Quantcast

can you wash wine/mead yeast?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
I mostly make beers, and know the rules of washing and re-using beer yeast.

But, what about wine or mead yeast?

specifically, the wyeast sweet mead yeast?

I just racked to secondary and have a cake I'm going to try to wash.

I didn't know if it was a good idea, considering the increased stress on the yeast due to much higher ABV levels and the lack of nitrogen and nutrients in honey as compared to beer.

Is it worth washing and using a second time?
 
OP
malkore

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
57 views, no hits.

I take it no one knows for sure?
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
3,511
Reaction score
35
Location
Anchorage
from what I've read no... but I'll let someone with a reason chime in and say.
 
OP
malkore

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
let me further quantify my question.

I brewed a final ABV 12% mead with Wyeast sweet mead yeast. I still have the washed yeast in my fridge.

If no one can say for sure, I may do a 1 gallon experimental batch with this yeast. perhaps there's a threshold that can be approximated..."don't re-use if the ABV was over X%" or something.
 

Arneba28

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
18
Location
Amherst
you got to a 12%abv with Wyeast Sweet Mead. I have a batch of braggot going right now still in primary(day 3). Desk guy at local store said that most likely I would only get to 8-9% and should finish it off with champagne yeast. trying to make a monster 15%abv
 

Patwik101

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Placerville
I am looking for the same answer right now myself. I just attempted making some Spiced Apple Wine. I was hoping to attempt to save the strain of yeast by washing and maybe use it again. I assume the same steps are the same for washing the yeast for beer and wine are the same. I've read about making wine starters too. But after washing it, can you use the same steps in making the starter as you do in beer ?
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,474
Reaction score
12,098
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I am looking for the same answer right now myself. I just attempted making some Spiced Apple Wine. I was hoping to attempt to save the strain of yeast by washing and maybe use it again. I assume the same steps are the same for washing the yeast for beer and wine are the same. I've read about making wine starters too. But after washing it, can you use the same steps in making the starter as you do in beer ?
the issue with reusing wine yeast is that wine generally has a pretty high ABV- and alcohol is toxic to yeast. So the yeast would be pretty stressed and not in the best of health to reuse.

Dry yeast strains are very cheap (under 60 cents for some strains) so I would buy new before I'd attempt to reuse stressed, alcohol-affected, yeast.
 

Patwik101

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Placerville
Thank you for the input Yooper. So, that being said. If someone makes a batch of wine using natural yeast that ferments the batch. There is no way to save it for later use ? I'd assume no sense the yeast would be stressed and tired from the above mentioned reasons ?
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,048
Reaction score
1,590
Location
Saratoga Springs
Wine makers typically don't re-use their yeast not least because as Yooper says dried yeast is pretty inexpensive and you are pretty confident that any package you open is going to open will produce a viable and healthy colony. But folk who make lemon wine (Skeeter Pee) from concentrated lemon juice typically do re-use the slurry (without washing) as their starter, not least because they know that they have a viable colony of yeast that is already tolerant of high acidic liquor (pH around 3.5). And I am planning on making use of the yeast from a bottle of traditionally made t'ej (Ethiopian honey mead) as my starter for a new batch of t'ej, but then I specifically want to use this strain of wild yeast which IMO is not likely to be found in my neck of the USA.
Long story short: can you ? Probably. Should you? Why?
 

GalvinBrew

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
If you can supply the yeast with nutrients and oxygen, you should be able to revitalize your culture. The healthy yeast will also eat away the dead yeast. So from a lab perspective (I work in a lab) I think you should be able to re-use your liquid yeast. If it tastes good is another question.
 
Top