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mt007432

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How many of you wash the yeast and use it for another batch? I've been reading a lot about it and was wondering if its worth it or not.
 

Mojzis

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I'd say that most do. I've been using one packet of US05 for my last 17 batches. I'm starting to work in my Sierra Nevada culture now to start over.

It really drops the cost of yeast to almost nothing.
 

reverendj1

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Yay another dry yeast washer. I wash my dry yeast too, although a lot of people on the boards seem to think it isn't worth the hassle for dry. It still saves like $2-$3 a batch, and then I can keep a stock on hand.
 

jww9618

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Do you make a starter with the washed yeast? If so, you're negating any potential savings.

Yay another dry yeast washer. I wash my dry yeast too, although a lot of people on the boards seem to think it isn't worth the hassle for dry. It still saves like $2-$3 a batch, and then I can keep a stock on hand.
 
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mt007432

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Mojzis said:
I'd say that most do. I've been using one packet of US05 for my last 17 batches. I'm starting to work in my Sierra Nevada culture now to start over.

It really drops the cost of yeast to almost nothing.
So is there a limit on usage? And do you make a starter all the time with that as well? I have just started to wash my yeast so I'm still not 100% familiar with it.
 

CastleHollow

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Do you make a starter with the washed yeast? If so, you're negating any potential savings.
Not if you make a starter with every batch anyway. Plus, you can use sterile wort from excess runnings off previous batches to save the cost of DME.
 

reverendj1

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Do you make a starter with the washed yeast? If so, you're negating any potential savings.
Yes. My dry yeast costs ~$4 a pack. I pay ~$12 for 3 lbs of DME. So the cost of DME per starter is like $.75. Like I said, I still save $2-$3 per batch, or $8-$12 per wash.
 

reverendj1

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So is there a limit on usage? And do you make a starter all the time with that as well? I have just started to wash my yeast so I'm still not 100% familiar with it.
I have commonly heard that yeast can go through 4-5 generations before it is mutated so that it is no longer the same yeast. I have also heard that it is viable for 6-12 months when washed, although if you go over 6 months, you may need to use two jars instead of one. I have not been doing it long enough to know first-hand though.
 

tre9er

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I save whole cakes. There is plenty of healthy yeast, even in the "dirty" layers of a yeast cake. I split them into 3-4 containers, usually, with each being plenty of yeast to pitch into a batch of equal size and gravity as that I harvested from.

I need to start saving wort runnings by sparging extra after preboil has been achieved so I can then boil them down for starters and thus further reduce any costs over using DME (although cheap itself).
 

CastleHollow

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I have commonly heard that yeast can go through 4-5 generations before it is mutated so that it is no longer the same yeast. I have also heard that it is viable for 6-12 months when washed, although if you go over 6 months, you may need to use two jars instead of one. I have not been doing it long enough to know first-hand though.
On a recent tour, I learned that Great Divide in Denver has five different yeast strains and use theirs through 11 generations. Although they are a professional brewery, I think it all comes down to technique. Yeast are pretty hardy critters if you take care of them.
 

Mojzis

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Do you make a starter with the washed yeast? If so, you're negating any potential savings.
If you brew proper, you should be making a starter with every batch. Not open vial and pitch. Unless you are buying dry. Still, when making starters from bought DME, you aren't using a pound of DME lol (3$). So its still much much less than buying.

I use some old a** extract I got for free currently. When I have no extract I use some extra runnings from previous batches.

So is there a limit on usage? And do you make a starter all the time with that as well? I have just started to wash my yeast so I'm still not 100% familiar with it.
Almost always use a starter, except when i'm lazy and scoop half a cup of slurry and pitch that. I try to stay around 4 generations. I've gone way past before though without any noticed side effects. Some days i'm too lazy to wash and either scoop and pitch, or scoop into jars for later. If I'm really lazy I just dump it out and use another jar of washed for the next batch.
 

tre9er

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Making beer comes down to what you're trying to make, yeast washing/pitching rates, etc. included. If you're going for a perfect replica of a certain beer every time, get really careful, controlled, detailed, exact processes and stick to them every time. If you are just trying to make something "good" to drink and are feeling lazy/willing to deal with slight inconsistencies in the beer, just do a little of this and a little of that. Really there are some hard-fast rules to follow, but beyond that you can make good beer without being OCD about it. Again, if you want EXCELLENT, repeatable, contest-winning beer, you might put more thought/effort into it, then.

Lazy-man's rule for harvesting/repitching: Swirl what's left in fermenter, pour into 4 sanitized jars, refrigerate with lid slightly loose for first few days, then vent and crank down lid. Pitch one of the 4 jars into your next similar-volume, similar-gravity batch, within a few months preferrably.
 
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