Author Topic: Collecting yeast from a corny keg  (Read 438 times)

Offline banjo-guy

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Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« on: March 28, 2019, 06:38:52 PM »
How do you do it?  I made a mess of it last time.
My kegs have shortened fluid out tubes. Leaving some beer in the keg and swirling didn’t work. I’d have to leave much more beer on the yeast cake to allow the tube to pickup a significant amount of yeast. I brew 2.5 gallon batches and hate to lose that volume of beer.
My siphon wasn’t drawing either.
I ended up spraying sanitizer on the keg’s top. I tried to cover the handles welll with sanitizer. Then I just dumped everything into a small sanitized bucket.
This doesn’t seem like a good method. There must be a better way. Suggestions?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 06:41:01 PM by banjo-guy »

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 07:26:42 PM »
If I were going to do this I would remove the gas in post and tube, sanitize the area around the threaded nipple and then just pour out the yeast/beer through that opening.  I would reinstall if the lid before pouring if I had removed it..

Paul
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Offline Robert

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 07:52:27 PM »
I always just dump into a sanitized jar when I harvest yeast.  Sanitize the lip of the fermenter, keg, whatever and pour.  I've taken yeast out 18+ generations with absolutely no ill effects using this method.  And could've gone further.  Sure it seems crude, but it's the simplest method possible, and with no moving parts/ tubes/valves etc. to keep clean, it's really about as sanitary as you can get.  I have a trimmed dip tube in all kegs including my 10 gallon corny fermenter, and there's plenty of slurry available after the beer is all drawn off.
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Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 03:50:31 AM »
If I were going to do this I would remove the gas in post and tube, sanitize the area around the threaded nipple and then just pour out the yeast/beer through that opening.  I would reinstall if the lid before pouring if I had removed it..

Paul

I’ll try that next time. The post opening should be large enough to allow the liquid to flow through easily.

It just occurred to me that another way would be to put one of the keg lids that I have drilled out for an air lock on the keg and dump the yeast and swirled beer through that larger opening.

Robert: When I pour it out of the keg opening I end up getting the yeast and beer slurry all over the keg handles and keg posts. Even when I spray Starsan as thoughly as I can on those spots I feel like I’m not getting to every surface.

Offline Robert

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 12:04:53 PM »
Banjo-guy,

That's odd as I've never had that problem.  Perhaps if you are cautiously pouring in a gentle manner at a shallow angle, the fluid is adhering to the surface and being directed across the top of the keg?  A steeper angle might help.  (When I say I "dump," I guess I'm being as descriptive  as possible.) 

Experiments aiming water from a spare keg into a jar might determine a  successful method.

If you are going to pour through the threaded gas post port with the lid on, how is sufficient air going to ener the keg to permit a smooth outflow?  I'd leave the lid off, as I'm not sure even opening the PRV would admit air as quickly as needed.

One more thing to consider; some flocculent yeast, even after a godd shaking and swirling of the slurry, still leave clumps large enough that they might well clog the port. 
Rob Stein
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 05:13:17 PM »
Similarly to Robert, I sanitize my keg, a funnel, and a mason jar. Then I swirl the keg (shortened dip tupe) to bring the yeast into suspension with the remaining beer. Then I open it up and pour it into the funnel down into the 1qt jar. If needed I'll top it off with beer, then throw it in the fridge. I've gone through a number of generations like this with no problems.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2019, 12:33:33 AM »
It just occurred to me that another way would be to put one of the keg lids that I have drilled out for an air lock on the keg and dump the yeast and swirled beer through that larger opening.

If you wanted to get hardcore about it, you could put bulkhead fittings on those lids (although you might have to bore the holes out), a valve on the outside, enough tubing inside to reach the bottom, and do a totally closed/pressurized harvest. That's the setup I use for brinks for a small brewery.
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Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2019, 10:41:07 AM »
It just occurred to me that another way would be to put one of the keg lids that I have drilled out for an air lock on the keg and dump the yeast and swirled beer through that larger opening.

If you wanted to get hardcore about it, you could put bulkhead fittings on those lids (although you might have to bore the holes out), a valve on the outside, enough tubing inside to reach the bottom, and do a totally closed/pressurized harvest. That's the setup I use for brinks for a small brewery.

I’m considering a similar method.
If I put a tight fitting, rigid length of tubing that contacts the bottom of the keg through the drilled airlock lid hole, I might be able to apply just enough pressure with Co2 to push the slurry out through that tubing.
I might need to use a stopper with a hole in it to get a good seal. The tubing going through a stopper would have a much smaller diameter.  Bigger is better.

