Drying yeast at home

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MyQul

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It's taken about 48 hours to completely dry the yeast out. If you dont have an oven with a light, I reckon one of those big plastic boxes with a lamp directed at it would work

I've taken it off the baking paper (@cushyno to keep sanitation standards up I wore latex gloves which I 'washeds' my gloved hands with alcohol hand rub) and put it in a zip lock bag. Then put that in the freezer. I'll put some in some starter wort next week (need to buy some H&B LME as I've ran out) to see if it's viable
 

David Heath

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That's the plan (just a starter though, not rehydration). Although irc, David does say in the comments on the vid he just chucks the dried yeast into the wort, like a pack of regular dried yeast
Yes, no need for a starter with kveik unless you are concerned over its health. Then the underpitch still applies rather than the full starter.
 

cushyno

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I've not watched the video yet but 10 years in the freezer sounds optimistic from what I know. This article on drying Kveik suggests a much shorter lifespan for practical brewing and that is using a yeast strain that has traditionally been air dried.

I'm not saying that you couldn't revive the yeast after 10 years but the viable cell count would be so low that the risks of yeast stress and mutation would be very high.
Thanks for that link, there's plenty of interesting reading on yeast on that site.
 

MyQul

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I've not watched the video yet but 10 years in the freezer sounds optimistic from what I know. This article on drying Kveik suggests a much shorter lifespan for practical brewing and that is using a yeast strain that has traditionally been air dried.

I'm not saying that you couldn't revive the yeast after 10 years but the viable cell count would be so low that the risks of yeast stress and mutation would be very high.
Love the little mini yeast log :laugh8:

http://suigenerisbrewing.com/index.php/2019/07/11/dried-kveik-956-days/
 

An Ankoù

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Just to throw one in, I bought a big box of Safale S-04 back in the days when Barley Bottom had just started selling home brew stuff. I kept it unopened through many moves including a couple of summers in an uninsulated loft in Poole. When I finally opened it it must have been 7 or 8 years old and it worked as if it was in-date. Threw the rest out about a year ago as I was fed up with S-04. I guess it's also the vacuum packaging that makes a difference.
 

Keats

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I followed @MyQul’s method and dried some kveik slurry in the oven just using the light and it was ready in just over 24 hours. Now in a bag in the freezer ready to use in my next brew.
 

Keats

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It is Voss. First time using it, bottled on Sunday and waiting for it to carb up.
 

foxy

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I think it will only work on kviek yeast because they will outgrow any other yeast or nasties, if labs can't get an unadulterated dried yeast, at home it would be nigh impossible. I like to play around with things like this so I will probably give it a go.
 

MyQul

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I think it will only work on kviek yeast because they will outgrow any other yeast or nasties, if labs can't get an unadulterated dried yeast, at home it would be nigh impossible. I like to play around with things like this so I will probably give it a go.
The drying out bit certainly works. I've yet to try the re-hydration bit
 

BeerTooth

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Any after-action reports on re-animating home-dried yeast? I'm interested to find which (if any) non-kveik strains can successfully be dried and rehydrated at home. Would love to build a small yeast bank for re-using different strains. I had several jars of saved slurry in my fridge which I realized I was not using fast enough, since I only brew once a month, and a wide variety of styles which use different strains. Last weekend I spread the yeast slurry on parchment paper and dried it in my electric food dehydrator on the lowest setting. So I ended up with plenty of crispy brown yeast flakes that I stored in ziploc bags in the fridge. I've yet to try re-hydrating any to see if they survived the process, but I'll report my findings and I'm interested to hear others experience.
 

David Heath

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Any after-action reports on re-animating home-dried yeast? I'm interested to find which (if any) non-kveik strains can successfully be dried and rehydrated at home. Would love to build a small yeast bank for re-using different strains. I had several jars of saved slurry in my fridge which I realized I was not using fast enough, since I only brew once a month, and a wide variety of styles which use different strains. Last weekend I spread the yeast slurry on parchment paper and dried it in my electric food dehydrator on the lowest setting. So I ended up with plenty of crispy brown yeast flakes that I stored in ziploc bags in the fridge. I've yet to try re-hydrating any to see if they survived the process, but I'll report my findings and I'm interested to hear others experience.
So far ive found that this works with yeast in general. Ive had success with farm kveik, kveik isolates from labs, Fermentis yeast and MJ yeast of various different types. The important thing is to keep everything clean and sanitary.
 

