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Old 08-06-2012, 03:45 AM   #1
MatthewDLW3
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Default Yeast Washing for Starter?

I have just recently started washing and harvesting yeast. Was wondering if I should/could pour off a majority of the beer on the top of the washed yeast before I make a starter. I use mason jars have about a 1/4-1/8 inch or white yeast on the bottom and the rest filled with the beer that it settled out of.

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:37 AM   #2
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Yeah, you should do that, otherwise you will be significantly diluting the starter wort. And the beer (actually it's mostly just water, right?) wouldn't really contribute anything anyway.

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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That was my thinking but like I said this is my first time using my washed yeast and all the instructions and/or videos I have seen only show the technique of washing and then just say to make a starter with it, but don't clarify how to make the starter.

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:04 AM   #4
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Yes, pouring off the beer on top of the yeast is called decanting. Get rid of it! I leave a little bit of beer so I can swirl the yeast into suspension, then I add to my starter. Congrats on jumping into yeast washing. It will save you some money!

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:57 PM   #5
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I also have been recently washing my yeast. I've collected from my last three brews and I am getting ready to reuse a strain for the first time. However, I am not sure how much yeast is necessary to get a 1L starter going. I've attached a picture of 3 mason jars of WLP001 I collected from a brew. The jar on the right clearly has plenty of yeast and a little trub, but I do not know if the middle and right jars have enough yeast on their own. Please note that the right two jars have no trub. For those of you that have experience, what is a good rule of thumb when looking at volumes of yeast to use as a starter? I know mileage and personal results may vary, but I am looking for some guidance. Thanks!

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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How can you tell the difference between trub and yeast in the hats off washed year? I assume you want to decant as much liquid a possible, do you just pitch the trub in with the rest of the slury?

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #7
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I just started doing the yeast wash/harvest myself. I harvested some WL810 from my primary after racking to secondary. I had at least 1.5 as much as your larger one on the left and it was yeast AND trub. I made a starter with 2cups water and 1/2 cup DME. Had good activity and krausen in the starter for first 24 hours. Then it dropped. I pitched it the next day and am having vigorous fermentation. Had vapor lock pumping in under 12 hours instead of the usual 24-36 when I just pitch the WL vial.

This morning (about 36 hours after pitching) I had to rig a blowoff tube because the airlock was filled with krausen and it was spitting all over the top of my fermentor. I may have over pitched.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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To be on the safe side after looking at the details in MrMalty I decided to decant and combine the three jars into one 1L starter with 100g DME. The starter was chock full of yeasties after 12 hours. Pitched the next day and got a decent krausen after 12 hours. Very large krausen and vigorous fermentation since. In hindsight, I think I would have been ok just using the jar on the left.

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