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Old 03-02-2007, 12:41 AM   #1
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Default Washing yeast, primary or secondary?

Im going to start saving my yeast on the batch I have going. Im guessing you would want to use the primary yeast cake for recycling the yeast, or would you use secondary since its cleaner already. Can you use the secondary yeast cake? Enlighten me.....

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Old 03-02-2007, 04:55 AM   #2
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Well, you can, but it's not very good yeast to use. Usually it's a dusty yeast which settles only in secondary and you don't want to use it.

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Old 03-02-2007, 01:49 PM   #3
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Stick with the primary yeast. The yeast in the secondary is much less flocculate.

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Old 03-02-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Well, I've done both but I can't tell you which works better because neither beer is finished. I think the preference would be to use the primary because as David said the yeast in the secondary is much less flocculent. I used the secondary because I wanted that strain of yeast and the only place I had some was in the secondary. I had a long lag time, but it did take off. I'm going to rack it to secondary this weekend. In howtobrew.com Palmer says you can use the secondary, that it is easier because it's cleaner, but to be careful about going too many generations because you're developing a much less flocculent strain.

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Old 03-02-2007, 03:21 PM   #5
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The general thinking is that you want to harvest your yeast from the primary fermenter because these yeast are the healthiest and have grown under less environmental stress. Yeast in the secondary have had limited nutrients and higher alcohol content. This can affect the ability of the yeast to grow and reproduce in the short term. Also, the yeast in the secondary may have changed a bit from the original yeast to survive in the conditions of the secondary. This sounds reasonable to me so I use yeast from the primary. I have not tested yeast from both.

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Old 03-02-2007, 03:29 PM   #6
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I agree it sounds reasonable to me too, but people harvest yeast from commercial bottles with good results. Seems to me that yeast in the bottles would have been in harsher conditions for a longer period, and be even less flocculent than yeast harvested from a secondary. I suspect that this is another one of those issues where opinions are strong, but the facts are that it probably doesn't matter a whole lot. My first choice would be to harvest from the primary, but I will use the secondary without hesitation.

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Old 03-02-2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Although I mostly use the primary yeast, I have used the secondary yeast cake before. Since I just added fresh wort to the carboy I got a pretty good fermentation. I imagine this is just because of the sheer number of yeast cells. If you harvest it and reduce the numbers when you pitch, you might not get an optimum fermentation. my 2 cents.

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Old 03-02-2007, 03:35 PM   #8
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If the harvested-from-primary yeast and trub is stored in sealed bottles for a few weeks before yeast washing, would they still wash out and be good yeast?

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