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Old 03-05-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
JKHomebrew
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Default Using Washed Yeast??

I posted a thread the other day on washed yeast in making a starter and it worked out great

I do have another question?

Can you just take the 8 oz jar of washed yeast and bring it up to room temp and then pitch it right into a cooled five gal of wort, just skipping the starter?

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Old 03-05-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Yes, you could decant off the top and directly pitch the yeast (I have done this with yeast that has only been washed for a week). However, I would be a little hesitant in doing this for two reasons.

1.) If it's a washed yeast that is older, 3+ months, I would want to make a starter to see if it was still viable before pitching.

2.) Making a starter will let you know if the yeast is contaminated before wasting all the time and money pitching bad yeast into a perfectly good wort. If the starter smells good (normal), chances are the yeast is good too.

Making a starter is pretty easy and not all that costly either. For me it's a cheap piece of mind.

I'm brewing on Friday and made a 1200 ml starter yesterday with a washed 1056 from early January 09. The starter took off on the stir plate within an hour. I probably could have just directly pitched but now I know it will be good.

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Old 03-05-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
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I absolutely agree with Cookie. You'll want to make a starter anytime you're pitching washed yeast to ensure that the yeast are still viable and able to ferment your beer. You also want to make sure that there are no contaminations in the washed yeast. The best way to do this is start your starter and once it is done fermenting, smell the starter. If it has any off smells, throw it out. Better to throw out a small starter than a full 5 gallon batch.

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Old 03-05-2009, 05:26 PM   #4
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Thanks,

What you guys say makes perfect sense, i do like using the starter because it seems like you are allready going when you pitch it

Another question might be is how lang can you keep the washed yeast in the fridge before you would want to toss it?

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Old 03-05-2009, 05:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKHomebrew View Post
Thanks,

What you guys say makes perfect sense, i do like using the starter because it seems like you are allready going when you pitch it

Another question might be is how lang can you keep the washed yeast in the fridge before you would want to toss it?
I used an 11 month old washed kölsch yeast last month. It took about a day longer on the stirplate to get going but it was good. I figured why not try it. I'm only out the cost of the starter if the yeast wasn't viable.

The beer fermented fast and clean. I had blow off at 58º! I washed it again and actually gave a pint to Bernie Brewer (the author of the yeast washing thread) and he made a kölsch the next week that really took off too.

So I guess the answer to how long really depends on trial and error. I usually like to use them within 6 months.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:25 PM   #6
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Sounds good i guess the starter will determine if its ok

Thanks for the help

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Old 03-05-2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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Yes, you can. However, making a starter several days before brewing is an insurance item that your yeast is still good.

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Old 03-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookiebaggs View Post
I used an 11 month old washed kölsch yeast last month. It took about a day longer on the stirplate to get going but it was good. I figured why not try it. I'm only out the cost of the starter if the yeast wasn't viable.

The beer fermented fast and clean. I had blow off at 58º! I washed it again and actually gave a pint to Bernie Brewer (the author of the yeast washing thread) and he made a kölsch the next week that really took off too.

So I guess the answer to how long really depends on trial and error. I usually like to use them within 6 months.
Yep and the kolsch I brewed is about to get racked to secondary, so the yeast is going to get washed again! my jars are in the pot as I type. Thanks again, cookie!
BTW in the last month I have made starters out of Bavarian Lager, and Belgian Abbey II. Each sample was at least 11 months old, and both starters took off after about 24-36 hours, and after brewing with them I'll be able to wash fresh jars of them. So even if your yeast is old, you don't know if it's dead unless you give it a go.
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