First starter from washed yeast questions

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Clonefarmer

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I washed yeast for the first time a few months ago. I used a method similar to the one in the wiki except I used iodophor solution to sanitize the jars. I can't remember what water I used but it was probably some I had boiled and kept in 1 gallon jugs for brewing that where also sanitized with iodophor.

Today I pulled out one of the mason jars for a starter it had clumps of white stuff floating in it so I dumped it. I opened another and it didn't have anything growing in it but I am still worried about using it or the other one I have left unopened.

1) Is the possible contamination caused by my not following the process in the wiki?

2) When I wash the yeast should I fill the jars up so there is no airspace?

3) If I make a starter with the jars that appear fine will I be able to spot an infection in the starter or will it not show up till late after fermentation?

4) Should I order more yeast and start over?
 

BuzzCraft

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1) Is the possible contamination caused by my not following the process in the wiki?


2) When I wash the yeast should I fill the jars up so there is no airspace?



3) If I make a starter with the jars that appear fine will I be able to spot an infection in the starter or will it not show up till late after fermentation?


4) Should I order more yeast and start over?

1) Uh...maybe, but probably not if it was just the iodophor you mentioned.
2) I haven't found it necessary.
3) Probably so...you should always taste the starter after it's fermented and if it tastes bad, don't use it. There's a chance something could still sneak by, I guess, but I haven't had any problems. I generally wouldn't go by how it looks, though (with some exceptions)
4) Depends on how the starter tastes and, perhaps just as importantly, how much you're going to worry about it!
 

rsmith179

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Whenever washing yeast, you always want to be as sanitary as possible. All of my glass jars were boiled for 15 minutes and then I used the water from the boil to throw in the bottom of the primary. This ensured that I was using not only clean jars, but also sanitized water when washing.

I try to keep the headspace down to a minimum as I don't know exactly when I'll be using the washed yeast. Not quite sure what the white stuff at the top was, but you were probably right in just dumping it and using another one. No need to risk 5 gallons of contaminated wort when using washed yeast.

In the future, just make sure that everything is sanitary. I can't stress that enough. Before making the starter, take a whiff of the washed yeast. Does it smell right? If not, dump it. Once your starter is ready to go, do another sniff test just to make sure the starter is also not contaminated.
 

Matt Up North

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I have a similar question and will hope not to hijack here.

I brought my yeast out to room temp, added some wort to it and it started to bubble but very slowly. I almost pitched it but got worried and so nixed the plan. Was I being over protective, it was working. I just didn't know how well.
 
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Clonefarmer

Clonefarmer

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I have a similar question and will hope not to hijack here.

I brought my yeast out to room temp, added some wort to it and it started to bubble but very slowly. I almost pitched it but got worried and so nixed the plan. Was I being over protective, it was working. I just didn't know how well.
They usually start off slow than ramp up. If you're not using a stir plate swirl the container when you walk by it to help the yeast get going.
 

Cookiebaggs

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All of my glass jars were boiled for 15 minutes and then I used the water from the boil to throw in the bottom of the primary. This ensured that I was using not only clean jars, but also sanitized water when washing.
Boiling also removes the oxygen. This along with cooling the water in the fridge makes sure that the yeast go to sleep until it's time to rouse them with a starter.
 

rsmith179

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Good point cookie! And that's something that I should have included in the post. The best part about not having oxygen in the water is that they will "go to sleep" and you can store this washed yeast much longer than you could if you were using un-boiled water. This comes in very handy once you have several different strains of yeasts and only use one or the other every few months. I have successfully started washed yeast more than 6 months after the initial washing with no negative effects to my beer such as lower floccuation, lower attenuation, etc...
 
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Clonefarmer

Clonefarmer

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Next time I wash yeast I will boil the jars with the water. I was thinking I could get away with the usual sanitation practices but now I realize I need to be extra careful when handling yeast for prolonged periods of time. I didn't know about the effect of removing oxygen till mentioned here.

Thank you :)
 
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Clonefarmer

Clonefarmer

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I opened up the last jar I had, it was moldy inside. That makes 2 out of 3 so I will make a starter with the safe looking jar to see what happens but I think a trip to the LHBS is in order. All the jars smelled good when I opened them.
 
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