Can I save a yeast cake

I have been brew a short period of time now. I like to use my yeast cake twice. I have done an Irish Stout first and an Irish Red after, and so on. Is there a way to save ,or can you save, any part of the yeast after use? I hate and hated, to dispose of the yeast every time. Any suggestions?

Of course. Pour it into a sanitized mason jar or the like and refrigerate it. Google “harvesting beer yeast” for more ideas.

Sanitize a pint mason jar and dump some of the yeast cake into it. Put on a lid (loosely for a day or two) and you can store it in the fridge for weeks or months.

I usually don’t bother making a starter, but if it’s been in the fridge a long time, it’s not a bad idea to make sure the yeast are still viable.

You can sanitize a quart jar and pour off what is in the bottom of the fermentor to recover the yeast. Swirl up the contents of the fermentor after bottling or kegging so it pours easily. You can even wait a day or two since the yeast will still be covered by beer left in the fermentor after racking.

A couple pictures of harvested WY 1056.

The first picture is immediately after the pour. The second picture about a week later. I’m conservatively estimating 2 billion cells per milliliter of yeast in the second picture. About 375 ml of compact yeast in the jar.

Sanitation is the key. I use Star San solution for the jar, top of the fermentor, and my hands.

How do you figure?

That must be some beer in the bottle with the yeast. Must have label what it is. I take it also that you dump the whole jars in the wort? Do you also leave the yeast out to get to temp and put it in a larger container?
I like the bottle drier/storer. I have an old shalving unit for my bottles.

I store my yeast under the beer that was left in the fermentor. Best medium for long term storage at the homebrew abilities level. Sometimes I’ll swirl the entire contents of the jar and pour off a certain volume if the yeast is fresh. Older yeast I’'ll use a syringe to draw from the compacted center to add to a starter wort leaving the beer layer undisturbed.

I do label my yeast and once in a while I’ll take an inventory.

Estimation of cells per ml is from different sources, but mainly from @WoodlandBrew blog.

Dad gummit Flars, yer a yeast farmer! :joy: Sneezles61


I take it the beer is to help the yeast stay good? I see that you have the jar is labeled. Would you think, what beer it goes with is a good idea? What might be a good way to get yeast out? I was thinking using my syphon? Nice job on the yeast storage!!

He isn’t adding beer - that’s part of the slurry you dump into the jars. As the yeast compacts, the liquid goes to the top.

When i’m ready to use saved slurry I’ll pour off the majority of the beer on top leaving just enough to swirl up the yeast for pouring out. After returning it to the fridge it will separate again. As long as there’s a little beer on top it’s enough to protect the yeast.

Thanks for the help. Next time brew (April) I am going to try this.