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The title summarizes it.

I've search the google about someone trying to cultivate a wine yeast they bought but I can't seem to find one.

I'm new to wine making and I don't have really a lot of money to buy more of yeast, so I've think, "Why try to cultivate a single sachet of yeast?". It would really help my wallet.

There's also that assumption that the yeast would mutate and change it's behaviour I think.

Have someone tried it?

  • Might be better asked in the Homebrew SE site – Eric Shain Apr 28 at 23:10
  • Of course it is okay. Search for "reuse yeast" and you will find a lot of information here. For instance: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/10/… – Philippe May 4 at 13:16
  • So a sachet of wine yeast is $0.59 on Amazon, is that really a financial burden? I would suggest not trying to stretch your yeast this way. The equipment to try stretch it out would cost more than the yeast itself. – farmersteve May 4 at 23:14
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Like Eric says, the homebrew forum will have more thorough process for you but the short answer is: No. Many homebrew clubs actually do this to create their own yeast bank for members to have ready access to rare or specific yeast strains.

To have any success in the long run you need to be careful about how you do it and follow certain procedures to maintain the purity of the culture so you might need some special equipment. But it will allow you to grow and maintain a house culture of yeast almost indefinitely.

Another option to stretch store-bought yeast much further but not to the level of a yeast bank is just to "wash" yeast between batches. That's simply a process of taking the slurry that you'll find on the bottom of your brewing vessel after racking off the primary fermentation, diluting it with distilled water in a beaker or jar, allowing it to settle for some time, and pouring off the dross on the top layer. What you're left with after washing yeast is a relatively active and pure culture that you can regrow a portion of into a starter or just repitch more must onto. The downside to yeast washing is eventually the culture becomes unusable because of yeast stress or other contamination, but you should be able to get 5-6 batches out of one store-bought yeast package which isn't anything to scoff at.

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  • Wow! I did not know the slurry is "a relatively active and pure culture" and can be use like a yeast. shouldn't they be dead because of the alcohol? – harieamjari May 1 at 17:08
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    No. You need a higher alcohol concentration to kill yeast immediately than you'll be able to get from regular fermentation. Usually they just go into a sort of "hibernation" once the amount of readily available sugar becomes scarce. Yeah, eventually a yeast slurry will die off if you leave the wine on it long enough, but if you follow the usual instructions for when to rack the wine there will be enough viable yeast left to clean up and reuse. – Sloloem May 1 at 20:08

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