Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Washing Vs. Repitching
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
i4ourgot
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Default Washing Vs. Repitching

I was in a homebrew store the other day and I told the guy that I wash my yeast, he said this is making my yeast "sick" and they won't act as well. But if i repitch my yeast then don't i have it sitting in all those dead yeast and unwanted material causing off flavors. What are the pros and cons of both and ill brew today using the winning solution.


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Old 01-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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I have a buddy who brews a Bohemian Pilsner. He will brew a 5 gallon batch to get enough yeast for a 10 gallon batch. He collects the yeast from the 5 gallon batch and does not wash it, instead he saves it and re-pitches right into the 10 gallon. I use this as an example as he never experiences any off flavors which would be easy to detect in this style of beer.


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Old 01-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i4ourgot View Post
I was in a homebrew store the other day and I told the guy that I wash my yeast, he said this is making my yeast "sick" and they won't act as well. But if i repitch my yeast then don't i have it sitting in all those dead yeast and unwanted material causing off flavors. What are the pros and cons of both and ill brew today using the winning solution.
Um... My understanding is that washing IS getting the active yeast separated from the trub and other stuff. For the purpose of making it healthier and preventing off flavors.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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Technically what we are doing most of the time (e.g. in the sticky here on HBT) is rinsing the yeast, not washing it.

Washing the yeast involves using an acid solution (phospohric usually, I think) to "cleanse" the yeast of other potential sources of contamination.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:44 AM   #5
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ok is it better to rinse then or just pitch the wort on top of the sludge from your primary if you have both availible
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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The major pro of rinsing is that it is indeed better for yeast health. The major con is any extra handling you do increases your contamination.

I rinse my yeast. I heard an interview with Chris White where he said he recommends you just repitch without rinsing, but then he also said that if you have been rinsing and had good success with it, there was nothing wrong with continuing. His reasoning was that the pro/con is as listed above, and that for him, the risk of contamination was the more significant factor.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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^^^^^ I repitch a measured amount of slurry from the previous batch. I've heard you can store the slurry in the fridge, but I haven't taken to that one yet. It does force me to use yeast back to back to keep it easier, but given that I don't have to make starters and I get 2 to 3 uses for each yeast (I use mostly dry anyway), it's well worth it to me. Give it a shot, you literally rack off, and then scoop or pour out the slurry into some sanitized measured container and then pitch into the wort. Pitch the appropriate amount by using mr. Malty.com
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:56 AM   #8
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This is how I pitch slurry. Brew a light low gravity lower hop beer and save the slurry in three mason jars. then I will pitch into darker higher hop beers. Buy doing it this way there is much less hop flavor from the first beer to the next. An example would brew a blonde first then pitch that slurry into a APA,IPA or a darker beer like a amber or brown.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:04 AM   #9
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nice thanks for the answers guys
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:34 AM   #10
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I make yeast starters for the sole purpose of growing yeast. I do this for a couple of reasons...1. Lower gravity fermentations are less stressful on the yeast. 2. Very little trub( hop particles, cold break, dead yeast) 3. Easier to cold crash a starter, decant the liquid, and pour the yeast into vials for storage.


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