My yeast propagation endeavours are working a treat, and saving me money which is an added perk. The plate stirrer method I employ for making starters is producing a vast mass of cells for pitching which enables me to make parallel starters by pouring off a few hundreds millilitres of starter into bottles and storing them in the fridge. These in turn can be used to make further starters thus enabling me to get a number of brews from one yeast pack. This only works up to a point because yeast don't really like sitting in an alcohol infused medium for too long and will start to mutate or just plain kick the bucket. A bit of reading around has suggested the little fellas will happily sit in the fridge for around 6 months before I have to start worrying about a detrimental drop in viability. There are quite a number of other methods to store yeast in the long term involving nutrient plates, slopes and deep freezing, but I'm not prepared to go down that route just yet. It isn't really necessary and the yeast cultures I used are commercially available and easily replaced. I suppose if I developed a particular house strain that I liked I could attempt to preserve it but that seems most unlikely from the home brew perspective.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
This will likely be the last beer I brew before my wedding as the next few weeks will be hectic what with wedding plans and brewing assignments. I planned a very straightforward ale today with only pale and crystal malt, but when I took a look through my supplies I spotted some biscuit malt, the presence of which had slipped my mind. I decided to add it to the grist for today's brew with the hope that it will provide a fuller malt aspect to the beer. Initial tasting of the sweet wort certainly suggests this will be a rich beer, so I hopped it quite well to balance the malt. This one should be English through and through because coupled with the English malts, I added a good measure of Challenger and Northdown along with a British ale yeast strain from Wyeast.