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Old 08-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Shelf life of "washed" Yeast

I have just used my very first vial of liquid yeast (WLP 410) and have seen a few articles and youtube videos about washing it in order to use it again in another batch of beer. They all just say to follow the procedure and then store in a mason jar in the fridge, but is there a notable shelf life for this?

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Old 08-05-2013, 10:41 PM   #2
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You'll probably get alot of answers on this, but I've commonly seen 1 month as a reasonable shelf life when stored under water.

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Old 08-05-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
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I usually go with a 1-3 month maximum and always smell it-make a starter if its questionable

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:53 AM   #4
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Wow you guys are conservative with your washed yeast. I have some washed yeast thats more than a few years old and I wouldn't hesitate to use it after making a starter. Good sanitization is the key. I only wash the first generation and store a small amount in several small mason jars. I'll normally use each mason jar one time after making a starter, but have in the past washed a second and third time with good results for the yeast strain I use the most.

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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I'm jealous of brewers who are able to make good beers with older washed yeast. My last two batches sucked and I'm blaming the washed yeasts. One used 6 week old 002 that was probably full of trub from the previous batch. 002 is hard to wash! The other was 2.5 month old 001. I made starters on both and both fermented pretty vigorously. Both, however, have the same green apple background flavor to them. Needless to say, I dumped them.

Perhaps I didn't wash as good as I could have. Either way, I'm a little gun shy with washing yeast now and have opted to split off part of my starters to keep for future use, keep the yeast as clean as possible. I feel like the shelf life should go up with less trub in the yeast. That's my hope, anyway.

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:18 AM   #6
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I toss anything over 4 months. Not because its bad, but due to low viability it requires too much time and DME to bring it up to where I need it.

Also, and this is probably just my poor luck, but I have had better results re-using Wyeast products than WL yeasts.

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Old 08-06-2013, 03:00 AM   #7
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I have had great success with washed yeast.. I usually wash my house strain (1056) around 4 to 5 times. Each wash giving me enough to make 4 starters.(17 to 21 batches) I also brew about once every two weeks. After the 5th wash i start a new batch. On my lesser used yeast (ringwood, northwest ale and weiss) I'll wash the same amount out of ea strain and combine them into 1 jar and after 5 use's I'll start over

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:14 AM   #8
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That's kind of what I thought, I understand the absolute need for sterilization with it, I just spent the last 3 days canning jelly's and jams, although you do not cook the yeast when finished if a proper sterilization is done, it will keep air tight I'm just wondering if I should wash my yeast, I'm using a 410 Belgian witt II yeast for my kit hack, and at the moment I'm not setup to be able to do a full AG 5g brew so I was thinking of washing some yeast for future hacks, or even AG brew at a club brew. With the range of answers I got though I think I will just wash some and throw it in the beer fridge in the off chance I do get another going or someone needs some and just check it for viability prior to planning a brew day.

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #9
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So far I've used washed yeast 6 months out (lager yeast, I don't brew them often). However, I only wash Wyeast smack pack yeast because it's so expensive - I haven't washed an "dry" yeast yet; maybe I will.

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Old 05-14-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
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I have some Belgian yeast in the fridge for a year. I washed it into 8 small canning jars (have maybe 1/8-316" yeast in the bottom) and just burnt myself out on Belgian beer last year, but want to make another batch and am half tempted to make a starter out of a few of these. Anyone see any reason not to?

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