Author Topic: Yeast washing and storage  (Read 3870 times)

Offline richnbad

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Yeast washing and storage
« on: September 04, 2016, 06:49:03 AM »
Are there any guidelines for the duration of storing washed yeast? Both manufactures say no more than 2 weeks. Is there a way to prolong this to 1-2 months?

Offline Oginme

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Re: Yeast washing and storage
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 07:35:33 AM »
I've stored rinsed yeast in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks and used it successfully.  The key is the health of the yeast (still white to cream colored) and the quantity.  If the quantity is low or the color starts to darken to tan, I have found it best to make a starter for the harvested yeast to replenish the cells which have died.  Before adding to a starter, I do a second rinse with sterilized water to get rid of some of the trub and dead yeast cells so that I am adding the healthier yeast to the starter.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Yeast washing and storage
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2016, 11:48:48 AM »
I have a friend who has not used a commercial yeast in over two years.  He has 7 different strains of wild yeast going.  His basic process is to take about two tablespoons of yeast from his sanitized mason jar and put it into a starter.  He then steps it up until he has enough to pitch.  He hasn't had any problems.  He's using yeast strains that are 3 to 4 years old in some cases.

I have a strain of wild yeast that I harvested two years ago in my wifes garden from a Russian Sage Bush (4 small flowers).  I still use it on about a 1/3 of my brews.  I have three other friends using it.  A local craft brewer is experimenting with it.

The rules I follow are:
If it starts to turn dark, throw it away.
If it causes the mason far lid to deform, throw it away.
Every once in a while, harvest new from the primary of a brew, to get a fresh group going.
Use boiled and sterilized jars whenever putting yeast into a new jar.
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.
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Offline enkamania

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Re: Yeast washing and storage
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 02:41:06 PM »
I used five month old yeast and it worked just fine. 

Offline Cheetos

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Re: Yeast washing and storage
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 04:09:49 PM »
I rarely ever buy yeast unless there is a new strain that I must have.  I have been washing and reusing the same yeasts for about 4 years now.  I have had success with some at almost the 2 year stage.  A starter takes a little longer to get going and a couple of steps will be needed but still good at 2 years.