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Old 12-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
nickelmcgee
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Default Yeast Recovery

I used a blow off tube and 1 gallon jar of star san solution to prevent my big beer 1.080 from blowing a lid. After the most active part of the fermentation I removed the jar and there was a ton of beautiful white yeast in the bottom. I put the lid on and stuck it in the frig. Would any of you attempt to wash, recover and reuse this yeast. Of course the gallon jug was opened to the atmosphere for almost a week and the yeast are in a star san solution.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
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Wow good question. Yeast being open to the environment scares some people, others swear by open fermentation. Some say stars an can kill yeast, but I haven't read much on it.

Can't wait to hear the response to this. Wonder if it's as effective as top cropping?

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:05 AM   #3
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Pretty sure the SS has killed the yeast, or at least most of it. One of the main purposes of using sanitizer is to kill any wild yeast from getting into your brew.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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agreed. Star sans is made to kill single celled organisms. The yeast is very likely dead.

If you want to mail me a sample of the yeast in a White Labs vial, I would be happy to do a cell count.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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OK if star san kills yeast then why arent we worried that it will kill the yeast in our fermenter or bottles. Both of which I rinse with generous amounts of star san before I transfer. In this blow off tube case the magnitude of star san is much higher but so is the amount of yeast. Any thoughts? Maybe a vendor (star san) can weigh in on this?

Woodlandbrew - thanks for the offer I'm headed out of town and cant take you up on it this time but I do think it would be good information for the community. Looking at the bottom of the jug; there is a ton of beautiful yeast without a bit a trub.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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If someone were to try this with water in the jug instead of starsan, would this be even remotely close to top cropping?

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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HBT is a great site don't get me wrong. But there is always so much of a mish-mash of conflicting information.
Just the other day, someone said SS didn't hurt yeast, and that as it broke down, yeast could feed off it.

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OK if star san kills yeast then why arent we worried that it will kill the yeast in our fermenter or bottles
This is a good point. If it is true that SS does kill yeast, I would assume the wort dilutes it to the point that it is close to ph neutral.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grannyknot View Post
If it is true that SS does kill yeast, I would assume the wort dilutes it to the point that it is close to ph neutral.
Exactly.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:46 AM   #9
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SS self neutralizes as the small amount of SS is diluted by the large volume of beer.

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Old 02-05-2013, 08:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelmcgee
I used a blow off tube and 1 gallon jar of star san solution to prevent my big beer 1.080 from blowing a lid. After the most active part of the fermentation I removed the jar and there was a ton of beautiful white yeast in the bottom. I put the lid on and stuck it in the frig. Would any of you attempt to wash, recover and reuse this yeast. Of course the gallon jug was opened to the atmosphere for almost a week and the yeast are in a star san solution.
I had this exact same thing happen to my last batch. The OG wasn't as high as yours only about 1.050, but I had a little over 5.5 gal in a 6.5 bucket. So only 1 gal of head space. Needless to say there was a ton of blow off into a jar of SS.

After about a week i saw that nice thick layer of yeast at the bottom of the jar. I just poured off the top liquid and it smelled exactly like the WL001 I used for the batch.

I was brewing again this week and took the yeast from the jar and some wort from my new batch to see if there were any active yeast. 12 hours on the stir plate and I had great results. Smells like fresh yeast to me. I'm planning on using what I collect from this starter in my next batch.

I'm also going to try and create a closed system where I can collect the blow off in a separate container free of SS.

Hope this helps.
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