Advice on yeast starter from washed yeast

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Remos112

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Hello everybody I have an issue I am struggling with at the moment and I could use some advice. I recently brewed a kwak clone with Wyeast 1762 and I made a rather big starter for it. (my stir plate broke down so I gambled on the high side) I ended up with about 400-500 BL cells if I would have to guess. I fermented 20L of 1.086 wort with it and it went as a rocket.

After the fermentation I siphoned off the beer and washed the yeast cake and harvested it in 4 mason jars. From the looks of it there is a LOT of yeast in the jars, but I find it hard to say how much exactly.

Next week I am planning on doing a 20L Leffe Clone with an est. OF of 1.064
Brewersfriend tells me I need 234BL cells for this brew. So give or take two smack packs, the yeast at the bottom of the jars looks like more yeast to me than two smack packs, but then again I'm not sure at all.

In my head the options are limited to:
Decant one mason jar and just use it without any starter, with the risk of it never starting.

Make a tiny starter with one jar to at least get the yeast active before going in the new wort which raises two questions, 1 how tiny should I make it? 2 How likely am I to overpitch?

Any advice on this would be very welcome.
Much thanks in advance,
Remi
 

LLBeanJ

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For cell count guestimating, you can assume 2.0-3.0B cells/ml of washed slurry in your jars. If unwashed, you can figure 1.0-1.5B cells/ml. If the yeast is less than a couple months old, you should be fine direct-pitching the slurry without making a starter.

With that said, I'd be leery of using harvested yeast from a batch that had an 1.086 OG. It might be fine, but that yeast is going to be pretty stressed from crunching thru that much sugar. I'd have made the lower gravity brew first, then use the harvested slurry to ferment the bigger one. And I wouldn't have bothered washing it.
 
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Remos112

Remos112

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For cell count guestimating, you can assume 2.0-3.0B cells/ml of washed slurry in your jars. If unwashed, you can figure 1.0-1.5B cells/ml. If the yeast is less than a couple months old, you should be fine direct-pitching the slurry without making a starter.

With that said, I'd be leery of using harvested yeast from a batch that had an 1.086 OG. It might be fine, but that yeast is going to be pretty stressed from crunching thru that much sugar. I'd have made the lower gravity brew first, then use the harvested slurry to ferment the bigger one. And I wouldn't have bothered washing it.
Thanks for your input and very fair points!
And in hindsight it makes perfect sense. Here is how it went. I bought ingredients to brew a Kwak clone 5 times over and so far brewed it once. I then read about harvesting yeast on this forum and decided to give it a go with the intention of using it for 4 more kwak brews. I ended up with alot of yeast! Then someone requested this lower gravity brew.
Would you advice against using this yeast for this brew? Buy a fresh pack instead?
 

LLBeanJ

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If I were in your shoes, I'd buy a fresh pack and then save the slurry from the new batch for the rest of your Kwak brews.
 
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Remos112

Remos112

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I am a bit strained for time this week so I ordered 3 smack packs.
Will be using 2,5 for the Leffe Clone and 0,5 for an attempt at pineapple cider. I will be washing the yeast from the Leffe one and keep it for the Kwak in the future
 
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Remos112

Remos112

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Thanks for te solid advice everyone! I deciced to make a starter for expirements sake with the washed yeast. I made an 1 liter 100gr DME starter en used one whole jar of yeast. Nothing happened what so ever. Took a hydro sample after 24 hours and it read 1.033. Decided to toss it all. lesson learned. Don't re-use high OG yeast!
 

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