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Old 12-08-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
Dealio
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Default First time reusing yeast

I saved the yeast for the first time from a big IPA and was thinking about using it for my next batch. The problem is on this batch the ferm termptures were too high most the time. Its wyeast american ale and I fermented mostly at 70 deg F but a couple important days fermented as high as 75 deg F.

These days I swamp and use ice to maintain better temperatures but I was wondering if the yeast flavor will be affected by the earlier batch. Also since I'm new to reusing yeast, how many times can I reuse it? Will the flavor always be better if I use fresh yeast? In other words what are the downsides to reusing yeast?

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Old 12-08-2009, 02:56 AM   #2
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How big was your beer? How big is the one you have planned ?There are those that say not to reuse yeast in a beer above 1.060 - 1.065 because it may have stressed the yeast. I probably would give it a try and have some backup dry yeast in case its needed.

I don't think the temperature issue will have an effect since we make starter worts at those temperatures.

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Old 12-08-2009, 04:19 AM   #3
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The beer was around 1.09, so I'm thinking I'll use the yeast I harvest from a primary this wed... When pitching harvested yeast to a starter, do I do anything different than when I pitch a liquid starter? Longer start time or more extract, etc?

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Old 12-08-2009, 04:55 AM   #4
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Reusing yeast I have heard actually makes the beer better. However, don't reuse if temps got too high. You really only want to repitch yeast that had a perfectly healthy fermentation. Meaning, temps were in the proper range and their was no infection ect...

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Old 12-08-2009, 05:24 AM   #5
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If it was from a higher ABV beer, don't reuse it; the yeast have probably already been used to their limit. You only really want to harvest yeast from average ABV beers. Anything high kind of pushes the yeast to their limits.

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Old 12-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blender View Post
How big was your beer? How big is the one you have planned ?There are those that say not to reuse yeast in a beer above 1.060 - 1.065 because it may have stressed the yeast. I probably would give it a try and have some backup dry yeast in case its needed.

I don't think the temperature issue will have an effect since we make starter worts at those temperatures.
This is a long story, but a funny one.
When I got back into brewing I went all out. Watching youtube, forums , every ounce of knowledge I could find becfore returning to this great hobby.
Decided to keg but always keep a 22oz. bottle of each batch. Like my 3rd batch I decided to try repitching the yeast cake from an IPA to another batch of the same beer with a different hop schedule.
Anyway, the new beer with the reused yeast started bubbling away in about 2 hrs. and after 3 days was done......I repitched some dry yeast and fermentation would not restart. I thought I ruined my beer and dumped it. But I did keep a 22 oz. bottle. About a month ago a friend and I were drinking a bunch of my 22 oz samples and ran across the dumped batch. Well, being slightly intoxicated, I opened it and drank away. It was great beer !!!!! The yeast evidentally just consumed all those sugars and was finished in 3 days.
Moral of the story is never dump a batch until tatsing, and repitching yeast works well if good sanititation is practiced. The yeast in this story was Notty by the way.
Cheers
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:40 PM   #7
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As long as you are washing your yeast between repitching and only repitching the viable healthy yeast cells you can safely repitch several times (like a dozen). You probably will max out the beers you want to make with that particular yeast far before that. As others have mentioned that yeast is changing with each batch, so you generally will want to pitch it to higher and higher gravity beers. My recent chocolate porter came out fantastic from repitched Irish Ale Yeast (wlp004).

Just isolate the yeast by stirring up the dregs of your previous carboy with boiled/cooled water and letting the trub and dead yeast fall out. I use a turkey baster to suck up the healthy yeast in suspension and then repeat the rinsing process in a flask, setting it for 15 minutes, and decanting off the good yeast. The calculator on mrmalty.com has approximate cell counts for slurries of differing densities, so you can figure out how much to pitch from that.

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