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bruce phipps
01/04/07 08:32 AM  
Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
I'm trying to make a yeast starter from the dregs from a couple of bottles of Saison Dupont.

After 10 days and 2 step ups I have nearly a 1 litre solution of cloudy liquid with a thin layer of yeast deposit on the bottom.

Is this ready to pitch? I was expecting a foaming mass by now!



01/04/07 10:10 AM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
You'll get very noticable results if you feed it daily with pure oxygen. Shaking it often tends to help but no where as good as pure oxygen which will make those little yeasties multiply excessively.
01/04/07 02:21 PM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
Aside from Cisco's advice - which of course is right on - let me ask ... have you given the starter a snif? The cloudy liquid part does not sound great.
01/04/07 03:06 PM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
By "cloudy liquid" do you just mean there is a lot of yeast in suspension? I agree with Steve about smelling it (without fully opening the lid or breathing into it at all). Does it smell like fruit and/or bread and/or yeast? If so, great. (I guess I mean any bread other than sourdough.)

Anyway, whether or it's ready to pitch depends on what you want to pitch it into. Of course there is the 1B cells/L/P rule of thumb, and it's pretty generally agreed that if the yeast is healthy, you can drop to 1/2 or maybe (maybe) even 1/4 of that before you start to see problems. Strain dependent of course--and I doubt many would say this strain is one of the hardier ones.

Not sure how you did the starter, so here are some ballpark numbers for how many cells you could have:

If you never shook/aerated the starter: 25 Billion cells per Liter, very depleted and unhealthy

If you shook/aerated it just once: 25 B/L, kind of depleted

If you shook/aerated 2-3X per day: 60 B/L, healthy

On a stir plate or continuously aerated: 120 B/L, healthy

Ubriaco's procedure (perhaps similar to what Cisco recommends): some incredible amount of healthy yeast, maybe as much as 150-200B/L?

So you just have to decide what pitching rate you want to try, go for it, and let us know how it turns out. If it were me, I'd try to stay above 0.5 B cells/L/P even if it meant brewing less volume or gravity--but that's just me.

Good luck.


01/04/07 03:26 PM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
<<without fully opening the lid or breathing into it at all>>

Depending on the container you're using, I'd flame the lip. When I play with yeast I use an Erlenmeyer Flask but the same can be done with any glass container. If you don't have a pencil torch a lighter will do. Flame it upon opening and again when you re-seal.

bruce phipps
01/04/07 03:36 PM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
It smells a bit like saison dupont!

I have shook it up once per day.


08/23/07 10:22 PM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
I also am trying (once again) to culture up the elusive SD yeast. I made 5 oz starters in 2 12 oz Saison Dupont bottles. After 4 days, they fermented a 1.032 OG wort down 11 pts. The smell, however, has been strongly butterscotch, sometimes with a little undertone of rubber, but then also with a spicy saison-like edge. I realize I should probably have started with a smaller volume.

Stepped up today and the spent wort tasted clean and ale-y, with a subtle saison aroma, but a stronger one of diacetyl. Would anyone care to hazard an opinion about the viability of this yeast? Any concerns with the butterscotch?

I am planning to brew Sat. and have plenty of WLP565/WY3724 to use instead, but I have been hoping to use the bottle culture. Is it wishful thinking to consider this an early fermentation product that will recede over time in the main brew?

08/27/07 11:43 AM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
FWIW, just wanted to post that the butterscotch and other odd smells described above receded over the next 2 days in favor of a more balanced muted saison-like aroma.

Pitched the full SD starter and had vigorous action in 5 gals of 1.058 wort in less than 8 hours. Should be fun to compare with a 2nd brew I started simultaneously using the WY3724.

09/13/07 09:38 PM  
Re: Saison yeast dregs: slow growth
The diacetyl should clear up with time, so what you experienced seems normal.

I just threw out a 5 gal batch of saison with WLP565. It had a white film on top which I have never seen before. Inspection of the film revealed it to not smell or taste like yeast. It was fairly odorless. The beer smelled great and tasted okay, but finished with a strange bitterness, not from hops. The sister batch I did did not show any of these symptoms so I can only assume that the matter would continue to worsen with time. Does this sound like mold?

That was the drink me now batch!

It was also a lower gravity and the batch I planned to harvest yeast for re-pitching. The other is meant to be aged with Orval dregs so I can't touch it for a few months, and started at 1.095 so I'm afraid the yeast are quite exhausted after all that work. Bummer.

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