Yeast washing questions

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:


Active Member
Dec 28, 2013
Reaction score
I've dove through most of the yeast washing threads on this site and finally decided to give it a try.

I poured 2 quarts into my fermenter. Waited 20 minutes and thought I could see the seperation of darker trub. Lighter yeast and a small line of beer.

I used my racking cane to siphon from just the middle section and came up with 2 quart size jars of milky looking fluid.

I put these in the fridge for 20 mins and I cannot see much seperation Not the 3 stages that I've read about.

I have a few questions. First off. About how much yeast developes during fermentation? I made a 1liter starter. From that could 2 quarts of yeast develop?

I also use bags for my grains and hops so I rarely have any trub in the brew pot. The cold/hot break goes straight into the fermenter because I can never seem to siphon around it.

My brews generally end up with about a inch to an inch and a half of cake at the bottom regardless.

Since I used the racking cane instead of pouring is it possible that I only siphoned yeast and therefore have no trub in my jar and do not need to wash from the jar?

Also this brew got left behind for a whole and sat in the fermenter for 65 days. Could that effect the yeast or the wash yield?

The yeast is wlp001. American ale


Well-Known Member
May 21, 2011
Reaction score
Medford, Wisconsin
You may have taken off almost pure yeast that was in suspension. I will guess that you will end up with about a total 225 ml of yeast after a week in the frig.
Can't answer the question of how much yeast is propagated during a fermentation, but I will usually end up with about 375 ml of compacted yeast from an average beer.
The 65 days in the fermentor just means the yeast cake was more compact. Yield of cells would remain the same.

I no longer rinse yeast by adding boiled and cooled water to the fermentor. I leave a little beer in the fermentor. Swirl the cake with the beer. Lay carboy on side, blocked from rolling, and the bottom raised with a block. Mixture comes up to the neck of the carboy. I pour off one quart of the mixture when I see a line of clearing beer at the surface. One quart is nearly the total volume which remained in the carboy.
I strain hop debris which also removes most of the break material so there is very little trub in the harvested yeast.

I hope this has helped with most of your questions.