Author Topic: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast  (Read 615 times)

Offline itsjoao

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Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« on: October 30, 2018, 12:37:16 PM »
Hello, I've made a small batch of 1.5 gallon of Black IPA and used 1 full packet of US-05 yeast. Now, I've washed the yeast with boiled water (then chilled) and collected the yeast on 4 different jars. I am having trouble identifying the yeast phase inside the jar. After 1 hour I put the yeast in the fridge but it didnt really do anything. All I can see is the beer and 1 only phase of yeast and trub.




After 12h in the fridge

Any help on how to proceed is appreciated.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 12:41:13 PM by itsjoao »

Offline jtoots

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Re: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 03:10:27 PM »
I'm not a yeast harvester yet so take this feedback/inquiry with a grain of salt... I remember reading that harvested yeast should go from lower OG/lighter in color/less hoppy to higher OG/darker/more hoppy.... so with a dark hoppy IPA do you have anywhere to go with this yeast?

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 04:36:56 PM »
I regularly re-pitch yeast. As I understand best practice, it is best to just leave the yeast under the beer. No need to wash it as it does more harm than good.
When I do go from say, an American Porter to an American Pale Ale, 24 hours before I plan to use the yeast I pour off all the beer, add distilled water and mix the yeast and water. Before I pitch, I pour off most of the dark colored liquid. I do this as I've observed a color shift in the paler beer when I pitch the yeast with the dark beer still in it.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 06:23:12 PM »
What you did is called "rinsing," not "washing."  "Washing" involves treating the yeast with acid to kill off bacteria in a contaminated culture.  This also significantly weakens the yeast, so if you think you need to do this, it's best to just  buy new yeast.

Rinsing with water is detrimental for several reasons. It raises the pH by replacing beer with water, leaving the culture susceptible to bacterial infection.  Osmosis causes the yeast to expel  minerals, aminos  and other nutrients needed for healthy yeast.  It adds oxygen, causing the yeast to immediately begin respiration and metabolism,  but without new food they just consume their reserves, becoming weakened; therefore it should not even be done shortly before pitching.

Best practice is indeed to store the yeast under the beer it fermented -- just pour the slurry from your fermenter into a sanitized container and save for reuse.  Efforts should be made to exclude oxygen from the beer to prevent the above mentioned premature metabolic processes, and to avoid providing oxygen to acetic  acid bacteria which are inevitably present and could feed on the alcohol present.

When repitching, pour off enough of the beer so you can swirl and shake the yeast up into a thick slurry, and pitch directly into the wort.   There will of  course be some non-yeast material in the slurry -- trub and non-viable cells.  Standard practice is simply to pitch a larger amount of slurry to account for this.

The practice of yeast rinsing came into homebrewing some time ago the same way so many bad practices have, by the serial repetition of information from books that were half a century or more out of date.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 09:11:22 PM »
If those mason jars are closed up, you're running the risk of explosion.

If I were you, I'd replace the lids with some tin foil and rubber bands right away.
There's nothing left to dismantle; the house it just collapsed on itself.  - A. Savage

Offline Robert

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Re: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 09:36:48 PM »
I set the sanitized Mason jar lid on and don't tighten the ring, then cover with crimped foil for an extra sanitary barrier.  That way I have a sanitized lid ready and waiting when I need to shake up my slurry for pitching.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Trouble on harvesting Black IPA yeast
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2018, 12:04:07 AM »
I didn't really answer your question about what part of the stuff in your jars is yeast, trub, etc.
Since I've never washed or rinsed (as more correctly noted by Robert) yeast, I can't tell you what is yeast versus trub.

If I were you, at this point, I would pour off the liquid in the various jars, combine the solids into one jar. Also, as noted by Narcout, it is a good idea to leave the lids loose to prevent a build up of CO2 in the jars.


If you will be re-pitching the yeast within 4 weeks, just use the  recommended amount and pitch into your next batch of wort. If the time period is greater than 4 weeks, take a portion of the yeast and make a yeast starter. I know some recommend a period shorter than 4 weeks but I've never had an issue with going out to 4 weeks with harvested yeast.
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