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Brewed yesterday and want to wash and reuse the yeast for the 1st time, few questions

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Beardown

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I have never washed and reused yeast before and like the idea of saving money and using more advanced techniques... I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how to get the yeast and "wash it" but have a few more questions. 1) should this practice only be done if using the yeast for the same kind of beer? 2) should the yeast that you have washed in the mason jars simply be pitched the same way that you did for the original batch? 3) how much of it should you pitch? Thanks
 

jekeane

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Do you make starters? If so I would skip the washing and just overbuild your starter by 400ml. Pour off 400ml into a sanitary mason jar before you crash your starter. Then use that saved yeast to make your next starter.

As for the washing yeast question: in general you want to go from lighter to darker, lower gravity to higher, less hoppy to more hoppy.

In many instances you don't need to wash the yeast and can just keep the slurry under beer till its time to pitch.
 

Aristotelian

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In addition to what jekeane said, to answer your last question there are calculators that tell you the amount of slurry to use for your given gravity/volume. General rule of thumb I have heard is that a yeast cake can be used to make two batches of the same size if used fresh.
 

flars

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I have never washed and reused yeast before and like the idea of saving money and using more advanced techniques... I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how to get the yeast and "wash it" but have a few more questions. 1) should this practice only be done if using the yeast for the same kind of beer? 2) should the yeast that you have washed in the mason jars simply be pitched the same way that you did for the original batch? 3) how much of it should you pitch? Thanks
This stickie should answer almost all your questions on harvesting yeast.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=579350
 

murphyslaw

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Do you make starters? If so I would skip the washing and just overbuild your starter by 400ml. Pour off 400ml into a sanitary mason jar before you crash your starter. Then use that saved yeast to make your next starter.

As for the washing yeast question: in general you want to go from lighter to darker, lower gravity to higher, less hoppy to more hoppy.

In many instances you don't need to wash the yeast and can just keep the slurry under beer till its time to pitch.
+1 except that rather than 400ml, i use a calculator to overbuild by 100b cells, then save whatever proportion of the whole starter would leave me with that number. That way i what i have left is basically equal to a new white labs yeast pack
 

Sadu

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I asked a similar question on these forums a few weeks ago.

I ended up removing half the slurry from batch #1 and just pouring batch #2 straight on top. Cleaned/sanitised the lid and airlock but not the fermenter.

This was a massive over-pitch, fermentation started within hours and blasted at full noise for a few days with huge krausen. Hit FG very quick. I should have removed all but about 1 pint / 500ml of slurry (for 23L/6G batch), will do that next time, but no harm done. The second beer came out amazing, I'm super pleased with the taste.

My advice, FWIW, is to keep it simple and pitch onto the cake rather than washing first. Unless the first beer was super hoppy or high gravity or something special as already noted. This way it's very simple, less clean up, less handling so less risk of infection.

With the yeast that you remove from the fermentor, wash that and store that in the fridge. That way you get some practice at washing yeast without risking a batch of beer if you screw it up.
 

SGTSparty

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I have a similar question to the OP, I'm kegging a batch of a Bells Two Hearted IPA Clone tonight and I want to save the yeast since I harvested it from several bottles of Oberon. So my questions are these:
1) Can I still save the yeast if I dry hopped in the primary (used 1 oz of like 7.5% Centennial I believe) or did I basically screw myself there? (I didn't have an available vessel to transfer to as a secondary)
2) Do I need to wash the yeast since there will be a lot off Hop junk in there from dry hopping.
3) How many batches/jars do I split the yeast cake into (pre or post wash) and/or how do I use the calculator when I don't know how the amount of yeast I had to start with?

After looking at the sticky linked to above my understanding is:

1) Maybe? Not really addressed
2) Same
3) Based on the chart in the sticky about 3/4 Pint sized jars that will each contain about 30 Billion Cells per oz of settled slurry.

A) is this correct? B) can anyone answer 2 and 3?
 

DurtyChemist

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1. I reuse yeast for similar styles or whatever the manf. says it will work well for.
2. Yes. I typically make starters though.
3. Whole thing. Plenty of yeast washing threads here explaining it.

