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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Working with Yeast

I'm interested in what the most common practice for handling yeast is. I'd like to know how most people are managing their yeast (e.g. yeast propagation tank, recycle from previous mash, new fresh purchase for each batch, etc...). Since new purchase seems like an excessive operational cost I would assume most people are propagating in some way.


Reply:

I'm interested in what the most common practice for handling yeast is. I'd like to know how most people are managing their yeast (e.g. yeast propagation tank, recycle from previous mash, new fresh purchase for each batch, etc...). Since new purchase seems like an excessive operational cost I would assume most people are propagating in some way.


Reply:

Unless you have a person who's full time job is yeast management, it's a pain to propagate your yeast. We tried it in several forms at my old winery/brewery/distillery, and after awhile said the hell with it. Actually came out cheaper because of the time involved, to use dry. The consistency is the key thing.


Reply:

That's true, Mr. Forester, but the downside of using dry yeast is that your choices are very, very limited...relatively speaking. Keeping an active culture alive for a month at a time before getting a fresh slurry isn't too taxing, and can be accomplished with minimal sanitary equipment. I've done it without a microscope for years.

As I've said before, I'd suggest that those who are new to yeast handling give White labs a call, and see what's out there. My unasked for advice is to not limit yourself to dry yeast, and put a little more craft in your craft, so to speak.


Reply:

+1 @ Denver Distiller -

Keeping 5 gallons or so of a previous batch of yeast is an excellent way to start your next fermentation or to get a new batch propped up for a future fermentation cycle. A 5 gallon hopper / tank that can be sealed (air tight is not required nor desired) and placed in a cold room until it is needed can save time and money. As long as the yeast is stored correctly and no unwanted yeast strains get into the batch, the flavor profile supplied by the yeast should be consistent for many generations.

White Labs is an excellent source of yeast as well as information.

If you need help putting together a storage tank or a propagation tank, feel free to contact me for an assist!

Disclaimer - I was a Pro Brewer and the Production Manager @ White Labs.


Reply:

Actually I mis-spoke, I use dry and fresh from White Labs and others. Depends upon what I am making.

That's true, Mr. Forester, but the downside of using dry yeast is that your choices are very, very limited...relatively speaking. Keeping an active culture alive for a month at a time before getting a fresh slurry isn't too taxing, and can be accomplished with minimal sanitary equipment. I've done it without a microscope for years.

As I've said before, I'd suggest that those who are new to yeast handling give White labs a call, and see what's out there. My unasked for advice is to not limit yourself to dry yeast, and put a little more craft in your craft, so to speak.