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Libertycourt

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Members,
Yeast washing has been a joy to do, but identifying which layer is which, has been a nightmare. After reading as many articles as possible; I still find myself looking at my washed yeast like a deer in the headlights. If someone could possible look at my washed yeast (Wyeast Irish ale) and give me some insight, that would be awesome.I always thought the dark layer was on the bottom and white/yeast layer was on the top(unless that white layer is not yeast!)
yeast1.jpg
yeast2.jpg
 
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IslandLizard

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These are after rinsing the yeast, right?
The correct term for adding water (or beer), shaking it and letting the layers settle after harvesting yeast is yeast rinsing. Yeast washing is a different process, using an acid and is always done right before pitching into a fresh batch of wort.

They all look like a fairly clean layers of yeast to me. Whatever leftover trub there was is often mixed in, they are not easily separable at this point.

You can pitch them as is, or make regular starters or vitality starters from them, depending on age and needed cell count. The settled, compacted slurries may contain 2-4 billion cells per ml, see Mr. Malty, pitching from slurries tab. Use HomebrewDad's yeast calculator to estimate viability and cell count needed for your next batch.
 

Sadu

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I've tried washing / rinsing yeast in the past and found that it was really a lot of work for a small amount of yeast.

My new method if much simpler. You leave your wort in the kettle for an extra hour before racking into the fermentor and pitching, leaving almost all the trub and kettle hops behind.

Then you harvest the yeast from your fermentor (scoop it into a sanitised jar) and it's just as clean as what you get from washing / rinsing qexcept you get waaaaaaaaay more yeast and it's waaaaaaay easier.
 

Abrayton

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I've tried washing / rinsing yeast in the past and found that it was really a lot of work for a small amount of yeast.

My new method if much simpler. You leave your wort in the kettle for an extra hour before racking into the fermentor and pitching, leaving almost all the trub and kettle hops behind.

Then you harvest the yeast from your fermentor (scoop it into a sanitised jar) and it's just as clean as what you get from washing / rinsing qexcept you get waaaaaaaaay more yeast and it's waaaaaaay easier.
I do essentially the same thing (dump into jars) but you could whirlpool your kettle wort for 15-20 minutes to get a nice sediment cone and then drain or siphon around it. This would save some time.
 

Conehead

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I use my left over yeast on brew day. Swirl it around and toss in my new beer. Works for me, but I brew lagers with this method. Activity after 5 hours, and I pitch at 62 F and still end up with a clean lager.
 

RM-MN

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I do essentially the same thing (dump into jars) but you could whirlpool your kettle wort for 15-20 minutes to get a nice sediment cone and then drain or siphon around it. This would save some time.
You also could dump all the wort into the kettle, let it ferment, capture all the beer you can and scoop out the yeast/trub and forget the yeast washing/rinsing and get about the same results with much less wort loss and effort.:yes:
 

Abrayton

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You also could dump all the wort into the kettle, let it ferment, capture all the beer you can and scoop out the yeast/trub and forget the yeast washing/rinsing and get about the same results with much less wort loss and effort.:yes:
Yeah I sometimes just dump everything in but for some reason I have this OCD complex that I will get clearer wort and beer if I leave it behind.
 

David Koepke

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I have watched you tube videos on this. I brewed a pumpkin ale with a yeast that I would have liked to attempt this with but when I pulled the yeast and trub out, it smells too much like pumpkin spices. I just tossed it out instead. I would guess trying to harvest that yeast would also result in extra flavors if I used it in a another style ale.
 

Abrayton

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I have watched you tube videos on this. I brewed a pumpkin ale with a yeast that I would have liked to attempt this with but when I pulled the yeast and trub out, it smells too much like pumpkin spices. I just tossed it out instead. I would guess trying to harvest that yeast would also result in extra flavors if I used it in a another style ale.
I brew a low gravity, low hopped beer without any added spice etc... to harvest from and then use those bottles of yeast for my next 4-5 batches before repeating the process.
 

IslandLizard

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I've tried washing / rinsing yeast in the past and found that it was really a lot of work for a small amount of yeast.

My new method if much simpler. You leave your wort in the kettle for an extra hour before racking into the fermentor and pitching, leaving almost all the trub and kettle hops behind.

