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If you’re in the brewing mood this summer and want to create your very own homemade beer, one really good idea to help you save money on your beer making kit is to propagate your own yeast. The end-goal here is to end up with a large amount of yeast for fermentation, in the shortest amount of time possible.

Brewers typically perform this propagation process by using a batch system, they start with a tiny amount of stock culture and scale it higher and higher until the amount of yeast produced is enough to start a commercial-sized brew. The entire process is divided into the following phases:

Laboratory Phase

Culture is removed from the main (a.k.a. master) culture and fermentations are then grown progressively bigger. Once enough yeast is produced, it can be transferred to the propagation plant. Remember, the more yeast you transfer, the higher the risk of contamination.

Plant Phase

First, you will need to thoroughly clean the vessel in which the yeast will be propagated. Then fill the vessel with either hot or cold wort and allow sterile air to mix with it. Oxygen is the best option in this case since it is pure, regular air could contain toxins that must be filtered before the air mixes with the contents of the vessel.

Set Your Perfect Propagation Temperature

While this all boils down – no pun intended – to a matter of preference, the general preference among brewers is to propagate the yeast at the same temperature as the fermentation process. This prevents any kind of potential disturbance to the yeast from the extreme change in temperature.

Propagation Plants

These plants normally involve one or more closed vessels made of stainless steel. The vessels each have different volumes and are not placed in the same room to avoid any chance of contamination.

Your Beer Making Kit Checklist

Here’s a standard list of other items you’ll definitely need to ensure the process goes smoothly!

  • Sanitizer
  • Yeast
  • Stir Plate
  • Flask
  • Stir Bar
  • Thermometer
  • Vessels for Propagation

Make sure you have everything set and ready to go before beginning this process.  Sign up for one of our upcoming classes.  If you have any questions, you can always contact us and we’ll be happy to help you along this journey!