Yeast Washing

by Billy Broas

In homebrewing, you can wash your yeast in order to reuse it from batch to batch.

Washing your yeast will save you money. At $6-$10 per vial of liquid yeast, the savings add up significantly over time.

It is also a great way to reuse a yeast that performs well for you. If you like the qualities you are getting out of a certain stock of yeast, you can save it for more batches of beer.

The process is simple and can be performed on your bottling day or when you’re transferring your beer to a secondary fermenter.

Equipment Needed

  • A batch of beer from the primary or secondary fermenter (I recommend the primary; see below)
  • A large glass jar between 1/2 – 1 gallon
  • A pot capable of boiling 1 gallon of water
  • 4 pint size mason jars
  • Funnel
  • Sanitizer

Yeast Washing Steps

  1. Boil one gallon of water for 15 minutes.
  2. During the boil, sanitize the glass jars and funnel.
  3. Let the water cool for a couple minutes on the stove, and then pour into the large glass jar.
  4. Place the large jar in the refrigerator to cool.
  5. Siphon the beer off the yeast, either to bottle it or transfer to a secondary fermenter. Place the airlock back on the empty fermenter while it waits.
  6. Take the large jar of water out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature.
  7. Pour the large jar of water into the fermenter, place the airlock back on, and shake it.
  8. Let the fermenter sit for 20 minutes so the trub can separate from the yeast and fall to the bottom. The yeast will be a milky white color, while the trub will be a darker brown.
  9. Pour the top layer (yeast and some beer) back into the large jar, trying to leave the bottom layer of trub behind.
  10. Cap the large jar and shake. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
  11. Similar to the pour from the fermenter, carefully pour the liquid from the large jar into the four pint size mason jars, trying to leave behind the dark matter on the bottom.
  12. Cap the mason jars and place them in the refrigerator. The yeast will settle to the bottom over the next few days.

Yeast Washing Questions

What do I do with the harvested yeast? Make beer with it! On brew day, take it out of the refrigerator and pour off the liquid on top, leaving a little bit behind. When you’re ready to pitch, swirl up the yeast and pour it into the wort. This method will work, but you’re better off making a yeast starter, especially if the yeast is stored for a while. Which leads us into our next question…

How long can I store the washed yeast? I don’t have a scientific answer for this one, but Bernie Brewer mentioned he has used yeast one year later. I’ve never gone more than 3 months. Here’s my best advice – if you wait more than a week, make a yeast starter. In fact, you should make a yeast starter for every batch.

How many generations can I harvest? I typically don’t go more than 5, but some people go more than 10. If your sanitization is solid, you should be able to get many generations out of it. Once you notice something is off though, it’s time for a fresh vial.

Do I harvest from the primary or the secondary? You can do both, but I recommend the primary. The yeast from the primary is more flocculant and not as stressed out as the yeast in the secondary, which has been exposed to alcohol for a longer period of time. It is more work to separate out the trub, but it is worth it in my opinion.

Can I pour my fresh batch of beer onto the yeast cake to ferment it? I don’t recommend it. It is the easier way to go, but if your goal is to make the best beer possible, you are better off washing it. The cake is full of dead yeast and other particles that can contribute off-flavors to your new beer.

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{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamar Sklar June 6, 2012 at 6:29 am

I have been examinating out many of your articles and i must say nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your website.

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Jeremy Scott June 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

Hi Billy,

I’ve repitched on yeast cakes numerous times with great results but I’d like to try this method soon. I was wondering if you ever add anything to the mason jars so the yeast has food while it sits dormant. I spoke with a guy at White Labs and he said the yeast still need to eat even if they’re dormant so I was wondering what your experience is. Also, he advised me to keep each jar cracked to allow CO2 to escape. Do you crack them or keep them sealed? Lastly, have you ever had a jar of yeast go bad & how could you tell?

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Billy Broas June 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hey Jeremy, I’ve never added any nutrient but it’s probably a good idea. I keep the jars sealed and haven’t had any explosions, probably because they’re in a deep sleep. Haven’t had a jar go bad but there are some that I’ve left in the fridge for a really long time that I’ve decided not to use. Don’t know what would have happened with them. I also make starters with them, so that helps.

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Jeremy Scott June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thanks for the helpful info!

