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Old 02-24-2009, 12:39 PM   #321
SpanishCastleAle
 
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I've been trying to find out the same thing Piotr. For example, if you let a 'thick slurry' settle...how much of a yeast cake would you have and how much liquid above it? It's easy to eyeball the approx. volume of that yeast cake in the jar...would be nice to know how many billions of yeast cells per mL of yeast cake there are (not a slurry...the cake itself).

EDIT: I would think it's safe to say our yeast cake is at least as 'thick' as a thick slurry...right? It can't get much thicker than that unless you dried it out. So maybe figure the lower limit as 5 billion cells per mL of cake? Then the viable yeast cell count is a percentage of that.

One thing I've found that's helpful is to pour the slurry from the original fermenter into the second, smaller container and let it settle overnight. Then decant that...then shake it up and let it settle for 30 minutes and then pour into the jars. I get about 3x-4x more of a yeast cake in each jar that way. Maybe I was adding too much extra water (only 2 qt. plus the jar contents...and my 'smaller secondary container' is only 2 qt.) but I always ended up with a nice slurry leftover (after filling the jars) that I hated dumping down the drain. This just lets you concentrate the slurry before you put it in the jars.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:05 AM   #322
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I am gratefull for your post, I will give it a go and keep record.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:30 AM   #323
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these figures are actually possible to estimate prettty accurately. Once your jars have settled thoroughly you know very closely the amount of slurry you have in ml. The jars are scored with with mls right?

(BTW the yeast cake in the decanted jar IS the slurry.)

A refrigerated slurry that have very clear beer-looking stuff on top is very thick. Then, you can look at the layers if the slurry itself. The white layer on top is probably 90 % yeast. The darker lower layer is 10% yeast. so just take an educated guess of the % of yeast for the entire amount of slurry. It is interesting how these ratios change from batch to batch. I have harvested yeast that ranges from 80 % down to 30 %.

You should be pretty close. Close enough for our purposes anyway. Then it becomes surprising how quickly we get to proper pitching amounts.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:16 AM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
A refrigerated slurry that have very clear beer-looking stuff on top is very thick. Then, you can look at the layers if the slurry itself. The white layer on top is probably 90 % yeast. The darker lower layer is 10% yeast. so just take an educated guess of the % of yeast for the entire amount of slurry. It is interesting how these ratios change from batch to batch. I have harvested yeast that ranges from 80 % down to 30 %.
Actually, your post made things even more complicated for me. I taught, that we wash the slurry from one mason jar to another until we get rid of all trub and dead yeast, and the result is 100% clean yeast. My only concern was how thick it was...

Let's try to figure it out in other way:
How many ml of washed slurry do you pitch in an average ale 1.050? How many in lager ?

 
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:20 PM   #325
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I got half trub and half yeast on my first wash (but it's a nice, thick cake...at least 30mL of white cake). My second wash had no trub...but a tiny 5mL yeast cake in each jar. I've finally got it dialed in such that I get no trub (that I can see) and a nice, thick ~50mL cake in each jar.

However as dontman mentioned...that varies from batch to batch. Like I said earlier...now I decant the liquid in the fermenter (i.e. the cake plus added boiled/chilled water) into the secondary container and let it settle overnight...then I decant that (to drain)...shake it up really well and let it settle 30 minutes...then into the jars. There is the tan bottom layer in the secondary container but it all stays there...just clean yeast slurry in the jars.

So from dontman's post it looks like I can just use the 4.5 billion cells per mL number (i.e. the 'thick slurry' number)...which means my 50mL cakes are almost a perfect typical pitch in terms of number (not viability...a whole nuther estimation).

EDIT: thanks dontman.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:18 PM   #326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
which means my 50mL cakes are almost a perfect typical pitch in terms of number (not viability...a whole nuther estimation).
this is what I realized too when I started washing my yeast - that my jars contained pretty much the exact amount of slurry that Mr. Malty recommends on standard size beers and that I would not need the extra step of doing a starter from washed yeast.

Now on <1.060 ales I just take the jar out of the fridge on brew morning and let it warm up to room temp and it is ready to pitch when my wort is.

On really big non-belgians and lagers I still do a starter.

But on big Belgians I don't because I want the yeast to work a little when it gets into the wort. This creates more esters. which is desirable in a Belgian.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:14 PM   #327
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Is there any reason not to just sanitize the jars and instruments in starsan rather then boiling all of them? I understand you should use deoxygenated water and that's why you boil it. But I'll need to use plastic for the larger jug so I'll starsan it. Will it kill the yeast in it or something?

 
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:14 PM   #328
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Nah, Star-San acts like yeast nutrient once the pH changes out of it's sanitizing role. Here's a write-up I did that has some information on Star-San for you. It is some awesome stuff, and they are an awesome company.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:00 AM   #329
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Great article, washed my first batch of yeast from my primary. Looks close to the pics so far, only been in the fridge 10 hours.

Big Thanks

Has anyone thought about using one of those fat seperators used for gravy to drain trub off the bottom and leave the good stuff in the container?

Amazon.com: Oxo Good Grips Fat Separator, 4-Cup: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:01 AM   #330
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I racked my mild today and harvested the yeast. My method: racked the beer, added 2 liters of sterile water, stirred up all the yeast/trub and poured it back into the liter jars. This is my normal practice, I will chill that overnight and usually see three distinct layers: beer on top, yeast, then trub on the bottom. The next morning I will pour the yeast layer into another jar. The yeast is usually noticeable because it is creamy white.

So this time the colors are throwing me.


This has only been in the fridge for a couple hours, but what do you think? Is the white on the bottom yeast or trub? Is the dark stuff yeast? This is wyeast 1968, it tends to be very chunky.

 
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