Here’s something I am going to try. I will share results when they come in, and hope that others might share experience in advance, before I get myself in trouble.

I recently brewed a steam beer (Cal Commons) which uses a lager yeast at ale temps. Traditional techniques call for krausening the beer in the keg for carbonation (krausening is dumping a couple quarts of fermenting starter into the keg and racking your beer … this helps further clean and condition the beer as well as carbonate). It worked pretty good and I also used a krausen technique to bottle a couple liters of porter I had made, and worked well too.

So, my experiment … since I like to keg, but also have a few bottles of beer to carry around and store in my cellar, I find myself having to pour some beer into a bottling bucket and some into the keg … net really a big deal but what I am going to try is reserving a couple quarts of wort on brew day, harvesting some yeast after primary and fridging them until a couple days before kegging. Then, I will whip up a starter and when it reaches high krausen, I will pour into my keg and rack.

At this point, I should be able to siphon a few bottles out of the keg, which will already be primed for carbonation.

My concerns: krausening is a lager technique … not sure how it works with ale yeast (although my mini krausen with porter worked fine - used harvested WL 001); Also, I’m not sure the volume difference I should have for keg and for bottles - don’t want any bombs, but I think the volume is higher for bottles than for kegs so I can go with bottle volume and just burb my keg from time to time to release excess pressure/CO2.

Seems to me a common sense solution and as easy as using priming sugar (washing yeast and making starters are pretty much a part of my brewing routine) but I don’t see many folks doing it … why?

Finally, one last question, do I even need to make a starter? Could the reserved wort provide enough sugar to interact with residual yeast (e.g. priming sugar in bottles)?

I’ll let you know how it turns out in a few weeks.

My guess is the wort held in the refrigerator will spoil before you get to use it. Freezing or pressure canning is a better option.

I understand the premiss of doing this. But it sure seems like a lot of work. One would need to know what the SG of a comparable priming sugar solution would be. Otherwise you will be over/under priming your keg/bottles.

If you pitch it at high krausen, some of those sugars have already been consumed.

Good luck!

I’ve kept wort refrigerated for extended periods without issues. I’d pour it on a Mason jar while its near boiling and seal it before it cools. While this isn’t the same as canning, it pretty much self-sterilizes the jar and keeps the wort good.

A good point was made about some sugars being used, I would add about 20% more than I calculated I needed and pitch as soon as I saw a decent ferm going.

Actually though, it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of benefit. They did it in the old days because of the Reinheitsgebot law and/or because sugar wasn’t as plentiful or cheap.