CHAOS yeast bank?

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JimChochola
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CHAOS yeast bank?

I was on the HomeBrewTalk.com Illinois thread to see if anyone's been reading our Harvest Fest post and I noticed that one of the top discussions is a yeast sharing group. But, the yeast is gathered and stored by individual brewers and you contact the brewer whose yeast you want.

It would be really badass if there were a central location for something like this (namely OUR brew house) and I know that some have talked about a CHAOS yeast bank before; it just never materialized.

I've gathered slurry before and it takes up quite a bit of space in Ball jars. I have no idea how to make yeast slants but it seems little tubes take up considerably less space than big ball jars.

I'm guessing we need a bunch of vials/tubes and a wine/mini fridge. What else do we need? How difficult is it to maintain a yeast bank? Are slants good indefinitely once you have the yeast in there or do you have to "re-do" (like my technical beer terminology?) a slant every so often? If so, how often do they need "refreshing"?

Imagine if we could boast a temp-controlled ferm room AND hundreds of yeast strains?h

Anyone want to take the lead on this?

Chris Murphy
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Sounds like a really good

Sounds like a really good idea. We just need to make sure those who take replenish.

Maybe Lager Dan can do another yeast washing workshop.

adman
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If we're going to have a

If we're going to have a dedicated fridge (or perhaps space in one of the new lagering chambers), we may want to just stick to yeast washing and ball jars, as it's a lot less difficult to build up a starter from ~100 bn cells of washed yeast than a teeny-tiny amount from a slant.  Plus, there's a higher risk of infection when building up from a colony so small; wild yeast or bacteria might take hold that would otherwise be out-competed by the sheer number of Saccharomyces when starting from a mason jar.

Just my $0.02.

DanielBarker
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Bill mason had started up a

Bill mason had started up a Chicago yeast trading and virtual yeast bank type thing but I don't know If it ever took off. I think you need good sanitation and a pressure cooker to slant which I think would be the best bet for us. I've been reluctant to do anything like it at the brew house because of the general uncleanliness of the place.  It just doesn't seem conducive to having a stable yeast bank.  I could be proven wrong though.

lucas
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I moved this to the new yeast

I moved this to the new yeast forum!

Oh... my... god.  Why haven't we done this?    http://thechive.com/2013/09/17/guys-rig-up-buddies-plumbing-with-beer-wh...

JamesLewis
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I would agree with Daniel, I

I would agree with Daniel, I don think it is possible to get the brew house to be clean enough. There are two other issues. First, the onus is on the giver of the yeast to do the work for someone else to use. Second, there is a trust issues  at least for me. I would have to be pretty convinced that you use the proper sanitization techniques and that you are a skilled enough brewer that you dont strain the yeast in your batch.  That being said, I think a forum where people could offer they yeast before they dump it would be useful.

adman
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Nobody would be forced to use

Nobody would be forced to use yeast from the yeast bank, if they were not sufficiently sure of the yeast's provenance.  I agree  that the brewhouse is not the cleanest of places.  In my mind, that militates more toward washing than slanting; for washing you need good sanitation.  For slanting, you need sterilization.  Given conditions in the brewhouse, I believe good sanitation to be more realistic than sterilization.

I think the bigger issue is that not enough people would contribute to the yeast bank.  Washing yeast is yet another step in the brewing process, and when, as James noted, you're not sure if somebody is going use up the yeast that you so painstakingly washed, decanted, and put into the yeast bank without contributing back to the bank, we may never get the critical mass necessary to have a successful bank.

Nevertheless, if we have space in one of our fridges (which we should, hopefully, once we get the lager fridges up and running), I don't see why we couldn't devote a shelf to yeast storage.  Along with a thread in this forum, perhaps it would be enough to get off the ground.

Chris Murphy
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Maybe the virtual yeast bank

Maybe the virtual yeast bank is the better. Or just have a yeast trading forum. Maybe someone trades a jar of lets say irish ale yeast for some belgian strong yeast.

It would encourage me to start recollecting yeast, if I know I could trade for another.