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Robyn Moody June 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Are some yeasts better to harvest than others? I have a Thames Valley yeast that I’m trying to harvest, but it wasn’t separating … I could see the mixed up veins of light and dark in the jar. After 24 hours, it’s now gone into 3 layers of consisting of beer on top, a darker layer in the middle, and a lighter layer (which I assume is the healthy yeast) at the bottom. What’s the healthy yeast doing down there??

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Jeff Sieck August 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Hey! Thanks so much for your site– great stuff here (I found you looking at keezers, my next project).

While I can totally get behind the significant savings in washing yeast, my question is about pitching rates. How do you know how much yeast is in each of those jars? Obviously the amount of yeast pitched has a large bearing on the final flavor of the beer. Is there a rule of thumb for determining how much yeast you’ve got, or do you just not worry about it?

Thanks!

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John Koopmans September 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I enjoyed your video – great instruction! My question is similar to the previous one by Jeff Sleck. Pitching rates become very important when making a lager, so it would be very useful if you happened to know about how about how many yeast cells (in billions) are commonly collected by this method (i.e. from five gallons at +/- 1.048 SG)?

Thanks!

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Billy Broas September 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hey guys, you can estimate how many cells you have using this guide from Mr. Malty along with their tool: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/repitch.html and the tool http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html. It’s a rough guess but it’s the best you can do short of using a microscope.

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John Koopmans September 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Thanks, Billy. Based on my quick calculations, if you started with two packages of liquid yeast, the five gallons of 1.048 S.G. beer would contain close to 800 billion cells after fermentation. When collecting the yeast, some is left behind. Thus I assume that about 600 billion cells would be collected. Each of the 4 jars would then contain about 150 billion cells, or the equivalent of about a pack and a half of liquid yeast.

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Billy Broas September 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I usually assume one jar equals one vial (unless the jar is getting old) and then make a starter from that. Has worked great so far. Also take a look at the link that Brett just posted below.

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Mike Bostwick May 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

Nice site Billy … good journeyman-type explanations (e.g. not too technical, but useful) and clean presentation.

Want to comment on pitch rates. Typically, the White Lab and Wyeast homebrew packages provide about 100 billion cells. The rule of thumb for a five gallon batch of beer is 4 billion cells per O.G. point (i.e. 1.050 O.G. = 50 x 4 billion = 200 billion cells = two yeast packages).

At $7 – $10 per package, we quickly realize the value of yeast harvesting and creating starters.

If we make a starter with our yeast package, the rule of thumb to follow is 100 billion cells per liter. So, buy your package and pitch it into a 2 liter (2 quart, roughly the same) container of DME mixed to 1.040, and at 24-36 hours, it will roughly double and give you your 200-million cells.

Last comment – I follow a washing regimen pretty much the same as Billy described, and typically find myself using two of the pint jars of settled (and decanted) yeast for my batch starter (2-liter). Of course, this is very unscientific and is more the result of trial and error in trying to find a good rule of thumb. Actual yeast count and viability will depend on many factors, including environment and age and the only real way to measure this is with microscope and various potions to indicate yeast viability. Not impossible to do, just taking things further than most homebrewers want to go.

Anyways – sorry for the ramble, hope somebody finds this info helpful.

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Mike Bostwick May 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

Oh – and I’ll add that my sources for my heuristics pass down through several channels, mostly pointing to George Fix. He does also suggest doubling these pitch rates for lagers.

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Brett S September 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Mr malty is great, but it doesn’t give you an estimate of the cells you will have after stepping up a starter for a second time, or fermenting a batch of beer. I recommend this tool for that: http://yeastcalc.com/ which I think does a fairly decent job and has some solid science behind it.

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Billy Broas September 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Thanks for sharing Brett I hadn’t seen that before. Great tool.

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John Koopmans September 14, 2012 at 4:56 am

Wow Brett! This calculator is great and includes some pieces missing in MrMalty’s calculator. I came up with 866 billion cells for a 5-liter batch of lager at 1.048 SG, which is a little more than what I came up using MrMalty’s calculator (a little under 800 billion). With MrMalty’s calculator I had to use a large number for the number of gallons in the batch and play around with the numbers and slider at the bottom until I got a starter of 5.25 gallons and the equivalent of 2 vials. That gave me just under 800 billion cells. This calculator that you found is also great for keeping the values as you calculate a step starter.

