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How long after racking can I havest?

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Magnum25

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Looking to try to harvest my first yeast. Waiting on my mason jars, they will be here tomorrow, I racked the beer 3 days ago, so it will be 4 days since racking the beer. I closed the lid an put it in the fridge for the primary. Is it ok to harvest tomorrow or should I just wait until my next batch to expiriment. I am not worried about cost, just looking to broaden my brewing capabilities. Any feedback would be appreciated!
 

tally350z

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You will be fine. I have waited a week while the yeast cake sat in the carboy. Washed and made a starter, and it took off nicely..
 

william_shakes_beer

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The goal is to minumize the likelyhood that bacteria or wild yeast will colonize your cake. Putting it in the frige, installing an airlock, covering it, and harvesting as soon as practical all assist in reaching that goal.
 
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Magnum25

Magnum25

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The items are coming in the mail tomorrow, so it will be over 1 week since racking. I've decided to just dump the cake. There will be many more times to work on harvesting going forward and I don't want to waste a batch on infection.
 

pjj2ba

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You're still good. The critical factor is how long was your fermenter open? And by open, I mean open such that any contamination could fall in. Assuming a pail, if the lid was cracked open, but sitting on top, it is unlikely anything can get in. Now if you set the lid off to the side for a while, that is something different.

One key to sterile technique is to handle all the various vessels in a way to minimize to opportunity for anything to fall in - and work in a still air environment so nothing can come in side ways. So if you take your pail lid off, hold it over the bucket while you pour the yeast off. Another way to think of it, is that it is raining microbes (actually it is) and you need an umbrella of some sorts to keep the rain (microbes) out
 
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