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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: KCguy on April 03, 2019, 08:39:16 PM

Title: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: KCguy on April 03, 2019, 08:39:16 PM
Ive got my RO system setup and I want to begin harvesting yeast, but heard that RO water is a little acidic.  In fact, mine is testing out at ph9.  Is there any harm being done to the yeast if I use RO water to wash it with? 
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: narcout on April 03, 2019, 08:53:18 PM
Check this out:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19850.0
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: KCguy on April 03, 2019, 09:00:47 PM
I will read that right now, but I shouldve been clearer - I dont plan on rinsing, only adding some water to the trub/yeast cake so that it comes more easily out of the fermenter, rather than in globs and sloppy clumps.  Maybe later, after seperation, I might use a turkey baster to pull off the yeast suspension, and leave the trub behind.  But for now, just to salvage the cake, Im adding water to get it all out of the fermenter...
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Robert on April 03, 2019, 09:21:41 PM
Nope.  That's enough water to introduce all the problems with yeast rinsing.  Don't add water.  Plan ahead to leave enough beer behind to harvest the yeast.  Water + yeast = many detrimental effects to the yeast.  BTW there are significant negative effects of watering yeast not covered in that thread,  but it is an admirable thread indeed.

And don't be scared of a little trub carried over, even when you repitch the yeast.  It won't grow, only the yeast will.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: denny on April 03, 2019, 09:22:23 PM
I will read that right now, but I shouldve been clearer - I dont plan on rinsing, only adding some water to the trub/yeast cake so that it comes more easily out of the fermenter, rather than in globs and sloppy clumps.  Maybe later, after seperation, I might use a turkey baster to pull off the yeast suspension, and leave the trub behind.  But for now, just to salvage the cake, Im adding water to get it all out of the fermenter...

You're better off using beer than water.  That's advice from a friend who learned it at Siebel.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: denny on April 03, 2019, 09:22:48 PM
Nope.  That's enough water to introduce all the problems with yeast rinsing.  Don't add water.  Plan ahead to leave enough beer behind to harvest the yeast.  Water + yeast = many detrimental effects to the yeast.  BTW there are significant negative effects of watering yeast not covered in that thread,  but it is an admirable thread indeed.

And don't be scared of a little trub carried over, even when you repitch the yeast.  It won't grow, only the yeast will.

Great minds, buddy....
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: kramerog on April 03, 2019, 09:33:40 PM
I use Miller High Life Light to get the yeast out or whatever I have on hand to offer the non-craft drinkers.  I think the High Life Light will be 2 years old in August. 
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: MattyAHA on April 03, 2019, 09:40:08 PM
ok, to sum up everything i learned on this thread and other threads, do not wash yeast, do not add water, simply decant the slurry into a sanitized vessel trub and all with the beer, correct?
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: KCguy on April 03, 2019, 09:47:22 PM
I usually end up with about 5.25 g per batch, so that I get right about 48-54 bottles yield.  Are you saying to pull out less beer to bottle with, or add water to the cooled wort so that I end up with something like 5.5 gallons?   

Id prefer to simply pitch a new batch of wort directly onto the legacy cake/trub as many have advised, but my bottling days dont usually coincide with brewing days, so I doubt I'll ever be able to do that. 
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Robert on April 03, 2019, 10:00:30 PM
I plan my post boil volume so I'll leave enough beer behind after kegging to harvest the yeast, a good quart or two at least, but how much will be up to you.  Who advises pitching new wort onto the cake?  I've heard of it being done but bad idea.  You'll be way overpitching, and really carrying over a lot of trub, among other things.  Leave beer on the cake, swirl up and dump into a sanitized container,  when ready to pitch you can pour some of the beer off, swirl, let trub settle for a minute or two if you want, and pitch as much as needed.
 

You can also separate some trub at harvesting by letting it settle for a few minutes before pouring off into your container.   Since your yeast cake will be at least 4 times what you need to repitch, you can lose a bit at harvest and at repitching.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Robert on April 04, 2019, 01:52:56 AM


I use Miller High Life Light to get the yeast out ...

Hey, now the 40 oz makes sense....  Actually this sounds like a great tip.  Beer is beer in this application.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Richard on April 04, 2019, 04:48:27 AM
heard that RO water is a little acidic.
Technically, RO water is a perfect pH 7.0, which is the dividing line between acid and base, so it is neutral on that scale. What you may have heard is that it is corrosive, which is true. Another way to phrase it is that there are lots of things that will happily dissolve in pure water at a much faster rate than they dissolve in "normal" water.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Robert on April 04, 2019, 11:56:09 AM

Another way to phrase it is that there are lots of things that will happily dissolve in pure water at a much faster rate than they dissolve in "normal" water.

One problem with water in the context of this thread is that lots of things want to dissolve in any water.  But exposing yeast to any water will always present the situation of a lower level of dissolved solids outside the cell (water) than inside the cell.  This will cause the yeast to, in simplest terms, spill its guts, as the stuff inside tries to get into the water.  Rapidly turning inside out is of course not a pleasant thing for yeast any more than it would be for you.  The cell walls may not rupture instantaneously, so a minute or so of exposure right at pitching (if you really feel a desperate need to thin the slurry with water or separate trub at this point) may not seriously compromise the viability of the yeast crop, but any longer exposure or storage of yeast in anything other than beer will.  Thanks to ToddH for pointing this out on a recent thread.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 04, 2019, 01:26:03 PM
heard that RO water is a little acidic.
Technically, RO water is a perfect pH 7.0, which is the dividing line between acid and base, so it is neutral on that scale. What you may have heard is that it is corrosive, which is true. Another way to phrase it is that there are lots of things that will happily dissolve in pure water at a much faster rate than they dissolve in "normal" water.

