From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <>
Subject: Re: Liquid Yeast
Date: 1989-03-30 17:29:04 GMT

I've added a Wyeast packet to a 5 gallon batch directly three
times. Once there was a 24 hour delay until the top of the wort
had at least a thin layer of foam on it. The other two times the
delay was about 36 hours. I find this much delay intolerable,
The cost is also intolerable. When I make a batch of beer with
$5 of grain and $1.50 of hops, why should I spend $4.25 for
yeast? For the past few months I've split Wyeast packets
between a starter and 2-3 sterilized culture tubes and then used
the tubes with starters for later batches. I've had no problems
with culturing yeast from tubes that have been in my fridge for
up to 8 weeks.
The one variable that nags me is the amount of nutrient
still in the broth at the point I put the tubes in the fridge.
I wonder if something bad would happen to the saved portions of yeast
if I fermented the Wyeast packet completely out before using it? In
other words, would the self-consumption (spelled something like
autolysis) problems that I've read about come into effect in this
I read Leistad's book too. I've had a bag of agar for months
to make slants but haven't tried this yet.
But for several months I've used a canner to make up batches of sterile
wort in pint and quart jars. I use this same scheme for making jars of
sterile priming sugar solutions, complete with graduations on the side
(with a grease pencil). Finally, I've found that sterilized jars made
with the same scheme sometimes come in handy for topping up fermenters.
A conflict with starters that I've run into is this: If I pitch
the starter while it is active, the yeast is suspended and I've got to
include the liquid to get all the yeast, thus adding a large volume
of dark, very low gravity wort to my batch. The canning
severely darkens the starter wort. If I avoid this by fully
fermenting the starter before pitching, I can pour off most of the
liquid, then swirl it up and pitch the yeast from the bottom. But then
I'm pitching sleeping yeast. I can't decide which way is best but
for the moment I'm fully fermenting my (final) starters, since there seems
to be as much color in a quart of this as in all the rest of the
"Steam Pilsner" I'm making these days.
I just got a deja vu, so if I've written about canning already,
sorry. I think this is another case of something I started to send
to the digest but didn't.
As for the kinds of yeasts and their characteristics, here are
some quick notes based on my experience.
I first used strain #2035 to make steam beers. I'm pretty sure
Wyeast has discontinued this so there may not be much point in
discussing it except to say that it worked well for me. Fermentations
were at 65-68 degrees. Yes, this was too darn warm but it was all
I could manage.
Number 2042 ("Danish Later Yeast") for some reason gave me a
ridiculously under-attenuated batch of beer. This was with the same
extract steam beer recipe I'd made a few times before (with 2035),
so I had very definite expectations of how it was to turn out.
It didn't meet those expectations. However, you can't plot with one
data point, can you, so take this with a lump of rock salt. Since
other folks have described use of 2042 with no problems I'm thinking
of trying this yeast again. I thought I had some data from my
supply shop indicating this yeast was non-attenuative, but that was
Number #2007 ("St. Louis Lager") has been very reliable for me. I've
used it around 6 times and the fermentation has always proceeded at
a very even pace with primary finishing in about 72 hours. This has been
at 55-60 degrees. Like many of you I don't have a fridge and so have
never made a true lager. Also, with 2007 when I'm done my fermenter
smells like a big batch of rising bread dough. That's the kind of
sign that helps me relax.
Number #1028 ("British Ale"?) has also been pulled by Wyeast. My one
experience with it was horrible since it failed to flocculate properly
and was still somewhat suspended 8 weeks after bottling. Again, this
was one experience. Fermentation was at 61-63 degrees.
I've used number #1098 ("Whitbread Ale") twice. I reported the first
results a few weeks ago. I recently bottled another recipe made with this
that was fermented at 70 degrees instead of the 60 I'd used for the
first. The esters were not nearly as pronounced at bottling time, but
were still much more pronounced than I'd ever gotten with other yeast.
This batch has some roast barley in it and the roast barley
aroma coupled with the ester's aroma of apples results in a unique
character, to say the least. It's the aroma I would expect of a beer
served to me at the bar in "Star Wars" :^)
So I'm sticking with #2007, leaning toward trying #2042 again
and am still looking for a well mannered ale yeast.
Can anybody comment on strain #1084 ("Irish Ale")?
Pete Soper, Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd., bldg D
Cary, North Carolina 27511 USA phone 1 919 481 3730
arpa: (
uucp: {talcott,linus,bu-cs,bellcore,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper

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