Harvest Date for Repitching Slurry?

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Harvest Date for Repitching Slurry?

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:23 pm

Whenever repitching slurry, I've always done it so soon after fermentation stopped that I never really bothered to figure out the actual viability of the yeast. I currently have a lager in a carboy sitting at 34º that I brewed on 5/17. Since I haven't harvested it yet, I have no idea what I should select as the harvest date to estimate the viability. I'm planning on making a doppelbock with the yeast, so I need really need to make sure I pitch enough.

How do you guys think I should handle this?
-Brian

On Tap: Sour Belgian Brown, Amber Ale, Milk Stout, English Dark Mild, American Brown, Vienna Lager

Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
Kegged: Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, Barleywine
Lagering: Märzen, Doppelbock, Düsseldorf Alt
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Re: Harvest Date for Repitching Slurry?

Postby jeffjm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:15 pm

I have no idea what the viability would be, but I've heard that beer is the best storage media for yeast. Best case, the yeast have all gone happily dormant and will wake up when you start feeding them again.

Worst case, you've lost enough viability that even if you make a starter from your slurry (probably not a bad idea just to be safe), your yeast will stall out before you hit your desired final gravity. In that case, you might want to have a backup vial/smack pack. Then you can make a starter from it and pitch at high krausen in order to make sure they consume as much remaining sugar as possible.
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Re: Harvest Date for Repitching Slurry?

Postby Kerth » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:34 pm

You could scoop out about a cup and let it warm up and see if it gets a lot of co2 bubbles. Then use it in a starter.
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Re: Harvest Date for Repitching Slurry?

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:47 pm

Oh, I was still planning on making a starter anyway. To give a little more detail.... The yeast is Wyeast 2206 (Bavarian Lager). I brewed an 11 gallon batch of a 1.056 Märzen split into two carboys. I was planning on kegging them tomorrow and pouring the slurry from both into two separate 2L starters. Let them go for 2 days, crash cool for a day, and then brew 11 gallons of a 1.082 doppelbock potentially on Friday.

Am I just being overly cautious, or will I not have enough healthy yeast? I think I underpitched my doppelbock last time I brewed it, so I really don't want to make the same mistake again.
-Brian

On Tap: Sour Belgian Brown, Amber Ale, Milk Stout, English Dark Mild, American Brown, Vienna Lager

Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
Kegged: Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, Barleywine
Lagering: Märzen, Doppelbock, Düsseldorf Alt
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Re: Harvest Date for Repitching Slurry?

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:25 pm

Anyone else care to weigh in?
-Brian

On Tap: Sour Belgian Brown, Amber Ale, Milk Stout, English Dark Mild, American Brown, Vienna Lager

Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
Kegged: Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, Barleywine
Lagering: Märzen, Doppelbock, Düsseldorf Alt
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