So assuming that one collects about 700 billion cells from the 866 in the bottom of the fermentor, each of the four mason jars would contain the equivalent of about 1-3/4 Wyeast slap packs.

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John Koopmans September 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

My mistake – I was reading the new cells created box rather than the total cells box at finish.

So, the total yeast cells for a 5.25-liter batch of lager at 1.048 SG with the recommended pitching rate is an impressive 1,188 billion cells after fermentation! Thus if one collects about 900 billion cells from the 1,186 billion cells in the bottom of the fermentor, each of the four mason jars would contain the equivalent of about 2-1/4 Wyeast slap packs (1 pack cointains 1 billion cells).

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James September 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Cha Ching!!! $$$$ Nice.

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Paul September 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

After experiencing the pains of washing flocculant yeasts, I am now going to begin making more starter than necessary with the pure yeast I purchase instead of waiting to wash after fermentation. This way I will have my starter plus extra pure yeast to culture for future beers. I haven’t looked into it much, but I cannot see a downside of harvesting tons of yeast from the pure culture and storing, rather than washing off the cake. Any thoughts on this?

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Billy Broas September 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

I think that’s a good idea. You also have a better idea of how much yeast you’re storing since it’s pure. I’ve done something similar when making extra yeast to restart a stuck fermentation.

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Derek October 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

How long can I wait to wash the yeast? I racked to secondary today and was hoping to wash tomorrow. Will that be ok? I have the airlock in and a small layer of beer is sitting on top of the yeast cake.

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Billy Broas October 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

As long as you’re confident about your sanitation I think you’ll be fine.

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Greg October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am

Hi Billy I watched your videos on yeast washing and making a starter going to give it a try on my next batch I use a plastic bucket for fermentation sure its the same process i just wont be able to see the separation.also I have been reading in the forums about the argument of doing a second fermentation and some brewers say it is only necessary when they want to get the beer off an adjunct like fruit or some type of oak chips. I was going to try this on my next batch was wondering what you thought just letting the beer stay in the primary for about four weeks would there be any yeast left to watch.
Thanks Greg BTW your videos are well produced just enough info not to confuse me

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Billy Broas October 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’m a big proponent of a longer primary and no secondary and I’ve washed the yeast from the primary without issue. Give this a read (just the opening post lol): http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

Glad the videos help! I try not to confuse.

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John Koopmans October 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Hello Billy. Thanks for the link regarding the support of doing only a primary ferment. This is very encouraging. However, I have 2 questions:

1) Does this also apply to lagers? As you know, a lager could remain in the primary for two or more months, while the argument for using only a primary is that it only remains on the yeast for a month (typical for ales).

2) If you were harvesting the yeast from the primary for re-use, would the yeast not be affected if it remained in the presence of the alcohol for a month (ales) or longer (lagers)?

Thanks,
John

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Writerelated October 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

You did a great job on this video. Your explanation of the process was clear and to the point. You also did a good job of answering questions that people would have after watching this video. I plan on harvesting some yeast too, but I want to harvest the yeast from commercial beers. I notice in your video that there are thick layers of yeast in both your 1 gallon pickle jars and 1 pint mason jars.

The beer that I want to harvest from has ultra thin layer of yeast and it is also sitting in alcohol so it is stressed. I wonder what my chances are of successfully harvesting yeast from a bottle, pitching a starter, and getting some good beer out of it.

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Scott November 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Billy, thanks for the great video. I usually don’t use a secondary fermenter and crash cool the beer at 34F before I rack it to a keg. I tried this method tonight and did not get the clear separation that you showed in your video.l but rather a layer of what I think is trub, hops, etc. and a second layer of what appears to be water and beer. Do you think that since I crash cooled the beer that the yeast was clumped up and did not separate out?

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Mark Johnson December 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I did this just today, and I also didn’t get 4 clear levels, but instead, just supernatant and yeast+trub. But after I decanted the stuff off the top, it was clear that the bottom part had heavier, greener stuff towards the bottom, and yellower, lighter on top. So I poured off as much of the yellow as I could into another jar, which went in the fridge, and will go in my lager when I pitch tomorrow morning. I then added more water to the original wash and swirled again. I’m hoping to get a second layer of yeast off of it, to store in an empty White Labs tube to use for a starter later.

