Storage of washed yeast

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jbritt

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I am about to start washing/storing/reusing yeast for the first time. I've read a lot of different opinions on maximum storage times and usages which seem pretty variable. It seems like the consensus is it depends on the strain in most cases. I am curious if anyone has experimented by splitting a batch and seeing what the results are. I don't think Brulosophy has attempted this yet as far as I can tell. Also, is there a storage technique besides mason jars that would potentially keep the yeast fresher? Maybe a specific type of vial?
 

Sammy86

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I am about to start washing/storing/reusing yeast for the first time. I've read a lot of different opinions on maximum storage times and usages which seem pretty variable. It seems like the consensus is it depends on the strain in most cases. I am curious if anyone has experimented by splitting a batch and seeing what the results are. I don't think Brulosophy has attempted this yet as far as I can tell. Also, is there a storage technique besides mason jars that would potentially keep the yeast fresher? Maybe a specific type of vial?

I'm probably going to get roasted for this response but frankly I don't care...i literally used to store my yeast in an old pickle jar that was washed thoroughly and santized before putting the yeast in. For ale yeasts I wouldn't even use a vitality starter just dump it in...only had a problem once of fermentation not taking off...

My wife got tired of me using all the pickle jars and invested in masons and I don't have any problems 6-12 months later with vitality starters.
 

crazyjake19

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I've always used pint mason jars with the white plastic reusable lids. Some of my yeast has sat in the keezer for 6 months, and kicked right back up with a fresh starter. I just make sure to keep everything well sanitized, and keep the harvested yeast cold.
 

McMullan

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Why wash yeast? When you've got a commercial slurry worth potentially $$$s you might want to wash yeast, if it gets infected but remains recoverable. Is there a problem with your beer or brewing process that makes you believe you need to wash yeast? A crude comparison between washing and not has a very good chance of promoting beliefs based mainly on biases driven by ignorance and lady luck. And a dash of Brulosophy's own brand of digital superstition encouraging home-brew lore. I have actually done real scientific experiments in a controlled lab environment. Unless alcohol levels are very high, store brewer's yeast in beer and save yourself a lot of faffing about for no apparent reason. Beer is a great medium for brewer's yeast generally. As close to ideal conditions for storing brewer's yeast as most home brewers are going to get, in reality. A kind of home-brewed buffer for yeast storage. WTF pour it down the drain? If alcohol levels are very high, don't store brewer's yeast for reuse, dump FV slurry and prep fresh yeast. Why take chances and risk sacrificing a beer - brew day, its preparation and clean up and the time invested in fermentation?
 
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Miraculix

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Why wash yeast? When you've got a commercial slurry worth potentially $$$s you might want to wash yeast, if it gets infected but remains recoverable. Is there a problem with your beer or brewing process that makes you believe you need to wash yeast? A crude comparison between washing and not has a very good chance of promoting beliefs based mainly on biases driven by ignorance and lady luck. And a dash of Brulosophy's own brand of digital superstition encouraging home-brew lore. I have actually done real scientific experiments in a controlled lab environment. Unless alcohol levels are very high, store brewer's yeast in beer and save yourself a lot of faffing about for no apparent reason. Beer is a great medium for brewer's yeast generally. As close to ideal conditions for storing brewer's yeast as most home brewers are going to get, in reality. A kind of home-brewed buffer for yeast storage. WTF pour it down the drain? If alcohol levels are very high, don't store brewer's yeast for reuse, dump FV slurry and prep fresh yeast. Why take chances and risk sacrificing a beer - brew day, its preparation and clean up and the time invested in fermentation?
Thanks, now I don't have to write that :p
 

madscientist451

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I used to wash yeast, using a method I saw in a you tube video. Then I heard some knowledgeable people (can't remember who) say that you are more likely to contaminate your yeast by washing it and its better to just re-use the slurry.
These days I build an extra large starter when I get new yeast and pitch 1/2 to 2/3 of it into the beer and save the rest for my yeast bank. If I'm doing back to back brews, I'll re-use the yeast cake/slurry but I try to keep my yeast bank stash "clean" or never having touched actual batches of beer.
Not washing my yeast works for me, but your results may be different.
:mug:
 

GrowleyMonster

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The yeast in my current batch is 4th generation from the original packaged yeast. I don't wash. I tried it once. Meh. just extra work for nothing. I don't understand why anybody thinks washing has any benefit. At least 2/3 of my batches were pitched with harvested yeast and I never wash.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Then I heard some knowledgeable people (can't remember who) say that you are more likely to contaminate your yeast by washing it and its better to just re-use the slurry.

Yeah, the sticky thread on this forum was enough to convince me to try harvesting yeast without washing (really "rinsing"..."washing" yeast is a process that involves an acid solution): Simple Yeast Storage Procedure with Photos
 
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Based on the writer of the OP having 17 posts, I am thinking that he/she may not be aware that there are two different methods here ... 1) saving yeast slurry from the trub and leftover beer when a transfer is done, versus, 2) the rinsing of the beer away from the slurry by "washing" it with boiled, cooled water and saving that. With one you have a slurry of beer, yeast and trub, and with the other the slurry has less beer, replaced with purified water, but still with yeast and trub. The general opinion here seems to be "just save it with the leftover beer." I agree with that and also with the idea that it will be good for 6 months or more. Just thinking out loud.
 

z-bob

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I just saved the trub from a porter I brewed 2 weeks ago because it's a yeast I haven't used before. It was a porter (so dark strong-tasting beer) and has a lot of grain dust, cold break protein, and a little bit of hops trash. I'm thinking of rinsing it, mainly so it will fit in a pint jar instead of a quart, and to get rid of the strong-flavored trub. But maybe I can just repitch it as-is in a less assertive (but not really light) beer next time and then save that...
 

GrowleyMonster

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I just saved the trub from a porter I brewed 2 weeks ago because it's a yeast I haven't used before. It was a porter (so dark strong-tasting beer) and has a lot of grain dust, cold break protein, and a little bit of hops trash. I'm thinking of rinsing it, mainly so it will fit in a pint jar instead of a quart, and to get rid of the strong-flavored trub. But maybe I can just repitch it as-is in a less assertive (but not really light) beer next time and then save that...
Or make a clean DME based starter, with just a little scoop of your trub. That will cut the trash way way down.
 

odie

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I strain all my wort thru a 200 micron bucket strainer before it hits the fermenter. The resulting yeast cake is so clean there is no reason to "wash" the yeast. Just swirl up the trub and dump it into 2 or 3 half pint mason jars. done.
 
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