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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > How long can I wait to wash yeast?
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:53 AM   #1
stevea1210
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Default How long can I wait to wash yeast?

I have wanted to start washing yeast. I made a promise to have everything ready to go prior to kegging my india brown ale clone.

Fast forward and I kegged it tonight, a week later than planned, and I haven't got the stuff to wash the yeast yet.

I left a little beer on top of the cake, and put the stopper and airlock back in. Can that sit like that for a day or a few days prior to washing it?

I don't know if it has to be done as soon as the beer is racked off it, or if will be ok a few days later.

thanks guys and gals.


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Old 12-13-2008, 02:59 AM   #2
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I've waited a day before washing yeast and it's worked just fine. With the beer you left on top it should be good for a few days. You don't need much in the way of equipment for washing yeast, either. One decent size jar (pickle jar maybe) for the first step, then even some empty beer bottles to store the yeast.


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Old 12-13-2008, 03:23 AM   #3
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As long as there is a little beer over the yeast and you're keeping it cool, I'd say it can go a week if need be.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:15 AM   #4
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I would generally agree with the comments above, BUT (you knew there'd be one) if the beer-covered sediment got warm in any way chances are you are too late.

Chances are it smells like nail polish remover...dump it.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I would generally agree with the comments above, BUT (you knew there'd be one) if the beer-covered sediment got warm in any way chances are you are too late.

Chances are it smells like nail polish remover...dump it.
Good advice above.

I would add that prior to using it again, you would make a starter, right? That will then tell you if your yeast is viable.

I always have dry yeast appropriate to what I am about to brew so that I can always dump my wasted yeast at the last minute.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:00 PM   #6
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I have been reading allot about this washing thing, but one guy said he just racks his new batch right on top of the slurry and a way it goes

Now this might be easy but can I just pour the slurry into a growler and then pitch it into my new batch within a couple of hours or so?

And how about using the slurry as the starter yeast? and just adding that to a small amount of boiled wort? like a couple of cups of dried extract.
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKHomebrew View Post
I have been reading allot about this washing thing, but one guy said he just racks his new batch right on top of the slurry and a way it goes

Now this might be easy but can I just pour the slurry into a growler and then pitch it into my new batch within a couple of hours or so?

And how about using the slurry as the starter yeast? and just adding that to a small amount of boiled wort? like a couple of cups of dried extract.
What your describing isn't "washing" yeast. Washing it, is seperating it from the trub and storing it dormant for future use.

Pouring a new batch right on top of the old is definetly fine, as long as you are not trying to go lighter in color, or have taxed the yeast with a really big beer. Just do it right away, and keep everything sterile. I wouldn't pour it into a growler, and then pour it back in. Your just giving yourself an opurtunity to introduce unwanted bacteria.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKHomebrew View Post
I have been reading allot about this washing thing, but one guy said he just racks his new batch right on top of the slurry and a way it goes

Now this might be easy but can I just pour the slurry into a growler and then pitch it into my new batch within a couple of hours or so?

And how about using the slurry as the starter yeast? and just adding that to a small amount of boiled wort? like a couple of cups of dried extract.
There are several problems with saving slurry in bulk without washing it.

As previously mentioned, you should seperate the yeast from the trub, sediment, dead yeast, etc., to keep and reuse the healthy yeast.

By breaking it into smaller containers (reusing the vials) each one is sterile.

In a growler there is usually a lot of air space. The air itself containes lots of nasties that will make your slurry turn bad. Plus the opening, pouring, and closing actions will introduce new (contaminated) air into the growler with each pour.

I used to to use baby food jars for storage before I saved up enough vials. I also get vials from another brewer.

Do you get your supplies from Mr. Steve's in York? I go there several times a year. I usually bring a few samples of whatever's ready.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:35 AM   #9
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Do you get your supplies from Mr. Steve's in York? I go there several times a year. I usually bring a few samples of whatever's ready.
I doubt jkhomebrew goes to Mr. Steves often, since he is in NY. Me (the op), lives in Lancaster, and yes I do frequent Mr. Steves. I try to split my local buys between mr. steves in york, and scotzin bros in Lemoyne. they are both about the same distance from my house, so I try to alternate.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:57 AM   #10
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byo december issue has an article about storing yeast saying basically two weeks in a sanitized vessel is the upper limit. having said this it is unwashed yeast they are talking about and storage is in a fridge.


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