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Old 09-02-2011, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default Going to reuse yeast for the first time...advice?

I have 2 carboys full of beer that finished fermenting a few weeks back. I plan on brewing this weekend, and both carboys have the yeasts I need (California & Hefe). Do I just harvest the trub, throw in some DME, and put it on a stir plate? Any tips are appreciated!

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Old 09-02-2011, 02:11 AM   #2
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Search yeast washing. This is the basics... http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/

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Old 09-02-2011, 02:20 AM   #3
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You can certainly harvest/wash the yeast...but, recently I transferred from primary to secondary and then from my boil kettle onto of the "used" yeast cake. I had excellent fermentation with both brews. Maybe I got lucky, as I'm sure someone will let you know why you shouldn't do what I just suggested. It was the first time I used the same yeast, and I had great results this time; but I wouldn't do this more than once.

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Old 09-02-2011, 03:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jdk261 View Post
You can certainly harvest/wash the yeast...but, recently I transferred from primary to secondary and then from my boil kettle onto of the "used" yeast cake. I had excellent fermentation with both brews. Maybe I got lucky, as I'm sure someone will let you know why you shouldn't do what I just suggested. It was the first time I used the same yeast, and I had great results this time; but I wouldn't do this more than once.

Yup, I've done that a few times. Right after I transferred from carboy to keg, I filled the carboy with cooled wort right on top of my settled yeast/trub. The beer started fermenting within a few hours, and it turned out great. Maybe the scary trub affected it in some way, but I couldn't taste anything bad each time I did this method.

I've also simply poured the yeast/trub from carboy into a sterilized mason jar, sealed it up, and put it in the fridge until the following weekend. On brew day I took it out of the fridge, dacanted, let it warm up during brewing, then pitched it. It took off pretty quick - probably 4-6hours, and was always a strong ferment and produced good beer when I did it.

Contamination is the only thing to worry about. I wouldn't do this more than a few times in a row with the same yeast - but it's a great way to save some money.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:27 AM   #5
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I have also done this with good results when going from a 1.040 beer to a 1.065+ beer. Pitch on the cake, no problem especially if the beer is bigger/darker. I wouldnt do it more than once though. That stuff builds up THICK.

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Old 09-02-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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So, if i've got this right, it sounds like all i need to do is rack the beer in the carboy, and then pour cool wort over the trub, and away she goes?

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Old 09-02-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
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So, if i've got this right, it sounds like all i need to do is rack the beer in the carboy, and then pour cool wort over the trub, and away she goes?
Yup.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
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So, if i've got this right, it sounds like all i need to do is rack the beer in the carboy, and then pour cool wort over the trub, and away she goes?
Correct. You should have no problems as long as the first batches aren't hoppier or darker that the wort that'll be pitched onto their yeasts. Also, this practice isn't recommended if the yeast was first used to ferment a brew with a very high OG, but I'm assuming this wasn't the case if the yeasts are cali and hefe.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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Using the entire yeast cake would be considered by most brewers to be overpitching. You want the yeast to have to reproduce to take care of your new batch. I think the Mr. Malty calculator can tell you how much slurry to use.

My rule of thumb is about a cup of slurry (depending on the beer) as opposed to the whole yeast cake.

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:12 PM   #10
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I was going to divide the slurry in one carboy between 2 6g carboys.

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