I’m not sure what bulkhead fittings are.

Maybe I’m just totally over thinking this and should just quickly flip the keg and dump the slurry into a small sanitized bucket.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 10:45:47 AM by banjo-guy »

Offline Robert

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2019, 11:47:29 AM »




Maybe I’m just totally over thinking this and should just quickly flip the keg and dump the slurry into a small sanitized bucket.

Unless you're planning a counterpressure transfer into a closed, sanitized vessel, the stuff is going to be exposed to the outside environment at some point anyway.   
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2019, 01:17:16 PM »
Banjo-guy,

If you are going to pour through the threaded gas post port with the lid on, how is sufficient air going to ener the keg to permit a smooth outflow?  I'd leave the lid off, as I'm not sure even opening the PRV would admit air as quickly as needed.

One more thing to consider; some flocculent yeast, even after a godd shaking and swirling of the slurry, still leave clumps large enough that they might well clog the port.

Good points Robert.  I wasn't thinking about vacuum, only splattering. 

Paul
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2019, 03:53:53 PM »
A sanitized funnel assists here quite well- I pour from the fermenter (sanitizing the rim area with Iodophor) and then use the slurry relatively quickly and dump it if anything looks or smells in the least bit “bad” at the point of re-pitch.  I have gone out 25 generations as a lark, but rarely go more than 10 generations anymore.
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Offline yugamrap

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2019, 08:25:20 PM »
I always just dump into a sanitized jar when I harvest yeast.  Sanitize the lip of the fermenter, keg, whatever and pour.  I've taken yeast out 18+ generations with absolutely no ill effects using this method.  And could've gone further.  Sure it seems crude, but it's the simplest method possible, and with no moving parts/ tubes/valves etc. to keep clean, it's really about as sanitary as you can get.  I have a trimmed dip tube in all kegs including my 10 gallon corny fermenter, and there's plenty of slurry available after the beer is all drawn off.

If you save yeast under beer for a few weeks in a jar in the fridge, do you make any sort of starter for the next use?  IF so, do you calculate using Mr.Malty or something like that?  Is there any problem with this method for a yeast harvested after 3 weeks in primary - particularly a lager yeast like WLP830 or WY2206?  What about a workhorse ale yeast like WLP001 / WY1056?
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Offline Robert

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2019, 09:05:53 PM »
I personally don't make starters from yeast stored a relatively short while, and if it's been long enough that I'm worried, I just buy fresh since I'm not using any rare unicorn yeasts.  (I can't really quantify the time limits, but a few weeks is surely nothing to worry about.)  I also don't use calculators for any pitch rates.  I generally think that unless you're doing actual cell counts you're in the dark, calculators are just WAGs, and cell counts aren't that important anyway.  (S. cerevisiae posted way back when about the number of minutes difference in lag time doubling or halving cell count makes.  Minutes, like maybe 60-90.)  I have just developed an approach based on how much slurry I generally pitch,  and I adjust that (just pitch more slurry) to account for higher gravity, lower temperature (lagers pitched cold,) yeast that's been stored long enough to  lose some viability, a jar with extra trub, and such.  It may not be scientific, but it allows consistency and it works.  (Maybe that means it IS scientific...)  I'm sure others have completely different methods.
Rob Stein
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Offline Robert

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Re: Collecting yeast from a corny keg
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2019, 02:42:04 AM »
I always just dump into a sanitized jar when I harvest yeast.  Sanitize the lip of the fermenter, keg, whatever and pour.  I've taken yeast out 18+ generations with absolutely no ill effects using this method.  And could've gone further.  Sure it seems crude, but it's the simplest method possible, and with no moving parts/ tubes/valves etc. to keep clean, it's really about as sanitary as you can get.  I have a trimmed dip tube in all kegs including my 10 gallon corny fermenter, and there's plenty of slurry available after the beer is all drawn off.
I've always used Mason jars because I can aim the slurry in without bothering with a sanitized funnel, and mainly because I'm an old fart and Mason jars were standard home brewing equipment in the day.   Today I used a funnel (huge one, no skilled aim required) into a 1L Erlenmeyer flask.   Occurs to me the shape should make it a lot easier to swirl up the slurry for repitching.  Just like when I use flasks for starters, duh.  Thanks to those referencing funnels for shaking up my thinking.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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