vial, let it grow, then repeat until you have the volume of yeast you need. Depending on the vial size versus batch size, it may take a week or more to grow up enough cells.

If the vials weren't prepared or stored correctly, that's most likely the cause of failed revival. User error on your end is going to be trying to rush thawing or pitching the yeast into too big of a starter.

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Offline denny

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2023, 08:25:02 am »
Freezer?  I was under the impression that freezing the yeast kills it as the frozen water expands puncturing cell walls.  I guess trying to roust them with a starter will determine if there are any viable cells.

If you mix the yeast with glycerine and keep it in a non frost free freezer, you can do it. I found it more hassle than it was worth.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2023, 08:31:19 am »
…especially with MoreBeer 45 min away. Fresh yeast on the hoof.

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2023, 08:40:47 am »
Thank you all for the replies.  My interest in this stems from hoping to retire in the next couple of years and moving out of California to a more rural area of Oregon where my brother lives.  Not sure of the availability of Home Brew shops there so thinking ahead on how to have stuff at the ready.  Plus, as with any hobby I get into to, I want to try and experiment with all the different parts of it.  But, in this case, it looks like this might be more of a pain than it is worth.  Seems that just saving the slurry in pint mason jars to use at a later date is much easier and more convenient. I have a ale that is on deck, so I might try to save that yeast and see where it goes. 

Another question I had was simple.  How do I know whether the yeast is doing anything in the starter?  Will it make a small Krausen or will I see the normal churning that I would see in a batch with a fresh packet?  I know, stupid question, but what the heck I am good at asking stupid questions.  Thanks to all for the input. 

Offline denny

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2023, 10:52:51 am »
Thank you all for the replies.  My interest in this stems from hoping to retire in the next couple of years and moving out of California to a more rural area of Oregon where my brother lives.  Not sure of the availability of Home Brew shops there so thinking ahead on how to have stuff at the ready.  Plus, as with any hobby I get into to, I want to try and experiment with all the different parts of it.  But, in this case, it looks like this might be more of a pain than it is worth.  Seems that just saving the slurry in pint mason jars to use at a later date is much easier and more convenient. I have a ale that is on deck, so I might try to save that yeast and see where it goes. 

Another question I had was simple.  How do I know whether the yeast is doing anything in the starter?  Will it make a small Krausen or will I see the normal churning that I would see in a batch with a fresh packet?  I know, stupid question, but what the heck I am good at asking stupid questions.  Thanks to all for the input.

What part of Oregon?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2023, 11:34:29 am »
Thank you all for the replies.  My interest in this stems from hoping to retire in the next couple of years and moving out of California to a more rural area of Oregon where my brother lives.  Not sure of the availability of Home Brew shops there so thinking ahead on how to have stuff at the ready.  Plus, as with any hobby I get into to, I want to try and experiment with all the different parts of it.  But, in this case, it looks like this might be more of a pain than it is worth.  Seems that just saving the slurry in pint mason jars to use at a later date is much easier and more convenient. I have a ale that is on deck, so I might try to save that yeast and see where it goes. 

Another question I had was simple.  How do I know whether the yeast is doing anything in the starter?  Will it make a small Krausen or will I see the normal churning that I would see in a batch with a fresh packet?  I know, stupid question, but what the heck I am good at asking stupid questions.  Thanks to all for the input.
If you have a refractometer you can take a gravity reading with a few drops of the starter wort after a day or two to see if it fermented. If not, pour a small amount into a shot glass and taste it. If it is still sweet it didn’t ferment. Don’t drink out of the starter container. That would contaminate it.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2023, 12:11:52 pm »
Thank you all for the replies.  My interest in this stems from hoping to retire in the next couple of years and moving out of California to a more rural area of Oregon where my brother lives.  Not sure of the availability of Home Brew shops there so thinking ahead on how to have stuff at the ready.  Plus, as with any hobby I get into to, I want to try and experiment with all the different parts of it.  But, in this case, it looks like this might be more of a pain than it is worth.  Seems that just saving the slurry in pint mason jars to use at a later date is much easier and more convenient. I have a ale that is on deck, so I might try to save that yeast and see where it goes.

Mason jars are easier but you'll want to feed them a little every few months. Depending on how many strains you keep, you may find your fridge space slowly consumed by yeast. Freezing vials is a great way to keep a lot of strains you use infrequently at your disposal but jars in the fridge makes more sense for the strains you use more regularly.

Also, if you use any brett or blends with bacteria, you should not freeze those. Brett doesn't hold up to freezing particularly well and lactic acid bacteria even less. They will hang out in your fridge using the same feeding schedule.

Quote
Another question I had was simple.  How do I know whether the yeast is doing anything in the starter?  Will it make a small Krausen or will I see the normal churning that I would see in a batch with a fresh packet?  I know, stupid question, but what the heck I am good at asking stupid questions.  Thanks to all for the input.

Aerate the heck out of it at first and let it sit. You should see some activity on the surface or a ring above the liquid from krausen if you miss it. If a few days go by with no activity, test the gravity or taste it as Tommy suggests.

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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Vials of yeast
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2023, 01:27:36 pm »
Thank you all for the replies.  My interest in this stems from hoping to retire in the next couple of years and moving out of California to a more rural area of Oregon where my brother lives.  Not sure of the availability of Home Brew shops there so thinking ahead on how to have stuff at the ready.  Plus, as with any hobby I get into to, I want to try and experiment with all the different parts of it.  But, in this case, it looks like this might be more of a pain than it is worth.  Seems that just saving the slurry in pint mason jars to use at a later date is much easier and more convenient. I have a ale that is on deck, so I might try to save that yeast and see where it goes. 

Another question I had was simple.  How do I know whether the yeast is doing anything in the starter?  Will it make a small Krausen or will I see the normal churning that I would see in a batch with a fresh packet?  I know, stupid question, but what the heck I am good at asking stupid questions.  Thanks to all for the input.

What part of Oregon?

My brother moved to a little town called Prineville, just outside of Redmond.  It is a cool little town, they have a brewery called Wild Ride there that has some really good beers and a nice patio with food trucks.  I can see that being my normal hangout. so to speak.  LOL.