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yeast washing!
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    So you don't want to spend another 6-10 bucks on yeast for the next batch? Just use what ya got sitting under the beer that's in there. Dumping old trub into new wort isn't the best option, for various reasons, so you'll need to 'wash' the yeast to use on another batch. Here's my simple method on how to do that. First, you'll need some sanitized containers. I just use mason jars, as that's what i have lying around. Boiling is a great way to sanitize them, but i don't feel like standing over an oven waiting to boil my jars, so i just fill them 3/4 full of water and stick them in the microwave for about ten minutes. The boiling water in the jar will be enough to sanitize, plus you'll have clean water in the jar for the next step. As soon as you stop nuking the jars, throw some foil on top of them to keep out any bugs while they cool.

    Once the jars are cooled down to about room temp (under 80F), rack your beer out of the fermenter and dump in the water. Giver her a good swirl and let most of the junk settle back down. This should take about 30 minutes, maybe a little longer. I was cleaning my buckets, so I let this step happen in the jar, plus my bucket didn't fit in the fridge:

    image

    Once you see a good separation of trub from the now murky water, gently pour the water into yet another sanitized jar (or multiple). Here's the separation: I waited a little too long, so you can see the layer of creamy yeast:

    image

    Don't worry about getting a little bit of trub into the new jar, you can always pour off again. Here they are after chillin in the fridge overnight:

    image

    You can see the good yeast sitting on the bottom. the rest will drop out after a while in the fridge. Now you have some nice clean yeast you can throw into a starter when you're ready to brew again.
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    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    this is great.
    my wife wants me to tell you that they make white plastic screw caps for all canning jars
    (for use after opening a jar of salsa or whatever) both ball and kerr make them, super cheap on amazon. just relaying a message
    great post, i may actually attempt washing yeast for the first time instead of just scooping it out and throwing it into a new batch of wort.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,768

    this is great.
    my wife wants me to tell you that they make white plastic screw caps for all canning jars
    (for use after opening a jar of salsa or whatever) both ball and kerr make them, super cheap on amazon. just relaying a message
    great post, i may actually attempt washing yeast for the first time instead of just scooping it out and throwing it into a new batch of wort.



    i do roughly the same process, but i use Erlenmeyer flasks so i can spin it real good without sloshing. i just use syran wrap to cover the mouth. also, i use a small tube to siphon the final washed yeast out and store it in white-labs style soda bottle pre-forms.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034

    this is great.
    my wife wants me to tell you that they make white plastic screw caps for all canning jars
    (for use after opening a jar of salsa or whatever) both ball and kerr make them, super cheap on amazon. just relaying a message
    great post, i may actually attempt washing yeast for the first time instead of just scooping it out and throwing it into a new batch of wort.



    i have some. i just need to sanitize them before i put them on.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    Lakewood said:

    this is great.
    my wife wants me to tell you that they make white plastic screw caps for all canning jars
    (for use after opening a jar of salsa or whatever) both ball and kerr make them, super cheap on amazon. just relaying a message
    great post, i may actually attempt washing yeast for the first time instead of just scooping it out and throwing it into a new batch of wort.



    i do roughly the same process, but i use Erlenmeyer flasks so i can spin it real good without sloshing. i just use syran wrap to cover the mouth. also, i use a small tube to siphon the final washed yeast out and store it in white-labs style soda bottle pre-forms.


    that's a good idea for longer storage. i'll probably end up using this yeast this weekend, so I'll just end up decanting and adding some boiled dme solution on top.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I have heard of people washing with beer, like Budweiser. It is sanitized coming for the container and something about the carbonation helping. Know anything about that? I'm brewing @frydogbrews hop house 2 this weekend with Wyeast 1056 and I think I will brew again after I rack it off the yeast, maybe a week later and pitch that.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    screw hop house 2, i think 5 was the best one. maybe 6. whatever the one before the last one was....that was awesome. i think it was mostly centennial hops. damn good.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I made 1 last year, I'm working up, but I swapped out bravo for magnum and adjusted some of the other hops and scaled for 5g, then rounded off some quantities. Now you tell me. I already bought all my stuff.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    just increase bittering hops by 5% and flavor hops by 25% and it will come out great.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    I use the about the same process. I need to get smaller jars for storage. I wonder if you could reuse the WLP vials?
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    I have read that washed yeast is only good for a few life cycles before it changes. I have no idea of this is true?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    jlw said:

    I have read that washed yeast is only good for a few life cycles before it changes. I have no idea of this is true?



