When starting with new yeast I generally brew a succession of beers and step up gravity slightly with each pitch. Let’s say I harvest yeast from a 1.065 batch and store it for month. Obviously I would make a starter before repitching that yeast. My question is, would be acceptable to go back down to session level beers since I’m growing new yeast in the starter without adverse effects? Is the surviving yeast still conditioned to higher gravity worts and alcohol levels? Am I’m worrying too much?
I think it depends on how high the gravity is you’re going from back to the session strength beer. I wouldn’t pitch anything over 1.070 into a 1.045 beer. The yeast will be stressed from the higher gravity plus being from multiple generations. Maybe that’s just BS though. I think you should certainly try it and see how it comes out.
I have been wondering about pitching yeast slurry from an oatmeal stout into a lighter beer and how it would affect it, if any. So I’m going to give that a shot also.
You certainly don’t want to repitch from too high a gravity beer, but whether you go up or down on gravity when you repitch really makes no difference.
Thanks Denny. I wouldn’t reuse yeast from a barleywine or Wee Heavy (those are usually the culmination of a yeast series and I toss the yeast from those batches) but surely there is no harm in making a session beer with harvested yeast that’s never been over 1.060.