As for making and then storing starters from fresh yeast packs, it sounds like a good idea. Just keep in mind that there’s a gradual decline in viability over time, so if you put 800 billion cells in the fridge, they won’t all be viable in six months.

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Gidi Ben Dor December 12, 2012 at 6:09 am

can you make that from a dray yeast?

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Billy Broas December 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

Yes you can wash dry yeast. It’s so cheap though that I’m not sure it’s worth it.

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Gidi Ben Dor December 13, 2012 at 1:31 am

thanks

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Albert December 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

On brew day when you’re making your starter how much of the liquid do you pour off the top?

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Billy Broas December 30, 2012 at 11:14 am

I keep about 1/4″ of liquid on top. Just enough to swirl up the yeast.

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CD January 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Your video is what got me into yeast washing, as I have started to wash my more common yeasts such as the American Ale ones. I have a few better bottles with the racking adapter where you can transfer above the trub line. What do you think of transferring the washed yeast using the better bottle spigot above the trub line? Also, is it ok to use bottled water or distilled water to wash yeast?

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Billy Broas January 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I suppose it could work. It you had a bunch of trub below the yeast you could drain until you hit the yeast. On the other hand if the layer of yeast winds up below the spigot you’d be out of luck. It really depends on where that spigot is. As for the bottled/distilled water, it’s perfectly fine to use but personally I would still boil it to minimize the risk of infection.

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CD January 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

Well, the beauty of the better bottle spigot is that you’re able to adjust the stem connected on the spigot to go above the trub line. I haven’t tried it this way yet, but I think that it would make yeast washing a breeze.

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Matt February 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

No, you never add distilled water to yeast. Salts, minerals, and anything else in tap or bottled water are absolutely necessary for keeping the yeast cells osmotically balanced. Washing with distilled water would create a hypotonic environment, and basically cause most of your cells to burst.

http://stevegallik.org/sites/all/images/OsmosisRBCs.png

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Billy Broas February 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hmm I’m not so sure Matt. I’ve heard of yeast being stored in distilled water without ill effects. The book ‘Yeast’ even says, “Sterile distilled water storage puts yeast in a resting state, and some reports suggest yeast can be stored in this manner for years without refrigeration….The key is to use sterile distilled water and wash the yeast slurry several times in the distilled water to remove any traces of beer.”

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Matt February 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Actually, now that I think about it more, you may be right. There would be ions and minerals in the slurry, so the osmotic imbalance probably wouldn’t be as bad.

I believe I was actually thinking of rehydrating dry yeast, and that’s the one where distilled water is definitely bad for yeast. Sorry about that.

Billy Broas February 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

Ah yea, that makes mores sense. No problem. It’s good to think about these things rather than blindly accepting them.

Jon January 23, 2013 at 12:51 am

Great post!

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Billy Broas January 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

Thanks!

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Drink IPA February 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hey Billy,
Thanks for the tutorial on yeast washing I’m going try this for the first time when i bottle this weekend. My question is about the generations. Do you start counting the generation on the first pitch you did? so then after the first “wash” that would be generation 2? or do you start at generation 1 after the first wash? Does this make sense?

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Billy Broas February 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I see what you’re saying. I call the first pitch generation 1 but I could also see other people calling the first wash generation 1. Not sure what the “correct” one is.

Good luck on the wash!

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musicbymark.net March 16, 2013 at 12:39 am

Hmmm, my salvaged yeast seems to have total separation in fridge after only an hour or two. Do you really think you need a WEEK for that?

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John Koopmans March 16, 2013 at 11:50 am

I have used Billy’s process successfully for some time now, and I can assure you that even though it looks separated, there is still a lot of yeast in suspension. It usually takes at least about three weeks to totally clear, even though it may look generally clear. However, even if there is yeast in suspension, there will likely be enough yeast in the container after a day or so for a good fermentation.

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musicbymark.net March 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Why don’t you just clean the jars normally (dishwasher, or by hand) and StarSan them? Seems to work fine for me; afterall, we don’t boil our carboys to sanitize them. I also cap sanitized jars (spraying Starsan on caps or foil) so germs don’t get in while they are sitting in fridge or outside.