BeerTooth

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So far ive found that this works with yeast in general. Ive had success with farm kveik, kveik isolates from labs, Fermentis yeast and MJ yeast of various different types. The important thing is to keep everything clean and sanitary.
that's good to hear. Any slower lag time in getting your starter going, or did it behave about the same?

Have you tried with any yeasts distributed in liquid form (like White Labs vials or Wyeast activator packs)? Do brewers in the UK have access to liquid yeasts, or mainly dry yeast? I'm wondering if there is some inherent genetic tolerance to desiccating and rehydrating that the Wyeast strains might not have?
 

MyQul

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@BeerTooth I've still the got the dried MJ Liberty bell in my freezer and havent tried re-hydtrating yet as my brewing corner in my kitchen it too cold for this strain at the moment. So will have to wait till it warms up to brew with it. We have a large range of liquid yeast available to us in the the UK, including wyeast and white labs
 

David Heath

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that's good to hear. Any slower lag time in getting your starter going, or did it behave about the same?

Have you tried with any yeasts distributed in liquid form (like White Labs vials or Wyeast activator packs)? Do brewers in the UK have access to liquid yeasts, or mainly dry yeast? I'm wondering if there is some inherent genetic tolerance to desiccating and rehydrating that the Wyeast strains might not have?
Viability is something you have to estimate when you are reculturing so I apply that to what I pitch according to age and also how I am storing it. You gain a nice boost to this by drying. Yes, ive done this with liquid and dry yeast.
 

JonBrew

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Viability is something you have to estimate when you are reculturing so I apply that to what I pitch according to age and also how I am storing it. You gain a nice boost to this by drying. Yes, ive done this with liquid and dry yeast.
So you reckon viability is fairly good with home-dried yeast? With the non-Kviek yeast that you're drying, when you go to use again, are you rehydrating in sterile water, making a starter, or pitching direct to the wort? Also, how do you know how much to use?
 

David Heath

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So you reckon viability is fairly good with home-dried yeast? With the non-Kviek yeast that you're drying, when you go to use again, are you rehydrating in sterile water, making a starter, or pitching direct to the wort? Also, how do you know how much to use?
Sure. I mostly top crop to ensure the yeast is at its healthiest point, which i believe is key. I have not rehydrated yeast in anything but wort for a very long time. I pitch direct to wort. If I want to give it a head start then I transfer some wort after mash out and let it cool and then pitch into this. Naturally you need to make sure it is the right temperature. You can do this quickly by simply adding the jar to a small bucket with cold water in it. This is an old Norwegian technique that works well for yeast in general.
 

BeerTooth

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... if labs can't get an unadulterated dried yeast, at home it would be nigh impossible. ....

Was listening to a cider-making podcast this morning and heard a tidbit of information about dry yeast. The guest had 20+ years of experience in various parts of the industry, including working with Lallemand and Fermentis at various points. He made a comment about the investment expense required to commission a new line of dry yeast. Sounded like millions of $, and every individual strain requires a redundant capital investment for the drying equipment. So the manufacturer would need a very high guaranteed sales volume to justify that expenditure. Contrasted with the relatively low-tech handling requirements for liquid yeast, which can be done with basic sterile culture lab equipment and some deep freezers. This allows many more liquid yeast strains to be managed by Wyeast and White Labs compared to the limited selection of dry yeasts.

My point being, there may be business reasons for most yeasts only being available in liquid form, that have nothing to do with their physiological response to desiccation. Those liquid yeast strains may dry and rehydrate perfectly well at the home scale, it just doesn't make business sense for Wyeast and White Labs to commission a full-up drying manufacturing line for every one of their dozens of liquid yeast strains.
 

BradleyW

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Could you leave the yeast to dry in the sun? Obviously covered from bugs etc.
 
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