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Old 03-21-2009, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default My shot at yeast washing

Having been inspired by the wonderful yeast washing how-to posted here I decided to have a go at it myself.

First I boiled some water and my equipment and filled up a 1/2 gallon growler, a 1-quart Mason jar and two, 1-pint Mason jars. I used one large Mason jar because I plan on pitching that one directly tomorrow instead of building a starter with it. Here everyone is all lined up after I finished racking my ESB off the Wyeast 1028 cake.

edit: forgot to note the water had been chilled in the fridge before using. I'm not pouring boiling water into my fermenter!



Next step: all water into the fermenter. Pop on a sanitized funnel and swirl away. It did take quite a bit of swirling to get the cake in suspension.



Now we wait 20 minutes for the yeast and trub to stratify. I decided to lay my fermenter on its side to make pouring out the good stuff and leaving the bad stuff behind easier. It turned out to be a great idea. Here it is right after adding the water:



What does one do for 20 minutes you ask? Pull themselves a pint of stout, I answer!



Next post...

-Joe

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Last edited by nostalgia; 03-21-2009 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:57 AM   #2
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20 minutes later, and we have an obvious delineation of trub and yeast.



Pour off all of the goodness on top into the growler:



And wait another 20 minutes for it to stratify - note a much smaller percentage of trub here:



Pour that into the waiting Mason jars, label and refrigerate. Bob's your uncle.



This was *very* easy to do and didn't take much time at all. I did it all during commercials while watching Dollhouse! Big thanks to Bernie Brewer for posting up his method first.

-Joe

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Old 03-21-2009, 03:28 AM   #3
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Looks great!

Gonna lay my carboy on the side the next time I wash. Good idea.

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Old 03-21-2009, 03:31 AM   #4
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Do you have a recliner? I have a sudden urge to come on over and watch you labor while I enjoy a stout and steal some of your yeast.

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Old 03-21-2009, 03:52 AM   #5
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That first picture where you can see the distinct layering of trub and yeast will answer a lot of questions from new yeast washers. I think there is often confusion because it is hard to see that on the "Yeast Washing" thread. You should repost that same picture on that thread.

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Old 03-21-2009, 01:12 PM   #6
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Success! Looks great. Although I'm thinking if I'm directly pitching, I may want to just use all 4 jars to get a proper pitching rate. I'll double check MrMalty.

Interesting. Using the "Repitching from slurry" calculator with all of the sliders at the worst possible settings (thinnest slurry, 25% non-yeast) it comes up with 268ml, which is only 9oz. So I guess the one quart jar should be sufficient.



-Joe

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Old 03-21-2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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I may be confused on the timeline, but if you're repitching within a matter of days, i don't think washing was all that necessary. You could just throw the new batch right on top of the cake you just washed, without washing.

It's my understanding the washing is for longer term storage. Good practice anyway. Congrats!

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Old 03-21-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
I may be confused on the timeline, but if you're repitching within a matter of days, i don't think washing was all that necessary. You could just throw the new batch right on top of the cake you just washed, without washing.

It's my understanding the washing is for longer term storage. Good practice anyway. Congrats!
Well, a few forces were at work here

I had started a thread here about pitching onto the cake and got a lot of negative responses, mostly about overpitching. So I wasn't going to use the whole cake, anyway.

I also wanted the practice as you mentioned, and figured I'd pitch half and save half. So if I pitch the quart jar, I'll still have the other two pint jars for future use.

The last benefit is having clean, relatively trub-free yeast to pitch, instead of pitching my wort onto the mess of disintegrated hop pellets at the bottom of the fermenter. Does it make a difference? Probably not. But I'm a little crazy, you know.

So for the few minutes' work, I think it was well worth the effort. Besides, it gave me something to do during commercials

-Joe
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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It's a good time and saves you some $$. That's what it's all about in today's economy. I actually got a starter fired up last night with a small sample of my last washing session. Took off right away on the stirplate and will be 100% ready to go by tomorrow. If I were you, I wouldn't take all those and pitch them. Instead, just make a quick starter for just one of those containers. Build it up for a day or two in some starter wort and you'll have two more batches worth of yeast left over... Real good pics and tutorial by the way!

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Old 03-21-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostalgia View Post
Well, a few forces were at work here

I had started a thread here about pitching onto the cake and got a lot of negative responses, mostly about overpitching. So I wasn't going to use the whole cake, anyway.

I also wanted the practice as you mentioned, and figured I'd pitch half and save half. So if I pitch the quart jar, I'll still have the other two pint jars for future use.

The last benefit is having clean, relatively trub-free yeast to pitch, instead of pitching my wort onto the mess of disintegrated hop pellets at the bottom of the fermenter. Does it make a difference? Probably not. But I'm a little crazy, you know.

So for the few minutes' work, I think it was well worth the effort. Besides, it gave me something to do during commercials

-Joe
Yup! That and the benefits you listed there makes it worthwhile IMO too. It is reassuring that one knows exactly what is in the new brew. This way you get to know and understand your pitching rates in a much more controlled manner.

Great pics BTW!
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