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Old 01-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #1731
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I have been washing and reusing my yeas for a couple of years now with this same technique with good success. However, I have just for the most part, been using .25gal starter wort to 1 pint jar of yeast wash per 6 gal regardless of the OG. My question is, (and I apologize if it was previously covered but I did try searching without finding any results to my liking), but lets say I just brewed a 6 gallon batch @ OG 1.057. How many of the pint jars of the washed yeast do you suggest and at what volume of starter wort do you suggest?

I have tried using Mr. Malty but I am not certain what the results mean due to the fact I am unsure how to enter the data correctly. I know, call me stupid...sometimes I just need it spelled out for me.

Thanks, any help would be greatly appreciated,
Jason
I am curious on this too. It looks like smack packs are 4.25 oz, so just over 1/2 cup, or 1/4 pint. So I'm not sure how a pint of washed yeast compares to 1/4 pint of yeast in a smack pack.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #1732
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In order to use Mr Malty or YeastCalc, you need to start by figuring out how many viable cells you have. Ideally, you'd count them directly... but few of us have the capacity to do this.

What I do is to start by figuring out how many mL of condensed slurry I have in the bottom of my pint jar. The easiest way to do this if it's a small amount is to set an identical jar next to it and add water until it's to the same level as the slurry, then pour out and weigh that water in grams---that's how many mL of slurry you've got.

The next question is how many cells were in there. To do this, you've got to figure out the density in cells/mL. Basing this on the book "Yeast" and the MrMalty documentation, if you have solid yeast, it's about 4.5 billion/mL, and about 1 billion/mL if it's a thin slurry. Mine are usually pretty solid, so I usually use something like 3 billion/mL as a guess. You've probably got 10-25% non-yeast mixed in also, so you ought to scale to account for that, but it's not really necessary given the other uncertainties in this process.

Ok, so you have X mL of slurry at Y billion cells/mL, so multiply the two numbers to get your cell estimate. Now you have to figure out the viability. You can get some idea by playing with the dates on the MrMalty calculator and watcing how its viability goes, but many people challenge the general validity of its model. I usually just assume it's between 50 and 100% and plan my starter steps so that I'll have an acceptable pitch rate at either extreme.

So, for example, on my recent rinsing, I had about 10 mL of compacted slurry, which is roughly 10 * 3 = 30 billion cells. I played around with yeast calc and came up with a 3 step starter that was right at the desired pitch rate for 15 billion cells (50% viability) and was about 15% high for 30 billion cells (100% viability). Using two or three steps will reduce your sensitivity to starting count somewhat. I think I used a 500 mL first step.

Hope that helps. It's not very precise, but I think it's about the best you can do short of counting cells.

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #1733
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What's the longest anyone here has stored washed yeast and effectively used it. And of course with a starter.
2 months over a year. Or 14 months.

As has been said before if you wash the yeast well and have everything that comes into contact with it sanitized those little guys will last a long time. Yeast are much more hardy than you might think.

When I pull one of my baby-food-jar yeasts out (usually about 3/4 full of yeast slurry), I note the color and the scent of it before using a starter. Then it's into the starter and off we go.

Also +1 on having a dry yeast backup on hand. It never hurts and sometimes it will help.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #1734
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Originally Posted by zeg View Post
In order to use Mr Malty or YeastCalc, you need to start by figuring out how many viable cells you have. Ideally, you'd count them directly... but few of us have the capacity to do this.

What I do is to start by figuring out how many mL of condensed slurry I have in the bottom of my pint jar. The easiest way to do this if it's a small amount is to set an identical jar next to it and add water until it's to the same level as the slurry, then pour out and weigh that water in grams---that's how many mL of slurry you've got.

The next question is how many cells were in there. To do this, you've got to figure out the density in cells/mL. Basing this on the book "Yeast" and the MrMalty documentation, if you have solid yeast, it's about 4.5 billion/mL, and about 1 billion/mL if it's a thin slurry. Mine are usually pretty solid, so I usually use something like 3 billion/mL as a guess. You've probably got 10-25% non-yeast mixed in also, so you ought to scale to account for that, but it's not really necessary given the other uncertainties in this process.

Ok, so you have X mL of slurry at Y billion cells/mL, so multiply the two numbers to get your cell estimate. Now you have to figure out the viability. You can get some idea by playing with the dates on the MrMalty calculator and watcing how its viability goes, but many people challenge the general validity of its model. I usually just assume it's between 50 and 100% and plan my starter steps so that I'll have an acceptable pitch rate at either extreme.

So, for example, on my recent rinsing, I had about 10 mL of compacted slurry, which is roughly 10 * 3 = 30 billion cells. I played around with yeast calc and came up with a 3 step starter that was right at the desired pitch rate for 15 billion cells (50% viability) and was about 15% high for 30 billion cells (100% viability). Using two or three steps will reduce your sensitivity to starting count somewhat. I think I used a 500 mL first step.

Hope that helps. It's not very precise, but I think it's about the best you can do short of counting cells.
This is exactly what I do too. Is it perfectly accurate? Probably not. But it works.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #1735
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This may have confused me more :-)

So if I have a pint jar, and it's 1/4 full of thick yeast. That would be 118 ml. So that would be roughly 354 billion cells. So I would have to do a starter to triple this then it sounds like for a standar 5g batch?

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:47 PM   #1736
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This may have confused me more :-)

So if I have a pint jar, and it's 1/4 full of thick yeast. That would be 118 ml. So that would be roughly 354 billion cells. So I would have to do a starter to triple this then it sounds like for a standar 5g batch?
Only if your viability was 100%.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:57 PM   #1737
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So I wonder if throwing the whole pint(thick and thin), into a 2L starter would suffice for a 5g batch.

My recipe is calling for only 2.367 tbsp(35 ml)

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #1738
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So I wonder if throwing the whole pint(thick and thin), into a 2L starter would suffice for a 5g batch.
Again. Depends on your viability. If you had 100% viability you wouldn't even need a starter. If you have 1% viability you'd needs a multi-step starter. It all depends on the age/viability of the yeast and how much other crap is in there.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #1739
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Well since my recipe is calling for only 35ml, even if I have 50% viablity, it still sounds like a pint, even it only a 1/5 - 1/4 that was thick yeast, would still be more than enough and a starter wouldn't be needed. I may still try a 1L starter just for kicks, since I've never done a starter before.

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:39 PM   #1740
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So if I have a pint jar, and it's 1/4 full of thick yeast. That would be 118 ml. So that would be roughly 354 billion cells. So I would have to do a starter to triple this then it sounds like for a standar 5g batch?
That is a whole lot of yeast. Are you certain it's all yeast? Often you can see layers with slightly different colors, where one layer is yeast and the other trub.

But yes, if you have 118 mL of pure yeast gunk (stuff so thick you can't pour), that's 350-450 billion cells. If it's all viable, then that would be enough for most beers without increasing the counts at all.
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