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Old 02-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
FatherT515
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Default First time yeast wash - issues

Hello all,

Last night I decided to give harvesting and washing my yeast a shot as I was racking a beer out of primary and I figured "why the heck not?".

I have been interested in yeast washing for quite a while now and have read many threads and watched several videos on youtube explaining the process. However, I 'believe' I ran into some issues when carrying out the process on my own (perhaps not, though).

I added ~1gal of sterilized water into the bottom of my freshly racked primary bucket, gave everything a hearty swirl, poured the contents into a sterilized 1gal wine jug and set it in the fridge to chill.

After an hour or so it was very clear that the semi-solid yeast had settled out to the bottom as well as a very small layer of trub below it. But at this point 75% of my solution was a milky, watery liquid that sat on top.

When I went to decant into my sterilized mason jars the majority of the first couple pours was all the milky/watery stuff. The good looking yeast didnt start to creep up the sides and start pouring out until about 2/3 of the way through the process. Should I have decanted this liquid off of the top before beginning, or should I just have used less water in general?

Also, I found it very difficult to pour the yeast off without disturbing the trub layer on the bottom and I believe a fair amount of it may have made it into my mason jars. Does this mean that what I just harvested is going to be compromised in some way?

Help me, HBT. HELP ME!!


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Old 02-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Yeah, you should decant the liquid on top first. This is often old beer/water you added. Also, a little trub won't hurt anything, but you are obviously only interested in the healthy yeast, so that is why you try to keep as much trub out as possible.

I would let those settle and probably transfer them one more time to get the best yeast samples you can.


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Old 02-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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what I've found that helps with not disturbing the trub is to put the carboy (or gallon jug) laying on its side. make it easier to pour and it's already tipped in the way/direction that I want.

other's with more exp can chime in but if I'm not mistaken that milky liquid is what you wnat....all the suspended yeast in solution and less trub and/or dead yeast that falls quicker.

I usually only let my carboy and jars sit for like 5 minutes before proceding to the next vessel it will go in
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherT515 View Post
I added ~1gal of sterilized water into the bottom of my freshly racked primary bucket, gave everything a hearty swirl, poured the contents into a sterilized 1gal wine jug and set it in the fridge to chill.

After an hour or so it was very clear that the semi-solid yeast had settled out to the bottom as well as a very small layer of trub below it. But at this point 75% of my solution was a milky, watery liquid that sat on top.
based on everything i've read/seen on youtube, waiting an hour to decant that initial mix is too long. you want to wait 10-20 minutes. that lets the trub fall out but not the yeast. waiting an hour = the yeast starts to accumulate on top of the trub.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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It also depends on the yeast strain...it helps to understand how flocculant it is...ie from a previos starter... 1056 takes 20-30 min for the milky part as you describe it...which is all that I save for reuse... 007 takes 5-10 min and is like putty....but all in all the milky portion is the safe bet on viable beasties...be experimental with the minimal guidance you'll find on hbt...you'll remember more from doing and the mistakes you make...and there is a plethora of great info these forums


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