Author Topic: Yeast Washing 101  (Read 2706 times)

Offline roguejim

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Yeast Washing 101
« on: April 07, 2010, 12:57:14 PM »
I've never had reason to use the yeast washing procedure until now.  Due to recent changes in my brewing process, I collect a large amount of trub in my fermenter. 

My questions: After dumping the trub/yeast from the fermenter into a 1gallon jar, how long should I let it settle out before pouring off the viable yeast?  Should I refrigerate it during the settling process?  Would it be safe to say that the more trub in the jar, the longer I should let it settle out?  Thanks.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 06:18:18 PM »
Generally, once you poured it into the gallon jug, give it 20 -30 minutes.  Most of the junk will have settled on the bottom but you'll still have way cloudy liquid above that.  Pour off that liquid into as many jars as it takes and refrigerate them.  The next day, each jar will have a layer of relatively clean yeast on the bottom.  Decant the liquid off the top and collect and pitch the resulting slurry.
Joe

Offline roguejim

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 01:28:35 AM »
Thanks for that.  I'm surprised at the 20-30min settling period...Seems long, but what do I know.

Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 03:47:27 AM »
I've let it settle out for 24 hours in moderately cold weather then poured it off.  The yeast I got from decanting looked very good, but there wasn't all that much there.  When I do it again I'd probably go more with what hokerer posted above and settle for a little extra trub.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2010, 08:09:01 AM »
I tried washing yeast several times and, IMO, I see no advantage to washing the yeast on the homebrew level. Just an extra step that could compromise sanitation. Just keep most of the hops and trub in the kettle and collect and pitch part of your slurry and you will be fine.
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Offline dee

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 10:07:10 AM »
I follow the same procedure.  I use the 200 micron bucket screens to filter hop and break material and I always end up with clean yeast cakes.  The rinsing process isn't worth the additional risk or effort in my opinion.  I've never been able to tell the difference between rinsed and bulk harvested yeast in the final product.       

Offline hankus

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 06:04:50 PM »
I also am tilting back to the minimal wash approach..rack as much GOOD beer as possible,add a little sterilized water (8oz) swirl around and in a couple of minutes withdraw 16 oz of liquid,cover loosely and into frig.I am right now building a starter from a 4 mnth old capture and it's doing well.

Offline beersk

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 08:19:00 PM »
I tried washing yeast several times and, IMO, I see no advantage to washing the yeast on the homebrew level. Just an extra step that could compromise sanitation. Just keep most of the hops and trub in the kettle and collect and pitch part of your slurry and you will be fine.

Sure there's an advantage.  It's great to be able to have yeast on hand just like hops when you want to brew a batch and not have to pay 6 bucks for a smack pack when you can pay 6 bucks once and get 16 batches, at least, out of one pack.  It makes a lot of sense on the homebrew level. 
I plan to start washing and reusing my yeast as well.  I have a smack pack of 1272 in the fridge I plan to reuse over and over and over.  That's good yeast.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2010, 08:57:22 AM »
Majorvices isn't saying don't reuse yeast.  He's saying he doesn't see the value in washing it as opposed to just collecting and saving a part of the yeast cake without washing it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2010, 08:31:33 AM »
Majorvices isn't saying don't reuse yeast.  He's saying he doesn't see the value in washing it as opposed to just collecting and saving a part of the yeast cake without washing it.

+1!  I do as Majorvices.  Like him, I reached the conclusion that washing is a PITA for no appreciable benefit.
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Offline uthristy

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2010, 04:05:07 AM »
Another +2  for a PITA and added chance for contamination.

Offline beersk

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 08:58:23 AM »
Majorvices isn't saying don't reuse yeast.  He's saying he doesn't see the value in washing it as opposed to just collecting and saving a part of the yeast cake without washing it.

Okay, I see now and I agree.  I misunderstood it before. 
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 09:03:43 AM »
when you have a pack of yeast you like you can always save some when you make your starter and use it to propagate a fresh line. similarly, you can make two starters from one pack and propagate up one for brewing and one for storing. then you will always have a "clean"  source of your favorite yeast
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 05:26:05 AM »
Yes, I'm a huge proponent of reusing yeast. Just not washing yeast.  ;)
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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Yeast Washing 101
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2010, 08:23:55 AM »
I generally re-use my yeast.
I'm curious, assuming that the starter is the first generation, how many generations do others use?
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