From the HBD Archive
From: "Allen J. Hainer" <ajhainer@violet.waterloo.edu>
Subject: Re:Culturing SN Yeast
Date: 1989-08-12 14:54:21 GMT

Last week I brewed a double batch of my favourite bitter and wanted to
try an experiment with yeast. One batch with yeast cultured from Belgian
Chimay and one with liquid ale yeast (my first try with liquid yeast).

Chimay has LARGE amounts of sediment in the bottom. I swished it out
into a small amout of boiled extract, water and hops, and waited. At
first there were some bubbles (probably due to the carbonation in what
I swished out) and then nothing. I then discovered that the corks on
Chimay are dated. This one had been bottled in 11-87! The yeast had been
dead long before I tried to culture it. This may have been what happened
to you. Beer (particularly imported or rarely purchased brands) may be
very old by the time in makes it into your glass and yeast will not live
forever.

As to culturing with table sugar, I would use either corn sugar or extract.

I also learned a quick lesson on liquid yeasts I'll pass on. I had
well over 1/2 gallon of very active starter when I pitched. To save on
measuring the yeast, I pitched it all into 5 gallons and then divided
this in half and diluted each to 5 gallons. Unfortunately, when I pitched,
the wort was quite warm (I wouldn't call it hot though). Ten minutes
later when I had diluted the wort to 10 gallons, it was nice and cool, but
I guess the damage had been done. 36 hours later the airlocks were actually
sucking air. Because it was the start of the long weekend (supply store
closed), it would have taken at least 4-5 days to get another starter going,
so I ended up using the yeast supplied with the extract kits.

The moral of the story - Make sure your wort is COOL before pitching. My
beer is now fermenting nicely, but I'll have to wait until the next batch
to find out the advantages of liquid yeast.

-al (ajhainer@violet.waterloo.edu)

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