Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Fermentations!

Everything is going well on the old yeast ranch.  The Eastcoast ale starter did a great job fermenting out the "Redheaded Stepchild".  There was evident fermentation within 2-3 hours of pitching the yeast!

All the strains were successfully replated with no contamination picked up.  It is great to see those colonies looking happy and healthy again.  They were starting to look pretty sorry on the old plates.  In addition I put several strains onto slants.  This is the first time I've done slants and I really like them.  They take up a lot less space in the fridge, are much less likely to pick-up contamination, and are less likely to break than my glass plates.  I don't have enough tubes to transfer my all the cultures over to slants yet but I will be getting more at some point.

I'm planning a big imperial oatmeal stout next weekend so I'm getting another starter going.  This time around instead of starting with 10-15 mls I am starting with 45 mls of 12 brix wort.  Hopefully that is not to much volume for that little colony to handle, I guess I'll find out.  My goal is to create a larger starter than I usually do.  Usually I have a 700-800 ml starter.  This is basically because I have a 1000 ml ehrlymer flask that I usually do my starters in.  I think many people would argue that 700-800 mls is underpitching.  This might be true, right now I'm not set up to do yeast counts.  I do know that the starters I've been using have been taking right off and fermenting my worts out well.  Usually I am doing session beers with a gravity in the 1.035-1.045 range, this time around I'm aiming for 1.085-1.090 and I might need some more yeast cells than my typical beer!  I am going to step this starter up into an old growler.  That should let me get my volume and yeast count up.

Oh, in case you are wondering I'm stepping up Cry Havoc of one of the plates.  I really like this yeast and it should be able to handle the slightly cold temps in my basement right now.  Thanks Charlie Papazian!

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