Generations yeast washing

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NicoleBrewer

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For those of you who yeast wash, how many generations do you usually do?


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kombat

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I only use 2-3.

My progression is usually dry/liquid yeast with starter for a relatively mild batch, say a batch of Centennial Blonde or a simple Pale Ale. I then simply collect the yeast cake in 4 Mason jars (no real washing) and store them in the fridge. I'll then pitch each one into another 5 gallon batch, usually an IPA or double IPA. After that, I figure the yeast is probably pretty well done (high gravity worts stress the yeast more) and "retire" them down the drain.
 

jnacey

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People are going to give different answers on this. I would recommend experimenting a little bit to see how whatever yeast strain you're using evolves in your brewery.

I agree with Kombat about the style of beer to harvest from. I think a decent rule of thumb is that you should harvest from a beer that started at 1.060 or below. A lower hopped beer also helps to minimize trub in the washed yeast. I've always used the washing technique outlined in the pictorial here on the forums. Its east and has worked well for me.
 

rekoob

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I only use 2-3.

My progression is usually dry/liquid yeast with starter for a relatively mild batch, say a batch of Centennial Blonde or a simple Pale Ale. I then simply collect the yeast cake in 4 Mason jars (no real washing) and store them in the fridge. I'll then pitch each one into another 5 gallon batch, usually an IPA or double IPA. After that, I figure the yeast is probably pretty well done (high gravity worts stress the yeast more) and "retire" them down the drain.
this is what I pretty much do now too, if i'm making pretty much the same beer I just leave the yeast cake in the carboy and rack the new batch on top. I used to keep a yeast bank in the freezer and step it up to what I needed. this is much easier to do and takes less time.
 

daksin

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This is going to depend primarily on your sanitation level. General rule of thumb is that you can take a strain out 10 generations without issue as long as all you have in there is yeast. It's easy to get contaminated somewhere along the way to g10. I have some 14th gen cali ale yeast in my fridge that's worked fine, but i'm not repitching it anymore.
 
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For yeast I've harvested from commercial bottles I went 3 and probably should have done 1. The normal yeast I've never gone more than 5 generations. I usually wash Private Collection Belgian yeast. They really get going around generation 3, then I let them go usually.
 

brettg20

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I harvest my yeast, on at least my 10th gen of 001....no problems whatsoever


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MindenMan

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I used to collect , or leave, the trub in the fermenter, and being new then, I kept losing more and more beer each batch. I then would take out some of the trub, and rinse out the yeast. Either I re used the yeast too much, or got an infection, or something, as my yeast started to over attenuate, and do things I didn't expect. Time for new yeast. I now use my yeast once, rinse from the trub, and use that as the "mother" to make starters. That way, the yeast always stays 2nd generation for every batch that is made, or to put it another way, I never re use the yeast cake/trub from any batch. Like any other step, sanitation is paramount to success.
 

genel41

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Any time I used a cake of yeast the beer always had a strong yeast taste . I onle use dry yeast now.
 

masonsjax

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I don't rinse yeast, but harvest either from the first batch, or from a large starter. Then I reuse the cake up to 10 times, dumping out a little of it with each successive batch to avoid over pitching. I repeat this whole process again and again. If the harvested yeast stays in the fridge for more than 6 months without being used to start a new series, I'll decant the beer and replace it with fresh wort. I always make a starter when beginning a new series.

I've only once had yeast get weird on me, S-04 that started producing too much of that fruity wine-like profile it's known for, but that was a lot of generations deep, and the beer was still plenty drinkable, just not what I expected. It could have been a temperature control problem too, not sure. Never any problems other than that. I have probably made 100+ batches from one pack of Pacman, and same with Kolsch. Yeast is too expensive to use only a few times, let alone only once.
 
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