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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Reusing Yeast?
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Old 01-05-2006, 02:53 PM   #1
GABrewboy
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Default Reusing Yeast?

I have just a quick question on reusing yeast!!!

I have read an article that says to just siphon off the trub into about 3-4 bottles and fille them about 2/3 way full with some sterilized water. Put in the fridge for the next batch you want to brew using this strain of yeast. Make a starter and you are good to go.

Okay, my question is though what about all the junk in that trub? Like the hops and any flavoring you might have added to the primary? Will that come through when using this strain on the next batch?

For instance I made a cider last night with Pear juices and crushed pears along with lemon zest.....I know that is going to fall to into the trub, but can I save this yeast to use again say on another cider that is a different flavored cider?

Also got some of the White Labs 10th anniversary yeast yesterday and would like to save that for some more batches down the road, but what about the hops and all in the trub?

Any help would be great!!!

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Old 01-05-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
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Do a quick search here on yeast washing...there have been several threads on it in the last couple of weeks. Also, here are some other links:

Wyeast on Yeast Washing

Acid Washing

HBD on Yeast Washing

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Old 01-05-2006, 03:03 PM   #3
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Yes, that is exactly what I did and that is why I came here to ask the question. I have gotten various answers on this topic.....I have read to wash the yeast, I have read not to even worry about washing the yeast, I have read that you can keep it for up to 6 months and some say only for a month......so what is right and what is wrong, or is it all right and it's just what you feel like doing........

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Old 01-05-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Homebrewing's not an exact science, so you'll frequently get lots of different answers to the same question just depending on people's personal experiences and observations. If you believe (as I do) that having trub-stuff mixed in with your yeast isn't want you want, then wash the yeast. Otherwise, just pack it up. If I was really enterprising I'd do a split batch and try one of each, but that's starting to sound like work.

As far as how long it will last, just stick it in the fridge and a few days before brewing make a starter. If it's not viable you need to buy yeast. I haven't tried any at 6 months, but I've used saved yeast at 2 months with no problems.

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Old 01-05-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GABrewboy
Yes, that is exactly what I did and that is why I came here to ask the question. I have gotten various answers on this topic.....I have read to wash the yeast, I have read not to even worry about washing the yeast, I have read that you can keep it for up to 6 months and some say only for a month......so what is right and what is wrong, or is it all right and it's just what you feel like doing........
I don't like the idea of dumping trub back into a new batch, so I wash mine. But, I use BeeGee's method, because it's much easier.

On the White Labs site I read that the "Best Before" date is 4 months after the yeast is bottled, so I assume that 4 months is a good ballpark for storage, assuming that everything is clean and sanitary along the way.

Like BeeGee said, you'll get lots of different answers, but really, just smell and taste the stuff when you take it out of the fridge. If it smells like yeast it's good, if it smells medicinal it's probably not.
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:01 PM   #6
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Hey thanks guys.......Guess beer making is about like when I was a golf teaching professional.......so many different theories and oppinions, was hard for the normal person to understand what was right and what was wrong....my theory was always, what works best for you is what is right for you.........

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Old 01-05-2006, 04:37 PM   #7
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Default here is an idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GABrewboy
I have just a quick question on reusing yeast!!!

Also got some of the White Labs 10th anniversary yeast yesterday and would like to save that for some more batches down the road, but what about the hops and all in the trub?

Any help would be great!!!
1. Most trub doesn't matter that much...after 1 batch. Okay that isn't 100% true. Trub matters a little but not so so much that you should have to worry about it. In fact I can think of about 5 different microbrews that do serial beers (usually 3 or more batches). So the do 1 beer and pitch the yeast and then get two more beer out of the trub/yeast cake. There is no noticible difference taste. If you start from lighter and go darker, similar SRM or well you get the idea...You'll be fine. I do this all the time and I have yet to have a bad batch (knock on wood) or off flavors due to the trub. However, I will usually only use the beer once after the intial brew. As for the peels et al. I probably would yeast wash but if you were doing a similar beverage you could reuse it.

2. Now for your comment about the aniversery yeast. If it isn't pitched into a beer already...then store it pre-trub . Do a monster starter or two (around 2 l) and use one of the starters for your beer and the other to put yeast in sterile bottle or 50 ml conical tubes and store in the fridge. No trub to worry about and you don't have to worry too much about generational effects. Some yeast strains are sensitive to how many times they are reused. I regularly save 50-100 mls of yeast in a conical tube. I have been able to resurect them for over 1 yr but it too about 2 days to get 3l of starter going. Most of the time 50 ml of stored starter (~2.5-10 ml of yeast cake) will be going by 12 -24 hours so there was a loss of viability with long term storage (kind of common sense).

If you want to store longer...get some glycerol and some cryotube and store in 10% glycerol initially freeze at -20 deg C (can store for couple years) in a non-auto defrost freezer. Longer you'll need liquid nitrogen or a deep freeze (-80 deg C).

However, if you save your yeast before you pitch you'll have plenty of the yeast to reuse.

-Eric
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:44 PM   #8
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Eolle,

Let me get this correct then!

I haven't pitched the 10th Anny yeast yet.....So what your saying is make 2L's of a starter, pitch one liter in my wort and save the other 1L in another bottle for later use?

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Old 01-05-2006, 06:36 PM   #9
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Default Yeah...

I do it all the time. I usually only save 50 ml but a 12 oz bottle would be more than enough. If they settle out...you can pour off most of the liquid resuspend the yeast and dump into a fresh starter. No problems at all! Just make sure you use good sterile/aseptic technique.

If you did a liter you can save at least 2 0.5 L, or whatever combination you would like.

-Eric

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Old 01-07-2006, 06:18 PM   #10
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I am just learning / trying out the "art" of reusing yeast, so this is a very helpful thread.

A few questions which I think relate to this (sorry if it's hijacking!)

Is it correct to say that one knows whether the yeast is good by the fact that their is krausen on top of the starter? If so, what if you are using a stir plate, which constantly stirs the starter. Will a krausen still form? If not, how can you tell that the yeast is good?

Last, when making starters, whether from reused or new yeast, are you better served by gradually building up the starter or by adding the starter wort all at once? That is, if you are making a 2L starter, do you add 2L of wort right away, or perhaps 1/2 L every day or two until brew day? How To Brew seems to suggest the latter, but I am not clear on the advantages of doing so.

Thanks, all.

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