Yeast Starter: Overview & Status

Just as quickly as it got rolling it is slowing down. No more of those bubbles in this little brew. Some yeast is still visibly in suspension and will be for a couple days. I could use this yeast right now if I were ready to brew.

Here's a quick overview the process.
  • saved the yeast slurry from primary fermenter after last brew
  • decided on recipe
  • put up the yeast starter
  • fermentation in progress
  • fermentation slowing down
  • yeast settling out of suspension
  • drain some of the beer off the top
  • slosh it around to make a slurry
  • pitch 1/2 the yeast in one wort
  • pitch the other half in another

Why did I do this? There are a couple reasons. I want to master home brewing and I'd like to feel confident that I can reuse yeast without contamination. The other reason? It is cheaper than buying liquid yeast for each batch.

Supposedly you shouldn't keep reusing the same yeast too many times. I think five generations is the suggested limit. I guess there are good reasons for that. I won't guess about them here. I haven't been diligent enough to get past three generations.

Where to from here? Besides brewing the two Belgian style ales this week? Someday I'd like to explore keeping a small library of yeast on hand. We'll see. I have successfully kept yeast in the fridge for a year and reused it. We'll see.

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