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Old 10-20-2011, 03:14 AM   #1
cactussam
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Default Question About Reusing Yeast

Hey guys, so I followed the wiki on recapturing yeast out of the trub left in the carboy after primary/secondary fermentation (found HERE) and I wanted to know what to do with that yeast before I'm ready to brew my next batch.

So, the idea here is that I had a brew that turned out great, and I want to try to re-create it using my recycled yeast. Now that I have a mason jar of yeast/water solution, what should I do with it?

I've read a lot about using yeast starters and what not, and I've also heard of people just pitching yeast directly into their primary fermenter. I know that yeast starters result in MANY more yeast cells being available right off the bat in your primary, which kick starts fermentation, and that sounds good an all, but am I potentially going to run into any trouble by just taking my yeast out of the fridge and pitching it into my primary WITHOUT doing a starter?

What would you guys recommend?

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:20 AM   #2
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i started washing yeast due to posts here around the same time i decided i wanted to get a stirplate and flask and make starters as well. personally i say make a starter. However got in a pintch once and used washed yeast that had been in fridge for 2months w/o a starter and got great beer. either way will work. starter is best way to ensure greatest chance of success.

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:21 AM   #3
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Great question; very interested to hear.

I would assume though that given the life cycle of yeast, that you'll need to "activate" them if they lay dormant in the fridge for a while... aka a starter.

I may be wrong though...

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:23 AM   #4
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i take the jar out and let it sit at room temp while i brew then chuck it in after the wort is cool. depending on how much yeast you have you may not have to make a starter, a half inch or more of yeast in the bottom of a quart jar is way more than what comes in a smack pack from the store.

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
i take the jar out and let it sit at room temp while i brew then chuck it in after the wort is cool. depending on how much yeast you have you may not have to make a starter, a half inch or more of yeast in the bottom of a quart jar is way more than what comes in a smack pack from the store.
Really, is this true? Well that completely settles everything... I'll do starters from now on and keep different strains on-hand (not that I wasn't planning to do this ).

Can I freeze the mason jars containing this yeast?

Edit: So I see I shouldn't call these starters, obviously, but yeast washing? Anywho thanks for the link cactussam as this seems like a great way to reutilize and harvest yeast.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:38 AM   #6
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I wash yeast and only make a starter if I know what I have in the fridge won't be enough for the brew. I have never had a problem with the yeast not being viable, hurray! I usually just take the jar out the morning of brew day and let it warm to room temp.

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:39 AM   #7
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Very glad I heard of this; thanks for the input on your experience.

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted_Giraffe View Post
Can I freeze the mason jars containing this yeast?
There is a way to do this using glycerin... I havnt done it, but you should be able to find it on here.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstar View Post
There is a way to do this using glycerin... I havnt done it, but you should be able to find it on here.
What I'm slowly gathering though, is that freezing is not necessary as it seems that the yeast is still pitchable without needing to do a starter.

What is the average time frame you keep your yeast washed yeast (sorry if I'm stating this wrong, but I've only skimmed the page linked in the OP, though I will read it in full shortly).
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:42 PM   #10
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This is my first time attempting to reuse yeast so at this point all if mine is only a few days old in the fridge. Before that, it's probably sat in secondary for around 2 weeks andva week in primary before that.

However, I've heard of refrigerated yeast being up to 6 months old and still being usable.

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