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Old 02-16-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default Yeast harvesting from dry cakes?

Is it worth the time, I have been saving some yeast from like a S-05 but is it worth messing with the dry and is it even do-able. I have saved some from a wlp001 batch and has been in the fridge now for about 6 weeks should I toss it? I pitched this under less than ideal circumstances, no starter warmed for about 1-1/2 hrs then pitched. After a slow start 2 days I have action but very very very SLLLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWW. Been having airlock activity for a week and the krausen only formed about 3/4". I am curious if the yeast was stressed and will produce off flavors. This is an APA at 1.059.

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
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I've never bothered saving dried yeast. The cost is so low, it just doesn't seem to be worth the trouble. I have, on several occasions, done a succession of brews off of one packet by pitching on the cakes.

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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I would only reuse dry yeasts under two circumstances:

  1. By pitching directly onto the yeast cake (i.e. no washing, immediate repitching)
  2. If I made a blended yeast that produced excellent results, and I want to bank the blend for future use
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
I've never bothered saving dried yeast. The cost is so low, it just doesn't seem to be worth the trouble. I have, on several occasions, done a succession of brews off of one packet by pitching on the cakes.
+1 What he said!
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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I cant see a reason NOT TO

Everyone talks about the cost when the obvious reason is staring them in the face.

You have a perfectly good pint/quart/liter of VERY viable yeast............... why not re-use it?

So, when some of you make a Barleywine you use two/three packs of US-05?
Thats around $6.00 when you had a perfectly good yeast cake from your APA etc......

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Old 02-17-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babalu87 View Post
I cant see a reason NOT TO

Everyone talks about the cost when the obvious reason is staring them in the face.

You have a perfectly good pint/quart/liter of VERY viable yeast............... why not re-use it?

So, when some of you make a Barleywine you use two/three packs of US-05?
Thats around $6.00 when you had a perfectly good yeast cake from your APA etc......
+1 ......I don't save a lot. Maybe $4 on a 10 Gal batch. To me though, good economy is a part of the process for me. Also, washing yeast, and the processes involved with re-using yeast is all good practice and experience. I would still do it even if I didn't save any cash at all.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:47 PM   #7
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Everyone gave BM stuff for harvesting and washing Notty... until you couldn't get Notty for about 4 months.

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Old 02-17-2009, 12:48 PM   #8
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I've never banked any dry yeast. I typically don't bank much yeast anymore at all. I buy the strain I want and plan 3 or more brews around it, using slurry from the previous batch for the next then I'm done with that strain. The next time I want to use it is typically 6+ months and after that long I'd rather spend $7 on a fresh vial than use something that may or may not be what it was 6+ months ago.

For me, Notty is cheap enough that it's just easier to buy 5-10 packs to keep on hand than is it to find the time required to wash and bank it.

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Old 02-17-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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I use US-05 so often that I always collect about 1qt of slurry in a mason jar every time I rack out of primary. I clearly mark the date. If I brew another batch that calls for that yeast within one month, that's what is getting pitched. There's probably 10x more viable cells in a quart of slurry than the dry pack (pitched dry). After a month in the fridge, I'd sooner go to a fresh pouch.

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:14 PM   #10
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Biermuncher has mentioned that he harvests 05 as well...Once it has flocculated it's no different that any wet yeast...there's no reason not to harvest it if you are so inclined...I have harvested and re-pitched notty myself.

05 is the Chico strain...the same as wyyeast 1056, iirc....so making up a bunch of wet chico strain for 2 bucks is a great deal anyway...

And on packet of dry yeast will provide you with at least 4 mason jars full of slurry.

We'll be doing a lot of that when the zombipocalypse comes.

Just remember after you harvest it it is no longer dry yeast..you treat it like any other wet, and have to make a starter next time...


A lot of breweries don't repitch fresh yeast all the time, and over takes on distinctive characteristics of the brewery and becomes their house strain...05 would be an interesting base strain to let mutate into a nice house strain...

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