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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > No Repitching from High Gravity Beers?
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:48 AM   #1
TRainH2o
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Default No Repitching from High Gravity Beers?

I wash the yeast from my Belgian Strong Ale a few days ago. It had an OG of 1.086, so yes it was a fairly big beer. It finished out at 1.020, right where it was supposed to. I made a big starter and fermentation temp was right on the money from start to finish. The beer is the best that I have made to date and I don't particularly care for the style. It's for my wife.

So now I have 2 Mason jars of washed yeast in the fridge. Now, I read this from Wyeast's FAQ.

I brewed a high gravity beer, can I re-pitch the yeast from this batch?

Do not re-pitch yeast from a high gravity beer. Yeast left from high gravity brews is usually very unhealthy or dead and will not perform well in subsequent brews.


I was hoping that I did a good thing and that I would be closer to pitching at proper rates for my next Belgian brew. Thoughts?

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:52 PM   #2
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i ususally throw out my yeast from BIG beers. for instance, make a yeast starter. use starter in "normal" beer with reasonably low starting gravity. then save the yeast from beers lower than 1.060 and then use the washed yeast cake for the really high gravity beers.

why don't you do a batch and split it to see what the final product difference is between fresh healthy yeast and beat up old tired yeast.

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #3
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You'd be better off to use new yeast. There is a lot of selective pressure on the yeast in big beers (high ABV, lots of byproducts, etc), so the yeast left over at the end can be very different than the yeast you started with. Reusing it will ferment beer, but you're not likely to get similar results to the last time you used it.

If you want to be able to buy one vial of yeast and use it a bunch of times, then culture up a 2L starter and harvest that into small jars or tubes and use those to start off new starters for brewing with. You can easily get 5 small jars from a single culture (depending on the starter used). I used test tubes for this (testtubesonline.com) and keep them in a rack in my keezer

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Old 03-31-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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Well, that makes sense. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the yeast was in a higher alcohol environment and how that might affect the yeast.

I guess I'll dump this and try and wash the yeast from my English Brown Ale.

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