I enjoy your website Billy. I’m really confused to read your post about Sir Palmer renouncing prior preachings about 2ndary fermenters. Can’t understand why he wouldn’t remove or footnote the info. in his online earlier edition to avoid perpetuating the older thinking.

If that philosophy becomes widely adopted after results are replicated, I’d think it could eventually hugely reduce the homebrew suppliers’ sale of 6 gal. carboys & buckets.

musicbymark

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musicbymark.net March 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Oops, I meant it would reduce sales of 5 gal. 2ndary ferment carboys.

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Billy Broas March 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

It would be nice if Palmer updated his website, but I imagine his reason for not doing it is because it might cannibalize sales of his book. If he starts updating his website then it could be a slippery slope and people would no longer have a reason to buy the newer version.

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John Koopmans March 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I have his book, and I think even that could use some updating. I guess Zymurgy is like that – every year there is new techniques and information. Just look at the recent developments in cold pitching!

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Mark Young March 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm

RE: Yeast Washing & Starters:

I asked White Labs about waiting a couple weeks for settling of yeast in frig before decanting, & their tech replied:

“…there’s no need to wait 2 weeks… the small amount of yeast remaining in suspension can be sacrificed, since those cells are going to be very late flocculators (or non-flocculating mutated cells) and you probably don’t want them in your main batch anyway.”

He said yeast starters take 18-24 hours to complete, and then another 6-8 hours to flocculate and settle out, so a second stage could be starter after 36 hours or so, & recommended starters use 10:1 ratio of water to DME – E.g., 1L water w/ 100g of DME (=1/2 c. DME)

I’ve heard a max of 5 or 10 RE-USE / yeast washes, but I’m wondering, if you only harvest used yeast cake ONCE and just continue growing that culture & pitching part of your replenished/fed starter (like herman/sourdough), then how long before the strain might be considered compromised / unfit?

I was really blown away by Palmer’s huge change in philosophy of not using 2ndary for hardly anything anymore. More on that later w/ further dialog.
Cheers (in moderation) everybody,
Mark

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meadiocrity March 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

Thanks for the very helpful post!

I am brewing mead, and I wonder if the process should be any different for mead yeast. Also, since there is no hops and less trub than beer, is it necessary to wash as thoroughly?

Not sure if you know anything about mead, but any insight would be appreciated.

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josh April 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

for a 10 gallon batch at 1.064 would you use 2 jars and do a starter? what size starter would you do, 1L or 2L? After washing with your instructions (great video by the way), I ended up with about 1/4 inch of a yeast cake in each pint jar. the yeast i washed was the wlp 001 california ale yeast. thanks for any info.

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Mark Young April 22, 2013 at 12:45 am

Another great 7th batch or so of delicious beer from same re-used Wyeast Weihenstephan in my Hefeweizen & Dunkelweizens!. As stated, I only washed it the first time, & since then, I’ve just added wort to double or triple yeast I originally washed/harvested from the original batch. Each time I need a batch, I boil imprecise amounts of sugar or DME boiled into a cup or two of water, cool & add this wort to my saved yeast from the frig.

I swish around the mason jar every time I pass thru the kitchen for a couple days; sometimes I chill & decant the spent wort and start over again to increase the population. Then I just pitch HALF of what I’ve produced, saving the other half for the next batch. I was leery this time, as I thought it maybe smelled a little different, but it tastes just as good as the first batch – no noticeable difference.

I meant to follow up on the big change in John Palmer’s new nix on 2ndary fermenters. Palmer attended college at Michigan Tech Univ., a couple hours from me. He told me he only does a 2 week primary fermentation now on almost all ales & lagers. He uses a secondary fermenter only for fruit beers,or when he actually is doing significant fermentation in the 2nd vessel after racking. He attributes the change of philosophy/recommendation to the risk of contamination during racking and he says modern yeast no longer have much risk of “autolyzing” when left in primary (digesting or eating themselves I think that means).
Mark

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Billy Broas April 22, 2013 at 9:12 am

Great info Mark! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to use your feedback from Palmer as part of my standard “pitch” now for not using a 2ndary ; )

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Yonghwan Shin May 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Thank you for your tip for washing the yeast.

1. Could you let me know how long can I store these yeast
if I keep in in refrigerator?
2. Is there any possibility to explode yeast in the jar?
Yeast in the jar may generate the gas,
then the jar will be explode even if store in the refrigerator.

