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Old 08-27-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Yeast Washing, Macgyver Style

My first attempt at yeast washing. The yeast I am washing is White Labs Calif. Ale Yeast. I boiled my mason jars in my brew pot and let them cool for a few hours only to discover the lids began rusting.

So, in the style of one of the best 80's shows ever, I grabbed whatever was around me. 5 beer bottles, caps, a heavy glass beer pitcher and 3 pints of water. I sanitized everything, then poured the sanitized 3 pints of water into the fermentor and sloshed around. I then poured this mixture into the pitcher, covered with plastic wrap and put in the frige for an hour. After an hour I had two bottles worth of yeast slurry that I decanted into the sanitized bottles. I let it sit again, this time overnight. This morning I had two more bottles worth of slurry. I capped all of the bottles, labeled them and tossed them in the fridge for the next brew. In total I have four 12oz bottles of slurry. I though this worked very well. Seemed less time consuming than boiling jars and water.

My only concern is will the bottles carbonate or explode due to on-going fermentation? Even if they do carbonate a bit does that really matter?

All-in-all if this works out I have enough yeast for 5+ batches for the price of $7. A $35+ savings!

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Old 08-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
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I would take the caps off and re-cap them loosely so air can get out. I would let the CO2 evacuate. But I'd also sanitize a ziplock bag and put the bottles in the bag, but leave about one inch of the zipper unzipped. This just gives another layer of protection from the fridge bugs.

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Old 08-27-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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That is how I store my washed yeast. The only way you're going to have an explosion is in the case of an infection (in which case you'll know not to use the bottle), or if you for whatever reason let the bottles warm up before removing the caps.

It's really no different than bottling beer. Just this time you're not adding priming sugar so the yeast aren't up to much other than hibernating for you.

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