Author Topic: Yeast harvesting from conicals.  (Read 885 times)

Offline skynyrd

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Yeast harvesting from conicals.
« on: May 06, 2010, 05:39:35 AM »
OK, I got the conicals... 2 - 7 gal. stainless steel.  Full and a fermenting away in the lagering freezer.  Was wondering if there is some special or "best" way to harvest the yeast from the conicals.  Is the first that comes out ok?  Should I keep it all, decant and make a starter?  Is yeast washing still nessasary?

Plan A:
ferment 14 days then drain yeast and put in lager freezer (at 50 deg. F), next day decant and make a starter and let it sit 3-4 days = brew again after 19-20 days and use same yeast?

Plan B:
ferment 14 days drain yeast and put in lager freezer. (50 deg. F)  Next day decant & pitch to new brew.
=  Brew again after 15 days and use same yeast.

Now fermenting German Pilsners with Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils yeast (slurry from local microbrewery)

All information appreciated!

Offline blatz

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Re: Yeast harvesting from conicals.
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 06:50:30 AM »
i have the 14.5 bigger boy.

first off - ferment till its done - most of my lager ferments are 10-12 days tops, but be sure its done first. don't assign an arbitrary time - the worst thing, esp with lagers, is to remove the yeast before its finished cleaning up after itself.

second, harvest the slurry in a mason jar or other similar container, keep in the fridge and if you don't use it within 2 weeks THEN make a starter a few days out before your next brew (give yourself ample time to ferment and decant). 

third, you don't really have to collect the day before - there won't be all that much beer to decant when collecting from a conical- I often rack to kegs while I'm brewing the next batch.  unless you were say, making a pilsner with yeast harvested with a dunkel, then I can see some validity to that.

fourth, make sure you are pitching the proper amount - don't use the whole thing. www.mrmalty.com pitching calculator.

hope that helps - I think I covered all the bases - if  I think of anymore, I'll post back...

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Offline skynyrd

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Re: Yeast harvesting from conicals.
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 07:23:29 AM »
Thanks for the reply!! 
My pilsners that I've brewed with plastic fermenters usually ferment out in about 10 days but I usually like to let it sit on the yeast for another 3-4 days min. for the pilsner style yeast to clean up itself.  You are right to not set on a specific time!

When I harvest the slurry in my mason jar...and I plan on brewing in the next few days... would it be ok to put the jar of slurry in the fermentation freezer set at 50 deg. F instead of putting it in the frig?  Seems that moving it to 33 deg. for 1-2 days then back to 50 deg. for a day before pitching to the next batch would be stressing the yeast some? ?  (I pitch my pils yeast at 50 deg.)

Good idea to plan to rack from conicals to kegs while brewing the next batch that is to go into the conicals!  Its all about the planning!

I plan to pitch the yeast from and to identical brews or at least a light pilsner slurry to a darker lager type brew and not vise versa.
 
4th:  proper amount of yeast:  now why havn't I took this more seriously?  I know mr.malty. I will take him seriously from now on!
( I usually pitch 1 cup of slurry to ea. 5g. of ales and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of slurry to my lagers.  (When I use slurry from my local microbrewery)  Now where did I get that formula from?   don't really remember... read it somewhere..

Really liking this forum!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Yeast harvesting from conicals.
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 07:30:05 AM »
With a conical you can also dump the trub after one day, then when you harvest the yeast it looks nice and creamy.

One other trick is to use a rubber mallet to tap on the cone, helps the yeast to flow.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline blatz

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Re: Yeast harvesting from conicals.
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 07:42:25 AM »
When I harvest the slurry in my mason jar...and I plan on brewing in the next few days... would it be ok to put the jar of slurry in the fermentation freezer set at 50 deg. F instead of putting it in the frig?  Seems that moving it to 33 deg. for 1-2 days then back to 50 deg. for a day before pitching to the next batch would be stressing the yeast some? ?  (I pitch my pils yeast at 50 deg.)

i'm sure that would be fine - I really don't think its a big issue either way.

as far as your measuring amounts - that's a good round amount and works fine - you *might* be overpitching a touch, but I really wouldn't worry (for avg gravity, 1/2 cup of fresh slurry per 5gal is fine) - if its been working fine for you, no need to go fixing what ain't broke.

good luck!
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281