    i assume it is. but to what extent i don't know.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    Benvarine said:

    I have heard of people washing with beer, like Budweiser. It is sanitized coming for the container and something about the carbonation helping. Know anything about that? I'm brewing @frydogbrews hop house 2 this weekend with Wyeast 1056 and I think I will brew again after I rack it off the yeast, maybe a week later and pitch that.



    i haven't tried using beer, but i've read that people have used it. i seem to recall reading that water was better (something about how the co2 and alcohol are waste products of the yeast and therefore slightly poisonous to them) but not by much. give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410

    jlw said:

    I have read that washed yeast is only good for a few life cycles before it changes. I have no idea of this is true?



    i assume it is. but to what extent i don't know.


    the only experience i have is i washed wyeast 3711 my go to saison yeast. And the second batch using the washed yeast did not have the same level of saison funk. It wasn't as a good a beer as the original batch. Time between batches was probably 8 months. I also read time is a factor on washed yeast and you need to use quickly after.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    I have read that washed yeast is only good for a few life cycles before it changes. I have no idea of this is true?



    i assume it is. but to what extent i don't know.


    the only experience i have is i washed wyeast 3711 my go to saison yeast. And the second batch using the washed yeast did not have the same level of saison funk. It wasn't as a good a beer as the original batch. Time between batches was probably 8 months. I also read time is a factor on washed yeast and you need to use quickly after.


    yes. otherwise you're essentially telling them to hibernate and would need to wake them up with a starter in order to use them again.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,768
    jlw said:

    I use the about the same process. I need to get smaller jars for storage. I wonder if you could reuse the WLP vials?



    yes, i sanitize them with idophor and fill them up with washed yeast.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    Lakewood said:

    jlw said:

    I use the about the same process. I need to get smaller jars for storage. I wonder if you could reuse the WLP vials?



    yes, i sanitize them with idophor and fill them up with washed yeast.


    Whats the advantage of idophor over say a one step?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    jlw said:

    Lakewood said:

    jlw said:

    I use the about the same process. I need to get smaller jars for storage. I wonder if you could reuse the WLP vials?



    yes, i sanitize them with idophor and fill them up with washed yeast.


    Whats the advantage of idophor over say a one step?


    one step cleaners have been proven to not sanitize anything, or so i've read. they're great for cleaning, but not sanitizing. you'd really only want to use a no rinse sanitizer like iodophor or star san.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    one step sanitizes, it just doesn't sterilize.
    its oxy-clean and few things clean better than oxygen.
    i quit using it because you had to mix up a new batch when i needed some instead of star san which is good mixed up for months.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034

    one step sanitizes, it just doesn't sterilize.
    its oxy-clean and few things clean better than oxygen.
    i quit using it because you had to mix up a new batch when i needed some instead of star san which is good mixed up for months.



    wait a minute there! i read it on the internet, it has to be true!
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410

    one step sanitizes, it just doesn't sterilize.
    its oxy-clean and few things clean better than oxygen.
    i quit using it because you had to mix up a new batch when i needed some instead of star san which is good mixed up for months.



    wait a minute there! i read it on the internet, it has to be true!


    huh. It's what I have always used. Maybe I should switch
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,768
    I use pbw for cleaning and either star san (for big stuff) or idophor (for small stuff) for sanitizing.

    I've never used one step, but I figure it's got to be sub-optimal in either cleaning ability, or in sanitization, probably sort of meh at both.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I wash the same way, difference is I use boiled baby food jars, they are glass, store nicely, and perfect for making a starter from
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I also split my starters and save half for later brews, then build the starter up again for the brewday.

    Haven't done this in a while since I haven't brewed in a long time, but it was always sweet that I had two batches from one vial without the stresses of fermenting a whole batch first, it was good for rapid brew days before a batch could be racked and the yeast washed.
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I have a follow up question that has been plexing me. You initially let the trub settle, and decant the liquid and save it, right? The sediment is bad, toss out. But the next time it settles, you want the sediment, not the liquid right?

    When I make a starter,I decant off the "beer" and save the sediment which I pitch, is that right?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    Benvarine said:

    I have a follow up question that has been plexing me. You initially let the trub settle, and decant the liquid and save it, right? The sediment is bad, toss out. But the next time it settles, you want the sediment, not the liquid right?

    When I make a starter,I decant off the "beer" and save the sediment which I pitch, is that right?



    correct. the first round of sediment is all the trub and dead yeast that flocculates out fairly quickly. the second round of sediment is mainly healthy yeast.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B