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Posted: 1/24/2014 4:04:12 PM EDT
Well just like most beer making adventures everyone has a opinion.



I started washing and reusing yeast, frankly I'm tired of spending money on it and dry yeast really sucks except for IPA and some assorted american ales.



I washed a abbey ale 2 that I had from a belgium, very easy as there was no trub except for the yeast unlike most ales/ipas. Boiled the water chilled it, stirred the cake, tried to let it settle into layers, no layers as it was only yeast.



I only changed the water once after the initial washing, but it looks normal in the fridge.



Anyways Ive been reading and some guy has done a lot of chemisty on it and basically says washing is a waste of time, just let it settle, pour off the top keep the rest, Others say just divide it, then pour the entire thing back into wort, or just throw a new beer on a old cake.



BTW anyone just make a huge starter- like 2l and just save half, then pitch the other?? Thats what Im thinking on doing.
Just wanted to see what others are doing as Im tired of reading after a few weeks
Link Posted: 1/24/2014 4:11:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2014 4:21:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2014 4:21:56 AM EDT by Ender875]
The head brewer for a large chain breweries (before he went on to greener and tastier pastures) said yeast washing is a waste.  Increases the chance of infection just by handling the yeast more.  Like you said pitch on the cake or pour it out and reuse it after cleaning fermenter.  That's what I've been doing recently.  Also in the past I would make a Agar and wort mixture in test tubes and streak some yeast on from the dregs of the smack pack or tube.  Then you could always build them up from there.  Instead of making beer one weekend I made wort, caned it in a pressure cooker and was already to build up some good slants.  Make a few different sizes of cans so you can step it up.  Much cheaper that way.
Link Posted: 1/25/2014 6:27:10 PM EDT
There is no pro brewery of any remark that acid washes yeast. Sure, we have systems in place to harvest and re pitch and schedules permit consistent harvest-pitch cycles, but there are ways you can do it as a homebrewer.

I may be biased as a pro, but I think it's telling.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 3:49:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 4:06:49 AM EDT by gaspain]
Doing it for a couple years now. No issues...heck my yeast is probably healthier than store bought. Tastes cleaner.
After the first rack, I scoop the thin top layer of the trub.
Place that white goop into a sanitized mason jar.
Fill remaining space in jar with water that was boiled earlier but cooled.
Leave in the fridge for a few days then do the above procedure again.
After a couple times you will be left with just yeast and no trub.
Prepare a yeast starter and make sure it is good before using. 3-4 months stored in the fridge is ok...
edited to add: I dont like to just "pitch on the cake" because when that cake decomposes, it releases esters which give off flavors. I'll stick to washing yeast. Also, its nice to be able to keep rare yeasts and always have it on hand.
for a 5 gal batch I use a 1 liter starter with 100 grams DME. Double that for "double" beers.
 
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:00:46 AM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ender875:


Also in the past I would make a Agar and wort mixture in test tubes
and streak some yeast on from the dregs of the smack pack or tube.  Then you could always build them up from there.  Instead of making beer one weekend I made wort, caned it in a pressure cooker and was already to build up some good slants.  Make a few different sizes of cans so you can step it up.  Much cheaper that way.
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thats what i want to do,





where do you get the plates? Do you just drop a couple drops and throw them in the fridge?



BTW how long does it take to make a pitch-able yest size form a test tube?



 
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:11:33 AM EDT
To me, while the thought of saving yeast and not having to buy it constantly sounded good, it was just a lot of work to me to try and wash it, and I never had great results, just a lot of trub carried forward. Now, after seeing the change of thought about yeast washing not being that great for the yeast, I'm glad I do what I do.





Typically for a 5 or 10 gallon batch, I'll make up a 5 liter starter, and pitch a smack pack into it. I'll give it time to ferment out, then cold crash it and decant. 1/2-3/4 of it goes into the wort, the rest into 1-3 sanitized mason jars. Next batch, just build a starter, and pitch a jar. Then when that starter is done, save a little from it and continue the cycle. I've always got good viable yeast that has never seen anything more than unhopped wort.





Another time saver I've started, is that I used to make starters with extra light dry extract, and while they worked good, they could get to be quite pricey. Now, I'll mash up 6 gallons of wort using only 2 row, and then drain it off into 1/2 gallon mason jars. Toss them 4 at a time into a pressure canner, and let it cook for 15 minutes. Now when I'm ready to make a starter, I sanitize my erlenmeyer, pour a jar or two in, and pitch the yeast. No boiling, no cooling, and it only take about 3 minutes to make a starter.


       
 
 
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 6:14:04 AM EDT
I generally don't "wash" it much, just leave it in the beer.  The beer is more protective with its pH and alcohol level "as is" than diluted.

It is certainly not a waste of time...in fact, I set up my brew schedule so that I can keep using one yeast a couple times, its the only way to do lagers, they take forever to get enough starter going.

About 2-3 pitches and I want to go on to something else, but man do they work well.

Link Posted: 1/27/2014 6:26:57 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
thats what i want to do,


where do you get the plates? Do you just drop a couple drops and throw them in the fridge?

BTW how long does it take to make a pitch-able yest size form a test tube?
 
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
Originally Posted By Ender875:
Also in the past I would make a Agar and wort mixture in test tubes and streak some yeast on from the dregs of the smack pack or tube.  Then you could always build them up from there.  Instead of making beer one weekend I made wort, caned it in a pressure cooker and was already to build up some good slants.  Make a few different sizes of cans so you can step it up.  Much cheaper that way.
thats what i want to do,


where do you get the plates? Do you just drop a couple drops and throw them in the fridge?

BTW how long does it take to make a pitch-able yest size form a test tube?
 


That, to me, is a lot of work for what it is, you have to have a decent way to count the yeast, an autoclave/pressure cooker for real sterilization, and multi-multi step starters (first starter is real small and light on the gravity, then keep stepping up.  Be perfect on your sterile transfers too.

Not saying its not do-able, but it would take a bit of equipment/work investment that I don't see a huge benefit from.  

Just my opinion, naturally.  Have you read the book "Yeast" by White/Zainesheff?  That may help you see what you want to do...
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 8:47:36 AM EDT
Yeah, it is a bit of a pain, but worth it to keep strains around that you like.  takes about a week to build it up enough for a 10 gallon batch = so you do need to plan ahead.  I usually try to plan the brews out and just pitch on the cake a few times.  
This is where I got my info from:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Making_Plates_and_Slants

Has all the info there from making to inoculating the slants etc..
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 9:19:46 AM EDT
A week for a 10 gallon batch from nearly singular cell seems sporty, do you estimate cell count or scope it?  (I say that thinking about letting it all ferment out and letting it settle to decant--maybe you have a better way)

What is your target cell count?
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 10:17:34 AM EDT
Nope, nothing that high tech.  Use my computer fan and magnet stirplate and build it up from the 50 ml little elyrmyer flask up to the growler.  I don't bother to chill and pitch just the yeast, I pitch the whole thing into the next step-up.  I usually use the yeast calc on Mr Malty to figure how much I need
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