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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Yeast Washing Illustrated
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:32 PM   #921
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Originally Posted by slurring_troobadour View Post
I read this thread a little over a year ago and have successfully captured and stored yeast using this approach - kudos to the original poster Bernie Brewer. Also, if there is any doubt as to how long you leave your jars in the back of the fridge, I just reconstituted a White Labs Platinum strain that I harvested and stored 11 months ago. Made a starter, decanted the excess wort and pitched - am going to split this batch of yeast into two. One for storing and another that I'll step up into a large enough starter for a batch of lager I'm brewing this week.
Thanks for the update!!! I often see people question the viability of washed yeast after 3-4 weeks...it is good to have another success story to demonstrate the effectiveness of this process. If I have to buy new yeast strains once a year I will be a very happy camper
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:16 PM   #922
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OK, what is acid washing, and why don't you do it....

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Old 03-04-2011, 04:04 PM   #923
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So I attempted to grow some yeast from a sample. I made sure to sanitize everything with Iodophor before transferring from jar to jar.

Transfered collected wort into 2 cups + 2 oz of DME at room temp, to let it grow. This is the progress so far. Please forgive my stupidity, I'm new to this but love the science aspect of it.





Any thoughts on where I should go next? I'm concerned that I have infected it somehow... maybe it's just paranoia. Can air getting into the container lead to enough bacteria growth that it will permanently ruin the yeast culture?

Is the only "true" way to test for bacterial growth via a microscope? (Or by ruining a batch of beer)

If this does look healthy, how long should I leave it? I'd love to keep growing it, wash it, and expand the culture, to give myself a few starters -- if it's worth the effort.

Thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:18 PM   #924
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Default Yeast harvesting / yeast washing

Ianskate - so I have a lot of questions (need more detail from you), before I or anyone else can chime in and give you our 2 cents. You said.."I attempted to grow some yeast from a sample".
Q1 - describe the sample, where did you get it from, how much did you start with and what kind of yeast is it?
Q2 - I know I already asked what kind of yeast it is, ale or lager? I ask because you later go one to say "at room temperature", well lager yeasts ferment at colder temps than do ales yeasts. So we need to know the yeast type and what your room temperature was.
Q3 - we can't see the top of the flask, did you have an airlock on it or a piece of tin foil or anything?
Q4 - how long has it been since you transferred into the 2 cups of water + 2 oz of DME?
Q5 - did you use a stir plate (if you know what one of those is) or did you periodically give this flask a good swirl or did you just leave it sit without doing anything to agitate the wort/yeast?

So that layer of foam on the top is a good sign - that's called kraeusen. That happens when the yeast is happily doing its thing and eating sugars and burping out CO2. From the looks of the picture it looks like there is some residue on the side of the flask above the foam - was the foam up that high at one point or is that residue from swirling it? So when you get enough yeast sediment that you believe will do the job of fermenting your wort (the discussion on how much that is - is a whole other topic) Then when you 'pitch' the yeast can be at one of two times - according to the experts anyway. Either at 'high kraeusen' - or the point in the step up that had the highest concentration of yeast, or after that and after the yeast has sedimented for 24 hours. If you pitch at high kraeusen you have no choice but to put the entire contents of the flask into your wort, or most of it anyway. If you do that, then what you pitch may not match the beer your just brewed and although you got the yeast you also got some fermented wort(beer) that might have have different characteristics than the bigger batch that just brewed. Not a usually a big deal though. If you wait until most of the fermentation is done(this kraeusening) and wait 24 for the yeast to sink to the bottom, then decant off most of the liquid by carefully tipping the flask so that the yeast stays at the bottom. then with a little bit of fermented beer (cause that's what you have at this point) left at the bottom - swirl all the yeast up into the liquid and pitch it into your wort.
Whew!

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:36 PM   #925
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Thanks for the reply, sorry, I should have been more specific, as it makes a huge difference.

1 - I got it from a friendly brewery.
2 - It's an ale yeast. Temps have between 60-70 (Approx. 66 in the past 24 hours)
3 - Covered it in sanitized foil (sprayed with sanitizer, applied wet)
4 - Transferred it yesterday, it's been about 21 hours. Photos were taken about 17 hours after placing it in with the wort.
5 - No stir plate, I've been swirling it every few hours to encourage growth. Aerated it as I pitched it as well.

