Author Topic: Washing Yeast  (Read 5632 times)

Offline Fortunete11er

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Washing Yeast
« on: February 22, 2016, 11:44:29 AM »
New Brewer here.  I am looking to wash my yeast to save some money....I have read and watched some video's on how to do it, how long it is good for etc.  My question is this and its probably stupid but.....All the video's show the individual seperating the yeast from the gunk and beer, usually gunk on bottom, yeast in middle, then beer.  They then pour this off and either store it then or do another round of washing and pour off the yeast into a steril container.  My question is, would it not be better to use a siphon of some sort to get the yeast out and into a container rather than pour it off, or is that bad.......asking since I have not seen anyone do this, they always pour it off.

Offline arctic78

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 02:18:32 PM »
 I have just started washing yeast myself and i have been doing it by pouring from fermentor to sterile  jars let it settle a bit then pour of again . This has been working great. i am only guessing here but i would think that a siphon is just one more thing to to sterilise and complicate things.
But It could also be a very good way of doing it and if you try it i would be very interested to know how it goes.

Offline bobo1898

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 02:42:20 PM »
My question is, would it not be better to use a siphon of some sort to get the yeast out and into a container rather than pour it off, or is that bad.......asking since I have not seen anyone do this, they always pour it off.

I assume you mean after the yeast and trub are separated? I don't see why you couldn't use a syphon at that point. I know for myself, it's more convenient to pour it off. I guess it's just faster for me. I move my yeast and trub into large mason jars where they will separate. My syphon is much much larger than those vessels and it just doesn't make sense for me to do that. Are you talking about separating the two in your fermenter and then syphoning? Because that, I imagine, would be much easier than trying to pour off a carboy/bucket.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 06:00:40 PM »
I can't imagine siphoning improving the result at a homebrew level.  As stated earlier in this thread, it only would add a level of threat of contamination. 

At the professional level, they have the ability to pull the trub out through the bottom of the fermenting vessel and discard and then pull the good yeast out from the bottom as well.

There is a PDF on harvesting yeast at the homebrew level on my website below.  Or you can go directly to it with this link. https://creativebrewing.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/harvesting-and-rinsing-yeast.pdf

By the way, using containers to let the yeast, trub and beer settle out in layers to harvest yeast is called "Yeast Rinsing".  "Yeast Washing" is going a step further and using chemicals to kill off everything else, to leave just a pure yeast strain.  "Yeast Washing" is not really necessary for the most part in homebrewing or small craft breweries.  "Yeast Washing" is used by professionals when trying to isolate a particular strain of yeast.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 06:04:21 PM by Scott Ickes »
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Offline twhitaker

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 01:28:39 PM »
 I re-use yeast but have never washed it. I've seen lots of ways to do it. Some contradict each other about which layer is the yeast once water is added and it's mixed up and allowed to settle. I feel if you have no trub in your fermentor, you can pour off the yeast sediment at the bottom, keep in a sanitized mason jar in the fridge, and make starters with a few ounces of it. Or pour about half a pint directly in your new batch if you haven't had it saved for longer than 3 months. I found after a brew such as an IPA with high alpha acids and/ or dry hops, don't re-use yeast from that. They get severely weakened.
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Offline enkamania

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2016, 10:01:35 AM »
This is how I do it, simple method and it works.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=519995

Offline bobo1898

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2016, 03:31:23 PM »
This is how I do it, simple method and it works.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=519995

Interesting. Have you noticed any flavor properties carrying over in your beers? That's assuming you sometimes use the same yeast for a different style/recipe.
PRIMARY
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ON DECK
   Wild Ale on Blackberries w/ Champagne yeast
   BA Sour Kolsch w/ Cherries
   Belgian Quad
SERVED/STILL ENJOYING
   Peach Cider
   Patersbier
   Wild Ale with Champagne yeast
   BA Espresso Milk Stout
   BA RIS
   BA RIS w/ bannanas, cinammon, almonds
   BA Gldn Strong

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2016, 04:19:44 PM »
To spend less money on yeast, I try to do back-to-back brews when I can.  I'll brew a batch of ale (most if my ales are in the 1.040 O.G. range), then two weeks later I start another. On brew day I will rack the prior beer, save a big scoop of sludge, then use that to start the next batch. I use dry yeast (usually Fermentis Safale US-05), so the first one takes a few days to get going. Subsequent batches take off like a rocket. Full krausen in a day or two.

I've done this for four or five times in a row without any signs of infection.

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Offline twhitaker

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Re: Washing Yeast
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2016, 04:48:35 PM »
+1 Maine homebrewer
That is similar to what I do. Otherwise, I  always make darker and stronger beers with saved yeast so as to have as little effect as possible, and end with an IPA or similar brew of high hop bitterness / alpha acid, or  from dry hopping. I have found the yeast is not desireable or reliable after ultra high hop exposure. Once I brewed a batch of munich helles  up before the fermentor ( 60 ltr spiedel with 46 liters in it- 12 us gals) was emptied. I kegged off the fermented one while the next batch was cooling in the BK then transferred the new cooled wort right on top of the yeast (bed or yeastcake).   It works flawlessly, I use  saflager S23 or W34/70 from dry but make a good starter 36 hours prior.  Fermented at - 50- 60f sometimes as cold as 45f. For my trappist Quad ale  I use the WL 500- Monestary  Ale liquid yeast, and when I finish with the  batch I pour off some swirled yeast sediment into  the saved sanitized vial, so it's replenished  and ready to go.About one inch of sediment, the rest beer.  I love those vials for this. expensive though but saving yeast helps reduce the cost of it.
On tap: 1/2keg cream ale with corn grits
             1/4 keg-  Trappist Quad Ale w/ oak
Day 10 primary: West Coast I.P.A. with homegrown columbus hops 46 liters