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Old 06-08-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default Yeast Washing Question

Ok, so I've followed the guidance of the stickies and photo tutorials around here trying to salvage some yeast and I'm at a loss...

I just transfered an Oatmeal Stout from primary to secondary and I had several inches of lovely mud in the carboy.

I added water and sloshed it around for a bit and then I let it sit for about 30 minutes.

It was separated into two categories of mud at that point. I used my siphon to pull the top layer off into 6 pint mason jars. It was still a thick, cocoa/coffee-ish gunk.

Now I've had it in the fridge for a while and it was supposed to settle out again so I can decant the yeasty goodness off the top and store it long term, right?

Nope. It's still quicksand. Anyone have this problem before? This batch created a ferocious amount of fermentation and trub, so I think I've got some super-bugs in there and I'd like to save them!

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Old 06-08-2009, 12:10 PM   #2
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Yes,

Actually, i did a yeast wash a few weeks ago. I kind of F'd up the wash a little(had a problem and used spring water instead of deoxygenated water).

In all fairness i was only going to pitch in a few days anyway. If u want the yeast to sit long term you NEED to deoxygenate the water.

What i was left with was trub and yeast. I said what the hell and pitched it anyway into a small growler of some boiled DME just to see if it would be ok. When they started to go to work almost immediately, i was happy. I then pitched it into my IIPA i just did about 2 weeks ago.

The beer is uber-green, but tastes fantastic. There was a fair amount of trub in the jar. I used a Cali ale strain. That will also make alot of a difrence depending on what you want to use your washed yeast/trub(lol) for next.

That's mostly just my 2 cents.

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Old 06-08-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
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i also forgot to mention i lit it sit for 2 days and did no decantation

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Old 06-08-2009, 01:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Buzz_Armstrong View Post
Ok, so I've followed the guidance of the stickies and photo tutorials around here trying to salvage some yeast and I'm at a loss...

I just transfered an Oatmeal Stout from primary to secondary and I had several inches of lovely mud in the carboy.

I added water and sloshed it around for a bit and then I let it sit for about 30 minutes.

It was separated into two categories of mud at that point. I used my siphon to pull the top layer off into 6 pint mason jars. It was still a thick, cocoa/coffee-ish gunk.

Now I've had it in the fridge for a while and it was supposed to settle out again so I can decant the yeasty goodness off the top and store it long term, right?

Nope. It's still quicksand. Anyone have this problem before? This batch created a ferocious amount of fermentation and trub, so I think I've got some super-bugs in there and I'd like to save them!
It sounds like you didn't add enough water at the very beginning. You want to use enough water to "thin" out the yeast and to get rid of the trub. I start with about a gallon of water and pour that into the primary. Swirl it around, then pour it off into mason jars. Let sit a couple of minutes, then pour the liquid off into new jars, leaving the thick trub behind. I've never siphoned, so I don't know how that would work.

Then, add more water and "wash" the yeast again. You may have to do this several times to get rid of the trub and end up with a nice clear yeast. Have you seen the "yeast washing illustrated" thread? http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeas...strated-41768/
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:59 AM   #5
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It sounds like you didn't add enough water at the very beginning. You want to use enough water to "thin" out the yeast and to get rid of the trub. I start with about a gallon of water and pour that into the primary. Swirl it around, then pour it off into mason jars. Let sit a couple of minutes, then pour the liquid off into new jars, leaving the thick trub behind. I've never siphoned, so I don't know how that would work.

Then, add more water and "wash" the yeast again. You may have to do this several times to get rid of the trub and end up with a nice clear yeast. Have you seen the "yeast washing illustrated" thread? http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeas...strated-41768/
Hey you! I remember you all the way back from last week!

I used the illustrated guide to get my bearings, but I wasn't expecting the amount of trub I had in the carboy. I've never had so much left in the bottom.

I would bet there was at least 1.5 gallons of fairly solid mud in the bottom. I added about a gallon and a half of de-oxed water but probably would have needed even more to let the yeasties to float away from the gumbo.

Six full mason jars sit in the beer fridge now, and I dumped the rest. Could I put them all together and re-do the washing process after they've been refrigerated?
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Primary 1: Belgian Wit
Primary 2: Chocolate Bock
Secondary 1: Oatmeal Stout
Secondary 2: Empty
Kegged: Mexican Cerveza Ale, Amber Ale, ApfelWein
Bottled: just a few assorted items remain (BIG SAD FACE)

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Old 06-09-2009, 01:02 AM   #6
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Six full mason jars sit in the beer fridge now, and I dumped the rest. Could I put them all together and re-do the washing process after they've been refrigerated?
I would assume so, but I've never attempted it. Just be very sanitary, and you should be ok.
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