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Old 07-21-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
PvtSkippy
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Default Yeast washing - gravity question

Greetings,

Was planning to do my first yeast washing today from a batch of IPA I brewed a couple weeks back. I have heard/read that yeast harvested from higher gravity brews are more likely to have mutated than from lower gravity beers. My IPA started at 1.065 and most of the figures I've seen tossed about lead me to believe that yeast from a batch that starts out above 1.060 probably isn't worth saving.

So, rather than going to the trouble of washing this yeast and reusing it in the next brew in an effort to save a few bucks only to ruin a $30 batch of ingredients I thought I'd pose the question: When is the yeast just not worth running the risk on?

If it makes any difference, the yeast in question is WLP001 that was packaged (if the label on the vial is to be trusted) around the 5th of June and was pitched into a 2000ml starter on the 28th of June.

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Old 07-21-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
WorryWort
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I would disagree with what you've heard. There is no reason not to use that yeast again, and I certainly don't think it will have mutated. One concern could be that over several batches the yeast will get stressed. But you should be able to do 4 or 5 generations. Most commercial brewers do this with high gravity beers. If you have a 9% beer than alcohol can sort of stun or kill the yeast, but I still wouldn't worry much about it.

Ideally you should just try to brew something similar, with hop flavour. But even still, you won't ruin a batch unless it's infected.

1.060-5 isn't really that high. If this was true half the guys on here couldn't repitch, because most of them are make 1.060 beers at minimum!

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noeldundas View Post
Snip...If you have a 9% beer than alcohol can sort of stun or kill the yeast, but I still wouldn't worry much about it.

Snip
Maybe it gets em drunk!

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:01 AM   #4
PvtSkippy
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Thanks WorryWort.

Well, I went ahead and washed my yeast tonight and we'll see what happens with the next batch.

BTW, anyone else get a really odd look from your significant other when you say, "Hey honey, I'll be down in the basement for a bit washing my yeast."?

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PvtSkippy View Post
Greetings,

Was planning to do my first yeast washing today from a batch of IPA I brewed a couple weeks back. I have heard/read that yeast harvested from higher gravity brews are more likely to have mutated than from lower gravity beers. My IPA started at 1.065 and most of the figures I've seen tossed about lead me to believe that yeast from a batch that starts out above 1.060 probably isn't worth saving.

So, rather than going to the trouble of washing this yeast and reusing it in the next brew in an effort to save a few bucks only to ruin a $30 batch of ingredients I thought I'd pose the question: When is the yeast just not worth running the risk on?

If it makes any difference, the yeast in question is WLP001 that was packaged (if the label on the vial is to be trusted) around the 5th of June and was pitched into a 2000ml starter on the 28th of June.

PvtSkippy, don't sweat it. I've been using the same WLP001 strain since February. When I washed my yeast I collected it in 4 jars. I do three batches with the jars and wash after I use the third jar. I then wash after my third batch and collect the yeast into 4 jars. I use the last original jar in case something goes a foul. I've been doing this since Feb. I've been brewing every other weekend. The best tip for washing yeast, when you make the starter........smell it and take a sample to taste. Notice anything funny, dump it...
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