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Old 10-07-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default New to washing yeast... need input (I've got pics)

I'm trying my hand at washing yeast. It is Wyeast 1098 Brittish Ale.
Here's what I did:
Racked beer to secondary, and collected top 2/3 of my yeast cake into a sanitary large pickle jar.
I sealed it up and put it in the fridge for a day.
I noticed that the yeast had divided into a trub layer, a middle yeast layer, and a top whitish layer.
I poured the top 2/3 (including the witish layer) into three sanitized smaller jars.
The jar with the whitish stuff did not settle out further, and the jars with out the layer settled nicely and looks more uniform.
Last Monday, I pull out one of the settled jars, and stepped it up by pouring off the clear liquid top layer, added 1-1/2 cups boiled water/DME, poured it back into the large sanitized pickle jar, shook it up good and set it on the counter (~70F here).
I was going to brew this last Thursday, but the inlaws came in, and it got delayed until today.
The yeast activity in the starter dropped off a couple days ago, and honestly, I thought there would be more quantity of yeast after 3+ days. So here's my question:
Should I pitch the starter the way it is now?
Should I "wake up" the starter by adding more water/DME?

One thing I noticed, when I brought the original starter batch up to room temp, it came alive (bubbled and began stirring around). At the time, I thought, what the heck, I could just pitch this and be fine.
Could I do this instead of pitching starter (I'm more confident the yeast in the fridge is not contaminated than I am with the starter... less messing around).

Is the jar of original yeast with the white stuff good? What is the white stuff?

Here's the pics... the big jar on the left is the starter (looks good, but no activity). The one in the middle is the one with white stuff, and the one on the right is one of the originals.





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Old 10-07-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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That "white stuff " is your yeast. If you look close, its very light tan, right? That needs more washing.

As for the starter, I'd probably just pitch it.

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Old 10-07-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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It seems like I can't post anything on this forum without being challenged lately... but I will anyway. You'll have better results if you boil & cool some water first, add it to your trub and shake it up. Then, let it sit in the fridge to separate for a while. By just plopping some in a jar without sanitized water it doesn't separate nearly as well. If you do this twice from a yeast cake and pour the clean yeast off each time you'll have great results.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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I should have described in more detail exactly what I did, but I didn't want a huge descriptive post.
I did boil water in the jar, cool, pour 1/2 into the Carboy (toss the rest), swirl, collect into large sanitized jar.
The one thing I didn't do is the same process into the smaller jars. For those (simply in an effort to free up the large jar) I poured directly into fresh, sanitary smaller jars.
Does that sound right?

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgmartin000 View Post
That "white stuff " is your yeast. If you look close, its very light tan, right? That needs more washing.

As for the starter, I'd probably just pitch it.
So after the yeast is washed (from the carboy), and settled (in a big jar in the fridge), I'll want to collect the very top of the strata (the light stuff) for a future starter?
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
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So after the yeast is washed (from the carboy), and settled (in a big jar in the fridge), I'll want to collect the very top of the strata (the light stuff) for a future starter?
Yea. You could rewash what you have. Add water, let sit for an hour, decant into smaller jars, repeat.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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I used "canned", water pressure sterilized in a pressure cooker, when I rinse yeast. You use sterile water to keep the yeast dormant and at the same time get them in suspension so you can separate them from the trub.
Pour the water in the carboy, swirl till you have everything in suspension, let it sit for 20-30 minutes, now the trub will settle but most of the viable yeast will still be in suspension (slurry).
Pour the slurry into a smaller container without disturbing the trub. Add sterile water to that and shake up vigorously, let sit for 20-30 minutes and repeat the process to another smaller container.
If you rinse your yeast this way you will notice a more pure yeast collection.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Thanks, it's making more sense now.
I did use the 5-day old starter yesterday and had almost immediate activity... woke up to my first blow-over this morning.
Oh well, wasn't too bad, and the yeast is definitely chugging along. I must have done something right.

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