Yeast Harvesting Question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Dec 4, 2007
Reaction score
Silver Spring, MD.
I was transferring my third batch to my secondary tonight and i figured i would try to harvest some yeast. I dont plan on using the yeast since my next watch is going to use different yeast, but i just wanted to see what was involved. Kind of like some practice. Anyway, i didnt have mason jars so i used a sterilized spaghetti jar and threw some watered down trub mixture in it. I threw it in the fridge and everything settled out. I had a hard time decanting the small amount of water off the top so i took my stainless steel turkey baster that has an injection tip and plunged into the yeasty part of the jar and sucked it up. I put it in a few white labs vials (of course sterilized). Anyway, is it acceptable to suck the yeast right out of the middle or do you have to decant the water off the top? Thanks.
you're supposed to add some sanitized water (boiled, cooled) to the yeast cake, then pour that into a half gallon sized container...let the trub settle, then decant that cloudy liquid to other jar(s). that's when you'll see the yeast come out in a nice light colored layer, just like a white labs vial contains.
Isnt there a link or a thread here that goes into detail about harvesting? Im wanting to start doing this also.
Yea i read all those good posts on it but i just wanted to see if sucking the yeast out was acceptable. I did get that nice layering effect after my spaghetti jar was in the fridge for a while. The stuff i sucked out and put into vials looks identical to a fresh WL vial. I am going to brew on friday so i might make a little test starter just to see what happens. Eventually, i would like to start freezing yeast but i need to find some glycerine i guess.
Gallon jugs make it easier. I usually add at least 1/2 gal of boiled and cooled water to the trub. I shake the hell out of it to get the yeast off of the trub.

I let it settle out for about 5 mins then tracnsfer to the second container/jug. Most of the heavy stuff will fall out that fast.

I'll wait another 5-10 mins for the remainder to fall out and transfer again.