Author Topic: Reusing yeast shortcuts  (Read 3219 times)

Offline banjo-guy

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Reusing yeast shortcuts
« on: August 23, 2017, 02:09:45 PM »
What's the prevailing wisdom on just using starsan and distilled water when reusing ( washing? ) yeast.
I'm thinking of skipping the boiling water phase of the process and simply using starsan and distilled water.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3385
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
    • Manty Malters - Meet the Malters! - Dave Taylor
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 02:16:37 PM »
Distilled is not good for the yeast.  You'd probably be better off using "drinking water" which I believe is pasteurized but still contains minerals.  Maybe something worth Googling or looking for on the label.  But not distilled, that hurts yeast.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Brew Cat

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 02:46:26 PM »
If you really want to make it simple don't even wash it. Just pour some slurry in some sanitized mason jars and keep in the fridge. It will separate by itself. On brew day pour off the liquid on top pitch the middle layer and leave the compacted stuff behind. Been doing it this way for awhile

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

"The waiting is the hardest part" Tom Petty

Offline stpug

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 702
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 02:47:54 PM »
Most folks use the simpler process of simply collecting yeast cake from fermenter in a sanitary container, and using yeast directly from that container.  Fewer chances for user error and provides an equally healthy/viable culture to brew your beer.  No rinsing/washing/mussing - simple.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3243
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 03:37:09 PM »
Most folks use the simpler process of simply collecting yeast cake from fermenter in a sanitary container, and using yeast directly from that container.  Fewer chances for user error and provides an equally healthy/viable culture to brew your beer.  No rinsing/washing/mussing - simple.

Yup. +1 to simplicity. If the yeast is stored for a long(er) period of time, you can pull some out and build up a starter from there.

Offline banjo-guy

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 06:35:34 PM »
So the idea would be to leave enough beer behind to cover the yeast that is poured off. I guess  I would leave about 16 oz of beer to swirl up with the yeast slurry.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline stpug

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 702
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 06:44:25 PM »
So the idea would be to leave enough beer behind to cover the yeast that is poured off. I guess  I would leave about 16 oz of beer to swirl up with the yeast slurry.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.  I always end up with some amount of beer in my fermenter after racking to keg simply because I stop the siphon as the yeast begins to move towards the racking cane.  Therefore, I don't purposefully leave any additional amount of beer behind in the fermenter for yeast collection.

I also don't swirl and dump from fermenter.  Instead, I use a sanitized spoon and scoop out the thickest, sedimented yeast I can from the bottom to fill up my collection container.  This allows me to harvest the most yeast (plus trub, of course) that I can while minimizing the less-yeast-rich liquid portion.  The last couple of scoops I get from the fermenter are the liquidy yeasty beer that I didn't rack to keg.  As things settle and separate in the fridge, the yeast typically settles underneath the yeast (unless you're dealing with a true top cropper like 1272 or similar).  Two ounces of beer is plenty to cover the yeast in your collection container - generally speaking.

...but again, different strokes for different folks.  I've just found I much prefer the scoop-with-a-spoon method than swirl-and-dump method.

Offline escott15

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 10:55:57 PM »
I like to follow what Brulosophy does.  just over-build your starter and save a portion of that.  You never have to worry about harvesting yeast from the bottom a carboy.

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 02:51:01 AM »
I like to follow what Brulosophy does.  just over-build your starter and save a portion of that.  You never have to worry about harvesting yeast from the bottom a carboy.

+1  I've been overbuilding starters since reading that tidbit.  Works great! 

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3243
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2017, 10:03:40 PM »
I like to follow what Brulosophy does.  just over-build your starter and save a portion of that.  You never have to worry about harvesting yeast from the bottom a carboy.

Yup. Also a great idea and keeps the trub from a full fermentation out of the clean yeast.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 10:13:35 PM »
Saving left over starter doesn't have the added benefit of being used in an actual fermentation. For example; I pitch straight pack into a session pale ale, harvest and pitch a higher pale ale, harvest and pitch and IPA, harvest and pitch a barleywine.

I also don't have much trub in the fermenter. I have made whirlpool skills.

Offline chumley

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 976
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2017, 05:45:00 PM »
When I save a yeast cake from a primary to reuse later, I dump a can of cheap factory beer (like PBR) into the fermentor to swirl around and get into solution, then pour it into a sanitized growler.  The yeast and beer will then separate, leaving the yeast under a safe blanket of beer with little to no flavor.  Its all ready to go when I add  oxygenated starter wort to it when I am ready to brew.

Offline Bilsch

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2017, 09:59:11 PM »
IMO re-pitched yeast starts and ferments faster also arguably imparts better flavor to your beer. I have given up making starters all together in my lagers and simply pitch multiple packs, depending on mfg date, into the first batch then reuse yeast after that. Generally go 8 to 10 generations and then start over with fresh. So much less time spent messing with starters and of course in the long run it's less expensive then a single pack for every beer with or without stepping up. I do swirl the remaining few ounces of beer and pour into very well sanitized mason jars then store at ~34f. Was turned on to this method by TheBeerery.

On brew day simply select a jar, pour off most of the beer, and into the fermenter the slurry goes. 90% of the time there is airlock activity within 6 hours and that is fermenting between 45-47f. Never having to wait for yeast and brewing on a whim are great benefits. I do not miss the starter shuffle!

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3243
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2017, 11:58:52 PM »

On brew day simply select a jar, pour off most of the beer, and into the fermenter the slurry goes. 90% of the time there is airlock activity within 6 hours and that is fermenting between 45-47f. Never having to wait for yeast and brewing on a whim are great benefits. I do not miss the starter shuffle!

I do this as well (thanks Bryan). Sometimes I will even pull some wort from the mash tun after the kettle is full and make a vitality starter. Super easy, and the yeast are awake and working by the time they get into the fermenter with the main wort batch.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2885
    • View Profile
Re: Reusing yeast shortcuts
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 11:23:28 AM »
Though not my routine, I have racked from a primary on brew day and then racked chilled wort right on top of the yeast cake in the fermenter.  Probably not the best practice, but it works for a one-time thing where the dates align right.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"