An Exercise in Futility, or Stupidity?

in #beerlast year


You might have seen in my previous post that I mentioned I got into beer brewing.

Well, I've also started to try to get into yeast harvesting and saving.

JUST started.

Frankly, I don't want to pay $5 or more for every batch just to get some yeast when I got a huge load of it on the bottom of every batch.

Of course, saving the yeast from a batch and harvesting yeast are two very different things.
Especially when you get bad advice from practically everyone.

The common advice for doing a yeast starter is to just cover the top with aluminum or plastic wrap. This is the dumbest advice ever, and I knew it, and I still did it.
I got access to this yeast I'd perhaps never get again...if it's any special, I have no idea...and I screwed it up taking stupid advice.

Tho TBH I did leave it slightly too long.

It probably got infected on the third day.

It was already too late then. It had some kind of green stringy mold or mildew in the top.
It was at that time that I tried to remove as much as I could and wash the yeast and do a new starter in this jar.

Then I made another mistake. When it started to grow in the new starter, rather than trying to remove it with my large syringe, I shook it, hoping to get more oxygen to the yeast, to give it more chance to grow. I instantly knew that was a bad idea.

Now the mold is throughout the starter.

Still gonna try to save it tho, even if it's an exercise in futility.

Dry Malt Extract isn't THAT expensive...tho it's far more than I would like.

Doing a few starters to try to isolate the yeast without doing a single culture.

I'm afraid that if I tried to isolate the yeast with agar and a few different plates that I'd end up only culturing one yeast, without knowing if there are actually multiple strains.
Tho perhaps I could tell the difference between the strains.

I hope that perhaps with a few successive starters that the yeast will be able to overwhelm the mold and I'll be able to remove it enough with each successive starter that it will eventually no longer be an issue.

I'm also hoping to lower the PH a bit to inhibit it's growth...except I don't have a PH meter I'm gonna have to maybe pick up some PH strips or just guess based on using RO water.
Will try to remember to take pics of the nastiness if and when it comes back in the next starter, after I cold crash and wash this one.

If this all does turn out to be an exercise in futility, I'll just isolate it in some science hockey pucks and go from there.

A lot of effort and work for a yeast that's probably not worth it.

Tho I'm sure the little yeasts will appreciate me going through all this effort to save their progeny.

Even if dumping them down the drain might give them just as much of a chance for all I know.

What I do know is that the current starter stinks like a mildew infested closet.