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Old 12-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default Worth it to harvest?

Tomorrow I'll be racking my India Black Ale to a keg and hope to harvest/wash some yeast. I used a total of 8oz. of hops in the 5gal batch, only 2 of which were pellets and contributed to the trub. I dryhopped in primary with 2oz leaf hops. Do you all think it'd be worth the trouble and would the yeast be healthy enough to make a starter from? OG was 1.072, FG 1.018. Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
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That is pretty high OG to harvest yeast form, you can do it but yeast is probably stressed.
My usual rule of thumb is to harvest under 1.070, or even 1.060 when I know that strain is tough to harvest (like wlp300) or I'll run in other difficulties with it.

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:07 AM   #3
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Even if the yeasts were stressed during the fermentation wouldn't they recover once into a clean unstressing environment? It's not like their bio-makeup has changed. I thought once the stressors are removed they would perform normally, esp. a few generations downstream after a healthy step up.

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:28 AM   #4
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Even if the yeasts were stressed during the fermentation wouldn't they recover once into a clean unstressing environment? It's not like their bio-makeup has changed. I thought once the stressors are removed they would perform normally, esp. a few generations downstream after a healthy step up.
Sounds like you're going to do it regardless of what we say I say go for it and once you make a good starter from it, call it a win!
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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I'll give the experiment a go but I'm not the OP. I was suggesting that maybe the stress is a situational thing and the yeasts are able to recover from that given optimal conditions. I was remembering a "no secondary ferm" thread where a couple of our "elders" washed yeasts from a month long primary or better. Some of the posts and related threads suggested that the yeasts can come back from quite a bit with time and optimal growth conditions.

I"m initiating an experiment to see if I can harvest yeasts from a commercial unfiltered wheat beer. I'll report back.

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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I think it's wort a try. Stressed yeast is more genetically different than the original strain. Under low stress yeast reproduces by budding so the child cells have almost identical DNA to the parents. Stress encourages yeast to reproduce sexually causing different DNA in the children. This can cause recessive traits to become active in the child cells making them preform different than the parents.

I just pour the slurry into mason jars and put them in the fridge to save yeast. It's worked fine for me. From testing I have done it seems that yeast washing does not improve the quality of the yeast at all. It only throws away good cells.

Here is a write up:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...g-exposed.html

I would be happy to test your slurry. If you are interested send me a PM.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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I think it's wort a try. Stressed yeast is more genetically different than the original strain. Under low stress yeast reproduces by budding so the child cells have almost identical DNA to the parents. Stress encourages yeast to reproduce sexually causing different DNA in the children. This can cause recessive traits to become active in the child cells making them preform different than the parents.

I just pour the slurry into mason jars and put them in the fridge to save yeast. It's worked fine for me. From testing I have done it seems that yeast washing does not improve the quality of the yeast at all. It only throws away good cells.

Here is a write up:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...g-exposed.html

I would be happy to test your slurry. If you are interested send me a PM.
Nice experiment, good info.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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Thanks Helibrewer! It's encouraging to hear that. It makes me want to continue to take the time to write up brewing experiments.

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
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Great read.
I always though that more attenuate cells stays in suspension longer, so depending on strain we can concentrate on layer we want (more flocculent strains have lower attenuation and vice verse).

Did you compared how they act in wort, what was attenuation/flocc?

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Great read.
I always though that more attenuate cells stays in suspension longer, so depending on strain we can concentrate on layer we want (more flocculent strains have lower attenuation and vice verse).

Did you compared how they act in wort, what was attenuation/flocc?
Thanks. Good point about selecting cells. I didn't do any fermentation testing on the divided layers, but the WLP566 has been going like a champ through several batches.
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