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Old 01-21-2007, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default What do I look for when "washing" my yeast?

I'm going to try and harvest the yeast sediment from my wheat today. I have about 1 1/2 inches of good-goo on the bottom of my carboy. I read the instructions for "washing" yeast on Wyeastlabs.com. When they say "look for noticeable seperation", what can I expect to see. ANd the "viable yeast in suspension"...is that like the second layer I might see? A visual would sure be grat.

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Old 01-21-2007, 05:55 PM   #2
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Once the trub starts settling you can transfer the cloudy water to another sanitized container. Toss out the trub and keep the watered down beer.

When more trub falls in the second container transfer it again. Repeat until all that's falling is creamy white looking. That's the yeast.

Put an airlock on it and place it in the fridge until all the yeast falls out. You can pour off 3/4 of the liquid and swirl to get the yeast off the bottom and then transfer that to smaller containers. You can re-use the vials or, like I do, use baby food jars.

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Old 01-21-2007, 06:06 PM   #3
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Okay so let me see...

First jar I should see sort of a half & half.

Pour off and keep the upper half and wait for it to repeat.

Pour off that upper half and repeat again???

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Old 01-21-2007, 07:41 PM   #4
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I did this for the first time with the yeast cake from an american wheat using the white labs american wheat. I followed the wyeast directions, I let the first jar sit in the fridge overnight and then poured off the liquid into another sanitized jar and threw out the layer on the bottom of the first jar. What I have now is a jar of cloudy liquid and nothing else has settled after more than a week in the fridge. I'm concerned that the first jar contained all the settled yeast with the trub and I tossed it all- as nothing has settled since. Oh well, I'll try again with the wyeast smack pack I have started now when the beer is done.

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Old 01-21-2007, 08:09 PM   #5
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Yeah. Mine has been sitting at room temp for about 1 hour now and looks like a big glass of mocha latte. (I don't drink that stuff...not that there's anything wrong with that...)

I keep giving it a quick twist left to right and think I detect a little settling going on.

Maybe somwhere between my hour and your overnight is the magic moment where the yeast falls in between the water on the top and the junk on the bottom.

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Old 01-21-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
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Go look at Jadeddog's gallery. He has photos of yeast washing, and the layers that are shown. It was very helpful to me the first time I did it.

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Old 01-21-2007, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper Brewmistress
Go look at Jadeddog's gallery. He has photos of yeast washing, and the layers that are shown. It was very helpful to me the first time I did it.

Lorena
Hmmm.

Jadedog's gallery doesn't seem to be listed under galleries?
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:38 PM   #8
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Try this, then: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/member.php?u=5156

Someone else posted the same type of pictures, but I can't remember who it was. Try doing a search for "yeast washing" and see if it turns up. Maybe Yuri_rage has it in his signature? My memory is not as good as it could be- I could be wrong about who had what pictures.

Washing your yeast will save you tons of money, as well as give you the chance to keep a yeast that you like. Good luck!

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Old 01-22-2007, 02:25 PM   #9
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I did a test of munton's dry yeast to make sure I could do it. My first "test" of yeast washing was tough because I too couldn't tell a difference in the seperation. However, I quickly discovered what was wrong. I didn't use enough water! I did the Wyeast instructions the first time and frankly, they don't use enough water. The more water you use, the more mason jars you will need, but I think it gives a quicker seperation.

So, the second time I did this, I used more water to swirl the trub in the bottom of the fermenter and then poured it into two mason jars. It only takes 15 minutes for the hops/bad stuff to settle. If you look VERY closely at homebrewer_99's picture in his post, you can see about mid way up in the jar, you will see a line between the ever-so slightly "greenish" looking trub below and the suspended yeast above. When you pour the suspended yeast into a new jar (after 15 minutes) DON'T pour that greenish looking stuff. You will definitely notice the difference in color when you pour.

Do it again 15-30 min later. There will be some more trub the second and maybe a third time. After that, THEN let it sit overnight or longer. That's when you wait for the yeast to settle before pouring OFF the liquid.

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Old 01-22-2007, 02:41 PM   #10
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I seemed to see three layers. The top was very watery and cloudy. The second (barely perceptible from the third) was creamier and that bottom third (again, could barely differentiate) was a slightly darker and grainier layer. Is this middle layer the one I want. Is the top watery layer just "water"?

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