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Old 03-03-2010, 09:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SkiSoloII View Post
Just one quick question on harvesting technique. Have you got a scoop that will fit down the neck of my carboy? I've been trying to figure that out- I've "yeast washed" before, but I'd just like to scoop. A bit lazy, I guess.

Dave
I'd just rack off the beer, then pour it into your container, no need for the measuring cup (as long as the container is marked, or you go by weight)


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Old 03-03-2010, 09:08 PM   #12
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Boy, counting those little cells is a real pain in the butt. j/k

You have provided a lot of information that is over the heads of most homebrewers, but I want to walk away making sure that I learned properly.

Are you saying that an appropriate amount of yeast for a "standard" beer, 1.044-1.050 is a cup of harvested yeast?

How do you measure the increments of additional yeast to add when brewing bigger beers. (I think I get how to determine how much I should use based on the gravity, but are you weighing the yeast, measuring the volume, eye-balling it?)

Thanks for your post. I am looking to make great beer not just something that is drinkable and this info is helpful



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Old 03-03-2010, 09:09 PM   #13
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I never much liked the idea of pitching on to a yeast cake. It just seemed sloppy and lazy, two things that never make for good beer.

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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This is why I love brewing.So so much learn thanks to you beer geeks. I hope to be a beer geek sometime in the future and then quit my job and brew all the time.( money allowing of course)

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:19 PM   #15
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Awesome write up Bob! I do, however, have a question regarding harvesting:

I assume you should only harvest from the primary in order to get the most viable cells, correct? What about any spent hops or hot break that might be there as well? I tend to have more than I think would be good for this. Even after straining my wort after chilling still, it seems like I have a lot of hops left in the fermentor. Especially if I'm using pellets.

Thoughts?

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:21 PM   #16
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Wondering if the practice of using yeast cake in the event of stuck fermentation has a place here?

See thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/psa-foolproof-stuck-ferment-fixer-72072/

As Evan! says in this thread, despite best practices in proper yeast pitching, sometimes the FG isn't as low as one would like. When pitching a beer that is 80-90% fermented onto a cake, I would think that disadvantages discussed when using the cake as a primary fermentation method would be minimized?

Hope this qualifies as discussion, not disagreement.

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:30 PM   #17
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Thanks for the reads, Bob and Denny.

Bob, I'm curious: How do you go about estimating the break content of a harvested yeast on the homebrewer scale? For those of us without conical-bottom fermenters, it can be hard to guess at the quantity of cake needed, since some of it is break material.

Graduated cylinder and time to settle, maybe?

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Old 03-03-2010, 10:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSoloII View Post
Just one quick question on harvesting technique. Have you got a scoop that will fit down the neck of my carboy? I've been trying to figure that out- I've "yeast washed" before, but I'd just like to scoop. A bit lazy, I guess.
As conpewter wrote, it's still not hard. A technique that's worked for me is to gently swirl the carboy until the slurry is of a fairly uniform consistency, then pour it into the storage jars.

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Boy, counting those little cells is a real pain in the butt. j/k
Not if you know how to use a microscope!

http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.4/allen.html

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Are you saying that an appropriate amount of yeast for a "standard" beer, 1.044-1.050 is a cup of harvested yeast?
As near as makes no practical difference, and in absence of proper cell counts, yes. It's a rule of thumb which works well.

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How do you measure the increments of additional yeast to add when brewing bigger beers. (I think I get how to determine how much I should use based on the gravity, but are you weighing the yeast, measuring the volume, eye-balling it?)
Take another look at the article. You're measuring slurry in milliliters based on the estimated quantity of yeast in the slurry and what you need to inoculate the wort according to the rule of thumb.

I know, it can be confusing. Took me forever to get the hang of it.

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Thanks for your post. I am looking to make great beer not just something that is drinkable and this info is helpful
No problem! Glad to help!

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Originally Posted by meddin View Post
I assume you should only harvest from the primary in order to get the most viable cells, correct? What about any spent hops or hot break that might be there as well? I tend to have more than I think would be good for this. Even after straining my wort after chilling still, it seems like I have a lot of hops left in the fermentor. Especially if I'm using pellets.
You're going to have a high proportion of glop to yeast. That's why you get exponentially more yeast in a starter slurry - there's less trub. According to Mr Malty:

"There are about 4.5 billion yeast cells in 1 milliliter of yeast solids (solids with no excess liquid). According to Fix, in a slurry, only about 25% of the mass is yeast solids."

When I've done counts, I've found approximately 1 billion cells in a sample of slurry. That coincides fairly accurately with what JZ and Fix report. If you brew a high proportion of heavily-hopped beers - or have a lot of break and hops material ending up in your primary - you may have less. That's a tough thing to judge without resorting to the hemocytometer and microscope.

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Originally Posted by 2bluewagons View Post
As Evan! says in this thread, despite best practices in proper yeast pitching, sometimes the FG isn't as low as one would like. When pitching a beer that is 80-90% fermented onto a cake, I would think that disadvantages discussed when using the cake as a primary fermentation method would be minimized?

Hope this qualifies as discussion, not disagreement.
Sure! I think the important thing to note here is that Evan is not advocating starting on the cake, but "pitching a beer that is 80-90% fermented onto a cake" to polish off those last few points of gravity.

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Originally Posted by jds View Post
Bob, I'm curious: How do you go about estimating the break content of a harvested yeast on the homebrewer scale? For those of us without conical-bottom fermenters, it can be hard to guess at the quantity of cake needed, since some of it is break material.

Graduated cylinder and time to settle, maybe?
Without actually performing cell counts - which is fun and about as expensive as a stir-plate starter setup - it's hard to estimate. I work from experience. When you harvest from a conical, you can draw off and discard the first "dregs" you see; when you start seeing nice, tan yeast, you're there. It's a matter of knowing what good yeast looks like.

Perhaps a good method is to brew up a nice, big starter and refrigerate it. The slurry you'll see in there is exactly what good, pure yeast looks like.

I stick with Fix and JZ's estimate of 25% of the slurry being yeast solids.

Good discussion, guys! I'm going to have a look at the OP over the next few days and see if I can't make it, er, less inflammatory.

Cheers!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:17 PM   #19
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I'm going to have a look at the OP over the next few days and see if I can't make it, er, less inflammatory.
Funny . I didn't think it was inflammatory at all actually. A very informative read!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:38 PM   #20
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Funny . I didn't think it was inflammatory at all actually. A very informative read!
Well, one really shouldn't say things like "always" and "never". I was trying to make a point.

And inflammatory does tend to start interesting conversations, doesn't it?

Bob


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