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Old 03-29-2007, 02:08 PM   #1
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How can I get more yeast out of a little yeast?

Let's say you had tiny amount of yeast and you wanted to "cultivate" more of it so you had enough to make bread...how would you go about doing that?

A friend gave me some "special variety" of yeast that I would like to make bread with but it's not very much. It was from a liquid culture and I've added some water, a pinch of sugar and a couple pinches of flour to give it some food to grow for now. What else can I do?


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Old 03-29-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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If you google "Yeast Ranching" you'll find some instructions for growing and storing strains of liquid yeast - home beer and winemakers do it quite a bit.
Some hard core yeast ranchers go all the way to plating them on slants like in a lab, and reculturing them from a few cells at a time.

Water and sugar isn't really an ideal food source for yeast, they do better with some other nutrients and minerals as well. If there's a brewing shop around, malt extract can be bought in power or syrup form. Apple juice (without sorbates) can also be effective, but you need to wcth the labels closely. Otherwise it will have so many yeast inhibitors that you'll kill off the yeast.

I'd skip adding the flour from your next steps, and stick with more of a liquid solution. As the yeast multiplies and ferments, it will do two things - first it will foam up at the top of the liquid (high krausen), then drop out of solution and settle to the bottom (called flocculating). If you take it from either state, it will be far more healthy and active than dried yeast, so plan accordingly - especially from high krausen.

Hope this helps!


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Old 03-29-2007, 02:30 PM   #3
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It doesn't take much yeast to make bread. Most recipes call for at least twice as much as they really need.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:36 PM   #4
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you`ve actualy done the right thing as you outlined in your post, only it will take a few days to get an appreciable amount, however you CAN keep this culture going for Years! afterwards :)
sugar is the food, the Nitrogen in the flour is part of the building blocks for replication :)
So long and Thanks for all the Fish ;)

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Old 03-29-2007, 09:49 PM   #5
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Wow, and I thought emu ranching was weird, lol. Well I figured the flour would give it a little more to go on than sugar. I found this website if there's anyone else interested: Simple Yeast Ranching

edit: I think I will try and use this yeast to make a sourdough starter. I found a recipe that actually uses the small amount of yeast found naturally in flour so I think it should work with my little culture as well.
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