From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <>
Subject: Re: Culturing SN Yeast
Date: 1989-08-14 15:21:37 GMT

I have a pale ale fermenting now that is using yeast from a bottle
of Worthington White Shield ("best before May/1990"). Here are the
tedious details.
I put a 4oz baby juice jar with 2oz of starter wort, a 1 hole rubber
stopper and a glass fermentation lock into my pressure cooker and cooked
it for the usual 15 minutes, letting it cool overnight before opening
the cooker. Then I took the cap off the beer and ran a lighter flame
around the lip, poured all but the last 1/2oz of the bottle into a
glass and put the last 1/2oz into the baby juice jar of wort, finally
adding the stopper and lock to the jar and then covering the neck of the
jar with sanitized foil (to keep it clean for when this starter was
poured into the next larger one). I did this in such a way to minimize
the time the juice jar mouth was exposed to room air. I also held my
breath and made sure there were no drafts in the room.
The Worthington yeast started fermenting in 12 hours. I transferred
it to an 8oz starter using the above methods after 2 days, then
transferred that to a 32oz starter after 2 more days. After a total of
6 days I pitched the final starter into a 5 gallon batch of wort. This
was fermenting vigorously after 12 hours.
The starters were all developed at 75 degrees while the batch of beer
is fermenting at 65 degrees. The starter wort was made with 1 tablespoon
of dry malt extract and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast nutrient per 16oz of
water (tap water but with the chlorine filtered out).
These are extreme measures, I admit. However I hand carried The
Worthington's back from England and could not afford to botch the starter.
I agree with Allen Hainer that getting the freshest beer you can is
worthwhile, since the yeast in the bottles will eventually starve and
die. The first bottle of Worthington I was offered had a best before
date of May/1984! However I disagree with Allen about using corn sugar
for starters and would only recommend malt extract. It is best to have
the yeast consuming maltose right from the start.
The big question in my mind now is whether my batch of beer will taste
better than Worthington White Shield - IMHO a really awful pale ale.
Pete Soper +1 919 481 3730
arpa: uucp: {bu-cs,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper
Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA

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