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Small batch brewing and yeast

I am planning to scale down to small batch brewing due to space problem.

I love using White Labs’ yeast tubes. Can I use half of White Labs tube of yeast to pitch into a small batch (1 gal.), then refrigerate the rest of the yeast tube and then use it again when I’m brewing in a week or two?

I know that half of the tube will be more than sufficient to populate the small batch, but the real question is about the remaining half of the yeast in the tube. Will it be contaminated? Can it be used in a week or two?

Thanks for your help.

I’m no yeast expert, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. I know people pitch half-packs of dry yeast. You may want to top-off the vial with some boiled, but chilled water.

Depending on the brews, you could also pitch the whole vial, then harvest part of the cake for the next brew.

I think the OP’s method would be fine, but I like this too. All about top-cropping. You get great viability off the krausen IME.

I am a small batch brewer and I use partial tubes on a regular basis. In fact I usually harvest yeast out of the primary to fill the tube back up again with younger yeast.

Thanks everyone for taking time out of brewing on New Year’s Eve to answer my question.

Do you mean, scooping out some of that gunky-looking sludge and adding it to the remaining yeast in the tube for a kind of 50%/50% mix of old and new yeast? This seems so simple! For how long can I store it that way?


Yep. Keeps for about 8-9 months but if you wait that long you need to make a starter solution to wake it up again.

I don’t do small batches that often, but I would just make a starter with the excess. Then you can brew again anytime within the next two weeks.

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