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Old 08-26-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
May 2013
Posts: 83
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I bottled my milk stout last night and tried to harvest some yeast. The first image below is what I got out of my fermentor after adding some sterilized water. Am I correct in thinking that the middle layer in the first picture is yeast? I decanted the top layer and tried to pour just the middle layer in my jars (2nd picture). The jars have been in the fridge for only about 10 hours now. In my 3rd picture, I'm trying to figure out which layer is the yeast. It looks like it's the thin white layer in the middle and I just collected a bunch of trub on the bottom. I'm brewing again today so would it be okay to decant one of the jars and pitch this into my wort? I do have some dry yeast as backup if I should avoid it right now.

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Old 08-26-2013, 06:05 PM   #2
brew_ny's Avatar
Apr 2013
Charleston Four Corners, New York
Posts: 3,935
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waiting for the answer just did some Nottingham from a porter and want to pitch it into a brown ale

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
May 2007
Portland, OR
Posts: 247
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That looks like a lot of sediment, most likely trub which I would not want to pitch into a new beer. Can you detail your process a little better? I usually follow the yeast washing illustrated sticky instructions.

After emptying the beer from the carboy I add a half gallon jar plus 4 pint jars of sanitized water (dont forget to reseal the jars to keep them sanitary) and then put a sanitized piece of foil over the top and swirl it all around until there is no more yeast sticking to the bottom of the carboy. I let this settle for 20 minutes and pour the liquid with suspended yeast into the half gallon jar and seal it. Did you perhaps pour off the liquid and collect the stuff that had settled after 20 minutes (mostly trub) at this point?

I then let this settle another 20 minutes in the half gallon jar and pour the liquid into the pint jars leaving behind the trub that had settled to the bottom. I then stick the jars in the fridge until needed.

The whole idea is that some of the yeast will stay suspended for a while after disturbing it but the trub (proteins and small bits of grain and hops which you don't want to collect) will settle first so you end up with a layer of yeast at the bottom of each pint jar without all the trub which was sitting at the bottom of your fermenter.

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
WoodlandBrew's Avatar
Oct 2012
Malden, MA
Posts: 2,191
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These two posts should answer your questions:
The 2nd edition is now available: Brewing Engineering
Woodland Brewing Research Blog Applied Science for Better Beer.

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #5
May 2013
Posts: 83
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I followed the instructions in the yeast washing sticky. I don't think I let it sit long enough in my bucket when I first added water. I ended up collecting most of what was in there in my large container. I thought I had good separation in the first picture and I was able to decant most of the liquid leaving the bottom 2 layers. I'll leave it in the fridge for a few more days to see how it separates and just use the dry yeast I have

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