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Washing for people like me....

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petep1980

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I'm beginning to think I don't really understand washing. What I've been doing is this:

Boil 4 8-oz mason jars. Cool the water and pour it on the trub after I rack the beer. Then I swirl it around and pour that into a jug. Then from there I pour the yeast-water back into the mason jars, seal them up and wait for starter day.

What extra does that whole washing process do?
 

JJL

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Removes a lot of the trub from the yeast. In the bottom of your fermenter you have a lot more than just yeast. It makes it "cleaner".
 

mtbiker278

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From what I understand it separates a majority of the trub/hop debris from the yeast. Aside from that I'm not really sure, maybe dilutes out whatever leftover sugars there are soe the yeast go dormant?
 

Jawbox0

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I think that's all there really is to yeast washing. The main thing is to let the trub settle out some in between every vessel transfer.
 

JJL

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I think that's all there really is to yeast washing. The main thing is to let the trub settle out some in between every vessel transfer.
That's pretty much it. You are trying to pull suspended yeast into the clean vessel with each transfer and leave the rest of the "stuff" behind.
 

shamrockdoc

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you should really watch the video.EDIT: This sounds a$$hole-y What I'm meaning to say is that I thought it was this super hard and time consuming thing. Found this video and changed the way I wash. Helped me out is all I'm saying.
 
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petep1980

petep1980

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I always got the idea if I plan to use it in similar batches then washing them isn't that important.
 

shamrockdoc

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I alternate in the same bucket. You are correct though, I need to really start doing that.

I basically make only two kind of beer. APAs and Pilsners. I could have a bucket designated for each one.
There you go. I've heard so many debatable threads on the +/- of this. Eff it try it then you decide! DEMOCRACY!
 
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petep1980

petep1980

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There you go. I've heard so many debatable threads on the +/- of this. Eff it try it then you decide! DEMOCRACY!
Here's a question. My basement is 60°F at it's coolest. Do you think letting a yeast cake of 2124 wyeast pilsner sit at those temps for some months would be detrimental?
 

shamrockdoc

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Hmmm I would say yeah. Yeast cakes might need to be used within like 24 hrs. I dunno this is a good experiment.
 

Jawbox0

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Here's a question. My basement is 60°F at it's coolest. Do you think letting a yeast cake of 2124 wyeast pilsner sit at those temps for some months would be detrimental?
I think you're going to lose lots of viability quickly at those temps. If you want to keep it longer, and don't want to go through all the washing steps, you can just sanitize a mason jar, dump the cake in trying to get out all the air, and seal it to put just the cake into refrigeration. The closer you can get it to 32F, the longer it will stay viable.

If you kept it for months at 60F, you'd probably still be able to get away with a starter.
 
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petep1980

petep1980

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I think you're going to lose lots of viability quickly at those temps. If you want to keep it longer, and don't want to go through all the washing steps, you can just sanitize a mason jar, dump the cake in trying to get out all the air, and seal it to put just the cake into refrigeration. The closer you can get it to 32F, the longer it will stay viable.

If you kept it for months at 60F, you'd probably still be able to get away with a starter.
Gotcha.
 

tekknoschtev

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Yeast washing is significantly easier than I ever expected it to be. After the layers start settling out in the main jug (and later in the jars, depending on how careful you are), pouring off the yeast in solution is really easy. The trub/debris that we don't want seemed to be much thicker and harder to pour off than I expected. Made it really easy!

Give it a try, worst case scenario is you can't use whatever you poured off, but 16 jars with lids were only $8 and some change so the cost of failure was low (and my brother and I want to make pickles this spring so we needed them anyway).
 
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