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Old 12-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Could Wine yeast be harvested?

I am sort of new to wine making but Ive done beer and harvested the yeast many times over. Is it possible to also harvest the yeast in wine or since the yeast has been poisoned with the alcohol there isnt a way to wash and reuse... Would love to try to harvest but dont want to ruin any of my wine experimenting while so close to new years
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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I've not tried saving yeast from one batch to another, but after reading about it in beer threads for a while now, I've thought about trying it. In particular, I want to try taking a kit/grape based yeast and pitch it into a fruit wine, to see if it changes the flavor profiles any.

I would start by harvesting the yeast, just like you would with beer, maybe washing it (still trying to figure out the how and why here, not experianced with this at all), then I would create a starter with (additive free) juice (grape, orange, blueberry, strawberry, whatever kind of wine I'm making), to ensure that it is viable, then I would pitch it into my must. I would also have my usual dry yeast packets sitting in the fridge, just in case.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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IMO, with quality wine yeast (Lalvin) being so cheap, it's not cost effective to harvest/wash it. Plus, if you push the yeast to it's tolerance level, reusing it might not really be advisable. I typically (and routinely) push the wine yeast strains to their listed limits. As such, I don't save them. I can afford the $1-$2 per pack of Lalvin yeast.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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you'd be harvesting from your primary slurry, and with the wine only going to 1.020-1.040 you wouldn't worry about alcohol stress at all.

But its so cheap, there isn't a benefit at our scale.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
IMO, with quality wine yeast (Lalvin) being so cheap, it's not cost effective to harvest/wash it. Plus, if you push the yeast to it's tolerance level, reusing it might not really be advisable. I typically (and routinely) push the wine yeast strains to their listed limits. As such, I don't save them. I can afford the $1-$2 per pack of Lalvin yeast.
I know its cheap and i could also afford to purchase but its about learning in case one day you can't get the yeast due to travel /availability /etc....
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
you'd be harvesting from your primary slurry, and with the wine only going to 1.020-1.040 you wouldn't worry about alcohol stress at all.

But its so cheap, there isn't a benefit at our scale.
So it is possible to wash give nutrients and reuse?
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
you'd be harvesting from your primary slurry, and with the wine only going to 1.020-1.040 you wouldn't worry about alcohol stress at all.
.
It can be stressed by alcohol level, depending on the OG.

While you can wash pretty much any yeast cake, it's more a matter of if it's worth all the effort. You could have a good number of cells that are no longer viable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Cat
I know its cheap and i could also afford to purchase but its about learning in case one day you can't get the yeast due to travel /availability /etc....
IMO, there's a higher chance of the world ending this month.

If you want to do this, do it. I just would use it in a small, sample, batch before committing any resources to it (that you can't afford to toss out).
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
It can be stressed by alcohol level, depending on the OG.

While you can wash pretty much any yeast cake, it's more a matter of if it's worth all the effort. You could have a good number of cells that are no longer viable.
I think your confusing the purpose of a wine primary and a beer primary fermentor. A primary slurry is never going to be stressed.
Its oxygen rich, accustomed to an alcohol enviroment and just finished it's replicating stage.
Its the healthiest yeast possible.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
I think your confusing the purpose of a wine primary and a beer primary fermentor.
OG-FG (or SG) is how you determine current ABV. Doesn't matter what you're fermenting. Also, you use wine yeast for more than just wine. I use it for all my meads (refuse to use 'mead yeast').
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:11 AM   #10
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It is possible, in fact, I only bout 4 packs of yeast this year, one of D47, 1118, RC-212, and KV-1116. I've used the #47 in two mead batches, and a Apfelwein, I used the rc212 in a red zin, then a merlot. The kv1116 was only used once so far in a blackberry wine, and the 1118 was used in a banana, another cider, and a small experimental batch.

Saving wine yeast is maybe even easier than beer yeast. I always get it out of the secondary, where its clean, and about a 3x increase in volume.
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