I would like your kind reply.
Thank you.

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CYR May 31, 2013 at 11:32 am

Great video and blog. Thank you for the info here …. I’m actually kind of excited to harvest and wash the yeast from my next batch of beer!

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Shawn May 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Question regrading repitching for bottle conditioning. After primary conditioning, I collected all of the yeast and partial trub (i filter the hops before fermentation), stored the yeast cake in sanitary jars and put them in the fridge. I still have minimal trub collected on the bottom. My question is, since I cold crashed the beer, I was planning on adding a little of the yeast back when I bottle to help the bottle condition. I would like to wash the yeast before I do this, so would it hurt the yeast if I let it get back up to room temp, wash the yeast and remove extra trub, then restore the yeast in the fridge until I bottle? Thanks

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Jason Wetnight June 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

Shawn/Billy,
Any update on this question? I’m not interested in bottle conditioning, but during my 1st time washing yeast i realized that i did not remove very much trub at all so now i have 6 jars of yeast/trub/wort (cold-crashed in my fridge). I’d like to clean them before my big TenFidy clone this weekend, but I’m concerned. Should i warm them all back up, re-wash? Or can I wash them cold? (or will washing them cold not work since the yeast drop out when cold?)
Thanks!

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Billy Broas July 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Hey guys, if you’re worried about it I’d play it safe and start with a fresh pitch. No use risking an entire batch. Every time you re-wash you’re putting the yeast at risk for contamination. If you do wash, yes, you’ll need to warm the containers up and probably give them a shake to get the separation.

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Ryan June 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Billy, you mention that boiled water is used in order to drive out oxygen. Are you not adding oxygen back into the water by pouring it between the jars, or is that not a big deal?

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Jordan June 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Question, your final amount of healthy yeast was separated between four jars. Once they rest, is it okay to try and decant most of the liquid in those four jars and try to get all of your healthy yeast in one jar, or do you leave it in four of them as each has the right amount of pitchable yeast?

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John Koopmans July 20, 2013 at 8:54 am

Each jar is about right for making an ale . I generally only make lagers, so, instead of separating into four jars, I separate it into two one-quart jars. Then, every 6 weeks, I make a starter of each and put it back into the fridge to keep the yeast at a healthy concentration. That way I can save the yeast for several months and still have enough strength for a lager starter (I brew 10 gallons at a time so I only make a new batch of lager every 3 months or so).

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Jordan July 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Thanks!

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Michael October 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Do you really need to put the yeast into the smaller jars? Couldn’t you just put the pickle jar in the fridge and the decant the liquid when you’re ready to make a starter? If some people just throw wort on to the yest cake it seems like just using all the washed yeast would be best instead of just a couple of jars.

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sol October 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

thanks your articles are very informative and clear

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craig October 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

So for each of those mason jars you had of washed yeast, would one jar be used to pitch into a 5 gallon batch or would you need more or less? (typically)

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bruce November 8, 2013 at 6:53 am

I enjoyed that, thanks – also enjoyed the train going by your house….

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John Koopmans December 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

Hello again, Billy. I was wondering if you have had any experience washing lager yeast? I have tried to use your method on lager yeast, but lager yeast settles differently than ale yeast. While the ale yeast remains in suspension near the top of the separation after 20 minutes, lager yeast settles to the bottom quite rapidly, even as quickly as a few minutes. After 20 minutes, the creamy yeast layer is at the bottom, while the trub is above that, and the beer layer above that. Thus, would I discard the top two layers and save only the bottom? Thanks.

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Kurt January 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

How come everyone pours from the carboy? Why not just use your siphon again and suck the yeast layer off the trub? Seems like you would have a lot more control. I have never attempted yeast washing but I would like to soon. Thanks for the great write up and video!

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Tom March 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Nice video. Need to start re-using my yeast. My last batch of beer I used IrishMoss. Seems like the extra trash would make it difficult to wash, is this TRUE?

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BeerMe August 14, 2014 at 11:55 am

I wondered why one wouldn’t use a siphon to collect the desired healthy yeast layer after washing? It would seem that technique would likely gather more of the good stuff, less of the bad. I understand that it may not be critical, but it would seem easier than the pour method to separate. Thoughts?

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