Yeast washing process

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by ChicoBrewer, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I've never done it before so after watching you tube videos here's my plan

    • add a gallon of boiled then cooled water to the fermenter
    • shake the crap out of it to suspend the trub and yeast
    • lay it on its side and let the hops and goo settle out
    • decant the liquid into a sterilized gallon jar
    • let that sit overnight
    • decant again into sterilized pint ball jars
    • refrigerate.
    • on the night before brew day make a starter out of one of the ball jars
    Sound like a good strategy?
     
  2. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    That is basically what I do and it works well for me. I add a bit more water to the fermenter (maybe 1 1/2 gallons) and lay it on its side just until I can see the thinnest line of creamy yeast forming on top of the trub. I then decant a gallon of the liquid in the fermenter into a gallon jar and again let it sit just until I can see a line of yeast forming on top of any trub at the bottom of the jar, this can happen in as little as 30 minutes, sometimes longer. I again decant the liquid into a gallon jar and let this sit in the fridge until all the yeast has settled out, then I transfer the yeast and some liquid into a smaller jar for storage. I find this gives me really clean yeast, even if it does mean I am throwing some down the drain, the way I see it I am going to make a starter anyway, so I would prefer to have a cleaner sample over a larger quantity.
     
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  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I just make an extra large starter and save some for next time. It's simpler for me. But your way works too, I just don't feel like dealing with it afterward.
     
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  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Hawkbox. Overbuilding starters is a much cleaner and easier process than washing or rinsing yeast slurry.
     
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  5. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Ditto bros... :cool:
    propagate from new yeast.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    As above tis the way to go. Now I over build my recipies by 2 lts pinch this 10 mins into boil on brew day and make my next starter with this wort (it does have FWH in it though) this way saving on DME.
     
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  7. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    How does one go about overbuilding a starter? Twice the dme? How much is saved for the next build?
     
  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    #8 Mase, Feb 7, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    You’ll still want a 1.040ish gravity for your starter, and twice the DME alone would get you a 1.080 unless you double the sterilized water as well to keep you around 1.040. If you haven’t already, tinker around with the yeast starter calculator on BF and you’ll be a able to calculate it out to double your need and save half for the next brew*.

    *yeast storage and duration of storage is a complete different topic.

    I’ve never done one myself, but like you, I’ve jumped way down the rabbit hole.
     
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  9. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I've used 2 different methods, depending on whether or not I plan on using the same strain several times in the ensuing couple of months.

    The first is to just overbuild the starter for your next brew by ~ 100B Cells. Once the starter is finished, just pour off the volume of the overbuild into another flask. Say your starter is 200B cells. You make a 300B starter and pour 1/3 into the other flask. Refrigerate the overbuild flask, decant off most of the liquid, transfer to a sanitary centrifuge tube, cap, label and store.


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    [​IMG]

    The second is if I planned to use the same strain multiple times in the next month or 2. Build a starter to, say 4B cells. Once finished, refrigerate and decant off most of the liquid, saving enough volume to fill 4 tubes, fill, label and cap them.

    I did this quite a bit when I used liquid yeasts with good results. I've been using dry yeast, exclusively for a couple of years and am about to start doing the same thing with it.
     
  10. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Double the volume. That won't exactly double the number of cells you get - that gets very complicated - but save some of the slurry for the next batch in a sanitized container and you have an overbuilt starter.

    Doubling the concentration will result in a bunch of tired, weak yeast. 1.040 is about the optimum concentration for yeast growth.
     
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  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I probably break all kinds of rules but I just put extra sparge water in my mash tun and then drain it into PET bottles or milk jugs and freeze it. I stopped measuring the gravity of it a while back as it wasn't worth the hassle. But it's the end runnings of the grain so it's usually in the 1.035 ish range. Hasn't bit me on the ass yet.

    I do like the idea of pouring it all in the kettle and doing a short boil before scavenging some, I may try that one of these days.
     
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  13. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    Because I do my washing as part of my process on bottling day, I don't really find it to be any extra work. Other than preparing boiled and cooled water ahead of time, everything else happens while I am bottling and cleaning up. If the yeast isn't settling fast enough I may have to come back later to decant it, but with my jars and lids waiting for me in a 5 gallon bucket of StarSan, this takes only a minute or two.

    I think that the most important thing is not the specific method you use, as long as it works for you.
     
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  14. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I'm happy to see so many different processes here. A cornucopia of experience.

    @BOB357 - I like the centrifuge tube idea. Cheap reusable containers. Feels like my ultimate destination.

    Of course I have to try washing to see how that works and I have some ready to go now.

    Scott
     
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  15. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    To be truthful, I bought my yeast fridge without really looking at anything but the small space where I wanted to put it. As it turned out, it wouldn't accommodate even a 1 liter Erlenmeyer flask or more than 3 pint jars. Lots of space for smaller things though. Because of this I began looking for alternatives that took up a smaller area.
    I believe it was Marshall Schott who posted about overbuilding in the early days of Brulosophy that got me started. I had saved some White Labs vials and used them at first, but had sealing problems after a couple of uses. Just happened to be looking at some test tubes on Amazon and came across the centrifuge tubes.
    As much as I'd like to say discovering them was pure genius on my part, I must admit that it was pure, unadulterated, BS luck :)
     
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  16. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I know Ozzarks has.posted on these centrifuges too. A great ideah Bob a further purchase for sure.
     
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  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I use the centrifuge tubes if I want to freeze yeast for banking it, when doing my normal yeast storage I just use 500ml mason jars. I have 6 or so different yeasts available at any given time, me and a buddy share yeast types too for banking. Works fairly well so far.
     
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  18. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Haha - I was just reading about freezing yeast. Ahh the rabbit holes are endless
     
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  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    It's actually a lot easier than most of the stuff out there on it makes it sound. I'm probably rolling the dice on my generations of yeast but I generally only do it with yeast that is expensive or harder for me to get. I'm not going to bother banking US-05 or BRY-97 for example.
     

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