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Old 09-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Yeast Washing - I am still confused

So I tried my first yeast washing yesterday, and I am not doing something right.

The beer was a pumpkin ale I made 6 days ago. It was an AG brew. I do not have an immersion cooler yet (I hope this changes by next week!) so when I am done with my boil, I am still cooling via water and ice in our laundy room sink. It usually takes about 45 minutes to get the wort cooled. Once the wort is cooled to room temp (75 or so), I pour the entire pot into my 6 gallon bucket for primary fermentation. I pitched a 1.5 liter starter of American Ale wyeast into my primary and I had great action on the fermentation.

I decided to transfer the brew to the secondary yesterday afternoon. I have the standard j-hook tube that I use with tubing to siphon my batch from the primary to the secondary.

When I had just a small thin layer of beer left on top of the yeast / trub cake, I stopped siphoning. To try and wash this yeast, I followed the steps in the sticky on this forum. When I poured all of the remaining ingredients from the bottom of the bucket to a large half gallon jar and let it set for 20 minutes, there was a huge amount of solid chunks in the entire jar, minus about 1/8 of an inch on the top that was clear.

Put quickly, I feel like I have a whole bunch of trub and it was hard to see where a yeast layer would form to harvest.

Any thoughts on my procedure??

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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It sounds like you did not have enough liquid. You should have three times as much liquid as you do solids.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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There are some beers I wouldn't try to separate yeast out of- and pumpkin beer is one of them. I don't think it'll be easy to separate pumpkin and trub solids from viable yeast.

You could try as LKAbrewer suggested and use more water if you really want to harvest this yeast.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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I kept the pumpkin in a mesh bag because I didn't have rice hulls on brew day, so that had me less concerns.
I think I will try the more liquid suggestion. Maybe that will work?

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Old 09-21-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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you're not supposed to pour out the whole remainder of the bucket. you let it settle a bit first then gently pour off til you start getting trub

also, i would wait longer than 6 days, chico wouldn't be too settled yet

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Old 09-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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How long is a good standard to wait?
I typically wait 10 days in my primary, but I used a yeast starter for the first time this batch and activity was unreal at first and seemed done by day 4 or 5, so I got the batch off of the yeast / trub bake.

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Old 09-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
you're not supposed to pour out the whole remainder of the bucket. you let it settle a bit first then gently pour off til you start getting trub

also, i would wait longer than 6 days, chico wouldn't be too settled yet
Or scoop some off the cake and add to the water and mix for a bit - that's what I do at least. I scoop the top 2/3, and leave the bottom.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkimmes View Post
How long is a good standard to wait?
I typically wait 10 days in my primary, but I used a yeast starter for the first time this batch and activity was unreal at first and seemed done by day 4 or 5, so I got the batch off of the yeast / trub bake.
while it may have been done fermenting by then, there's alot more activity going on still (cleaning up byproducts, flocculating, etc). 10 days is fine IMO, others prefer longer. For a standard beer, I do anywhere from 10-21 days, but i usually crash cool it to help clear it up on the shorter end. there's no benefit to rushing a beer
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