Yeast washing assistance

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Ward Chillington, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Hey yeast washers, what's going on here? I expected to see a third layer here but all I see is 2; some beer and a considerable layer of slurry starting at that 16 oz mark on the jar. My question is over the lack of a third layer of "white" yeast. Do I have 16 oz of viable yeast surly or is there so little yeast that I'm just looking at beer and white trub?

    Here is what I did to get here. This is from a batch of blonde ale with only about 1.5 ounces of hops. I did take what I thought was a generous amount of trub from the kettle when I moved things into my fermenter but I would not go as far as to say I dumped all of it in there....let's say 60 %. As the cake was pretty dense, I did drain down the bubbler yielding about 5 1/2 gallons that went into bottles so there was not a lot of beer in the bottom of the bubbler but it was enough to stir up the cake and dump it into 2 of these jars with no sterile water added and I have identical results in another jar. What you are looking at is after 12 hours in the fridge.


    20191102_072532.jpeg 20191102_072532.jpeg

    So what do I have.... 16 oz of viable yeast surly or is there so little yeast that I'm just looking at beer and white trub?
     
  2. 716Brewer

    716Brewer New Member

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    I'd make a small starter and pitch some of the yeast/trub and see what happens.
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think the yeast and trub are just still mixed up in there. Maybe boil and cool some water and wash one of these jars in then let that wash mix settle for 10mins and pour the yeast (cloudy) layer off the top of that into another jar then let this jar most likely the one you began with settle out and you should see a distinct yeast layer in this one.
     
  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    That's a mix of yeast and trub. Not enough liquid for them to separate and settle out in layers. That would require shaking in a thinner mixture to break up the yeast/trub solution. When it's clumped together it won't separate into layers.. I harvest and pitch just what you have in the jar in most of my beer without any ill affects.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Wash it again, doesn't look like it separated
     
  6. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    I was kinda thinking just that. Do you think I could get a couple of weeks out of it in the fridge as is or should I wash out the trub with some water as you, Bob and Ben have pointed out?? I'm brewing a stout tomorrow but as it's the first time out with that recipe, I want to try it on my brown ale or a porter that I am familiar with.
     
  7. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I always pitch fresh, but storing slurry under beer is better than under water. I would rinse it just to get a better idea of how much yeast you have there if you're gonna store it. Once you get used to harvesting you'll be able to estimate pretty well.
     
  8. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Ah! I think I'm starting to get it.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I don't personally wash yeast but at times I collect slurry like you've got and just pitch that. But as above if you wanna wash it go ahead.
    Seeing that your brewing tomorrow don't sweat it and just pitch the slurry is my call.
     
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  10. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Ben. If you were pitching it fresh, within a few days, I'd just pitch it as is. For slurry like that, I go with about 8 to 12 oz, depending on OG.
     
  11. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Pitching fresh would work fine, but you have could enough yeast for a couple of batches.

    I don't pitch the yeast I collect directly for a number of reasons. First, if you over pitch you won't get a good yeast growth and you will have a bunch of old geezers doing most of the work. Under pitching creates it's own problem as well. Both can be a source of under attenuation.

    How do you know if you over pitch or under pitch? Dunno, you would need to know the density of the yeast mixed in with the trub. The simply way would be to build a starter from the slurry you saved. A tablespoon or so will yield @ 30 -60 billion cells give or take, a one liter starter will get you to maximum density of the yeast, @ 200 billion cells. Now you have a better idea as to the cell count, not perfect, but a good estimate.

    The second advantage to doing a starter is that even if the yeast is kept for 1-2 months this method will produce great beer provided the bacteria count is low. I do this all the time for hard to get yeast, it works great and saves money.
     
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  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'd just take half that and dump it in your next batch personally. But I don't wash yeast, to much hassle.
     
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