Technique for harvesting yeast from bucket fermenter

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Spivey24

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Hey all,
I typically overbuild starters and save half. But I want to harvest some yeast from a really good Pilsner this time. I use Anvil stainless bucket fermenters. I’ve read plenty and watched videos but it never works well for me.
Does anyone have a good technique for harvesting from a bucket fermenter like the anvil? I know a lot of people don’t stress and don’t care to separate out the yeast much but I want to do a pretty clean Pilsner and want to start as clean as possible with the pitch.
 

marc1

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Hey all,
I typically overbuild starters and save half. But I want to harvest some yeast from a really good Pilsner this time. I use Anvil stainless bucket fermenters. I’ve read plenty and watched videos but it never works well for me.
Does anyone have a good technique for harvesting from a bucket fermenter like the anvil? I know a lot of people don’t stress and don’t care to separate out the yeast much but I want to do a pretty clean Pilsner and want to start as clean as possible with the pitch.
Overbuilding starters works great. Saving half seems like you are losing a lot of your starter - either you're not making a big enough starter for your lager or you are saving way more than necessary.

But if you're set on saving from the fermenter...

Do you want to reuse right away, or save for later? If you are reusing right away, you can scoop out half of the cake or so and then add your wort for the next batch right back into the fermenter. You can even do it without taking any yeast out. If you don't remove yeast, I would recommend not reusing after the first repitch onto the whole cake. My understanding is that it won't be as healthy for future beer.

If you want to save for later, scoop it out into a sanitized mason jar and cover it with beer dregs from the fermenter. Loosely screw on a lid (the plastic ones are great for this) and keep it in the fridge.
 

9Kegs

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The wide mouth mason jars with the plastic lids work great. Give your fermenter a good swirl and carefully pour into the jars. I harvest a gallon of slurry off a 10 gallon batch and usually brew within a week.
 

odie

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My bucket harvest method is to rack all the beer first, I only have maybe 1/2 pint remaining in the bucket. I then swirl the bucket to break up the yeast cake. If needed I use a clean spatula or other large utensil to break up any stubborn chunks until it's a nice smooth slurry. I place a SS sink strainer over the mouth of a mason jar to catch any chunks of what ever (cacao nibs, oaks chips, whole hops, etc). I then pour that slurry into mason jars and save.

I prefer to use several 1/2 pint jars so that I have multiple yeast harvests from a single batch. That way, if any jars get contaminated I have extras. You can put it all in one big jar but then all your eggs are in one basket.

I also strain all my wort from kettle to fermenter so my ending yeast cake is VERY clean.
 
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