Then you harvest the yeast from your fermentor (scoop it into a sanitised jar) and it's just as clean as what you get from washing / rinsing qexcept you get waaaaaaaaay more yeast and it's waaaaaaay easier.
This^

I leave about 1-2 quarts of beer in the ferm bucket after racking to a keg, then swirl up the yeast cake into a slurry and pour it into a 1/2 gallon jar. I may divide that over a few pint jars for the next few brews.

Also, yeast stays healthier when stored under beer than water. Unless it's from a high gravity beer (1.070-1.080 and up), then dilute with some water. Or better yet, don't reuse yeast from high gravity beer in general, it got stressed enough already.
 

IslandLizard

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I've tried washing / rinsing yeast in the past and found that it was really a lot of work for a small amount of yeast.
Yup, you throw out more than half the yeast that remains mixed in the trub.

When I used lots of dry hops (think NEIPAs) I sometimes filter the swirled up slurry through a fine mesh hops sack or a piece of voile in a large funnel. It holds back all of the coarser trub (hops) and even some of the kettle trub that had made it into the fermenter, letting pretty clean yeast suspended in the beer through. When harvesting yeast, good sanitation is important, of course.
 

EnglishAndy

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The pale beige layer is yeast. The dark layer is largely trub with some yeast mixed in. I've never really thought about it but I guess the flocculence of the yeast will determine if you get layers and which one is atop the other.
 

sixt3

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I hope I can ask a question here ... Would the forum experts suggest to just use the entire contents of the jars pictured above on a new brew, OR would you drain off some/most of the 'beer' in the jar (the dark, upper layer) and just add the remaining contents (the 2 lower layers of trub and yeast) of the jar to the new brew in the fermentor ?
 

Abrayton

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B952AB7A-00C1-411E-A507-076E9B2DDAAA.jpeg
I drain off most of the beer and add a pint jar of harvested slurry. Also I’m not one of the forum experts :confused:
 

IslandLizard

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I drain off most of the beer and add a pint jar of harvested slurry.
Overpitching is not as critical as underpitching, but you do want the yeast to grow new cells, at least double from what you started with. It's the new cells that do the best work.

In that light, pitching only half the slurry of each of those pint jars is probably plenty of yeast for a 5 gallon batch of 1.060-70 wort.

Count at least 2 billion cells per ml of that thick settled slurry. If you need to pitch ~300 billion cells, 100-150ml of that thick slurry is plenty.
 

IslandLizard

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I hope I can ask a question here ... Would the forum experts suggest to just use the entire contents of the jars pictured above on a new brew, OR would you drain off some/most of the 'beer' in the jar (the dark, upper layer) and just add the remaining contents (the 2 lower layers of trub and yeast) of the jar to the new brew in the fermentor ?
Best is not to pitch the supernatant (the beer on top), it may not taste that great.

If you only want to use part of the saved slurry, pour the supernatant into another sanitized jar, mix and scoop out some of the thick yeast slurry and add to your batch or starter vessel. Then carefully pour the saved supernatant back on top of the slurry over the round side of a spoon, like when adding cream to an Irish Coffee.
 

sixt3

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First off... Thanks to all for the info. I have learned SO much from the forum over the past year or two...
Second - by ''forum experts'', I meant pretty much everyone on the forum, as I (still) know next to nothing :)
cheers!
 

bierhaus15

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Last year I did a quick and dirty lab experiment testing the yeast viability of 1 month old stored yeast via different harvest methods. Two were done by the usual yeast washing method and two were from yeast that was harvested and stored under fermented beer. Yeast was counted via an Aber Count Star. The original yeast was ~96% viable WY1056. Both yeasts tested negative for spoilers via PCR.

The yeast stored by washing saw a +30% reduction in viability with a significant increase in pH. Yeast cells were also smaller than at harvest. The yeast harvested and stored under beer lost around 12% viability, while maintaining a relatively stable pH.

These results are consistent with other studies that have shown that storing yeast under beer is better for yeast health than water. Low pH, presence of alpha acids, stable pH, alcohol, and lack of 02 all help keep the yeast healthier. However, neither method is really ideal for storing yeast long term. That said, I would sooner store harvested yeast with the beer it fermented, than use the washing method.
 

balrog

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Start with 100b
Make 1.5L starter days in advance. Should make about 300b
Day or 2 before brew, let starter settle
Save 1/3, 100b, for next time, pitch 2/3, 200b into brew
No pumpkin spices, at the expense of doing something in advance.
No washing, no rinsing, no acid, no harming of furry woodland creatures.
 
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