Yeast Harvesting Guide

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by Oblivious, Sep 9, 2009.

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  1. Sep 9, 2009 #1

    Oblivious

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    Hi all

    I just put together a few pic of my method of yeast harvesting, this was done for my last brew a Saison with WLP550

    After racking the beer to the keg pour the remaining liquid, trub and yeast into a sterilized contain. I find one around 2liter to be good and place in the fridge for a few hours.
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    The trub been heaver will settle out fast as it the liquid part we are interested in as this will have a greater concentration of viable yeast to trub.Pour this liquid off into a new sterilized container, this can be of a smaller than the first and palce in the fridge over night to a day.
    [​IMG]


    As the liquid we place in the container is yeast rich we want the sediment in this container. Decant of the majority of the liquid and transfer the yeast to your storage vessel, I use sterilized 50ml tubes.
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    An finally decant off the majority of the liquid and pout the yeast in to your selected container. I find there is enough to in each of these tubes to pitch into a starter fro a month ore so. Over that it I would add two if the tube to a starter.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sep 9, 2009 #2

    tubby_shaw

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    A good clear easy to follow how to :thumb:

    Thanks for posting it Oblivious :cheers:
     
  3. Oct 8, 2009 #3

    evanvine

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    You've made clear somthing I've always wanted to do!
    Where do I get the 50ml containers?
     
  4. Oct 9, 2009 #4

    tubby_shaw

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  5. Oct 9, 2009 #5

    evanvine

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    Many thanks TS
     
  6. Oct 13, 2009 #6

    paulbrrtt

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    Hi prob a stupid question but when its all done do u kep it in the fridge? also how long will it keep.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2009 #7

    evanvine

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    According to Dave Line's "Big Book of Brewing" it will keep for months in the fridge.
    Other members on this forum say a few weeks.
    I've experimented putting it in the freezer!
    If it fires up when I come to use it I will have a storage means that will last at least a year.
    Will keep you posted.
     
  8. Oct 13, 2009 #8

    paulbrrtt

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    Thx for the quick reply and very helpfull, so lets say you have kept some 3 months and you go to use it can you tell if its still ok? or is it just by adding to the beer you can tell. Im just thinking that if i added some and it dont work so i have to add freash yeast would the beer taste yeasty? also if it dosnt has it like gone off? and infect the brew? sorry to sound so thick but if you dont ask lol
     
  9. Oct 13, 2009 #9

    evanvine

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    PB
    This is actually Oblivious' topic so I may be stepping on corns here!
    My personal opinion is if it looks and smells ok, it should be ok.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2009 #10

    tubby_shaw

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    As Oblivious says in his original post he uses the stored vials to make up a starter before brewing (best practice ;) ), if the starter ferments and smells ok it'll be ok :thumb:
    If it doesn't all you have lost is some spray malt and half an hours time making up the starter, not the cost of the ingredients for a full batch and the day spent brewing it :(
     
  11. Oct 13, 2009 #11

    paulbrrtt

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    Well cheers guys, it has been a great help thx again
     
  12. Oct 13, 2009 #12

    warra48

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    It's surprising how long the yeast will survive storage like this.

    I harvested some WY1469 in January this year. I made a small starter on the weekend, and although it took about 24 hours to show any activity, it eventually rocked along very nicely. It's crash chilling at present to drop the yeast out, and I'll use that slurry to build it up to a full size starter, in readiness for a brew day this weekend.

    This method is a great way to preserve yeasts which are otherwise now unavailable.
     
  13. Mar 17, 2010 #13

    henrytheturkey

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    You could keep going to the doctors and ask for a urine sample bottle ;)
     
  14. Oct 13, 2010 #14

    Mark1964

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    How much yeast would you use for a 5 gal brew :?:
     
  15. Oct 14, 2010 #15

    craigite

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    By the time my yeast has settled in the 50ml tube I have about 5-10ml.
    I take that out of the fridge and while it warms up I boil/simmer 100g dry malt extract in about 2litre of water.
    When cooled I pitch the yeast into this starter and give 24-48hrs depending on how long it been stored before then pitching the 2litres into the fv with the lovely new wort.
     
  16. Oct 14, 2010 #16

    evanvine

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    I just pitch the yeast culture straight from the fridge; not failed yet :D
     
  17. Oct 14, 2010 #17

    graysalchemy

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    I do that also :thumb: :thumb: .

    I tend not to wash my yeast now :eek: :eek: just split into two very large portions probably 300 -400 ml and just pitch the whole lot in. I brew about once every six weeks and don't seem to have a bother using dirty yeast. My last lot of washed yeast that I split into small pots all went off. By splitting it in two you have always got a reserve if something goes wrong.

    This method is i know a big :nono: :nono: as you are risking putting an an untried yeast which may be infected into a whole fermenter of wort. I should realy make up astarter the day before but I usually forget .

    :cheers:
     
  18. Oct 14, 2010 #18

    craigite

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    I'm sure it works fine, I just prefer a starter cos not only does it get the fermentation off to a good start but it also gives me a chance to confirm the yeast is ok and no infection.

    :cheers:
     
  19. Oct 14, 2010 #19

    Sean_Mc

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    How do you know its not infected, off smell?
     
  20. Oct 14, 2010 #20

    craigite

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    Well, that's the plan.
    Hasn't happened yet :rofl:

    So far I haven't had many brews go off, but them that did were quite obvious so I hoping a starter will show it well enough.
    Really I don't expect a starter to go off, but if starter doesn't fire up then better to know in time to opt for plan b. :pray:
     

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