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Old 02-20-2011, 06:48 AM   #1
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I recently washed some 05. It's my second time washing yeast. The last time I also washed some 05, and used it to brew an APA and some cider. Back then I wasn't really concerned with pitching the perfect amount of yeast. Both batches turned out great, but now I'm trying a little harder to get things perfect.

Anyways, according to mrmalty.com, if I repitch yeast slurry I need 40-50 ml for a basic session beer. However, my washed yeast is very white and compact. I follow the yeast washing wiki to a T, and each of my little mason jars has about 20-25 ml of yeast sitting at the bottom.

Do I really need to use a starter or 2 jars of washed yeast? I feel like normal yeast slurry has a lot more sediment and isn't nearly as thick as my washed yeast, but the calculator also seems to account for this. I'm beginning to think that yeast washing isn't even worth it. Sure, I can wash some expensive liquid yeasts, but usually I just brew with 05. Any advice?

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:18 AM   #2
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I recently washed some 05. It's my second time washing yeast. The last time I also washed some 05, and used it to brew an APA and some cider. Back then I wasn't really concerned with pitching the perfect amount of yeast. Both batches turned out great, but now I'm trying a little harder to get things perfect.

Anyways, according to mrmalty.com, if I repitch yeast slurry I need 40-50 ml for a basic session beer. However, my washed yeast is very white and compact. I follow the yeast washing wiki to a T, and each of my little mason jars has about 20-25 ml of yeast sitting at the bottom.

Do I really need to use a starter or 2 jars of washed yeast? I feel like normal yeast slurry has a lot more sediment and isn't nearly as thick as my washed yeast, but the calculator also seems to account for this. I'm beginning to think that yeast washing isn't even worth it. Sure, I can wash some expensive liquid yeasts, but usually I just brew with 05. Any advice?
I only use the slurry calculator when actually pulling some of the cake to pitch before washing giving me the ml needed to pitch. When using washed yeast I use the liquid yeast calculator and set the starter to stir plate, meaning I need a smaller starter for the average brew (1L). It will tell you how many cells you need and how many "vials or packs" you need. I just figure that 1 washed jar = 1 pack. My yeast is the same, nice white tight clean layer.

I'm not sure I would go to the trouble of washing a dry yeast though. I typically buy a smack or vial, brew a small lightly hopped session brew to wash from, then brew away with that yeast. I can do several recipes from one purchase, making liquid yeast even more economical than dry.

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Old 02-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Do I really need to use a starter or 2 jars of washed yeast? I feel like normal yeast slurry has a lot more sediment and isn't nearly as thick as my washed yeast, but the calculator also seems to account for this. I'm beginning to think that yeast washing isn't even worth it. Sure, I can wash some expensive liquid yeasts, but usually I just brew with 05. Any advice?
If you want truly constitent results, you need to start with a constitent number of yesat cells. Washed yeast is quite variable and therefore, unless you have access to expensive equipment, it is probably better to stick to using fresh pack of dry yeast. 1 pack of dry yeast isn't that much money anyway.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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I know some people top crop US-05. It doesn't always behave well enough for me to do that, but I wouldn't have any doubt that if you top cropped and were careful about sanitation/storage, you could approximate the amount of viable yeast cells pretty accurately.

The problem with washing yeast from the bottom of the vessel is that it is a multi-step process that still leaves solids and spent yeast with the good stuff. If you top crop, you just throw away the first skim (the brown, krauseny one) and harvest the second skim (and maybe the third one too) wich will be 100% pure yeast with no trub/hop residue or dead yeast mixed in. This in turns helps when using claculators such as MrMalty to pitch the right amount of viable yeast for your beer.

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Old 02-20-2011, 03:40 PM   #5
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I think you can pitch the two jars without a starter. The point of a slurry is that you don't have to make a starter, because you already have enough cells.

Don't forget, when you decant you'll have to leave a little liquid behind and stir it up, so I think that can be your actual slurry volume. One jar might get you a lot closer to 40 mL.

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Old 02-20-2011, 04:40 PM   #6
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I think you can pitch the two jars without a starter. The point of a slurry is that you don't have to make a starter, because you already have enough cells.

Don't forget, when you decant you'll have to leave a little liquid behind and stir it up, so I think that can be your actual slurry volume. One jar might get you a lot closer to 40 mL.
Cool. I'm going to do a starter anyways because I plan on brewing a big stout or IPA next, but it's nice to know that.

I guess in the future I'll just buy a good liquid yeast and reuse that. I have some WLP500 that will be ready soon.
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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Cool. I'm going to do a starter anyways because I plan on brewing a big stout or IPA next, but it's nice to know that.

I guess in the future I'll just buy a good liquid yeast and reuse that. I have some WLP500 that will be ready soon.
Do what you like (obviously), but there are reasons to reuse yeast beyond the cost benefits. I've found that my third or fourth beer off the original pack of dry yeast tends to be the best.

I don't save what was originally dry yeast as a cost cutting measure, I do it to make better beer.
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:29 PM   #8
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I've found that my third or fourth beer off the original pack of dry yeast tends to be the best.
+1 to this.

I just listened to a Brewstrong that Jamil says his 3rd or 4th on a washed yeast is better. I haven't tasted yet but I have 2 beers fermenting on rinsed 05.
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