Author Topic: Anything wrong with collecting yeast from both primary and secondary fermenters?  (Read 946 times)

Offline Silicon

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I've never harvested yeast from a batch to be used another batch, but I'd like to start doing that. I've read about harvesting yeast from the primary fermenter and going through successive stages of separating the yeast from the trudge, and I'm cool with that. I also read that collecting yeast from the secondary fermenter is OK, too. (Less cleaning but maybe slightly less in quality, I read.)

What about collecting the yeast from both the primary and secondary fermenters, though, and combining them (after cleaning, of course!) for starting another batch? Is there anything wrong with that?

(I tend towards med/high gravity beers, mostly German lagers, in case that makes a difference, though I imagine it doesn't so long as my next batch is the same style as the 1st.)

Offline dtapke

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Don't reuse yeast from high grav, stresses the yeast and causes mutations.

Pick up the book "yeast" part of the brewers elements series.

as far as yeast, ideally if you're harvesting ale yeast from primary, you'll want no more than a low-mid gravity beer, and select the yeast off the top as it will be pure, and viable.

sure, you can pitch yeast off the bottom, or out of secondary, and you'll still make beer, but i can assure you that A LOT of time, money, and effort goes into making and keeping great yeast cultures, and great yeast makes great beer. trash yeast makes trash beer ;)
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Drinking: Dopplebock, NEIPA, Pils
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Secondary/Lagering:
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Offline Oginme

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Especially with lagers, you need to be aware of pitching rates and yeast health.  I've pitched from moderately high gravity lagers into medium-low gravity lagers from time to time, but it takes pre-planning to do it properly. You have to be thinking and planning ahead of time to make sure you support the yeast with proper nutrients and sufficient cell counts going into the high grav lager and even then the cell quality is not the greatest.  If I look at the recovered yeast cells under the microscope and the cell walls are not healthy and thick then that pitch is a no-go. It is definitely not something you can easily plan on.
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