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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Reusing/washing Yeast - is there an end?
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Reusing/washing Yeast - is there an end?

I combined US-05 and S-04 in a batch of beer about 3 months ago. Since then I have harvested/washed the yeast from this batch 3 times. The yeast that developed from the 05 and 04 together has helped me create some of my best beers.

My question is how many times can continue to harvest/wash yeast from this first batch? I think I remember that it loses some of it's viability after 5 washings or so. But heck, I toss this stuff in a starter and it takes off in an hour usually.

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Old 12-04-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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As long as you attend to the yeast health, and are infection-free, you can go on indefinitely - Fermentis does this for a living.

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Old 12-04-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dos_Locos_Brewery View Post
As long as you attend to the yeast health, and are infection-free, you can go on indefinitely - Fermentis does this for a living.
I am so happy I almost shed a tear. Why would anyone purchase yeast except for to obtain a new strain?

Out of one yeast cake you can easily get enough yeast for another 5 batches of beer.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #4
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Now some would say to reuse yeast up to maybe six times. The thought is after awhile yeast may begin to adapt and change. I dunno. Maybe, maybe not.

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Old 12-05-2009, 02:09 AM   #5
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Now some would say to reuse yeast up to maybe six times. The thought is after awhile yeast may begin to adapt and change. I dunno. Maybe, maybe not.
Adapt and change too what end? Isn't yeasts entire mission in life to feed on sugar and reproduce? Why would they adapt to not do this as efficiently? If anything I would think they would adapt to ferment barley based fermentables more efficiently!?
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:16 AM   #6
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Yeast washing can be a pain in the neck sometimes when you're in a time crunch, but it really does payoff. If you don't decant your starters you'll have pretty much free yeast forever. Also, you get like 4 or 5 jars from one 5 gallon batch and it's easy to sniff for infection come starter day.

Of course changing styles, basement temp conditions and curiousity have kept me from developing a "house" yeast.

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Old 12-05-2009, 02:51 AM   #7
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Yeast washing can be a pain in the neck sometimes when you're in a time crunch, but it really does payoff. If you don't decant your starters you'll have pretty much free yeast forever. Also, you get like 4 or 5 jars from one 5 gallon batch and it's easy to sniff for infection come starter day.

Of course changing styles, basement temp conditions and curiousity have kept me from developing a "house" yeast.
I think the yeast that I am washing/harvesting has become my house yeast...it is exactly what it sounds like..a cross between S-04 and US-05....very all purpose wtih good attenuation and floculation....nice for IPA's, Bitters and Stouts. I currently have 10 jars of washed yeast just waiting to be pitched into starters. I love it.

I am currently trying to develop a highly attenuating, highly flocculant yeast that will be a combo of S-04 and Nottingham Ale....trying it on a nutbrown tomorow.
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:14 AM   #8
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why not slant that boy!?

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Old 12-05-2009, 03:21 AM   #9
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If you give those yeast enough time, they'll grow legs and walk right out of the carboy, or that's what Charles Darwin said...

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Old 12-05-2009, 03:24 AM   #10
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nah. hasn't happened yet in a few million years!

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