Harvesting from starters is much easier. You can either use calculators or flat rate save 500 mL each starter.
 

Likefully

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1) Can I still save the yeast if I dry hopped in the primary (used 1 oz of like 7.5% Centennial I believe) or did I basically screw myself there? (I didn't have an available vessel to transfer to as a secondary)
2) Do I need to wash the yeast since there will be a lot off Hop junk in there from dry hopping.
3) How many batches/jars do I split the yeast cake into (pre or post wash) and/or how do I use the calculator when I don't know how the amount of yeast I had to start with?
I think the dry hopping is only issue if you pitch onto a whole or half of yeast cake. I have used 4 heaped (as heaped as yeast slurry can get) table spoons of slurry and pitched that directly to the wort many times and it has worked fine. The point being that whatever hops is in 4 table spoons of slurry won't affect the beer.

I prefer now to make a starter with about the same amount of yeast, and recommend that way rather. don't clean the yeast, it kills some of it off, rather just make a starter and try get the yeast in the starter off the trub.
 

IslandLizard

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I have a similar question to the OP, I'm kegging a batch of a Bells Two Hearted IPA Clone tonight and I want to save the yeast since I harvested it from several bottles of Oberon. So my questions are these:
1) Can I still save the yeast if I dry hopped in the primary (used 1 oz of like 7.5% Centennial I believe) or did I basically screw myself there? (I didn't have an available vessel to transfer to as a secondary)
2) Do I need to wash the yeast since there will be a lot off Hop junk in there from dry hopping.
3) How many batches/jars do I split the yeast cake into (pre or post wash) and/or how do I use the calculator when I don't know how the amount of yeast I had to start with?

After looking at the sticky linked to above my understanding is:

1) Maybe? Not really addressed
2) Same
3) Based on the chart in the sticky about 3/4 Pint sized jars that will each contain about 30 Billion Cells per oz of settled slurry.

A) is this correct? B) can anyone answer 2 and 3?
We're not trying to hijack this thread... it IS related.
I've developed a procedure to separate yeast slurry from trub and hop matter. I've been using this method for about 6 months, with no ill effects so far.

Procedure:
  1. Shut off your air conditioning/heat pump.
  2. When racking the beer out of the fermentor, leave ample beer behind, at least 1 quart; 2 quarts is better (based on a 5-6 gallon batch).
  3. Sanitize the rim area thoroughly. Use a small Starsan soaked washcloth to clean and mop around.
  4. Squeeze the washcloth out well and dry off the excess Starsan around the outer rim area. This is to prevent drips from the outside of the fermentor contaminating your yeast slurry during transfer and handling. Use common sense regarding sanitation.
  5. Swirl the fermentor up really well and pour the yeast/trub slurry into a large sanitized glass container.
  6. Put a lid on it and shake really well, to break up larger clumps.
  7. Now pour that yeast/hop/trub slurry into a boiled and sanitized fine mesh nylon hop bag placed inside a large sanitized funnel over another large glass jar.
  8. Stick a sanitized soup spoon with the round side up into the funnel, underneath the bag, to create a vent, so it can drain.
  9. Cover the funnel/hop bag with a large sanitized lid, foil or plastic wrap so nothing drops in it.
  10. Let it drain. You can to squeeze the bag with a sanitized spoon from time to time to speed up drainage.
  11. When done, put a lid on your new slurry jar, shake to homogenize and divide over 2 or more smaller mason jars for refrigerated storage.*
  12. You may turn the air conditioner/heat pump on again.
* Alternatively you could let it all settle in the large jar first. Then decant and save some of the excess clear beer, cap, shake and split the slurry. Top each off with the saved decanted beer. Store in refrigerator.

Notes:
  • Utter sanitation practices will help prevent infection.
  • I use 1/2 gallon glass pickle jars to collect slurries from fermentors.
  • The lids from the pickle jars are great too. To create an extra barrier (lining), you could drape once- or twice-folded over sanitized plastic wrap over the jar's mouth, before screwing the lid back on.

I've reposted this procedure as it's own thread in this forum.
 
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