Harvested Yeast from secondary

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McCuckerson

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Hey everybody, I just made a cream ale and I had a ton of yeast fall out of it in the secondary. I was wondering if anyone had ever harvested the yeast from their secondary or only from the primary. The yeast looks so good and has very little junk in it unlike the trub in the primary. I just hate to throw usable yeast down the drain. Thanks!
 

Parker36

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You can harvest from secondary (see Yeast Washing Illustrated) and some even prefer it since it leaves out a bunch of the other non yeast junk.
 

Yooper

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Yes, you can, but it's not the preferred way. Even though it is "cleaner", it is also the laziest, least flocculant yeast, and probably the most stressed. The "other" yeast did it's job in the primary, and were left behind in the first yeast cake. It'll still work, but harvesting and washing from the primary tends to give the best yeast.
 

mmb

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The only issue with harvesting from secondary would be that your selecting yeast that is less flocculant than what would be from primary. Over the generations this might lead to problems if you keep the same strain for a while.
 

Saccharomyces

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I've done it, it worked fine, but I would recommend not repitching subsequent generations from it since there is a higher risk of contamination (beer has been racked and there are fewer yeast cells than in the primary cake).
 

Dougan

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Yeah, some people do it. I don't. I find that washing the stuff out of the primary isn't difficult.

Primary:
Pros- Healthy, viable yeast.
Cons- Contains all kinds of other crap that needs to be washed out.

Secondary:
Pros- More pure, less trub
Cons- Dormant/dead/strained yeast, and flocculant yeast has already been pulled out w/ primary
 
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