Washing yeast from a re-used yeast cake

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Yankeehillbrewer

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So I've been doing some searching and posted this question in the washing sticky but no luck so far.

I've got an AB clone that's just about done,OG 1.071. I pitched it onto the yeast cake from the previous brew, a Brown with an OG of 1.050. I would now like to wash that yeast and store for upcoming brews. The yeast strain is Wyeast 1056 American Ale.

I know it will probably be a little stressed, but I think if I wash it real good I should get plenty of viable yeast.

What do you think? Thanks :mug:
 
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Yankeehillbrewer

Yankeehillbrewer

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SeamusMac

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I'd say go for it! I have a hard cider being made on a Wyeast 3068 cake from a friend's previous hard apple cider brew. The condition I agreed to in order to use the cake was that I had to wash the yeast afterwards so we could have a Hefeweizen brew-off! After that I'll probably pitch onto the Hefeweizen cake to get a 4th brew out of a single Wyeast Activator pack, which I didn't pay for :D
 

flyangler18

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With an OG of 1.071, I think you have seriously stressed and possibly mutated yeast. At the least, you may wind up with an unexpected flavor profile and at worst, a severely underattentuated beer. I'd still wash it and see.

What I've been advocating for a while is reserving a portion of your original starter and storing that for future propagation vs. simply washing and reusing yeast. This is closer to a pure strain that what is in the cake, and better for long-term yeast management.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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So flyangler,
What if one was brewing a 5 gal low-grav batch as a 'starter' for a big grav batch (like say; brewing a 1.047 Enkle for pitching the washed cake into a 1.090 Tripel). Do you still think it would be better to harvest from the first starter (the one for the Enkle) or from the Enkle cake (i.e. harvest a small amount and pitch the rest into the Tripel)? I can easily do either and I'm doing a pre-Tripel Enkle again this weekend.
 
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Yankeehillbrewer

Yankeehillbrewer

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With an OG of 1.071, I think you have seriously stressed and possibly mutated yeast. At the least, you may wind up with an unexpected flavor profile and at worst, a severely underattentuated beer. I'd still wash it and see.

What I've been advocating for a while is reserving a portion of your original starter and storing that for future propagation vs. simply washing and reusing yeast. This is closer to a pure strain that what is in the cake, and better for long-term yeast management.

yeah I think I'll just go ahead and wash it to see what happens. There's really no better way to answer my question than to experiment. I supposed I could do some testing with it using starters.
 

flyangler18

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So flyangler,
What if one was brewing a 5 gal low-grav batch as a 'starter' for a big grav batch (like say; brewing a 1.047 Enkle for pitching the washed cake into a 1.090 Tripel). Do you still think it would be better to harvest from the first starter (the one for the Enkle) or from the Enkle cake (i.e. harvest a small amount and pitch the rest into the Tripel)? I can easily do either and I'm doing a pre-Tripel Enkle again this weekend.

I think either way would be fine. I've just gotten myself in the habit of reserving a small amount of every initial starter I do for future propagation, or I streak slants and plates directly out of the smackpack or vial before pitching into the starter.
 

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