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Old 03-27-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
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Default Question on yeast washing technique

So, I've read the sticky on yeast washing and I'm a bit confused. Today is the first time I've tried to save yeast. So, I poured some sterile water into the fermenter and swirled it around as directed. After 20 minutes or so, I have something like this picture 1. If I understand the process correctly, I'm supposed to leave all the settled stuff behind and just take the liquid off the top. But, by looking at this picture, it seems to me the yeast has settled out on the bottom and that is what I want to take.

I know there is going to be some trub that I want to leave, but by just taking the water on the top, it seems I'm throwing most of the yeast out. Can someone clarify this for me?





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Old 03-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #2
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About to try this for the first time today too. I would think in 20 minutes the trub would fall due to weight and the yeast would be mixed in the liquid requiring more time for it to settle. Not sure though...



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Old 03-27-2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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I don't see much "trub" in my sample. For me, the bottom 1" on my fermenter is the yeast that I want to save. I'm confused...

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Old 03-27-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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When you swirl it up, the live yeast stay in suspension. What's settled out is all the dead stuff and other particulate matter. Definitely save the liquid slurry and throw out what settles out after 20 minutes.

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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wow, I washed yeast for the first time yesterday and had the same concern and my name is matt too...weird.

Anyway, I decided to pour the yeasty water out of my carboy by hand because it was too shallow to siphon for me. I got mostly yeasty water in the first pour, but the bottom sediment got kicked up and into my 2nd jar. I'll probably use my 1st jar.

1)BTW, anyone have a video/sticky link for making a starter with washed yeast? I am not too clear on amount of this yeast for a 5 gal batch.

2) What does slanting mean? Sorry I'm a noobrewer

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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I am definitely no expert but have been washing/reusing yeast for some time now and have never had a problem. A smaller container is much more manageable than your fermenter for washing yeast.

If I were you I would sterilize a 1-2 qt container (like a jar or growler) then swirl all the liquid in your fermenter and pour it into your container. Set that in your refrigerator for about 10-20 min. You should see the heavier sediment settle out quite quickly. Then get a second container (can be smaller) and give your yeast a slight swirl to re-suspend the yeast settled on top, then pour the top liquid into your second container leaving the heavier trub behind. From here, if you seal and refrigerate, you should notice fairly clean yeast settle to the bottom after a few hours or so. This will be your useable yeast for your next batch. If you want you can pour off some of the liquid after a day or so when the yeast has all settled.

Because the yeast is lighter than the trub, the goal is to simply do the best you can to seperate off as much of the trub from the yeast. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you are right, if you let it settle too much everything settles and it is hard to get any yeast out. You need to agitate things a little to get the yeast back into suspension so you can pour it off.

I hope I didn't make this more confusing because it's actually quite simple.

Good luck!

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:41 PM   #7
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And for bloussant, slanting is taking a pure yeast sample (like straight from the original pack or vial) and placing a very small amount in a tray with an agar-type material to preserve so that later you can step up with multiple starters. This is a fairly advanced operation and takes some special equipment to pull off. It's not rocket science, just more complicated than just reusing yeast.

As for how much yeast to use there are a number of factors to consider (batch size, OG, viability of your yeast, etc.), I would go to Mr. Malty's sight and do a little reading. Once you get your head around the concept, calculating the amount of yeast for your batch is not too difficult. Mr. Malty has a calculator that many use when trying to figure out yeast pitching rates.

Good luck!

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:56 PM   #8
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Thanks Jmiltime. I'll look at Mr. Malty in order to wean myself off of ordering a vile of yeast every time I want to brew.

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
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Sun tea jugs are great for yeast washing. They have a spigot that's up off the bottom. Add your water to your fermenter, swirl it up and let it sit for a few minutes to get the heaviest stuff out of suspension and pour it into the sanitized tea jug. Let that sit and then you can use the spigot to drain above the sediment and fill your jars. Easy peasy. Just make sure it's all sanitized, including the spigot. Put a few inches of starsan in the jug, shake it around and drain it through the spigot.

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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Good idea ChshreCat, never heard of using a tea jug with a spigot! That's the beauty of this site.



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