I dunno just a thought.

JimChochola
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That's not a bad idea but

That's not a bad idea but then why not just hop on board with Bill's then instead of reinventing the wheel?

I just recall someone mentioning slants and seeing the yeast trade on HBT got me all excited about us doing our usual badass CHAOS thing with yet another aspect of homebrewing...

JimChochola
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Then we'd have to worry about

Then we'd have to worry about sterilization as well as a cash box at the brew house....

Why don't we do it simply because we love brewing, we love sharing our know-how, and we want to help people out when we can (by saving them a little money per brew with the yeast)?

Kyle
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I've talked about this in the

I've talked about this in the past and agree as someone has said about that if someone brews with a specialized yeast they should be encouraged to wash that yeast and either offer it up for someone else to brew with (knowing the favor will be returned down the line) or post it up on the forums and see if someone else has another strain they want to trade.

adman
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How about to start we just

How about to start we just set aside a portion of a fridge shelf for yeast storage and swapping?  Like Kyle suggested, people can post what they have on the forums and see if anyone wants to trade, or people could simply offer what they have with the hope that they'd get some interesting yeast from someone else down the line.

Kyle
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The main goal here is to

The main goal here is to encourage people to wash and save their yeast if they use something that isn't US-04, US-05, 1056 etc. It is a waste to dump your specialty Saison, Belgian, English etc. yeasts down the drain. If everyone starts saving them then people won't be so hesitant to take the extra time saving their yeast for someone else to use knowing the favor will be returned.

ConradFuhrman
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Have never done anything with

Have never done anything with reusing/washing yeast and would love it if a class/workshop could be done. Know that it was mentioned earlier in the post, but is that a posibility in the near future?

Nick D
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I'd be happy to possibly

I'd be happy to possibly teach a yeast washing class if there are enough people interested.. 

JimChochola
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JWiC

I'm not digging this "if there's interest" sentiment which is prevalent with=
workshops. Get them on the calendar and I will help drum up interest if nee=
d be...

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JimChochola
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Sorry, didn't mean to sound

Sorry, didn't mean to sound so terse in my reply. But, more than a couple people have mentioned workshops and "if there's interest" in the same breath. If we go by that, we may miss out on some useful workshops.

If someone is knowledgable about a topic and wants to lead a workshop, s/he should get it on the calendar and run it even if one or two people show. The club's all about teaching and community: why withold your expertise from a couple really interested members just because you may not get 10+ members at the workshop?

Also, we can come up with ways to incentivize attention at workshops. e.g., if there's a mash tun making workshop, say that everyone who attends gets one raffle ticket and at the end of the workshop, the mash tun everyone will have just made will be raffled off.

Nick D
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And I'm not digging the tone

And I'm not digging the tone of this response!

 

What I meant by "enough people" doesn't necessarily mean 10+, I don't know why you assumed that. 

 

If more than 2 people are interested, I'll create an event. Otherwise there's not enough value in taking time out of my busy schedule. 

JimChochola
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And absolutely no offense

And absolutely no offense meant. Hence my all but "I'm sorry" clarification.

Just wanted to express that too often I've heard people say they'd do a workshop "if there's enough interest" and then no workshop. I assumed the threshold number was high because more than a few workshops never materialized when there were few or no responses when the person intially pitched the idea. My whole point was simply that if you don't get responses/interest online here in the thread, that doesn't mean there aren't people interested.

 

Let me know how I can help with the workshop and thanks for doing it, Nick.

 

Nick D
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I have created an event to

I have created an event to host a yeast washing workshop on the events page and calendar for next Thursday, November 1st. Please take a look and let me know if you're planning on attending! 

JamesLewis
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Thanks a ton for organizing

Thanks a ton for organizing this, perhaps you, Kyle, and Adam can launch the yeast sharing program at that event. I see no reason why you couldn't take a shelf in the fridge for growlers as the yeast trading shelf. You could also set up a forum on the website to support this. Talk to Lucas about the website.

