Author Topic: First time yeast harvesting  (Read 1869 times)

Offline Damrite

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First time yeast harvesting
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:09:21 PM »
I harvest yeast for the first time from a stout with vanilla and smoked oak chips etc.
I took a picture I will like your opinion if it looks right. I let it settled overnight in the fridge now I,m getting good ready to wash it. I followed the instructions from a video on youtube and the instruction from Scott that was posted in this forum but I didn't have a spigot on my fermenter. Cheers


Offline tc53

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 10:44:28 AM »
I am new to harvesting yeast and I have a very basic question. I have a 5.5 gallon batch of ale (1.068 OG) that has just finished primary, and I plan on transferring to secondary tomorrow. I would like to harvest the yeast (Wyeast 1056, grown to approximately 399 b cells through a two-stage starter). I've read up on harvesting and rinsing, so I feel like I know how to do both. My question is, if I plan to brew again within another week or two, is the cell count of what I harvest going to be sufficient for another five gallon batch (OG 1.065-1.070)?

Offline BOB357

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 11:48:45 AM »
Technically,  yeast washing requires the addition of acid. What you refer to is more of a 2 stage rinsing. Harvesting from the stout with all the goodies in it almost forces you to rinse it unless you have a very similar beer in line. Be aware of the downside of rinsing yeast. Every time you handle the yeast you're risking exposure to contamination, so your double rinsing is double the risk. Also, harvested yeast is best stored under beer. Sterile water has no nutrients for the yeast and nothing to protect it from contamination.

Many home brewers have gone to just swirling the yeast cake with the small amount of beer remaining in the fermenter and transferring it to sanitized mason jars for short term storage. Cover with loose fitting lids (I prefer plastic) or sanitized foil. Even in a refrigerator there can be enough yeast off gassing to cause a jar to explode, so be sure not to cover tightly. As a rule, 1/4 to 1/3 of the yeast cake will be plenty to pitch into the next beer if it's used within a couple of weeks.

I don't harvest yeast after dry hopping and generally will only harvest enough slurry for one or two subsequent batches. Since I brew Pale Ales and IPAs almost exclusively, I'll generally harvest from a Pale Ale, but see no problem  harvesting from an IPA that had an adequate pitch of healthy yeast.
Bob

Offline tc53

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 01:21:54 PM »
Thanks.  I did my first dry hopping in my current batch toward the end of primary, so perhaps a rinse is in order.   If I do that, adding sterilized water then let the trub and hop residue settle out, is there any point in adding a little yeast nutrient to the remaining jars of yeast slurry to compensate for the lack of any beer?  Or, if I am going to brew and pitch 1/4 to 1/3 of what I harvest within a week, perhaps only a few days, is that even necessary (and worth the increased potential contamination)?

Offline BOB357

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 03:01:24 PM »
You'll be fine for that amount of time. If you plan a few batches ahead it's a lot easier to just repitch slurry. Many are rinsing without a problem. Just thought I'd mention the possible perils and an alternative.
Bob

Offline tc53

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 06:29:02 PM »
Thanks again. I do like the idea of that simpler alternative, but I am guessing that when I dry hop in primary I should go ahead with a rinse to get the hop residue out (mostly at least). Am I correct in that assumption?  I appreciate your help!

Offline BOB357

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2019, 04:04:55 AM »
If you're dry hops are contained I don't see a need to rinse. I toss mine into the fermenter loose and don't harvest from my dry hopped beers. If you do toss them in loose and feel the need to harvest yeast, I would rinse.
Bob

Offline Oginme

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2019, 05:28:07 AM »
I follow a fairly simple process and have no issue with excessive trub or hop matter being collected with my yeast.  I sterilize quart jars of water in a pressure cooker and seal them with canning lids.  When I go to harvest yeast from a carboy, I add a jar of sterilized water and shake vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes ending with a swirling of the wort/trub/water blend to create a whirlpool effect.  I then cover the carboy opening and allow the mixture to settle for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.  I then pour the yeast that is still in suspension back into the quart jar, seal and mark it with the yeast strain, the generation number, and the date collected.

This jar goes into the refrigerator for 24 hours, after which I decant most of the now mostly clear fluid from above the yeast cake on the bottom.  This removes some of the less flocculant yeast cells from the collection.  The jar now has about a half inch of cloudy watered down beer over a cake of usually white to cream colored yeast.

When it comes to pitching, if you are not doing cell counts then estimate the cake to be around 4 billion cells per ml for purposes of repitching.  I repitch at a rate of 1 million cells/ml/?P for ales and 2 million cells/ml/?P for lagers (I do cell counts so I have a pretty good idea of actual cell quality), due to the cells being not in prime condition.

Another way pitch with confidence is to make a small starter (1 L) a day before your brew date and add some of the slurry into the starter to waken up the yeast and to get it started with reproduction.  If you don't have a stir plate, keep it somewhere where you can shake the container a bit every time you remember or walk by it.  You can then pitch the whole starter into your carboy.
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Offline tc53

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Re: First time yeast harvesting
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2019, 01:04:48 PM »
Well, I decided to go with the simplest of methods this time around.  After transferring to secondary, I swirled what was left (yeast, trub, some hop residue that escaped my hop bags) into a consistent slurry. I put this slurry into three sterilized one-pint canning jars, capping each loosely with a sterilized plastic cap, then put all three in the fridge.  I am planning on brewing the same (NEIPA) recipe tomorrow, and I'll pitch the contents of one of the three jars and see what happens.  Despite using hop bags, some hop residue is mixed in with the slurry, so I hope that is okay.