Cool! Thank you for typing so much info

I was planning on growing this to create a few vials (most likely baby food jars) for a starter or two in the future.

So based on what you've said, high krausen has passed and I'll have to get the settled yeast when it's done fermenting, and decant the liquid out first. There is some sediment/trub and the stuff on the side is from swirling. From what I can smell, it's pretty tasty.

How thick should the layer of yeast be? Should I wait for the krausen to settle prior to doing anything?

I will be sampling the liquid to taste for any sour/off-flavor during this process, too, when it comes to separating it.

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Old 03-05-2011, 03:07 AM   #926
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when I usually create a starter(which would suffice for splitting into several smaller batches for storage), I usually take a vial or yeast or a smack pack and pitch that into a batch of wort that is at a ratio of 4 parts water to 1 part DME. So I usually start with 8 oz of DME to 32 oz of water. After it cools and I pitch the yeast, I have let it do it's thing for 3-4 days before using it. Usually after that period of time, the wort has changed in color and doesn't look as dark as it looks in your batch - then again, its only been going for about a day. Maybe it was me, but before I made my stir plate and made my first few starters, it seemed as though I was in the kitchen and stirring that 2 liter jug every 20-30 mins, but hey that was me. Let it work for another day or two. Then if you want, let it settle for a few hours and then decant off most. Then if you want you can always pitch up again, or as in the beginning of this thread wash with water that has been boiled and then cooled. Remember boiling helps to remove the oxygen from the water and will help to 'put the yeast to sleep' once in the fridge. As a side note, after I've had mine in the fridge for a day or two, I burp them to ensure that any pent up co2 that may have been created before they went to sleep is vented. My wife would kill me if the jars blew up in the back of the fridge. Lastly, a lot of my brew club buddies don't get why I do it, hey yeast at the LHBS is only $7-8 or if you can get it from a local brewery in a growler - so they ask why do you waste your time - casue like you I like the science behind it and the satisfactioin of saying "see all those varieties of yeast", I did that. I just can't wait for one of my club members to hit me up for a strain that only comes out periodically. Good luck.

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Old 03-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #927
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Maybe this is a different thread entirely, but is there a method to go from bottling to brewing with a portion of the yeast cake (washed or not) within the same day to 24 hours later?

I have a Belgian Wit I want to bottle today and a similar brew using the same WLP400 to brew this weekend (if possible).

I'm seeing anything from pitch onto the cake, a 24-48 hour process of washing described in this thread, to simply using some cold, boiled water and swirling with the yeast/trub a couple times until the majority of the cloudiness in the water is yeast and not trub/dead yeast.

The two methods involving washing seem to a method to prepare for storage and using at a later date, not immediately.

I have consistently made a starter for every liquid yeast I've used, but since I can collect more than enough from this current brew, I was hoping to avoid needing to make a starter in an effort to get the beer brewed this weekend and because I wasn't planning on storing the yeast.

If I'm not going to be storing the yeast, do I need to use boiled water (to drive off the oxygen) since I'm going to aerate the wort right before pitching? Can I just use sanitized jars and pour the liquid back and forth several times over a period of an hour or so until I'm satisfied with the lack of trub present?

Suggestions?

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:04 PM   #928
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Maybe this is a different thread entirely, but is there a method to go from bottling to brewing with a portion of the yeast cake (washed or not) within the same day to 24 hours later?

I have a Belgian Wit I want to bottle today and a similar brew using the same WLP400 to brew this weekend (if possible).

I'm seeing anything from pitch onto the cake, a 24-48 hour process of washing described in this thread, to simply using some cold, boiled water and swirling with the yeast/trub a couple times until the majority of the cloudiness in the water is yeast and not trub/dead yeast.

The two methods involving washing seem to a method to prepare for storage and using at a later date, not immediately.

I have consistently made a starter for every liquid yeast I've used, but since I can collect more than enough from this current brew, I was hoping to avoid needing to make a starter in an effort to get the beer brewed this weekend and because I wasn't planning on storing the yeast.

