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Old 06-10-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
JJL
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Default Yeast Washing

Did my first yeast washing last night using the steps in the sticky in this forum. I was recycling some Wyeast 1056 American Ale. I like it as a good all purpose ale yeast, so I figured I'd give the process a try. I have to say it went pretty well. I was recycling yeast from a wheat beer, so the trub was something awful to look at. It had all kinds of break material, hops, coriander seeds sitting in it. By the time I finished transitioning the yeast to its final containers, it clean as could be. I put it in the fridge last night, and by this morning it had nicely separated into two layers, and looked really free of debris. I can't wait to use it in a starter to see how it works. I have a red ale I have been meaning to brew that would be a perfect test.

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Old 06-10-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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Awesome! If you use that stuff soon you won't even need a starter. Just take it out of the fridge, decant and just throw it straight into your fermenter (at temp). The temp change will jolt them into action again and you'll have a very short lag phase. Make sure to flame everything (jar lips and such) you can, to ensure it will remain pure for the next harvesting.

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Old 06-10-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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I have a feeling I won't be brewing quite soon enough to use it as is, but you never know. I was thinking instead of flaming it, I would just toss the whole jar into some star san.

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Old 06-10-2010, 06:08 PM   #4
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what are you using to store the yeast in? I'm hoping to do this myself for the first time this weekend and still haven't found the perfect container.

any lessons learned that you'd like to share?

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Old 06-10-2010, 07:07 PM   #5
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Per the instructions above I have been using Mason jars like those used for "canning" fruit and veggies. It has worked well for me so far. The big mouths of the jars make transfer of yeast and decanting easy. They are also nice and stable in fridge so I don't have to worry about knocking htem over.

I have been using the washed yeast to make starters, but I might try the direct pitch this weekend.

I have a nice little selection of 6 yeasts built up in my fridge now. It's kinda cool to have lots of yeast options .

Alan

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Old 06-10-2010, 07:19 PM   #6
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I went to buy more mason jars the other day but couldn't find them very easily. I ended up with a Ziploc "Twist 'n Loc" hard container, it's pint size with a screw on lid. It was easy to use, and looks normal so far, but I haven't reused the yeast in the container yet.

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Old 06-10-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrionPax View Post
what are you using to store the yeast in? I'm hoping to do this myself for the first time this weekend and still haven't found the perfect container.

any lessons learned that you'd like to share?
I just bought a flat of 12 pint sized mason jars. They ran me about $7.50. For the "big jar" mentioned in the instructions, I used a 1/2 gallon growler that I had laying around, but you could use probably any container that is a 1/2 gallon or larger that you can seal tightly with a lid.

As for learnings.

1) The jars are hot when you take them out of the boiling water. You probably want to use an oven mit to hold them when you are screwing the lids on.

2) I was harvesting yeast from a bucket instead of a glass carboy. You can't see the layers forming, so you kind of have to go on faith that after 20-30 minutes the trub will settle out.

3) For the "big jar", I would definitely use something glass. Again, it allows you to see the trub settling.

4) I would say that you might want to use a little more water than the instructions call for. It can be hard to start a siphon (even with an autosiphon) if there isn't enough liquid. Otherwise, just be advised you might have to work a little bit to get the siphon going.

5) Don't sweat it too much if you transfer a fair amount of trub into your "big jar" from the fermenter. By the time you siphon the yeast again into your pint jars, it will all come out clean. That's the reason you transfer it twice.

6) A bottling wand works well for filling the pint jars, just like you would a beer bottle.

7) I kept a bucket of star san solution near by to re-sanitize my jars, lids, siphon, etc. during the process.

8) Check your jars after they have been in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure that the change in temp hasn't loosened the rings. The lid itself should still be sealed, but the ring may be a little loose.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksbrain View Post
I went to buy more mason jars the other day but couldn't find them very easily. I ended up with a Ziploc "Twist 'n Loc" hard container, it's pint size with a screw on lid. It was easy to use, and looks normal so far, but I haven't reused the yeast in the container yet.
I'd be interested know how these work. I would be worried that if they don't have some type of a rubber gasket in the lid to create an air tight seal, you would risk contamination. But, I don't know.
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