Yeast Washing Question - trub, settling time?
I'm going to wash and re-use my yeast for the first time. I brewed an all-grain batch of a Belgian Witbier and I'm going to wash/re-use the yeast (Wyeast 3944 - belgian witbier) in a wheat IPA. I followed the 'yeast washing illustrated' sticky and have my boiled (and cooled) jars of water ready to go in the fridge.
1) How long do I need to wait to let it settle in the jar? I would like to rack today and brew/pitch on Sunday (less than 48 hours settling). Is that enough time to settle? If not, what's a rule of thumb/average settling time?
2) There is still a ton of krausen (after 12 days in the primary) in my glass carboy. I checked the gravity yesterday and it's down to 1.009 (estimated FG in beersmith is 1.013), so it seems to be ready to rack...but the krausen remains. Does anyone have any suggestions on methods of how to get the krausen out of there before I add the water for washing (since I cant skim it off with a spoon due to the bottle nose style of the glass carboy)? Or is it okay to keep all the krausen in there and include it in the wash? Do I just need to hold my horses and let it continue to ferment beyond 14 days? As Marc Summers says, "What would you do?"
Thanks in advance, homebrewers!!!
I usually wash yeast before pitching rather than after harvesting. I also use filtered tap water rather than boiled and cooled (after all it's not going to be stored after washing). This seems to be what you are doing.
For a new batch I use a pint of slurry (about a quarter of the cake from the previous brew - you are over pitching if you use more).
It usually takes me about 2 hours from start to finish. I do it while I am brewing.
1) I put the pint of slurry in a 4 pint jar/container and fill with water and swirl. Let sit on the counter (it might go quicker in a fridge - I don't know).
2) After about 15 to 20 minutes there is a definate settling of the trub. When I think it is ready, I pour the liquid into another container until trub material starts to come out.
3) I top up the slurry container with more water, swirl, and let sit again and repeat.
After repeating 2 or 3 times, I end up with about 4 pints of 'yeast-water'. I just straight pitch this into my cooled wort.
If you are doing all-grain and don't have the capacity for an extra half gallon of liquid, you can place this in a fridge and let settle, pour off the liquid and pitch the yeast. The timing will be dependent on the floccculation of the yeast. Last time I tried it with PacMan it took several days to get it mostly settled.
As for the question on the kraeusen. Just rack from below it and let it settle into the cake. Swirl everything up and pour into whatever you are collecting it in.
I would normally say that if there is still kraeusen you are probably racking too early, but it is your beer and it will still turn out fine. Without the cake and kraeusen, you might find the beer may have some off flavors 'green'. If you have them, they will eventually clear up ...... just would be quicker if you left it with the yeast.
Thanks so much Calder!
After speaking with the manager at my LHBS, he thinks I'm mistaking krausen for yeast proteins that are a result of the high amount of flaked wheat in the malt bill. After racking, I'm pretty sure he was right.
I'll report back once the fermentation is going and let you know how it went! (Brewing tomorrow)
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