If I'm not going to be storing the yeast, do I need to use boiled water (to drive off the oxygen) since I'm going to aerate the wort right before pitching? Can I just use sanitized jars and pour the liquid back and forth several times over a period of an hour or so until I'm satisfied with the lack of trub present?

Suggestions?
How long will it be between bottling and pitching? Use Mr. Malty to determine how much slurry you will need (there is a specific slurry tab) and bump the number of ml incrementally more and more as more time passes. Example if it says you need 200ml of slurry but you are saving it for 24 hours then bump to 250ml. If 36 hrs bump to 300ml. This is just guesswork on the math and loss of viability not a hard and fast rule. I'm sure someone has a formula somewhere and I'm sure if you scour the yeast slurry/ yeast cake threads you will find more concrete numbers...my mind numbed a little culling through all those threads for hours when I had a similar question.

Sanitize a stainless spoon and a tupperware container. I like the new snap lock lid style with the rubber o-ring style seal, but even a cheap throw away would work. Maybe put a piece of plastic wrap over before snapping the lid in place.

Scoop the slurry into a sanitized measuring vessel like a pyrex measuring pitcher with ml markings, dump into the sanitized container, seal, and put it in the fridge. Pull it out and let it warm to room temp when you start brewing. Pitch the slurry directly.

It sounds like you enjoy brewing this style so wash the rest and save it for another brew. I have saved washed yeast and re-used 4 months later but others have reported success up to a year.

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:09 PM   #929
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Nice write up.

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:18 PM   #930
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How long will it be between bottling and pitching?
I was hoping immediately.

My original intent was to brew the next batch and at the same time, have everything ready to bottle. When the batch went out to chill with the chiller outside, I was going to rack and bottle, then pitch onto the cake as soon as it was chilled and aerated. The LHBS guy said I could pick right onto the cake, but everything I'm reading here says that's overpitching and while it may work, I'd more than likely get better beer by pitching a portion of the slurry.

I looked at Mr. Malty yesterday and got this information:


I started a thread about the slurry, but wasn't getting much action on it, so I'm trying other resources to get a solid answer
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/pit...slurry-229871/

If the non-yeast % is at 25%, I get numbers ranging from 64, 83, and 127 ml of slurry based on 2, 3, and 4 billion cells per milliliter of slurry. I have no idea how concentrated the yeast are or the non-yeast % and those numbers are about double each other from one end to the other.

Quote:
Use Mr. Malty to determine how much slurry you will need (there is a specific slurry tab) and bump the number of ml incrementally more and more as more time passes. Example if it says you need 200ml of slurry but you are saving it for 24 hours then bump to 250ml. If 36 hrs bump to 300ml. This is just guesswork on the math and loss of viability not a hard and fast rule. I'm sure someone has a formula somewhere and I'm sure if you scour the yeast slurry/ yeast cake threads you will find more concrete numbers...my mind numbed a little culling through all those threads for hours when I had a similar question.
I didn't want to save any of it. If I'm going to have to go through the process of washing it, I might as well save some for the next Belgian I do, but at this point, I just want to get the next batch going.

Quote:
Sanitize a stainless spoon and a tupperware container. I like the new snap lock lid style with the rubber o-ring style seal, but even a cheap throw away would work. Maybe put a piece of plastic wrap over before snapping the lid in place.

Scoop the slurry into a sanitized measuring vessel like a pyrex measuring pitcher with ml markings, dump into the sanitized container, seal, and put it in the fridge. Pull it out and let it warm to room temp when you start brewing. Pitch the slurry directly.
I called my folks and they have pint and quart-sized mason jars and lids and mom is boiling some for me now.

Quote:
It sounds like you enjoy brewing this style so wash the rest and save it for another brew. I have saved washed yeast and re-used 4 months later but others have reported success up to a year.
This is the first time I'm brewing a style similar or using the same yeast as a batch I've previously brewed. I just got started in late October. I haven't even tasted the first Belgian I brewed yet. This is going to be a different malt, hop, and spice profile, but still uses WLP400.

Can I wash enough yeast today, cold crash it for 18 hours or so, let it warm up tomorrow morning, decant the liquid, and pitch without using a starter?
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