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Old 04-19-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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Default First attempt at yeast washing

I'm finally getting around to saving and reusing yeast.

I'm pretty sure I understand what I'm doing, but I just wanted to double check.
Basically I siphoned off the beer, dumped a quart of boiled/cooled water, swished it around, poured it into four sanitized mason jars, and put in the fridge.

This is what it looks like after a day.

I kind of expected the liquid on top to be clearer so I wanted to make sure it's supposed to look like this before I go any further.

From what I understand, the next step is to carefully pour the liquid off the top into another sanitized mason jar, and that is what I'll store and reuse when the time comes.

I pulled this from a porter, so will it be okay to use it on a lighter beer, or will it affect the color?

Also, how do I know the correct amount of this to add to my starter wort to make the correct amount of starter?

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Old 04-19-2011, 10:59 PM   #2
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While what you've done is "yeast reusing", I wouldn't call it "washing". In order to wash the yeast, you need a step in there where you let the trub settle out and then pour off the slurry.

Basically, once you swirl the water and collect all the detritus, you pour the entire yeast mixture into a large container of some sort and let it settle for 20-30 minutes or so. Since trub separates out and sinks faster than the active yeast, you'll get a layer at the bottom. You then pour the liquid slurry (avoiding the solids at the bottom) into your preserve jars.

The washing process helps address your follow-up question about whether a porter cake can be used on something like a pale: unwashed, I'd definitely say it's inadvisable, as you'll get some color adjustment from it. Washed, however, I think it'd be fine. The washing process is good for removing a fair portion of that color residue as well as any dry hops (obviously not for this batch, but in general) so that the yeast doesn't "corrupt" the next batch.
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