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Old 07-17-2010, 10:05 AM   #1
ddrayne10
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Default Yeast Washing/ Cold Crashing/ Gelling Question/s

I have a few questions about yeast washing but involve other steps in the brewing process. First off I have an IPA in my primary that I made last week. I want to do my first yeast washing with the yeast. Now if I want to wash the yeast do I rack the beer or can I cold crash then rack the beer? Also could I gel the beer then cold crash and still wash the yeast? And last but not least if I do a secondary now and wash the yeast should i dry hop too or just add the dry hops to the keg? Does it matter at all?
I think i should keep in the primary for one more week then gel and cold crash then transferee to the keg and then dry hop while its carbonating. But if I did the gel and cold crash can I still wash the yeast? Sorry for being all over the place I am just not sure on how to go about this as i am very impatient and want my beer and drink it too and my yeast asap.

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Old 07-17-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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The first thing I will say as that washing yeast from an IPA is not an ideal batch of beer to do that from. It is possible, and it will work, but the yeast will not be in the best of shape. Beers with gravities over about 1.060 cause additional stresses on the yeast colony that can leave the yeast tired and in less than ideal health. Also yeast that have been in a wort with over 60 IBU's of bittering are in less than ideal health as hops have an anti bacterial property that interferes with the cell walls and reproductive cycle of bacteria, as well as to a lesser extent the yeast. So an IPA often meets both these conditions, over 1.060 and over 60 IBU's of bittering.

I am not certain, but I do not think you would want to try to harvest the yeast after adding gel either ( I assume you mean gelatine) I think you might find it much more difficult to separate the yeast from the trub with all the gelatine that would settle out and mix in.

Cold crashing before you harvest the yeast would be a good idea as more of the yeast would flocculate out of the beer and leave a much more compact layer that you can rack off of.

If you are going to do this, I would recommend cold crashing the beer without gelatine. Then racking the beer into a secondary. Now do your dry hop. If you are still concerned with your clarity you can cold crash the secondary at the end of the dry hop and then add gelatine to aid in clearing.

You are better off dry hopping in secondary than in the keg. The aromatics you are looking for from a dry hop will more readily go into your beer at the warmer temperature, and dry hopping can sometimes take on a bit of a grassy flavor when done cold, or left for an extended time in a cold keg.

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Old 07-18-2010, 09:50 AM   #3
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I have heard about the yeast cells being "tired" after an IPA but I thought I might get away with it being the OG was only 1.63. But I did not know about the IBU's affecting the yeast. Also thanks for the advice about the gelatin because I was sure that I could cold crash but was unsure about the gelatin. Is there any good sites or books that deal with Yeast and Yeast washing in more detail that i could read? Thanks for the response Zen_brew.

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Old 07-18-2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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Do a search here, everything you need to know about yeast washing can be found on HBT.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/
for example.

The idea behind yeast washing is to first make a smaller brew, as stated 1.060 being the limit and then harvest that yeast. Why risk your next beer or beers on stressed out yeast? You could probably come up with enough washed yeast for a few brews from the first small beer. There is a finite # of times the yeast should be reused, 3-4 comes up off the top of my head. I think the chance of the yeast morphing characteristics exist.

Unfortunately I make few beer less than 1.060. My method for reusing yeast is to make a starter on a stir plate. I step it up bigger than needed and just pitch the amount recommended into beer #1 then add more wort to the starter and throw it back onto the stir plate. I plan to make 3 beers in series this week this way.

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Old 07-19-2010, 02:30 AM   #5
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Yes I have read that post, and thats where I got my info to start washing my yeast but i dont know any of the science behind the yeast washing ie ibu's or og. This post does not inform you of any of this information. I want to learn more about yeast and how it works, i got a book( the bioechnology of malting and brewing. By J.S. Hough) but have not finished it yet but it only has 15 pages on yeast so i need to find out more. Thanks everyone for the response

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Old 07-20-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrayne10 View Post
Is there any good sites or books that deal with Yeast and Yeast washing in more detail that i could read? Thanks for the response Zen_brew.
You might give a listen to the Brewing Networks podcast on yeast washing with Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer.
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/543

There are other podcast on the Brewing Network with tidbits here and there, but this one will focus more completely on the washing process. Also Jamil is gearing up to release a book soon that he promises will be one of the most comprehensive guides to yeast compiled from a homebrew perspective. He is probably the most knowledgeable person on yeast outside of the scientific/biological community. He sits at home with centrifuges, and hemocytometers, and microscopes measuring all kinds of geeky yeasty stuff. I would imagine that is the kind of read you are looking for.

There is also a myriad of web sites out there with good info if you google brewing yeast and/or yeast washing.
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