General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

reusing yeast question

(1/6) > >>

I have a beer ready to keg and I am brewing a new batch either Sunday or Saturday night.
I know people pitch right on top of the old yeast cake but I just don't like the idea of putting a fresh batch of beer
into a crusty carboy. I read some things about rinsing yeast and am thinking of giving it a try.
My plan was to
Boil a some water, with a jar in the water to sanitize it.
chill the water in the jar
pour water onto yeast cake.
transfer back to jar
and let it settle out.
If I do this do I need to make a starter or will there be enough yeast in suspension?
I also am curious if this would lead to over or under pitching.
I am brewing an average gravity stout.

Check out the thread about saving your yeast in ZipLock baggies which are sanitized from the factory (Crispy started the thread).  No mason jars, no boiling, really easy.  Plus, your first beer was then your "starter" so likely you'll have plenty of yeast for repitching (unless you're doing an absolute monster beer).  For an average gravity stout, no problem.  I've never rinsed my yeast and have reused it 3-4 times with no detectable off flavors this way.  I've also tried fermenting right on the old yeast (in the crusty carboy) and I wasn't quite as happy with the results.  There are as many ways to brew as there are brewers--isn't this a great hobby?

I'm not a huge fan of pitching directly on a yeast cake for a number of reasons, one being the number of dead cells that you carry over that could cause head retention problems. Except in the case of extremely high gravity beers it is best to pitch only a part of the slurry. See the pitching cal at to get an idea how much yeast you need.

The ziplock baggie is a great idea - however the mason jar will give you a measurement in millimeters or cups so that you can more accurately measure the slurry.

I used to use your method of boiling water in the jar to sanitize and loosen the yeast. However now I just sanitize the jar with star san and leave enough beer in the bottom of the fermenter to swirl the yeast and dump it into the jar.

You will not need to make a starter if the yeast is fresh.

Just a thought....why not pitch it right on top of that cake?

Isn't there still beer in the fermenter protecting the cake? Isn't the carboy still sanitary inside?

It is an ugly idea to wrap your head around but it works!

I mean if you've got a Pliny Clone in there or something or a 12% BW maybe not...but if we are talking a reasonable ale you might give it a try. Back when I was brewing at a larger facility with walk in fridges we would save the carboy's with a few inches of beer in them and then drain...swirl and re-pitch all the time. Made some good batches that way.

I've had inconsistent results from going directly on a yeast cake. YMMV.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version