Author Topic: Reusing yeast  (Read 4412 times)

Offline hulkavitch

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Reusing yeast
« on: September 27, 2012, 05:08:34 PM »
I am just finishing up fermenting an american hefe with a kolsch yeast. I was thinking about doing a kolsch next and reusing the yeast.

How do i go about it? Can i just rack on to the slurry?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 05:34:50 PM »
While that may work OK, you're probably better off going to mrmalty.com or using some other yeast calculator to determine the actual volume of slurry that you need for the beer you're going to brew. Using the full cake will probably be a big overpitch for a Kolsch.
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Offline thomasben

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 06:40:04 PM »
Should be fine. You won't over pitch

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 04:44:41 AM »
It's easy enough to just harvest the yeast (trub and all) in a gallon ziplock bag and then pitch about half of it, if pitching within 2 weeks of harvest.  That way you can clean the fermenter.  Now, whether the yeast is appropriate for a Kolsch is another question entirely...but it started as a Kolsch yeast, so it should be good to go.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 04:46:19 AM by ynotbrusum »
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 07:24:59 AM »
If you've never done it and you're worried about sanitation or think it's too complicated, go ahead and pitch onto the cake.  It should be fine although you are most likely over-pitching.

However, ynot is correct that you're better off pouring it out into a sanitized container and pitching only a portion of the cake.  I use Rubbermaid plastic beverage containers, but a gallon zip lock sounds like it should work fine.

If you want to pour it into a jar or tupperware you can also try your hand at washing it.

Better to ferment in a clean carboy (or bucket) than one that has all the residue of the past batch.
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Offline Pi

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 05:40:52 AM »
It's easy enough to just harvest the yeast (trub and all) in a gallon ziplock bag and then pitch about half of it, if pitching within 2 weeks of harvest.  That way you can clean the fermenter.  Now, whether the yeast is appropriate for a Kolsch is another question entirely...but it started as a Kolsch yeast, so it should be good to go.
Never thought of using a Ziploc bag. Is it sanitary right out of the box or do you need to rinse?
Pitching onto the entire cake is WAY over pitching. It's better to start off with a small amount of healthy yeast thanhaving allot of tired/half-spent yeasties. Use Mr Malty. If you are going to reuse the carboy, first spray the stopper/airlock area with some sanitizer or Grain alcohol and dump 2/3 or 3/4ths of the slurry out.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 05:21:50 AM »
Reusing yeast is pretty easy.  You just need to get over the hump! 

Find a suitable storage container.  Boiled Mason Jars are a common pick.  I use Iced Tea containers.  I bleach the crap out of them and then rinse VERY well with hot water.  Give the fermenter a swirl after racking to stir up the cake and pour in to the container.  Place in the fridge and let everything settle out over night.  I'll then decant off the beer and add distilled water.  You can also wash the yeast at this point by transferring to a new container.  I find this tedious and overly burdensome for my purposes. 

Anyway, I would add 1/3-1/2 container to the new beer depending upon how long the slurry has been in the fridge.  Check the mrmalty viability calulator and go from there with 1/3 being 90-100% viability.

Dave
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 06:35:11 AM »
I would add, make sure to put a piece of tape on the container with date and strain.

Otherwise, you might wind up with a whole bunch of mystery yeast.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 06:58:09 AM »
I would add, make sure to put a piece of tape on the container with date and strain.

Otherwise, you might wind up with a whole bunch of mystery yeast.

+100!  I also include the previous style so I know what the gravity was and IBUs.

Dave
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 07:13:52 AM »
Like Joe said, you may try washing the yeast.  I just started doing this and have had great results.  Here's a link I used to get me going:  http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing
 
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Offline guido

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 07:17:55 AM »
Like Joe said, you may try washing the yeast.  I just started doing this and have had great results.  Here's a link I used to get me going:  http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing

+1 on the billybrew.com!
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2012, 07:22:59 AM »
Like Joe said, you may try washing the yeast.  I just started doing this and have had great results.  Here's a link I used to get me going:  http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing

+1 on the billybrew.com!

Interesting method to let it settle in the fermenter before transferring.  I may have to try that.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2012, 07:53:04 AM »
Never thought of using a Ziploc bag. Is it sanitary right out of the box or do you need to rinse?

They're sanitary (for our purposes, anyway) right out of the box.
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2012, 08:20:32 AM »
Like Joe said, you may try washing the yeast.  I just started doing this and have had great results.  Here's a link I used to get me going:  http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing
 

I read the link and it mentions that washed yeast can be used a few weeks up to maybe a few months after washing. Is this a reasonable estimate? I'm going to bottling a belgian golden strong in the next week or two, and probably won't make another Belgian until next January/February. Would I be better off just getting a fresh vial after that long?

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Reusing yeast
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 08:26:26 AM »
Like Joe said, you may try washing the yeast.  I just started doing this and have had great results.  Here's a link I used to get me going:  http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing
 

I read the link and it mentions that washed yeast can be used a few weeks up to maybe a few months after washing. Is this a reasonable estimate? I'm going to bottling a belgian golden strong in the next week or two, and probably won't make another Belgian until next January/February. Would I be better off just getting a fresh vial after that long?

I've reused yeast 3-4 months plus with no problems.  Just make a starter.

Dave
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