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Old 10-10-2005, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Reuse trub from primary or secondary

Ive read a lot about reusing trub. I really dont want to use the trub from the primary becuase I dont want to bring extra stuff like malt or hops. Does anyone know if the trub in the secondary is acceptable?

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Old 10-10-2005, 05:38 PM   #2
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If it contains yeast, it can probably do the job.

There are several recent threads here about re-using yeast and/or trub. If you want to avoid the hops in the trub, you can do a simple 'yeast washing' with the primary's trub and avoid any hops in it.

Basically.....

add sterile water to the trub and swirl it around to get everything flowing.
pour into a clean container
stick it in the fridge for 1 or 2 days to let it separate
pour off and save the liquid on top of the trub (discard trub)

there should be plenty of yeast in the liquid to make a starter, and you can keep it in the fridge for a few months before making said starter.

I've now got irish ale yeast and american ale yeast in my fridge. This liquid is basically high-yeast-content beer, and I plan to use it to make starters the next time I need that yeast.

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:02 PM   #3
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I'm glad someone asked that question. I'd seen mention of it in other threads, but still wasn't quite sure how to do it. It doesn't sound too difficult, especially if it saves $6-7 every time you brew (good for us cheap bastards).

Some additional questions:
1. How much sterile water should be added to the trub before "swirling"? A couple of cups, maybe? I wouldn't want to dilute it too much.
2. I was under the impression that when fermentation is mostly complete, the yeast fall to the bottom. How do you get the little buggers to stay up near the top? Add more DME so they start up again?
3. It's probably somewhere in one of the other threads, but could you run through the steps to turn the resulting yeast-liquid into a starter when it's needed? Particularly how much should be created to be the right amount pitched into the new batch of wort...

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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Here's a link to one of the yeast washing howto's

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:50 PM   #5
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Apart from getting "free" yeast that you know works is there any other advantages?

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:52 PM   #6
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I use secondaries. :p
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cost is the only reason I tried it.

I always used dried yeast until recently. That cost me less than $1.50 per batch. When I started using smack-packs, the price for yeast went up to about $4.50 and my miser personality kicked in and demanded I re-use the stuff for at least 3 batches.

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Old 10-10-2005, 09:04 PM   #7
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I use the liquid yeast my local brew shop carries (White Labs). I've gotten the impression that liquid yeast is the way to go, but... to each their own.

I pay around $6.50 per vial. I'm only brewing one batch at a time now (newbie and all), but the savings of harvesting yeast will start to be more attractive once I'm using two secondaries and doing 8-12 batches per year.

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Old 10-10-2005, 09:13 PM   #8
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Here's a previous thread on the subject of yeast washing.

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Old 10-10-2005, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Apart from getting "free" yeast that you know works is there any other advantages?
The biggest advantage is that you're able to pitch a lot more yeast.
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
The biggest advantage is that you're able to pitch a lot more yeast.
Brings me back to an earlier question: what is the right amount to pitch? How much is too much?
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