Given the BJCP class that Tuesday and Halloween that Wednesday, perhaps the following week on the 8th would be better? You could plug it at the monthly meeting. One week is usually short notice for peoples schedules.

Nick D
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Using the monthly meeting to

Using the monthly meeting to plug the event is a good idea. 

 

The event has been rescheduled to Wednesday November 7th

JimChochola
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Nice! I'm definitely going

Nice! I'm definitely going try to make it. I've been doing something resembling collecting slurry but I certainly would like to know how to wash.

IGZ
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so, Nick and i brainstormed

so, Nick and i brainstormed this a bit last night and we came up with an excellent idea.   yeast washing workshop would come with a certification upon successful completion of the class. only certified yeast washers have access to the bank.

it would be awesome if we could then earn a badge for the accomplishment of certification that could be next to our name in the form of an icon or listed on our profile page.

...igz...

Nick D
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I will be providing a brief

I will be providing a brief yet comprehensive handout of yeast washing with enough info to safetly and sanitarily wash yeast..

Now that I think about it, should I make some sort of "quiz" if we're going to go ahead with the certification to allow people to participate in the yeast sharing program?

IGZ
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anyone else have thoughts on

anyone else have thoughts on a 'certification program'?

...igz...

JimChochola
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I like it. But, that means

I like it. But, that means there has to be other of these workshops somewhat regularly in order to give others the opportunity to be "certified" and to contribute to our house yeast bank (unless there's another means of getting into the Yeast Bank Club).

IGZ
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i think there should be

i think there should be several workshops throughout the year.  absolutely.  technically, anyone that is certified should be fully capable of hosting a workshop.  we could do these quarterly.

...igz...

fc36
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Herb Sawyer contacted me

Herb Sawyer contacted me after meeting me at the Fall event. I know that you guys are moving to a new brewhouse, so I'll wait for that transition before making the leap to apprentice. Anyway, I have been doing yeast ranching and slanting in my apartment now for quite a while. I have a super primitive setup and I'm still able to isolate and maintain about 20 different strains of sacch, a couple strains of brett and even pediococcus and lacto bacteria. I have successfully isolated strains from a myriad of sources including common bottle-conditioned beers like Sofie, Daisy Cutter, Rogue, and Stone, rare beers like Westvleteren 12 and Heady Topper, and even organic fruits from Whole Foods and fresh fruit from southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana orchards. Yeast ranching is wicked easy when you know what you're doing and noone really taught me, but I can see how it can be daunting. There are lots of pitfalls, especially with equipment sourcing, but being a Chicago native, I found the best place to get everything you need. I'd be willing to come out and teach a class and meet some more guys if you guys would like? 

I also have 4 apartment style over under fridge freezers just begging to be installed somewhere for a yeast bank. Let me know what you guys think?

kengetty
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Frank,

Frank,

This is something that we are definitely interested in, this was brought up a couple days ago actually.  We would definitely be interested in learning from you, have you teach a couple classes and expanding your success at the new brewhouse when we are done building it out!

Ken

ConradFuhrman
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Totally second this! I would

Totally second this! I would love to know how to do this & I think you addressed everything. Feel free to book a time on the calendar to set up a class sometime in the future. No reason why we can't get it on the books now. Know that during August there will be a lot of work/dust/moving going on in the new place too so I would recommend either Septemer or November (October we have a lot of events).

 

fc36
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I will try and be around, but

I will try and be around, but please be aware that I am getting married in November, so I may not always be available.

lucas
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We're always happy to have

We're always happy to have anyone teach us new things, any time that works for you mate... although we may question your sanity for getting married to anything but beer!

Oh... my... god.  Why haven't we done this?    http://thechive.com/2013/09/17/guys-rig-up-buddies-plumbing-with-beer-wh...

Chris Murphy
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Also, there are guys starting

Also, there are guys starting a yeast lab in the same building as Lake Effect. We could probably reach out to them as well.

 

ConradFuhrman
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Congrats on the upcoming

Congrats on the upcoming wedding! No pressure on timing :)