Originally Posted by 5oclocksomewhere
I am collecting from the primary, washing with boiled and cooled water, refrigerating and adding to starter 3 day pre brew at room temp.
Seems like there are plenty of possibilities.
First with 1056 your temp is fine. It ranges basicly from 60 to 70 F. It may slow a little with cooler temps but should also work well. Perhaps you were fementing a little warm and getting a VERY active fermentation and now compairing to it.
Second 1056 is pretty low floc so it MAY not appear to be fermenting as well as a higher floc beer. Here you just have to trust you hydrometer.
Third, make sure that you are using at least a 1 Qt/L starter....sounds like you are. You can check Mr Malty calculator for more specific pitch rate by style but as a general rule 1 Qt does well except for Big Beers and Lagers.
Fourth, You might try cutting back to a 48 hour development of your starter to keep the yeast as viable as possible.
Fifth, when I pitch right away, harvesting from cake, I do not wash. I use one cup (as a general rule of practice) of the cleanest yeast I can scrape from the cake (get the middle section of the cake) and just add to the next batch. I do not wash but I also do not ever pitch right on to the old cake. Again you can check Mr Malty for pitch rate but the problem is not knowing the viability of the harvested yeast. (my 3rd generation 1056 started in 6 hours this past saturday with this technique)
Sixth, maybe you are already doing this but, I try to harvest at least four batches of yeast from a single cake when I am washing. That way I don't have to mess with the old cake or the back to back schedule for brewing every time. If I am harvesting from cake I NEVER go more than four generations.
Seven, there is lots of talk about how much is too much when harvesting. You need to consider not only how many generations but how old the yeast is as well. I believe this all is a matter of opinion and harvesting and storage technique. I re-use for 6 months and generaly not more than 4 generations but that is my preference and what I have found to work best for me. I know others go more more and pros go much much more. I will use harvested yeast for 6 to 12 months but I double my starter when I do that.
Not sure that will help a lot and for sure doesnt give a specific answer...but it is all that comes to mind.