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Old 07-06-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default Harvesting yeast

Up until now, I have always brewed with dry yeast. I have ordered my first kits (Fat Tire Clone & Blue Moon Clone) with liquid yeasts. I paid about $6.00 / kit more for the liquid yeast plus $1.00 for and ice pack. I like both types of beer and was wondering how difficult it is to harvest the yeast from the primary when I rack to the 2ndary? How should I store it?

Also, do I need to make a starter when I use liquid yeast?

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Old 07-06-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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Easiest thing to do is to just pitch a beer on top of the yeast immediately after racking to secondary. No need to store it. You could just leave a layer of beer on top. That should last for a few days at least. Or, remember that while you should rack to secondary when primary is completed, there's really no harm in letting it sit for a month or longer (but not too much longer). So just wait until you're ready to brew again, and THEN go to secondary.

For storing yeast longer term, the easiest technique is called washing and it involves water and mason jars and rinsing yeast from the fermenter, swirling it around, letting the debris settle, then pouring into another santized jar, then another. Google for more info on that.

As for using a starter, it is highly recommended for a first generation liquid yeast, but not necessary...

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Old 07-07-2007, 03:22 AM   #3
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Could not have said it better. Only thing I'd add is that washing yeast, scrubbing it storing it, and let's face it, washing the jar when you are done.....is worth doing once for the experience.
But considering that the main benefit(in my opinion) of liquid yeast is the vast variety available, saving 6$ by doing all of that work in the hopes that you will brew the same style in a couple of months seems....not worth it?
Yeah I love to save a buck, but I don't think I am being a snob by saying that my time is worth more than 6$ an hour(or two or three hours??!!)
I do highly recommend that if you are going to make the same style, do as...Damn Squirels...(what the??!?) said and pitch that beer on your yeast!!! I love doing that! You talk about a starter!!!!! And liquid yeast of the white labs variety will definitely stand up to several brews on the same cake.(not to snub any other variety, I just have not felt the need to try them) Good Luck!

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Old 07-07-2007, 03:26 AM   #4
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It has been discussed here too: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=32306
Many people have had a lot of success doing this.

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Old 07-07-2007, 04:02 AM   #5
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what is it with the %^ damn squirrels??!? I appreciate that you are an albino squirrel, but WTF???

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Old 07-07-2007, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon
what is it with the %^ damn squirrels??!? I appreciate that you are an albino squirrel, but WTF???
I just thought it was a funny picture from the local paper (it was actually featured on Drudgereport)...no relation to user Damn Squirrels.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:33 PM   #7
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Right on! But an odd coincidence you will admit, considering squirrels have never been associated with beer. Let's see...Dogs, Clydesdales,woodchucks,geese, satan........that's about it! Nothing wrong with squirrels(unless you belong to thehotpepper.com where they hate squirrels. Evidently they dig up pepper plants to bury their nuts)
Let's see..."white squirrel winter ale"...You may be on to something!

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Old 07-07-2007, 02:38 PM   #8
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I harvest yeast from time to time and I think it is worth it. On the last batch I got 2 full White Lab tubes out of the fermenter. I am not a big fan of pitching on a yeast cake.

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Old 07-07-2007, 09:09 PM   #9
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I have had success with pitching wort onto old yeast cake in primary. I have washed yeast and saved it and felt that it wasn't worth all the TROUBLE!

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Old 07-07-2007, 09:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NM68657
I have had success with pitching wort onto old yeast cake in primary. I have washed yeast and saved it and felt that it wasn't worth all the TROUBLE!
A whole 20 minutes to wash the yeast, plus not having to use dme to make new starter, plus the cost of more yeast and ice to ship...comes out to $8-9 plus a little time...worth it to me.
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