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Old 10-03-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
Bauerbrewery1989
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Default Reusing Cider Yeast

So I've had a one gallon batch of cider, and wanted to start another batch, this time 3 gallons. Would there be any problem just using the yeast cake from the one gallon batch with the 3? The one gallon batch has been fermenting for about a week. I know this is done with beer but didn't know if its any different with cider.

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Old 10-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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I've washed cider yeast several times, and reused for another batch times with no issues. It is not recommended to use yeast from cider in beers. Once it gotten use to the simple sugars in cider, they don't do well with the complex malt sugars in beer.

I'd recommend washing the yeast, by boiling a 1/2 gallon of water for a few minutes to sanitize it and remove some of the oxygen. Let it cool to 80 F or below, dump into 1 gallon fermenter and swish around to get all the yeast in suspension.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes so the heavier stuff settles to the bottom
Decant the liquid off the top into sanitized containers, seal and refridgerate. I use mason jars cause we always have them around but you can use beer bottles or anything you can sanitize and seal really.
Yeast should last several months if kept cold. I like to do this for almost all the white labs\wyeast strains i buy to save money.

When it comes time to use them, make a starter. For ciders i generally use 2 cups of apple juice & 1 tsp of yeast nurtient. ( 5-6 gallon batches)
Pour off about 75% of the liquid in the yeast jar, then shake to get the yeast mixed up. Add to your starter, and let it go for 24-48 hours before pitching.

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Old 10-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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No need to wash. Just swirl and pitch the yeast cake or rack the new cider onto the old cake.

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Old 10-04-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
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Alright, thank you both for the info. I think I'll swirl and add most of the cake to the new batch, and wash the rest for future use. Gonna be making lots of cider for the fall.

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Old 10-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #5
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What is the benefit of reusing yeast? Is it not easier to just pitch some new yeast?

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Old 10-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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What is the benefit of reusing yeast? Is it not easier to just pitch some new yeast?
There are a few benefits. It's free, you can pitch huge numbers of cells (resulting fermentation is usually fast), and it's easy. Oh, and free.

There are a few caveats though. It's not recommended to reuse yeast from a very hoppy or high abv batch. Unless you wash yeast, it's not recommended to move yeast from a dark beer to a light one (color and flavor).

There are many threads about yeast washing, pitching on a yeast cake or reusing just a portion of a cake. The last time I did this I made a dubbel (which basically served as a starter) then racked my quadruple on the dubbel's cake.
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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Yeast is just a couple bucks a pack... if anyone needs a few bucks paypaled to them, let me know LOL

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Old 10-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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Yeast is just a couple bucks a pack... if anyone needs a few bucks paypaled to them, let me know LOL
I'll take a couple- I need some White Labs Cider yeast. It's $6.99 a vial.

Most wine dry yeast strains are cheap- $1 or less- but some liquid strains and ale strains are more expensive.

I'm using S04 today in a cider, and it was $3.25 a package.

I would never reuse wine yeasts as they are cheap, and normally higher ABV wines would cause some alcohol toxicity. But for an expensive yeast strain, one that isn't easily available, and if it was used on a lower ABV cider first, I would reuse it.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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I'll take a couple-
you need it after shelling out for that sweet press...
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Yeast is just a couple bucks a pack... if anyone needs a few bucks paypaled to them, let me know LOL
I can buy one vial of specialty yeast, culture it to make 10 vials, then reuse each vial maybe 2 times. That makes the yeast go from $6 a batch to $0.30. And at ~20 batches a year, $120 to $6. That's a lot for a poor grad student.

I agree with Yooper though. I dont bother with wine yeast or dry yeast.
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