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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Washing yeast from a re-used yeast cake
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:30 PM   #1
Yankeehillbrewer
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Default Washing yeast from a re-used yeast cake

So I've been doing some searching and posted this question in the washing sticky but no luck so far.

I've got an AB clone that's just about done,OG 1.071. I pitched it onto the yeast cake from the previous brew, a Brown with an OG of 1.050. I would now like to wash that yeast and store for upcoming brews. The yeast strain is Wyeast 1056 American Ale.

I know it will probably be a little stressed, but I think if I wash it real good I should get plenty of viable yeast.

What do you think? Thanks

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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Check this post about yeast washing.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/my-s...ashing-109768/

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:57 PM   #3
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Check this post about yeast washing.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/my-s...ashing-109768/
Thanks, but that thread is about the process of yeast washing, I've got that part down.

My question is about whether or not this particular yeast cake is worth washing. It's been through two fermentations, and I don't know if it will be too stressed or not.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:25 PM   #4
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I'd say go for it! I have a hard cider being made on a Wyeast 3068 cake from a friend's previous hard apple cider brew. The condition I agreed to in order to use the cake was that I had to wash the yeast afterwards so we could have a Hefeweizen brew-off! After that I'll probably pitch onto the Hefeweizen cake to get a 4th brew out of a single Wyeast Activator pack, which I didn't pay for

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Old 04-01-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
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With an OG of 1.071, I think you have seriously stressed and possibly mutated yeast. At the least, you may wind up with an unexpected flavor profile and at worst, a severely underattentuated beer. I'd still wash it and see.

What I've been advocating for a while is reserving a portion of your original starter and storing that for future propagation vs. simply washing and reusing yeast. This is closer to a pure strain that what is in the cake, and better for long-term yeast management.

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Old 04-01-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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So flyangler,
What if one was brewing a 5 gal low-grav batch as a 'starter' for a big grav batch (like say; brewing a 1.047 Enkle for pitching the washed cake into a 1.090 Tripel). Do you still think it would be better to harvest from the first starter (the one for the Enkle) or from the Enkle cake (i.e. harvest a small amount and pitch the rest into the Tripel)? I can easily do either and I'm doing a pre-Tripel Enkle again this weekend.

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Old 04-01-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
With an OG of 1.071, I think you have seriously stressed and possibly mutated yeast. At the least, you may wind up with an unexpected flavor profile and at worst, a severely underattentuated beer. I'd still wash it and see.

What I've been advocating for a while is reserving a portion of your original starter and storing that for future propagation vs. simply washing and reusing yeast. This is closer to a pure strain that what is in the cake, and better for long-term yeast management.
yeah I think I'll just go ahead and wash it to see what happens. There's really no better way to answer my question than to experiment. I supposed I could do some testing with it using starters.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
So flyangler,
What if one was brewing a 5 gal low-grav batch as a 'starter' for a big grav batch (like say; brewing a 1.047 Enkle for pitching the washed cake into a 1.090 Tripel). Do you still think it would be better to harvest from the first starter (the one for the Enkle) or from the Enkle cake (i.e. harvest a small amount and pitch the rest into the Tripel)? I can easily do either and I'm doing a pre-Tripel Enkle again this weekend.
I think either way would be fine. I've just gotten myself in the habit of reserving a small amount of every initial starter I do for future propagation, or I streak slants and plates directly out of the smackpack or vial before pitching into the starter.
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