Originally Posted by drummstikk
What do you think about this: if you wait until fermentation is complete (without racking to a secondary), then fine to remove the last few % of yeast from suspension, you would expect that only that small % of yeast are bound up in aggregates with the fining material, while the majority of yeast have formed fining-free flocks.
Depending on the size of the fining-flocks, washing may or may not preferentially remove these yeast, which happened to be less-flocculant. So, washing after fining may have no effect, or may make the next generation of yeast on average more flocculant and less attenuative.
Do you think that's right?
I think your reasoning makes sense; however, you would have to probably do several beers in succession, all with fining use and subsequent harvest to see if you notice a progressive increase in flocculance.
If you take into account the info the info from the Wyeast scientist, he suggests that you will likely harvest both types of yeast ("self-flocced" as well as "fining flocced," so to speak), and furthermore, if you make as starter, the daughter buds of the fining-affected yeast will separate from the floccs. He also seemed to think that the pH difference between finished beer and wort could affect the floccs (perhaps cause them to break back up and release the yeast it had previously conglomerated?)
Overall, I'd suspect that it would take a number of yeast generations for this effect to be evident, if at all...