If you expose distilled water to air, CO2 will difuse in, the carbonic acid formed drops the pH to about 6.5.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: denny on April 04, 2019, 03:01:11 PM
ok, to sum up everything i learned on this thread and other threads, do not wash yeast, do not add water, simply decant the slurry into a sanitized vessel trub and all with the beer, correct?

Exactly.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: MattyAHA on April 04, 2019, 05:33:21 PM
ok, to sum up everything i learned on this thread and other threads, do not wash yeast, do not add water, simply decant the slurry into a sanitized vessel trub and all with the beer, correct?

Exactly.
thats awesome, as i mentioned before on another thread i take the complicated approach to brewing just cause i think its fun, but yeast harvesting is a something i prefer to simplify as much as possible due to it being a living organism and improper handling can cause harm to my little friends, so this is great news and a lesson of high value for me and all brewers, thinking all this time i was washing my yeast thinking its beneficial when it was actually detrimental, cheers thank you
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: a10t2 on April 04, 2019, 09:32:56 PM
all this time i was washing my yeast thinking its beneficial when it was actually detrimental, cheers thank you

This seems like way too much clarity, so I'll muddy the waters...

Yeast "rinsing" using water is what this thread has been discussing as far as I can tell. Chemically washing yeast (generally using either chlorine dioxide or a strong acid) is entirely different and can be beneficial to culture health, though I don't think anyone bothers unless they're serially re-pitching out to 10+ generations.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: MattyAHA on April 04, 2019, 09:38:10 PM
all this time i was washing my yeast thinking its beneficial when it was actually detrimental, cheers thank you

This seems like way too much clarity, so I'll muddy the waters...

Yeast "rinsing" using water is what this thread has been discussing as far as I can tell. Chemically washing yeast (generally using either chlorine dioxide or a strong acid) is entirely different and can be beneficial to culture health, though I don't think anyone bothers unless they're serially re-pitching out to 10+ generations.
yes rinsing i meant not washing, thanks for clarifying
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: denny on April 04, 2019, 10:12:48 PM
all this time i was washing my yeast thinking its beneficial when it was actually detrimental, cheers thank you

This seems like way too much clarity, so I'll muddy the waters...

Yeast "rinsing" using water is what this thread has been discussing as far as I can tell. Chemically washing yeast (generally using either chlorine dioxide or a strong acid) is entirely different and can be beneficial to culture health, though I don't think anyone bothers unless they're serially re-pitching out to 10+ generations.

Thanks for saving me from even more of my usual pedantry
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 05, 2019, 02:22:26 AM
all this time i was washing my yeast thinking its beneficial when it was actually detrimental, cheers thank you

This seems like way too much clarity, so I'll muddy the waters...

Yeast "rinsing" using water is what this thread has been discussing as far as I can tell. Chemically washing yeast (generally using either chlorine dioxide or a strong acid) is entirely different and can be beneficial to culture health, though I don't think anyone bothers unless they're serially re-pitching out to 10+ generations.

Thanks for saving me from even more of my usual pedantry

I remember one time doing a tablet of water sanitizer used for hiking (chlorine dioxide based, IIRC) and it presumably worked well enough, but I just abandoned that as overkill.  Swirl it and dump it then reuse it soon. That has been my approach in recent years...YMMV of course and I don’t have a lot invested in a batch like the pros...
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: charlie on April 07, 2019, 01:03:52 AM

...  But exposing yeast to any water will always present the situation of a lower level of dissolved solids outside the cell (water) than inside the cell.  This will cause the yeast to, in simplest terms, spill its guts, as the stuff inside tries to get into the water.

In scientific terms RO and distilled water are hyopotonic solutions. The yeast cells will have a high osmotic gradient against this water, and that's not a good thing. A better option would be to use normal saline  (0.9% NaCL) which is isotonic (same ionic strength) as the cell contents.

Beer made with regular (isotonic) water is probably the best option (as long as it's sterile). But is any beer out there made with real water?

Charlie
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Robert on April 07, 2019, 02:15:12 AM


But is any beer out there made with real water?

Charlie

Thinking of making my beer with imaginary water.   For a dry finish.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: Richard on April 07, 2019, 05:22:35 PM


But is any beer out there made with real water?

Charlie

Thinking of making my beer with imaginary water.   For a dry finish.

And a complex flavor.
Title: Re: yeast washing with RO water?
Post by: charlie on April 15, 2019, 12:50:44 AM


But is any beer out there made with real water?

Charlie

Thinking of making my beer with imaginary water.   For a dry finish.

You know what I mean. Every brewery in this area (except Abita) uses RO water to which they add some CaSO4 and call it good. Abita uses baby butt soft artesian spring water (that's their hook!). Their understanding of brewing water chemistry is on about the 5th grade level!

Try a hoppy Abita brew and you'll see what I mean. No finish!

Charlie