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Old 03-13-2012, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Reusing yeast - without washing

I just finished fermenting a Sam Smith India Ale clone and was ready to wash my yeast and save it as illustrated in the sticky in this forum. The night before I was going to do this, I was talking to another home brewer who has a lot more experience than I do and brews some really good beers. I asked him how he reuses his yeast and he says that when he's done transferring out of his primary, he sticks the siphon in the yeast cake and transfers it to a 22oz bottle and fills it about half full. He sticks it in the fridge and when he brews his next batch, he warms it to room temp and throws it in. No starter required.

That seems like it would cause problems from what I read, but he says it works every time and is the most simple method to reuse yeast. No washing, no starter. And he brews different types of beer all the time.

What are people's thoughts on this method? I ended up doing what he said, but I filled 3 pint jars about 3/4ths full and have them stored in my fridge. Is it ok not to wash them? I was thinking of reusing the yeast in a cream ale or porter. The original strain was Wyeast 1098. I really don't want to go through the process of brewing a batch of beer to find out it didn't ferment or I have off flavors in my beer because my yeast wasn't any good.

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:35 AM   #2
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It is so quick and easy to wash I don't understand why you would want to do this? I think it's a bad idea because without washing you are including the trub; which includes all of the break material/hop debris and dead yeas from your previous beer in the new beer. I think it's a horrible practice.

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:40 AM   #3
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I do almost the same thing as your friend, but I use 12oz bottles all the way full and make starters for the yeast. Alwalys works well, no off flavors.

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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I do almost the same thing as your friend, but I use 12oz bottles all the way full and make starters for the yeast. Alwalys works well, no off flavors.
No "off" flavors but you are dumping a bunch of crap that certainly has "flavors" in it into your wort.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by earwig

No "off" flavors but you are dumping a bunch of crap that certainly has "flavors" in it into your wort.

Just my 2 cents.
Multiple times I have made the same recipe with washed yeast on one batch and new yeast on another with no difference in flavor between batches. Either no flavor is imparted or my palett is not refind enough to tell the difference, lol.... either way, it works for me. If you have never tried out this method of reusing yeast I highly suggest you give it a go. It's less work and you might like it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:06 AM   #6
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Multiple times I have made the same recipe with washed yeast on one batch and new yeast on another with no difference in flavor between batches. Either no flavor is imparted or my palett is not refind enough to tell the difference, lol.... either way, it works for me. If you have never tried out this method of reusing yeast I highly suggest you give it a go. It's less work and you might like it.
Haha... Washing yeast takes just a few minutes and I just believe it is bad practice to throw trub/hop debris/hot/cold break into wort - especially since you'll want it all aerated and mixed in well when pitching.

Everyone has different opinions and practices I guess.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:07 AM   #7
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I do have a question for you guys. How do you come up with an accurate pitching rate if you don't know how much yeast you are pitching?

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:28 AM   #8
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I've awarded in a BJCP competition on beer that was fermented with reused yeast that was not washed. I don't think it's as bad of a practice as some people think. YMMV

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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When you are pitching your reused yeast (whether it's washed or not), would I need to create a starter if I have enough yeast? I looked at my jars today and the pint jar is about half full of sediment/yeast on the bottom and the top is liquid. If I pour off the liquid can I just pitch what's left? I'm not against washing the yeast, but I'd like to stay away from creating a starter if I don't have to.

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by taa800 View Post
When you are pitching your reused yeast (whether it's washed or not), would I need to create a starter if I have enough yeast? I looked at my jars today and the pint jar is about half full of sediment/yeast on the bottom and the top is liquid. If I pour off the liquid can I just pitch what's left? I'm not against washing the yeast, but I'd like to stay away from creating a starter if I don't have to.
This is one way that washing yeast helps. Once you wash it you can estimate the volume of clean yeast you have. You can't do that when it is all mixed up with trub.
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