View Full Version : Using lees as a starter

09-17-2016, 11:37 PM
Is it possible to raise a yeast culture from lees? I've read about people doing it with wine and beer but not mead? I have a particularly resilient wild yeast from my Perry X Cyser Hybrid that has delivered an ABV of 21%. Can I feed it and keep it going in the fridge for another batch of Cyser? And can it be used in other types of mead?
Ta in advance

09-18-2016, 09:37 AM
That sounds like a great project. I haven't done this with meads, but I've cultured the organisms from bottles of lambic beer that I've then pitched into meads. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to get a starter going from the lees of this batch.

Isolating the single yeast responsible for that high ABV will require more sophisticated techniques than just pitching the lees into a starter, though. Bray Denard (loveofrose here on the forums) has done this kind of thing and has a short article on the process (https://www.denardbrewing.com/blog/post/Honey-yeast/).

09-18-2016, 09:40 AM
Yes you can. Not sure you need to feed it while in the fridge though. The yeasts metabolism will slow down at fridge temps.

I've reused yeast cakes from ferments many times with success every time.

09-18-2016, 10:38 AM
Fantastic, I'll look into it.
Just as a reference, how much starter would you use in comparison to say mixing a yeast with go ferm and water for a 5gal batch?

09-18-2016, 11:46 AM
I've reused the yeast slurry from one gallon batches to make new one gallon batches. Never did anything to grow it first. Whatever is left when racking from primary to secondary is what gets reused.