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Author Topic: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?  (Read 1020 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

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Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« on: January 23, 2023, 09:02:05 am »
I ferment with buckets and have a small fridge that the bucket just barely fits into. When I transfer a batch into a keg, I usually pull out the dry hop bag, and dump (most of) the yeast into cleaned/sanitized mason jars and refrigerate in the kegerator for the next brew day. The bucket gets disassembled - spigots and bucket get washed out, rinsed and turned upside down to dry.

The last batch I brewed I thought why not just cut out the yeast harvesting? I could rack the beer, pull the hop bag, and stick the ferementer back in the fridge, with yeast, until the next brew day. Then, it's just a matter of pulling out the fermenter a day before brewing, dump in some DME starter, some yeast nutrient, give it a shake and there's my starter.  Dump the wort in, and back in the fridge to ferment again.

I'm must have overlooked something. It seems like such a better way to keep contaminants out of the yeast (less transferring), and way less messing around in general. I've made starters with stir plates, and in gallon jugs with airlocks (and without). Never could tell a difference between methods. Shaking the jug seems to work just fine without the stir plate so why not just leave it all in the bucket?




Online denny

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 09:06:07 am »
There are a couple possible downsides. First, how well does your bucket seal? Probably well enough, but something to think qbout. Second, and probably more important, generally an entire slurry is too much. My experience is that I've gotten better results by using 1/3-1/2 of the slurry.
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Offline Megary

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023, 09:14:31 am »
Does that mean you will never clean your bucket fermenter?

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2023, 09:53:32 am »
My experience is that I've gotten better results by using 1/3-1/2 of the slurry.

I've read that too much yeast can ferment too fast and stunts flavors/aromas/mouthfeel but I've not really noticed. Is this what you were thinking of? I could just dump some of the slurry I suppose.

Does that mean you will never clean your bucket fermenter?

Maybe after four or five batches? Not sure how many batches is "too many" for brewing with repitch but I've used five before and it seemed OK.  I do have the palette of a garbage truck though, so there's that.

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2023, 10:07:27 am »
My experience is that I've gotten better results by using 1/3-1/2 of the slurry.

I've read that too much yeast can ferment too fast and stunts flavors/aromas/mouthfeel but I've not really noticed. Is this what you were thinking of? I could just dump some of the slurry I suppose.

Does that mean you will never clean your bucket fermenter?

Maybe after four or five batches? Not sure how many batches is "too many" for brewing with repitch but I've used five before and it seemed OK.  I do have the palette of a garbage truck though, so there's that.

Yep, that's what I was referring to.  I didn't notice it until I started pitching less.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2023, 10:57:37 am »
Food for thought:  Based on WYeast, you don’t need the whole yeast cake

Ales: ~1 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
Lagers: ~2 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
High lagers: ~3 oz thick slurry per gal with a specific gravity > 1.064

Ref: https://wyeastlab.com/resource/professional-yeast-harvesting-repitching/

Another drawback: (Also according to WYeast) Yeast should be used as soon as possible and not stored for long periods before re-use (longer than 2 weeks). Yeast should be maintained between 34-36 °F (1-2 °C) in an oxygen-free, dark environment. Warmer temperatures and oxygen exposure will increase the rate of culture degradation.

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2023, 11:45:09 am »
Food for thought:  Based on WYeast, you don’t need the whole yeast cake

Ales: ~1 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
Lagers: ~2 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
High lagers: ~3 oz thick slurry per gal with a specific gravity > 1.064

Ref: https://wyeastlab.com/resource/professional-yeast-harvesting-repitching/

Another drawback: (Also according to WYeast) Yeast should be used as soon as possible and not stored for long periods before re-use (longer than 2 weeks). Yeast should be maintained between 34-36 °F (1-2 °C) in an oxygen-free, dark environment. Warmer temperatures and oxygen exposure will increase the rate of culture degradation.

Nice to have them confirm what I learned through experience
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2023, 05:50:56 am »
Food for thought:  Based on WYeast, you don’t need the whole yeast cake

Ales: ~1 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
Lagers: ~2 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
High lagers: ~3 oz thick slurry per gal with a specific gravity > 1.064

Thanks for the input, guys!

I would fail the WYeast exam for sure. I've pitched 16oz and 32oz into 5 gallon batches (1.062+ IPAs) and couldn't really tell a difference between the two (I've settled on WLP002) even after six gens. But, I can't really pick out subtle differences - in beer anyway. I have noted Diacetyl (butterscotch?) and sulpher in my early ciders so maybe not so bad? Those issues all went away after switching to WY1450 though.

I found this article by Scott Janish pretty interesting. He sampled 25 brews with WLP002 repitch (up to an eighth generation for one batch). He's not doing anything fancy with the yeast - just barbarically sloshing it from fermenter, to fridge, to fermenter. Sometimes without a starter (don't agree on that one but maybe he was doing it in interest of science). It's a surprsing read which really kind of bucks some of the conventional wisdom of yeast ranching. After re-reading that article, I'm going to try mashing at 155F sometime and see what happens.

Offline BrewBama

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Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2023, 06:18:04 am »
Very good read. Thx for posting.  (When I harvest yeast I use that same barbaric method )
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 06:39:08 am by BrewBama »

Online denny

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2023, 08:01:43 am »
Food for thought:  Based on WYeast, you don’t need the whole yeast cake

Ales: ~1 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
Lagers: ~2 oz thick slurry per gal < 1.064
High lagers: ~3 oz thick slurry per gal with a specific gravity > 1.064

Thanks for the input, guys!

I would fail the WYeast exam for sure. I've pitched 16oz and 32oz into 5 gallon batches (1.062+ IPAs) and couldn't really tell a difference between the two (I've settled on WLP002) even after six gens. But, I can't really pick out subtle differences - in beer anyway. I have noted Diacetyl (butterscotch?) and sulpher in my early ciders so maybe not so bad? Those issues all went away after switching to WY1450 though.

I found this article by Scott Janish pretty interesting. He sampled 25 brews with WLP002 repitch (up to an eighth generation for one batch). He's not doing anything fancy with the yeast - just barbarically sloshing it from fermenter, to fridge, to fermenter. Sometimes without a starter (don't agree on that one but maybe he was doing it in interest of science). It's a surprsing read which really kind of bucks some of the conventional wisdom of yeast ranching. After re-reading that article, I'm going to try mashing at 155F sometime and see what happens.

That is very much like what most breweries I'm aware of do.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Leaving yeast in the fermenter?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2023, 04:06:47 pm »
Just a follow up. I pulled the fermenter out of the fridge it's been in for about month. It's got a massive amount of phenolic aroma to it. Eh, well. Back to storing in the mason jars.