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I know a lot of breweries have a house yeast that they use, and in some cases it's their only yeast. I've also heard that most will only harvest up to six generations, due to weak flocculation and maybe even attenuation. I'm familiar with top-cropping and how they're harvesting the yeast, but how do they start anew once they've reached that 6 generation?

EDIT: And how would a homebrewer go about mimicking this process?

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Not really a home brewing question, so it may get closed. But the answer is that breweries either have an in-house lab or a lab they hire (such as White Labs) that stores and propagates fresh pitches of yeast as needed.

  • Good point. Editing my question. – xhermit Dec 19 '11 at 3:23
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We buy pitches from White Labs when we need to. They ship them up overnight. They're very expensive, so harvesting yeast and keeping it going is key.

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